Los Angeles Preps: Penn
January, 17, 2012
By Sean Ceglinsky | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Julian Harrell is not one of those flashy type of basketball players. Fundamentally sound more accurately describes his repertoire on the hardwood, a rare trait in this day and age when most individuals are trying to become the next Internet sensation.
The senior from Los Angeles Loyola understands the nuances of the game and does the little things that don't necessarily show up in the box score. Hustling and diving for loose balls comes naturally. Another redeeming quality is a no-nonsense approach to playing defense.
Courtesy of Nick KozaJulian Harrell has Loyola off to a 14-2 start and already has committed to the University of Pennsylvania.
Rest assured, Harrell can also stuff the stat sheet. One need not look any further than his team highs in number of different categories this season for proof. Whenever the Cubs need a big bucket, someone to crash the boards or a timely assist, they typically turn to him.
Considering everything that Harrell brings to the table, you begin to understand why the University of Pennsylvania commit is regarded as one of the Southland's premier players and why Loyola is thought to be one the premier programs in the greater Los Angeles area.
“Julian, we like to call him Ju Ju, has done some extraordinary things in his time here with us, that's no exaggeration either,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “He's not going to end up on some And1 mix-tape or anything like that. His highlight film is done differently, and if you ask me or any other hoops fan, his moves are just as entertaining as anyone else out there.
“He's a throwback in a lot of ways. Ju Ju is well-rounded and can do just about anything asked of him. He's played all five positions on the floor for me. He's versatile. I love his game. He's efficient. There's not a lot of wasted movement. All of the intangibles are there. He's a coach's dream. We are going to miss him once he graduates and moves on the next level.''
In the meantime, its business as usual for Harrell & Co.
Loyola (14-2 overall) got off to somewhat of a slow start this season with a couple of surprising losses in the traditionally tough Mission League. The setbacks are nothing more than a distant memory for the Cubs, No. 5 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings.
Next up: Two important league games, the first on Saturday night at La Canada St. Francis. Thereafter, a showdown at home against Encino Crespi, No. 4 in the recent ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings, looms large on Jan. 23. Harrell will be expected to carry the load for the Cubs, of course, similar to how the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has done so many times in the recent past.