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June 7, 2013
Tulane announces seven-man hoops class
Tulane men's basketball head coach Ed Conroy announced today the addition of four players to his roster during the late signing period this spring that increases the number of newcomers to the Green Wave program to seven, including the three early signees.
Newcomers Josh Hearlihy (6-7, 215) (Hearlihy Highlights), Mikael Herbert (6-9, 210) (Herbert Highlights) and Ryan Smith (6-10, 240) (Smith Highlights) each signed a National Letter-of-Intent, while Jonathan Stark (6-0, 160) (Stark Highlights) signed Grant-In-Aid.
"These young men and their families are excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Tulane University Community," Conroy said. "These four, along with the three student-athletes who committed in the fall, comprise an extremely talented, dynamic and diverse class that will entertain Green Wave fans for years to come."
Hearlihy, Herbert, Smith and Stark join Tulane's three early signees - Cameron Reynolds (Reynolds Highlights), Ray Barreno (Barreno Highlights) and Payton Henson (Henson Highlights).
"A great deal of credit goes to our veteran staff that developed relationships with these recruits, their families and their coaches helped them understand the tremendous momentum within our basketball program," Conroy added. "The positive energy coming off 20 wins, the completion of the Hertz Center, the Devlin Fieldhouse renovation and our current and future league affiliations have put our program in a great position for future success."
"The opportunity to compete for championships and the exposure that comes from competition against our current and future conference opponents was a key part of the decision process because each of these players wanted to compete against the very best in college basketball. These outstanding student-athletes could feel the excitement around the program and all want to help us go one step further," Conroy said.
Hearlihy joins the Green Wave after completing a prep season at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts. At Northfield, Hearlihy helped lead his team the national prep championship and averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., Hearlihy attended Harvard-Westlake High School and was one of the top recruits in the West Coast in the class of 2012, signing with the University of Utah before deciding to attend prep school.
"Josh is a tough, versatile and talented student-athlete," Conroy said. "He is a very skilled passer and shooter and for a player 6'7 he is very creative with the ball in his hands. He is an extremely competitive and tough defender who is well versed to defend as a freshman at the collegiate level.
"Josh enjoyed tremendous success while playing against a high level of competition during his prep school and high school career," Conroy added. "He displayed great leadership in guiding his team to the national prep championship. We are excited about his preparation to make the transition to our program."
Herbert, a native of Uusikaupunki, Finland, played the last two seasons in the first division of the Finnish Professional Basketball League with UU-Korihait. Last season in 24 games, Herbert averaged 7.0 points per game and also gained international experience playing for the U16 and U18 Finnish National Teams.
Herbert's father is longtime professional coach, Gordie Herbert, and served as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2008-09. He is now the head coach of the top division in Germany with the Frankfurt Skyliners.
"Mikael is skilled, intelligent and driven student-athlete," Conroy said. "He was a player we have targeted and recruited for a long time because of his proven skill set. He is a tremendous shooter who possesses a great feel and love for the game.
"We like the fact that he has gained tremendous experience and enjoyed good success competing in the top division of the professional league in Finland during the last two seasons. He will be great fit for our team with his ability to score, his ability to shoot and his drive to develop his body physically and mentally."
Smith comes to Tulane from Lutheran High School in Wildomar, Calif., where he average 16.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game during his senior season that was cut short by a knee injury in January.
"Ryan is big, long, physically strong skilled student-athlete," Conroy said. "He is a competitive, committed rebounder whose skill level is going to be fun to coach. He displays tremendous touch, hands and has an attitude and commitment to learning that is both refreshing and exciting. His dedication in the weight room and in the Hertz Center is going to be paramount in his transition to our program."
Stark led Munford High School in Munford, Tenn., with 19.7 points and 3.5 assists per game as a senior and earned District 13-AAA MVP honors. He also shot 42-percent from 3-point range as a senior and received all-district and all-metro honors.
Stark participated in the Jack Jones All-Star game in Memphis this spring and scored 16 first-half points to lead his team to a victory.
Prior to playing for Munford, Stark played at Brighton High School and averaged 21 points and more than six assists per contest as a junior after 10.7 points and 3.5 assists per game as a sophomore.
"Jonathan is a smart, talented and very engaging student-athlete," Conroy said. "He is guard who can impact the game with his speed, quickness and shocking athleticism. He is from the Memphis area and was one of the top guards in the state of Tennessee. We are excited to watch the many ways his ability will allow him to impact the game and our program as a distributer, scorer and defender. He possesses tremendous leadership ability with his personality and abilities."
Tulane's three early signees enjoyed success during their senior campaigns. Reynolds' Pearland High School in Texas claimed the District 22-5A Championship, while he earned District MVP honors with 15.3 points per game.
Barreno led Faith Christian Academy in El Paso, Texas, to a second straight TCAL 3A State Championship with a 25-1 record and averaged 16.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.
Henson averaged 26.4 points as a senior at Siloam Springs High School in Arkansas on his way to earning the 2013 Northwest Arkansas Large School Player of the Year.
"These seven student athletes make up an exciting class for the present and the future of Tulane Basketball," Conroy said. "They embrace and appreciate the benefit of a Tulane experience and degree. They also respect and are driven by the importance of success and being a member of a TEAM based on the successes of their high school and prep school teams."
"We are so excited to bring such talented student-athletes to Tulane. The size, length and success of the young men stands out. The skill level, competitive nature and athletic ability of this class and how they fit it in our program is quite exciting. This class compliments the returning players, but also possesses many unique individual talents that will be enjoyable to watch developed and displayed in Devlin Fieldhouse for the next few years. This is a dynamic and diverse group of student-athletes who are ready to make a major impact at Tulane," Conroy added.
The seven will be freshman in the Fall and join the current members of the Green Wave - Louis Dabney, Kajon Mack, Max Keenan, Kevin Thomas, Jay Hook, Tre Drye and Tomas Bruha.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING...
...about Josh Hearlihy
"Josh is a highly intelligent and versatile forward. He's going to be a very difficult match-up at the next level because he's a terrific ball-handler and passer for a guy his size with a high basketball I.Q. and so he'll allow Tulane to be very flexible and creative with different line-ups and strategies." - Adam Finkelstein, Northeast Recruiting Coordinator for ESPN
...about Mikael Herbert
"Mikael Herbert is a player with a lot of upside. He is a great combination of skills and size. He has a natural feel for the game and this despite having not played basketball for a lot of years. This makes him an intriguing prospect on the long term. Mikael can play inside and outside which makes him a difficult matchup for every defender. Tulane should be able to help him develop his potential over the next years and get the rewards down the road. " - Christophe Ney, Editor of European Prospects
...about Ryan Smith
"Tulane is getting a special player and person. I think Ryan's upside incredible. He worked on everything I told him to and realized early that you have to put in the work to get the reward. Tulane is getting a special player and person. He is on his way to becoming a great player and what is exciting about Ryan is he improves every single day. Ryan is very deserving of the amazing opportunity he is getting at Tulane University because of all his hard work and his commitment to improving his game." - Todd Malecki, Murrieta Icemen Director
...about Jonathan Stark
"Jonathan Stark is one of the top players in the Southeast. He has displayed his ability to play against other high-level competition and may have as much potential as any player in the Memphis area. He is a guard that can score at the rim as well as with his jump shot. What really separates Stark is his quickness and athleticism. Tulane is getting a very good player who their supporters will really enjoy watching." - Scott Robinson, Victory University Head Coach (Memphis, TN)
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Exp. Hometown/High School
Josh Hearlihy G/F 6-7 215 Fr./HS Los Angles, Calif./Northfield Mount Herman (Mass.)
Mikael Herbert F 6-9 210 Fr./HS Uusikauaupunki, Finland/UU-Korihait
Ryan Smith C 6-10 240 Fr./HS Wildomar, Calif./Lutheran HS
Jonathan Stark G 6-0 160 Fr./HS Munford, Tenn./Munford HS
Cameron Reynolds G 6-6 195 Fr./HS Pearland, Texas/Pearland HS
Ray Barreno C 6-11 260 Fr./HS Ascension Chihauhua, Mexico/Faith Christian Acad. (Texas)
Payton Henson F 6-8 220 Fr./HS Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs HS