Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Harthun commits to Cougs

PULLMAN – Washington State has secured its second oral commitment for the recruiting class of 2008.

Guard Michael Harthun of Medford, Ore., told WSU head coach Tony Bennett Saturday that he intended to join the Cougar ranks, adding perhaps the most highly touted recruit of Bennett’s Cougars tenure to the fold.

Harthun, who helped lead South Medford High School to a state championship last season as a junior, is expected to fill a combination guard role, perhaps similar to the one filled by a current Cougar veteran.

“I believe that you’re going to see a lot of comparisons to Derrick Low, the way he shoots the ball and the way he comes off of screens, his quickness with the basketball,” said Glenn Johannes, the coach of Harthun’s AAU team. “He’s a multidimensional kind of guard.”

Harthun said he was drawn to WSU, which has been recruiting him for about a year, primarily because of the current staff, led by Bennett.

“I really felt like I had a good connection with the coaches, better than any other school,” Harthun said. “The success of this year helped make my decision to go there. The things that they’re doing with their program, they’re up-and-coming.

“(Bennett) is a good coach, and the things that he was doing with players that maybe weren’t the greatest talents or whatever, he made them a great team by playing together.”

Harthun is rated the 22nd-best shooting guard in the country by the recruiting service, and he is the first four-star recruit based on that company’s rankings to commit to WSU under Bennett.

Both and rate Harthun as the best guard in the Northwest to come out of next year’s class.

“He’s got a never-ending motor,” said Johannes, who also coached incoming WSU recruit Abe Lodwick on the Oregon Rebels. “I think it’s a great addition to Washington State. I know Tony Bennett is going to make him a better shooter and just a better player overall.”

A third former Rebel, Ben Voogd, has agreed to walk on at WSU this fall after transferring from LSU.

Harthun, who is about 6-foot-4, had offers from Oregon State and Arizona State, among others. He said he hadn’t planned on committing so soon, but after spending time at WSU over the weekend – fellow four-star recruit Tyreese Breshers of Los Angeles was also on campus – his plans were set.