Washington sophomore Elijah Hardy entered the NCAA transfer portal, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of remaining with the Huskies.
“I’m just trying to figure out what’s the best fit for me,” he said Wednesday during a phone interview. “Washington is not out of the question, but I’m trying to figure out who is going to give me the best opportunity to get to the next level.
“The fit is really important. I want to be around good people, a good culture and a good team and just continue my success.”
The news was first reported by Travis Branham at 247Sports.com.
After playing sparingly last season, Hardy made his only start on Jan. 9 at Stanford when sophomore Quade Green was ruled academically ineligible.
After tallying three assists, three steals and just two points on 1-for-7 shooting in 31 minutes against the Cardinal, the 6-foot-2 point guard returned to the bench for the rest of the season.
Sophomore combo guard Jamal Bey started 14 of the final 16 games while freshman point guard Marcus Tsohonis made nine starts in the final 10 games.
Green is expected to return next season, which would likely create another logjam at point guard and possibly a diminished role for Hardy.
“I definitely improved this year and looking forward to making an even bigger jump next season,” said Hardy, who averaged just 1.9 points, 1.1 assists, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 turnovers in 11.0 minutes while appearing in 29 games.
He shot 27.3 percent from the field and 14.3 (4 of 28) on three-pointers.
Coach Mike Hopkins often relied on Hardy as a defensive substitute who spearheaded UW’s seldom-used man-to-man attack and full-court press.
Hardy had his best performance during Washington’s last game when he tallied 11 points and five rebounds — both career highs — and two steals during a 77-70 loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament opener.
“Everything comes with time and it just so happened to be that time where I got to display my skill and try to contribute to the team winning,” he said. “It was just the opportunity that was given to me. Coach Hopkins gave me a good opportunity to lead the team, but unfortunately we took a tough loss.”
Hardy, who starred at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High, had offers from USC, USF, Santa Clara and Nevada before signing with Washington three years ago.
Returning home to the Bay Area is a possibility, but Hardy said he’s keeping his options open.
“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t think location or anything really matters to me. I’m just trying to find the best situation for me and the best place where I can get a good opportunity to show my talents and lead a team.
“Whoever gives me that opportunity and I feel like that’s best for me, then that’s what I’ll choose.”
PRYOR COMMITS TO UW AGAIN
Former West Seattle High standout Nate Pryor reaffirmed his commitment to Washington after decommitting two weeks ago due to personal reasons.
“My heart is with my city and I’m staying home,” Pryor said Tuesday via Twitter.
Pryor, a 6-4 point guard, has played the past two years at North Idaho College where he averaged 18.0 points, 4.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 2.3 turnovers while posting a 59-3 record. He shot 52.8 percent from the field and 29.7 percent on three-pointers.
Pryor initially pledged to play at Seattle University before switching to Washington shortly after Hopkins was hired in 2017. Pryor was unable to get academically eligible and spent a year at prep school before starring at North Idaho College.