BYU basketball: Cougars land another Hartsock

Published: Thursday, March 1 2012 9:51 a.m. MST

BARTLESVILLE, OK. — Noah Hartsock is about to wrap up his career at BYU, and it’s been a good one. He’ll finish out this season as the team’s leading scorer after contributing, but more importantly, improving all four years he played in the program.

Surely the Cougar coaching staff would like to have four more years of his unique and highly effective inside-out game on offense along with his solid defense. That’s obviously not attainable, but BYU received news that they’ll be receiving the services of what may be the next best thing — his younger brother.

Jakob Hartsock informed the Cougar coaching staff via teleconference that he would sign a letter of intent with them this coming fall. His parents were in town visiting Noah, but were there in the office along with the entire coaching staff to be part of it.

“We planned on doing it that way before they left out there to go see him,” said Jakob. “I’ve known for a while that BYU was where I wanted to be and it was great having Noah, my parents and all the coaches there listening on the phone when I committed.”

Jakob is currently finishing up his junior season for Bartlesville and doing his best impression of his older brother. The similarities are apparent from their stature, and how they play to how many points they averaged during their junior seasons — 20.

“I play almost exactly like Noah,” affirmed Jakob. “I can shoot the 3 like he can — I lead the team in 3-pointers this year — and I’m a good shot-blocker. I’ve had 49 blocks so far this season — a little more than two per game.”

Indeed when Jakob showed up at BYU’s camp two summers ago coaches were quick to note the similarities. Given Noah’s body of work they immediately took interest in Jakob, and a scholarship offer followed soon after.

So are the brother’s exactly alike in every way?

“I think I’m a little more athletic than Noah,” said Jakob. “I have a higher vertical than he does, so that’s the biggest difference, but we play a lot alike with our turnaround jumpers and everything else. I’ve learned from him, so it makes sense that we play almost the same.”

Jakob is LDS and has plans to serve a mission straight out of high school just like Noah did. He had other options, but rested on BYU due to its coaching staff and the religious environment of the school.

“I really didn’t know much about BYU until I went out there,” he said. “I loved it immediately though. Noah obviously talks up BYU and has had a great experience there, which helped me make up my mind, but it’s the environment — I love the religious environment — and want to be a part of that.”

Jakob has also grown fond of BYU’s coaching staff and is anxious to learn from them over his four years within the program. He’s also anxious to play at the Marriott Center, although he’s never taken part of its environment.

“I’ve never been to a game there, but I’ve heard a lot about it,” he said. “Noah says it’s the best place to play and talks all the time about how great the fans are there. I can’t wait to get there and hopefully I can have as good of a career as Noah did.”

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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