Henry Welsh

Harvard’s 2016 recruiting class ranked No. 10 in the nation, a historic accomplishment for the Ivy League University. The Crimson was ahead of every single 2016 Final Four team and six of the eight Elite Eight teams—trailing only Kansas and Virginia. David Freed profiles each of the seven members of the class before they step on the floor for the season opener against Stanford, covering their recruiting process, playing style, and potential fit on this year’s team. In this one, he covers center Henry Welsh.


Recruiting Process:

Welsh was the final addition to the Harvard class, signing in mid-October shortly after taking his official visit to the university. The then-high school senior had taken visits to both UC Irvine and Lehigh before coming to Harvard, which was looking for a true center to fill out a class heavy on power forwards and floor-spacers. The Los Angeles native was the second commit in the class to hail from Southern California (the other was Christian Juzang).

Playing Style:


Unlike the other recruits in his class, very few highlights exist of Welsh’s game. In the brief look we get at his game, he doesn’t look very different from the prototypical three-star freshman, flashing a solid game around the rim and accompanying it with some touch on the jump shot. Looking at his statistics from high school, it tells a very similar story—Welsh averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds a game his senior year, while doing very little ball handling (1.2 assists a game) and providing some rim protection (3.8 combined steals and blocks a contest).

Looking at brother Thomas Welsh, a sophomore at UCLA who broke onto the scene this year by nearly averaging a double-double in his second year of action, we can get a bit more of an indication of what Welsh might look like at Harvard. The older sibling will primarily attempt to take opponents in the post, having shot a grand total of zero threes during his first two years. He shot 59 percent inside the arc, which ranked sixth in the Pac-12 last year.

Potential Fit:

It is tough to think of how Welsh fits into the Harvard lineup this year. Senior Zena Edosomwan, a second-team All-Ivy contributor a year ago, will almost certainly be the starter for next year. Behind Edosomwan, the team does not have many big men to man the middle—junior Chris Egi is athletic but unpolished and had repeated foul trouble a year ago. Sophomore Balsa Dragovic is the tallest possible backup to Edosomwan, but got sparse minutes his rookie year.

The likely resolution is for Welsh and Dragovic to battle for minutes behind Edosomwan, although fellow freshmen Chris Lewis and Robert Baker may endeavor to steal those minutes from him. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker has often had the great problem of having too many big men to play, and will likely have to manage his cadre of freshmen big men with care.

–Staff writer David Freed can be reached at