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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

KU target Matt Hurt sets date to announce college decision

Top 10 prospect likely to choose between Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky

Kansas recruit Matthew Hurt watches the second half action on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Matthew Hurt watches the second half action on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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One of the top remaining uncommitted prospects in the 2019 basketball recruiting class has set a date for decision day.

Matt Hurt, a 5-star McDonald’s All-American who is ranked No. 7 overall in the 2019 class by Rivals.com, will announce his decision on April 19 during a ceremony at his high school in Minnesota.

Hurt, who is preparing for Wednesday’s McDonald’s game, announced the date this week in Atlanta while talking to the dozens of media members on hand to cover the event.

“My birthday is on April 20, so I’m going to do it the day before,” Hurt told USA Today Sports. “I do not know where I’m going yet.”

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward who projects as a 3 or stretch 4 in college is as versatile as any player in his class. He’s known as a great shooter who can play inside and out and also can guard just about any position, which will allow him to fit in perfectly on any roster.

The four programs who will enter April with the best chance of landing Hurt are bluebloods Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, but several analysts believe the decision will ultimately come down to Duke and Kansas.

Hurt talked about his finalists during media day at the McDonald’s All-American game and broke down what he liked about each school.

Naturally, with coaches like Bill Self, John Calipari, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski heading up his four finalists, the ability to play for a legendary coach was a box that all four programs checked.

But here’s what else Hurt had to say about Kansas and his official visit on Feb. 2.

“I like their atmosphere,” he told USA Today. “I’m really close with their coaching staff, just what they do every day and their academics person is really close with the guys, even if they go to the NBA. So it’s more of a family there.”

To that end, Hurt told Eric Bossi, of Rivals.com, that the family environment at KU extends beyond the players and their bond together.

“Their coaching staff’s really close,” Hurt told Bossi, noting that KU assistant Jerrance Howard was the lead recruiter for his services. “Me and him are pretty close.”

As for how Self, Howard and the rest of the KU program were trying to pitch him on picking Kansas, Hurt said KU’s willingness to let him play on the perimeter, and play to his strengths, was something that stood out.

“A combination of, like, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, Josh Jackson, taller guys that can put the ball on the floor,” he said when asked how KU might use him. “That’s their message. They think they can train me to be a big guard and those are the three guys in the NBA that they want me to look at right now and how they did at Kansas.”

So now it’s time to enter the homestretch of Hurt’s recruiting. Hurt likely will play in a couple other All-Star games after Wednesday’s McDonald’s game and the 24 days between then and April 19 will go fast. The frantic finish that lies ahead has merely made Hurt appreciate how respectful everyone has been during the process leading up to this point.

“The coaches have done a really good job of recruiting me,” he told USA Today. “They haven’t been over the top with it and I appreciate that. I can only pick one school, and I know that I’ll be happy with my decision in the end.”

The versatile forward who averaged 37 points and 12 rebounds per game during his senior season at John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., said he’s still open to learning more about each school and program and added that the three weeks ahead could be just as important as anything that has happened in the past.

As for what might help him make a final decision, Hurt rattled off a long list of things he will watch closely in the final few weeks of his recruitment.

“Just building more relationships, getting close, seeing how they do in the tournament, who’s coming back, who I’m going to play with. That’s a big part of my decision,” he said.

Comments

Danny Hernandez 1 month, 3 weeks ago

IF Mr. Hurt chooses Kansas, I will be more than ecstatic! will definitely soften the loss to Auburn a bit in my mind

Phil Leister 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Really, really, really need to land him.

Robert Brock 1 month, 3 weeks ago

In transition, Hurt would bury opponents by raining threes on them. KU has to keep battling for his commitment.

Steven Haag 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hopefully there aren’t any texts going on between Adidas and certain coaching staff on what it will take to land this guy. Use a burner phone😂😂😂😂😂

Dillon Davis 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Let's hope he announces before anything comes to light from the NCAA about punishments for the Adidas investigation. They said they would likely reveal something after the 2018 season so sometime in April is a real possibility.

I'm sure we'll also hear news about Dok's and Dedric's plans for the NBA before April 19. That will likely impact his decision somewhat. Hopefully we hear about Silvio's appeal too. If he can play in 2019 then that's great, and he and Hurt can definitely play together. But if he can't play then I'm sure he'll leave and losing Dok, Dedric, and Silvio would make this signing even more important.

Steve Zimmerman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

"They think they can train me to be a big guard" - Those 3 guys came to KU with tons of experience, skills and training already. I hope we really see this training the staff is talking about. I have yet to see a combo big guard after 2-3 years sticking with KU. Ellis? Lucas? Lightfoot? Traylor? (Morrii were under Manning) Unless I'm hearing the staff is willing to change style, Hurt will only be used just like Lawson. Inside or perimeter. If he wants to go to the NBA, KU is not the place for training unless for born-ready athletes like Wiggins or JJ or Embiid.

Matt Tait 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I think you're drastically underestimating how athletic and talented this kid is. He's almost as ready as those guys were and he's every bit the competitor.

Nobody's saying he'll be a combo guard. He'll play the 3 or 4 and be used like those guys were, especially Jackson. Put the ball down. Drive to the rim. Play on the perimeter. Guard a 4 if needed. Guard a 1 or 2 if needed. He can do all of that and more. The fact that he's a lights-out shooter is icing on the cake.

Dirk Medema 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Just Z being Z.

A more positive perspective it seems to me is the coaches are pitching being able to play him alongside Dedric if for some reason D decided to stay. It would be pretty wild having 2 guys that were 6-10 and equally capable of playing inside or out (3 or 4) all the while being backed up by a McCormick or others in the 5 spot.

Marius Rowlanski 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Matthew Hurt would be a great get but he doesn't have the size or the strength that McCormack has an won't have it, ever. McCormack will be a starter next year. Lightfoot is his only backup for now unless Dedric stays.

Nice to be positive but that doesn't make it right.

Andy Godwin 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This is the player Self has made his number 1 recruiting priority for 2019-2020 season. A lot of effort has gone into getting Hurt to sign and play at KU next season. If he chooses elsewhere this will be a major blow to Self's program.

Steve Zimmerman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

He's played only against boys half his size. We will see how good he is against taller more athletic players in div1. He's not that athletic. Lack of strength around legs and shoulders. He's quite talented for a kid his size, indeed. We can definitely use him as a shooter and blocker. Hopefully, not a mere 5.

Matthew Neal 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Josh Jackson, Andrew Wiggins, Svi. Just to name a few. And yes those guys came in with talent, but they improved drastically under Self and his staff

Marius Rowlanski 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I can think of at least 10 better examples.

Spencer Goff 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Since the FBI and the NCAA seem to be okay with Duke paying their athletes, I assume we have no shot.

Dane Pratt 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Throwing the FBI under the same bus with the NCAA. What a dick move.

Craig Carson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

After seeing KU lose too many recruiting battles this season I'm not optimistic about KU landing him...we sure could use some good news on the recruiting trail

Marius Rowlanski 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mostly stragglers looking for maximum minutes at a top school and jump into the NBA.

That's their dreams, they just don't happen very often. Players aren't always realistic about their abilities.

Chad Smith 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I've actually seen him play a few times in person up here now. He's the real deal. What everyone has said is true. He is big enough to guard 4's but athletic enough to play perimeter ball and get to the hoop and finish. He's multi-talented. I haven't really heard much about which way he is leaning but I'd say it's equal odds with Duke. They will have a spot for him to play right away just like we probably will. I'm hoping for the best.

Tony Bandle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Random Thoughts:

1] If he goes to any of the other guys, he will be one of many.

2] If he comes to Kansas, he will be "The Man".

3] He'll be playing with three Mac -ALL Americans and a top notch athlete.

4] He'll be starting with major minutes, exposure and fan support.

5] I think he is just waiting to see what Dedric does....Lawson goes, Hurt comes.

6] Isn't Cole Aldrich from Minnesota? Maybe Cole should give him a call.

Marius Rowlanski 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Plenty of minutes available at KU with or without Dedric.

Edward Daub 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Breaking News! Michael Avenetti arrested and charged with attempted extortion of Nike for $20 million! The Federal Colonoscopy switches from Adidas to Nike!

Tim Orel 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And the NCAA puts on its Beats headphones that they took as freebies and continues to focus on how they can screw KU while ignoring Nike (who pays so well) and the ACC's blue bloods.

Spencer Goff 1 month, 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU! For a second there I thought I was going to be the only one that somehow Nike is being protected in all of this by one conspicuous office. It is obvious Nike is paying more than just athletes.

Dee Shaw 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Duke or KU? Duke pays more than we do. Just ask Zion. So I predict he will sign with Duke.

Dwayne Mudd 1 month, 3 weeks ago

If we loose Smoove and Dok we really really need this kid

Robert Brock 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Precious looks like Cheick Diallo. 6’9, 225 pounds, can run the floor, and can’t shoot.

Craig Carson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

That may be true about precious but he'd be a multi year big man...

Kevin Pavey 1 month, 3 weeks ago

With Dedric and Dok potentially gone, would be nice to see Hurt pick KU.

Joe Baker 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Duke, UK, and UNC recruiting makes me nervous. Many recruits have said really nice things about KU basketball, then they choose one of the others. Once again, this mess is going to be used against us by other coaches.

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