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Big weekend for KU gets even bigger with 5-star forward Matt Hurt coming to town

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Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

In case you needed more of a reason to label the upcoming couple of days a monster weekend for Kansas basketball, here’s a reminder that Top 10 2019 prospect Matt Hurt is coming to town for an official visit.

And he’ll be treated to a doozy, with the 11th-ranked Jayhawks, losers of 2 straight and 5 of their last 11 games, playing host to No. 16 Texas Tech at Allen Fieldhouse, in a game that figures to have a massive impact on the Big 12 race and KU’s hopes of extending its consecutive title streak to 15 later this season.

Both teams enter the game at 5-3 in the Big 12, a half game behind Kansas State and Baylor at 5-2.

That alone makes Saturday’s 3 p.m. game bigger than most. But add to it the fact that KU will be hosting one of its most important recruiting targets in some time and it turns a nice little Saturday into a huge weekend.

Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 7 overall player in the 2019 class, Hurt will be back in Allen Fieldhouse with a completely different perspective than he had during his previous trips.

Unlike those visits, which came when he was much younger and were of the unofficial variety, this one is the real deal. Not only will the KU coaching staff get the entire 2 days to devote their time to hosting Hurt and his family, but Hurt will arrive with the idea that, one way or the other, he’s going to have to make a college decision in the next couple of months.

For the most part, Hurt’s recruitment has been kept pretty quiet. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound versatile forward from John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., has long been one of the top prospects in the class — and at the very top of KU’s wish list for big men in the 2019 crop — but he has not been that loud about his process.

No weekly updates. No must-see videos on Twitter or Instagram. Hardly even any updates of any kind, for that matter.

Last week, Hurt was named to the 2019 McDonald’s All-American team and, in December, Hurt scored the 3,000th point of his prep career. Not much, outside of Minnesota, was made about either achievement and that appears to be just the way Hurt likes it.

Still, you can’t say too much about how important Hurt is for Kansas’ 2019 recruiting class.

With solid backcourt pieces Christian Braun and Mackey McBride already signed, the Jayhawks need to add a big man and Hurt is the perfect option. In addition to bringing good size and athleticism, he is known as a lights-out shooter and that trait alone would go a long way toward making an immediate impact on the offensively challenged Jayhawks.

“Matt Hurt is one of those players in a recruiting class that can instantly make a class great,” said KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott. “The ultra-skilled wing from Minnesota can simply do it all on the offensive end of the court. He can score at all levels and is a matchup nightmare for opponents because he can play multiple positions.”

But landing Hurt would have a much greater impact on this program than elevating its final ranking in the 2019 class into the Top 10 or Top 20.

It would be a sign that there all is well in Lawrence despite a rougher than expected 2018-19 season and Kansas missing out on a few other top prospects, most notably Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who chose Villanova earlier this winter.

“For Kansas, Hurt is exactly the player the program needs,” Scott added. “He can play with bigs or play small ball. He can play in transition or in the half court. He simply is a player that defense have to pay attention to, which can create opportunities for his teammates.”

The Jayhawks remain in the running for a few other Top 40 prospects in the 2019 class, including No. 16 prospect Precious Achiuwa (6-9, 215, Montverde, Fla.), No. 33 prospect Cassius Stanley (6-5, 185, Chatsworth, Calif.) and others.

But there’s no doubt that, given the time and resources the Kansas coaches have spent on recruiting him and the enormous talent he possesses, Hurt is the marquee name still available on KU’s wish list in the 2019 class.

“This kid is the most important official visitor in some time for the KU program,” Scott said. “Why? Because he’s a perfect fit for the Jayhawks.”

Comments

Barry Weiss 2 weeks ago

if he is a good shooter, we certainly need him.

Brad Avery 2 weeks ago

I would be happy if he could make his free throws 80 percent of the time.

Phil Leister 2 weeks ago

Much like the game this weekend is a must-win, landing Hurt is a must as well.

Craig Carson 2 weeks ago

I don't really think you can attribute KU lack of landing impact recruits to the FBI fiasco. Arizona is in a worse place than KU and that hasn't stopped them from recruiting great talent ..landing Hurt seems like a necessity than a luxury .their front court is gonna be awfully thin if they miss on him

Chris DeWeese 2 weeks ago

All signs point to Hurt signing with the Jayhawks. I think he's keeping things close to the vest and keeping his options open, but at the end of the day he still appears to be leaning toward KS. I think he knows he's a perfect fit with Self and the team. He played for Self this past Summer, so there's a lot of familiarity already developed. Is it possible some other school could swoop in and sway him? Sure, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Tony Bandle 2 weeks ago

Reasons Why Matt Will Be A Jayhawk:

1] The one big man most likely leaving will be Dedric Lawson and his position is EXACTLY the position that is perfect for Matt's skill set.

2] Absolute guarantee of major playing time plus probable named freshman starter.

3] Saturday, KU Nation will show him the love that he has never seen before.

4] He will have a whole team returning around him so he won't be pressured as"the man". {Yes, I think Dok and Silvio come back plus Q, Dotsen, Mac, Mitch, OKC, Garrett, etc.].

5] A big man that can shoot from the outside will be a dream come true for Coach Bill.[just look what Wade has done for KSU].

6] With a last name of Hurt, the nickname possibilities just boggle the mind!!!

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 6 days ago

You think Silvio is going to sit for 2 of the prime learning years of his life. Not play competitive basketball for 2 full years so he can play one year at KU. This would be a very dangerous decision for him personally.

Tony Bandle 1 week, 5 days ago

When I posted, I had no idea the NCAA was evil enough to punish the kid for two seasons. I agree...I think, unless the appeal removes the second season, Silvio is gone. :{

Dirk Medema 1 week, 4 days ago

Whether Silvio stays or goes, at this point he won't be playing. (I'm still hoping for the appeal, but I think this is one that has nothing to do with facts. Their butt hurt about Clif and Billy, and seem bent on sticking it to KU. Silvio just happens to be the first to get in the way.)

Maybe Dok and David will be back, but they don't play Hurt's position. Dedric gave a perfect show of what Coach will be doing with him next year.

Kevin Huffman 2 weeks ago

Hurt's recruitment reminds me of ANY OTHER recruit we were high on only to have Duke steal them away. Look for the same to happen here.

Jay Scott 2 weeks ago

This is a fine example if the species Poltrus Diminutae.

Regardless of any actual factual reality that truly exists, this species is able to create their own, much more dire and dark imaginary world. They tend to migrate through Lawrence cyberspace in January and occasionally early February. In recent history they've all disappeared by the end of March....

Tony Bandle 2 weeks ago

Jay, I've got to be honest. Sometimes your responses can be harsh but this one is HILARIOUS!!

Kev, it's OK man. It just seems like Duke takes them all. I've gotten the same response from a number of my friends who are top 20 alums who swear KU gets all the good ones!! :}

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 6 days ago

Well, Jay you have to admit, Duke has one specific advantage on us. They are allowed by the NCAA to pay for players like ZW while we are not as in the case of SDS.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 4 days ago

According to Coach K, they are the best cheaters in College BB. "No one out cheats Duke."

Buck Bukaty 2 weeks ago

Could be, hopefully:

Zion Williamson is their leak in the dam that ultimately blows and sets them back in a big way, a spillway full of muck! Not enough thumbs to plug it!

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 6 days ago

How does it blow up for them Buck. They will never even be investigated for securing a player who turned KT down because we could not provide sufficient incentives for him to come to KU.

Buck Bukaty 1 week, 6 days ago

Keywords: “Could be, hopefully:”

Everyone agrees, though, Jim, that unfortunately Puke will never be investigated so you are likely correct.

What is interesting is that the NCAA seems to have now set a precedence that evidentiary innuendo is a basis of penalty. When the NCAA is sued I fully expect that it will be argued that the NCAA failed to pursue such same precedence against Puke, the hypocritical beast that they are.

Enjoy your visit, Mr. Hurt! Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk!

Robert Brock 1 week, 6 days ago

Hurt may be disappointed if the Jayhawks fail to score fifty points tomorrow. But, then again, he may see his purpose made clear.

Steve Zimmerman 1 week, 6 days ago

I'd rather KU prioritize recruiting Precious. He's, well.. more precious..!!

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

Considering what we have coming back next year, this is an ideal team for him. Figure Dedric gone and we'll have dok, dotson, grimes, ochai and garrett. He could probably step in assuming dedric's role and figure to take over.

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