John Calipari and his Kentucky coaching staff are keeping a keen eye on two of the best in the class of 2019; yesterday, he and Joel Justus sat courtside to see Matthew Hurt and Charles Bassey.
The second-ranked player in the 2019 class behind R.J. Barrett, Charles Bassey is a 6’10” power forward that is built like Bam Adebayo. He’s not built like high school Bam; he looks like Bam right now. It’s not Calipari’s style to extend a scholarship offer this early, but he is making his presence known to who could be Bam 2.0.
“They’re looking at me,”Bassey said of his personal interaction with the Kentucky coaches. “Right now they don’t talk to me. They talk to my parents and they let me know what they’re saying.”
His parents have heard from UK, but they’re currently more focused on finding a school for his junior and senior high school seasons than on a college choice.
This morning, Bassey struggled with foul trouble, playing just 14 minutes, yet he still had a 10-point 10-rebound double-double. An imposing figure in the pick-and-roll, when he didn’t get double-teamed, his teammate’s had easy offensive opportunities. In the full court, if Bassey does not start the break with a rebound, he’s off and running. On one occasion, he took it himself and dumped it off to a teammate who finished the assist.
The No. 3 player in 2019 is an atypical AAU star.
Matthew Hurt from Minnesota is a 6’8″ small forward that is basically an elite role player. He does just about everything well and he doesn’t do much wrong. He defends the post despite his thin frame. He can knock down threes, but that doesn’t make him effective. He’s skilled offensively in a variety of ways, but none that necessarily WOW you. Yet, few compare in overall skill.
Like Bassey and most juniors-to-be, Hurt’s recruitment is wide open with a long way to go. “I’m open for anything right now,” Hurt said today.
Currently Indiana, Duke, Kansas, Louisville and his home state of Minnesota are making the biggest recruiting push. His brother Michael just finished his freshman season for the Golden Gophers. Hurt has a trip planned to unofficially visit UCLA when his family vacations to California later this summer.
With that many schools involved, Calipari had to throw his name into the mix after watching him play yesterday.
“Their assistant coach has been texting me a lot. Coach Calipari texted me after the game yesterday,” Hurt said. “I’m not really doing anything serious right now. I’m open for anything. ”
Bassey and Hurt will not play college basketball for a long time, but it’s never too early to get to know the bets of the best. That applies to Kentucky fans and their head coach, John Calipari.