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Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms commits to BYU

© Brian Spurlock | USATSI

© Brian Spurlock | USATSI

Mark Pope and the BYU Cougars have officially pulled off the upset for Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms.

Despite Kentucky being seen as an early favorite and the school picking up even more momentum earlier this week, the 7-foot-3 center announced this afternoon he would instead be taking his talents to Provo, Utah and signing with BYU.

@TiptonEdits

“I just felt an absolutely awesome connection with them,” Haarms said in an interview with ESPN. “I’m an older guy, 23. It’s not even one year. It’s eight months. At this point in my career, I’m not worried about facilities and locker rooms and how many Nike shoes I’m getting. That stopped being important for me.”

Haarms picked BYU over finalists Kentucky and Texas Tech, among offers and interest from nearly 30 schools. He originally submitted his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal on April 6.

Kentucky will now turn its attention to other options on the graduate transfer market and gauge interest from potential reclassification options in the class of 2021.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

75 Comments for Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms commits to BYU



  1. UKBigBlueForever
    12:04 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Still don’t understand this decision but best of luck to you sir



  2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    12:06 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Well, good for Pope, he’s a great guy. But Haarms won’t be getting much exposure there if his goal was truly showcasing his skills to NBA scouts and NBA media gurus.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:07 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Really, what a stupid comment. NBA teams draft kids from all over the world, I am sure they will find Provo Utah if he is good enough. Good for Pope who did a great job this past season with BYU.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:47 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Thanks for wishing to have an intelligent conversation. Your opinion would have some credibility if we didn’t all know you’re a UL fan.

      Look, I know scouts can still see him. Duh. However, you and I both know kids pick schools all the time in part because they’re on TV more, which means more exposure.

      The problem is he’s afraid of competition for playing time. If he didn’t see much PT at Purdue, he may not at BYU either. What if Pope snags another decent post player, even if he doesn’t have one now.

      I wish no ill will toward the guy. I was just stating an opinion. I hope that’s okay with you.



    • desertCard
      5:01 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

      chris if he’s stuck on the bench behind Ronald, Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar how is that more exposure than in Provo. BBN likes to act like the only players drafted are in Lexington.



  3. UKFanSC
    12:06 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    At least we’re out of Haarms way.



    • Wilfred Smith
      12:08 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      No Haarms no foul?



    • IrishCat
      3:18 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Haarmless..



    • J. Did
      6:17 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      A Farewell to Haarms.



  4. 4everUKBlue
    12:06 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    This will make a great disappearing act. Good luck to you Coach Pope.



  5. meeksfor3
    12:07 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    did he end the announcement with “I must break you”?



    • Wilfred Smith
      12:09 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      If he does, he dies.



    • Wilfred Smith
      12:09 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      If he dies, he dies.

      Damn autocorrect.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:10 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      “You will loose!” (misspelling intentional)



  6. Buffalo Cat
    12:08 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Tall dorky white guy commits to BYU? Who saw that coming?



    • mashburnfan1
      3:08 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Then an asshole makes a stupid comment about him. I truly hope you are not a UK fan.



    • RealCatsFan
      4:05 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      That actually made me laugh. Kind of like when a douchey, annoying white guard commits to dook.

      Get over yourself, mashburnfan. Fairly innocuous comment compared to a lot of them.



    • desertCard
      5:03 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

      That is a pretty stupid comment. Lots of dorky white guys have come thru Rupp and played pretty well I think.



  7. Newtype
    12:09 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Wasn’t Kentucky material anyway. Shame they even offered.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:11 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      What is UK material? Someone who stays a year, sometimes more sometimes less, then leaves when not even close to NBA ready. I guess you are right, he will probably graduate and actually have a Senior Day. Do you remember when we had those, was one of the greatest traditions in sports…..WAS



    • desertCard
      5:05 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

      mashburnfan1 and now Senior Day now involves the waterboy, towel boy, ball boy and sweat on the floor sweepers. that’s why another jersey will never be raised in RUPP during Cal’s tenure.



  8. Bluehender
    12:10 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Seems like maybe he thinks his game in the NBA is facing the basket. Jacking 3s. Like a lot of those guys do these days. His game at Kentucky would be inside 6-8 feet from the basket. In today’s world it’s easier. And kids these days want it easy..



  9. The Professor
    12:11 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    To play for Cal you must have elite athleticism to play the kind of in your face defense he demands. Our last 2 grad transfers, as good as they were, struggled in that aspect. Haarms skill set is not a fit with the way Cal coaches.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:51 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      I disagree with you on Reid Travis. He was a fantastic defender, although more physical than athletic. Several times he took the other team’s talented big man out of the game. His injury never totally healed IMO and that’s one reason we lost 2 against UT (not to mention PJ’s injury.



  10. ohiokatfan
    12:13 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I hope he has a great year there. I really do. But the idea that this was a good pick for NBA development is laughable.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:13 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah Cal developed EJ and Nick into late 2nd round picks, if drafted at all. Nick coming out of High School was a projected lottery to top 20 pick and EJ a late first or early second. After multiple years of Cal development both are in much worse position.



    • chris43
      4:07 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah [email protected] ass and so was a Bolden for Duke and quite a few others at top schools! Star rating aren’t the be all end all on talent!



    • AirForceOne
      5:03 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      You are obviously not a Kentucky or Calipari fan, and that’s okay. Just don’t act like a 12 year old wearing a mask as a Kentucky fan…..just own it.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:52 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      And Nick had only played bball a short time. I guess you forgot all about KAT, WCS, Nerlens, AD.

      Card Chronicle is that way >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



    • RealCatsFan
      4:10 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Draft hasn’t happened yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick sneaks into the first round. Very possible that a team will take a chance on him based on his athleticism, and he was developing a pretty decent midrange shot towards the end of the season. He will need to bulk up and get meaner, but that’s what they do in the NBA.

      EJ was getting a lot of background noise (cough cough – his father) that influenced his decision. I think if he came back for a third year he may have had a similar improvement to Nick.

      Since you are a huge UL fan, do you want to extol on the amazing development of Chris Mack’s players for us?



  11. VirginiaCat
    12:14 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Haarm’s comment that he had an “absolutely awesome connection” to Pope and BYU suggests that Kentucky was not as competitive as believed. He would have been nice to have as a role player, but probably not a good fit for him. My sense is that he made the right decision.



    • UKgrad80
      12:34 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      We no longer move the needle



    • RealCatsFan
      4:11 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe he related to Pope because he was also a tall, white, somewhat athletically limited center.



    • desertCard
      5:08 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

      RealCatsFan or maybe he just liked him better. Lots of people could see that happening.



  12. runningunnin.454
    12:22 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Smart move, ha ha ha. Bye Haarms, we’ll watch you twice next year…when you play Gonzaga.



  13. BlueFrank
    12:24 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I clicked into this article to read the comments. Have seen this kids name but haven’t really followed. I am getting to the point that I can’t even remember who played basketball at UK 2 years ago. We have so much turnover that I just can’t even follow it any more. I will just turn on the TV and see who shows up when the season starts. I hate the one and done rule.



  14. Heavy C
    12:24 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    The Comments Section is Stout today. lol



  15. Headhurts
    12:24 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    No hoop no haarm



  16. Rise
    12:29 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    We are screwed on big men. Who’s out there?



  17. JT55
    12:29 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    UK will have a glaring weakness next season. The freshman bigs are rail thin. Gonna be a long season.



    • Bluehender
      2:51 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      Hash you keep saying that. Maybe your team will do better?? I doubt it..



    • Bluehender
      2:52 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      *Should say *Yeah…not hash



  18. KentuckyBoy
    12:30 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Probably asked for a guaranteed starting role and shot per game.



    • TonyMontana
      12:36 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

      And that he didnt want to play the 5. Cal being Cal aint gonna lie to a kid and promise him whatever just to land him.



  19. T-Town Cat
    12:34 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Maybe he wants to be the next Shawn Bradley.



  20. Boro Boy
    12:38 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    His followers on his social media accounts just got cut in half ….LOL



  21. deputy24-7
    12:40 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Alittle jab at us about how “it’s not about the facilities, locker rooms or how many NIKE shoes” he gets, good luck getting in the 2nd round of the draft from BYU



  22. just a guy
    12:45 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    He wants to play on perimeter not be an “energy guy that runs floor, blocks and dunks”. Cals big guys play back to basket.



  23. TonyMontana
    1:01 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    It sounds like he just really clicked with Coach Pope at BYU:

    “He did a great job of recruiting me and showing me how I can fit into their system. They are very analytics based and aren’t afraid to sit down and talk basketball with me for hours… He’s super high energy. He really doesn’t quit. He’s a guy that always would say it’d be three minutes and then we’d talk for 40 minutes because we had so much to talk about.”



  24. TonyMontana
    1:12 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    –> 4-Star 6-10 (C) Frank Anselem announced this week that he has reclassified from 2021 to 2020 and the four-star prospect is now reopening his recruitment. He was previously down to Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

    –x Kentucky is the only school in the country to offer less than 3 Centers in the class of 2020. We only offered 1… Cliff Omoruyi.



  25. CahillsCrossingNT
    1:17 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I miss Tubby.



  26. Swizzle
    1:29 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Good. If you cant start at Purdue, you’re not UK material.



  27. sprtphan
    1:59 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    7’3″ invisible man.



  28. Buffalo Cat
    2:22 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I respect his decision, and am guessing we were overestimating what would have been his value to the team. As Cal always says, Kentucky is not for everyone.



  29. kydrummer
    2:30 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Call the guy from VCU!



  30. dave1964
    2:36 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds about right he wanted more exposure for his game so he picks a team with less exposure than where he came from smart kid.



  31. tmcclan16
    2:47 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Seems like everyone pulls off the upset against us lately! That kids a moron why on earth would anyone go to BYU to get to the nba.



  32. Bluehender
    2:51 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    *Yeah



  33. Headhurts
    3:00 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I bet if Haarms is lucky enough to wear Nike’s for millions of dollars he’ll care a little more.



  34. IrishCat
    3:02 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Really have to hope the transfer rule changes now…



  35. nousername
    3:04 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    It’s just a more nba style offense at byu where you spread the floor and all five positions shoot a ton of threes. I think that’s what he meant by showcasing himself for the nba. Cal’s offense is a little antiquated these days.



  36. dbake
    4:20 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    We have got to come up with a legit big man. You can’t win a championship at the college level without a legit big. It’s hard enough with one.



  37. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:22 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    “I don’t care about the facilities or how many nike shoes I get” says a whole bunch. He just doesn’t understand. The facilities and the nike shoes come because you’re at one of the best programs in the world. You aren’t going to get that at BYU because they can’t get that for you because they stink. Its not that they wouldn’t if they could…its because they CANT. It’s like saying “I wanna be a superstar but I don’t want the glitz and glamour so I’m gonna go to the Canadian League instead.” Or you could be mature enough to block the rest of that out. Literally what Cal means when he says “Kentucky isn’t for everyone.” I think we might’ve dodge a bullet here. No ill will towards him but this is the mentality of someone that could never make it on the pro level….its so much more than just basketball. He just wants to play ball but that’s not what the NBA is and that’s exactly what Cal/UK trains them for and why our kids have success at the next level. Just my opinion. Wish him the best.



  38. Mr. Mojo
    4:30 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    In the end, if the success or failure of the season boils down to Matt Haarms, it’s probably a lost season anyway.



  39. CALfacts
    5:39 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    So why now all of a sudden we can’t get the bigs we want? We can get any other position, but not the 5 pos? Is it bc Cal is old school for that position?



  40. Looother
    6:35 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Good for Haarms. He’s a way better fit for BYU than UK…



  41. timer2
    7:09 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    Loved Pope as a player and I really like his work as a coach. He will do a great job with this kid. I wish them both the best.



  42. friendsofcoal
    7:33 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    My sources are saying it came down to BYU and Morehead St. The BYU amount of TV time won out.



  43. satcheluk
    7:33 pm April 23, 2020 Permalink

    I thought he wanted to get to the NBA



  44. desertCard
    5:11 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    All you hilljacks couldn’t wait till he came to Lexington, blah blah blah and now that he’s going to Provo you act like he’s the worst player in the US. LOL



  45. bbn606
    11:30 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Why have we gotten so excited and then so upset about a 3rd year 7’3” player who averaged 8 points and 4 rebounds a game? He made the best choice for his self.