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Purdue transfer Matt Haarms looking for school to “showcase an NBA-ready skillset”

Photo: Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports

On Monday afternoon, Purdue center Matt Haarms made the surprise decision to submit his name in the NCAA transfer portal and explore his basketball options elsewhere.

“Just believe I needed a change of scenery to take my game to the next level, don’t have anything but positive things to say about Purdue but I just felt like it was time to move on,” Haarms said in an interview with ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

Almost immediately after his transfer decision, Kentucky was one of nearly 30 schools to reach out to the 7-foot-3, 250-pound center native of Amsterdam, per Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The Wildcats joined Gonzaga, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Illinois State, Louisville, Arizona, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Syracuse, DePaul, South Carolina, Boston College, Seton Hall, Wichita State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Washington State, Utah, Oregon State, San Jose State, Cal State Fullerton, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Texas Tech as schools interested in the Purdue graduate transfer.

So what is Haarms looking at in his next school? What will be the biggest deciding factor in where he plays?

“I just want a place where I can showcase an NBA-ready skillset,” Haarms told Corey Evans of “I want to have a great year so I can transition to the pro level.”

As for a timeline on his decision, the 7-foot-3 center said that he is in no rush to choose a school.

“I want to make sure I talk to everyone that has reached out to me on the phone. I want to do the right thing,” Haarms told “So, before I do all of that, I don’t really know how long it’s going to take.”

Last season at Purdue, the talented transfer prospect averaged 8.6 points on 52.4% shooting, to go with 4.6 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks a game just a year after averaging 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Per 40 minutes, Haarms averaged 16.7 points (52.4% FG, 63.4% FT), 8.9 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks per contest.

According to Pivot Analysis – a data-driven basketball analytics outlet – and later publicized by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, opposing teams shoot just 49.1% at the rim when he’s on the floor compared to 58.1% when he is off.

After graduating this spring, the 7-foot-3 center will be eligible to play immediately next season.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

16 Comments for Purdue transfer Matt Haarms looking for school to “showcase an NBA-ready skillset”

  1. UKCatAttack
    1:32 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds like he wants to be a Cat! I’m liking our odds!

  2. JohnnyCat
    1:42 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    If EJ came back, he and EJ would basically be the same type of player and both would be playing more on the perimeter as a screen-and-roll or pick-and-pop big. Neither are true back-to-the-basket centers. And if both are on the team next year, I’d see very few times when both would be on the floor together.

    • JASUN74
      3:40 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      They couldn’t be more different my friend. EJ is going to be playing 15 feet out , Matt will play like Nick if he comes here. Totally different!!

  3. Wildfelinebeeline
    1:51 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    I hope we get him. He’d be a huge help to us. But, our track record for grad transfers or transfers to the NBA isn’t 100%. At this point, I think it’s a coin flip on us, loserville, Duke, Kansas, and Nova. Really hope it’s us though!

    • michaelb
      1:56 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      Ur right , the reason these kids are transferring isn’t popping out on the other side for them. We gotta remember playing for cal at uk is kinda like playing for the lakers in its own right , so I still see why people wanna try it .

    • JASUN74
      3:42 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      Now just how in the helll would you know anything about it ??? Seriously, are you an insider also and close to him. You, like everyone else in the country doesn’t have a clue. Quit acting like you do.

    • 1war
      9:56 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      Grad transfers have already played 3 years of college basketball and aren’t ready for the NBA, they simply aren’t NBA caliber players one more year at any school isn’t likely to get them there.

  4. VolsSuck
    2:01 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    The school that got the likes of Daniel Orton, Josh Harrelson, and Dakari Johnson drafted should be able to showcase a 7’3 athletic center.

  5. Han
    2:10 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    With those numbers and 40 min projection, looks like he only averaged 20 min a game. Why? Team depth, foul trouble, conditioning, injuries?

    Even still, 2 blocks a game is nice.

  6. VirginiaCat
    2:13 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds like his major objective is to be “the man” so that he can showcase his “NBA-ready” skill set. Kentucky is a great platform in terms of visibility; UK checks that box. Our coaching staff can get him ready for the NBA, so another box checked. That said, I don’t think he is polished enough yet to earn major minutes. My concern is the delta between what he expects and what we could give him.

    • JASUN74
      3:47 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      Virginia Cat, this kids a starter day one. He had a lot of competition last year with bigs at Purdue but still got as many minutes as he wanted. He’ll be a senior who’s played against grown men so he’s ready to take off. Under Cal he’ll go through more than he’s ever had to, he’ll be in the best shape of his life and would become a star on the National level. He isn’t Skal. He’s tougher than he looks and would be great in the SEC.

  7. VirginiaCat
    2:17 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    As follow-up, would love to see him in blue, but would worry that he could become disgruntled if he didn’t play major minutes.

    • BobbyBlue
      3:41 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      I would worry about what Nick and EJ are going to do. I assume Cal has a good idea, but rumors are still around that Nick might return, and who knows what EJ does. I don’t see recruiting this guy if either is still in decision mode.

    • UKFanSC
      3:49 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly. There is a growing buzz that Nick is still weighing his situation; that would certainly be a development Harrm would be interested in.

    • dcforuk
      8:25 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

      I think Nick potentially goes from mid-second round to mid-first round or better if he returns.

  8. BobbyBlue
    3:42 pm April 7, 2020 Permalink

    If the Cats offer, I could only assume Cal knows what the above two are going to do.