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 Rivals.com. “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 Rivals.com. “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.