Five-star forward Matthew Hurt will take his first official visit to Kentucky this weekend and after recent recruiting misses he has become UK’s top recruiting target for the class of 2019. We’ve talked about how UK seems to be in a good position for Hurt, and assuming the Cats can pull it off and land the 6-foot-9, 215-pound here’s what he could bring to UK’s frontcourt for the 2019-2020 season.
Here’s what I know and what I think when it comes to Hurt’s game:
What I know:
- Hurt is one of the best offensive players in high school basketball. When it comes to scoring bigs he’s in the conversation with James Wiseman and Vernon Carey Jr., as the best. He’s better outside of the paint than both players, but Wiseman and Carey Jr., are better on the block and in the paint.
- At his John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minnesota he averaged nearly 34 points, 15 rebounds, 3.6 assists and nearly four blocks per game and led his team to a 26-3 record.
- Hurt played with Tyrese Maxey for USA Basketball this summer. The team won the 2018 FIBA?Americas U18 Championship gold medal in St. Catharines, Canada. That team was also coached by Bill Self.
- Hurt started every game for Self and averaged 14 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He scored the fourth most points for the Americans behind current college stars Quentin Grimes (Kansas) and Coby White (UNC), and high school phenom Cole Anthony who scored one more bucket. Tyrese Maxey looked like he could have been USA’s leading scorer but an injury only allowed him to play in four games, one of which he hardly played.
- Hurt’s more athletic than you may imagine (shame on you). He won’t be used as a stretch four that floats on the perimeter like a Kyle Wiltjer.
- Hurt will be a better college rebounder than some may think. He’s not the strongest or most physical player on the floor but he doesn’t get pushed around and tracks shots as well as any other player in the class.
- He’s not a liability defensively. Again, he’s not the strongest, but uses his length and size well. He has great time on his shots and other bigs aren’t quick enough to blow by him if they try to take him outside.
- He’s going to start wherever he goes in college (this is why they pay me the
- His dad’s name is Rich.
- I know he will be one of the best free-throw shooters in college basketball.
What I think:
- He’s currently listed at 215 and maybe, just maybe, he could get to 230 by the time he plays his first college game. But I think what you see is what you will get from Hurt regarding his size and strength. He’s not going to be a bully at the college level, so folks thinking he’s going to bulk up will be sadly mistaken.
- I think he will prove to be a solid post player depending on where he goes to college and how that coach wants to use him.
- Off the last point, I think (and really, really hope) that Calipari wouldn’t use Hurt like he did Skal. There’s no reason or need to force Hurt into the post, but in certain matchups and situations he will be able to score on the block.
- I think that Hurt will impress people with his handles. He’s no guard, but against slower bigs I think he would be able to take them off the dribble.
- I think Hurt will average more assists than some guards at his college team. His assists numbers don’t jump off the page for high school/AAU, but he’s always been the guy. Stick him around other great players and I think you will see a selfless passer that makes the smart play.
- I think Hurt would be best in a pick-and-pop/roll offense, but he shouldn’t be forced into one style of play or system. I think he’s versatile enough to play and thrive on several different areas offensively.
- I think he will be a one-and-done player. Only thing that would keep him from the draft would be an injury, and I don’t know he will stay healthy because no one can know that stuff. That’s why this goes in the think category.
- I think there will be countless comparisons to other white players during Hurt’s career.
- I think the majority of those comparisons will be bad.
- I don’t think just because Hurt played for Self this summer it makes Kansas the favorite. Not anymore. There’s no denying the NCAA cloud hanging over KU is going to be a factor and while I think Hurt really enjoyed his time with Self this summer he’s open to other coaches.
- I think Hurt could have the highest three-point percentage on his college. Style or play and role will play a factor.
- I think you should watch another highlight video.