While much of the focus for frontcourt options in the Class of 2019 has been focused on James Wiseman and Vernon Carey Jr., Kentucky may be in a better spot than previously assumed with another very talented forward in the class.
Matthew Hurt, a 6’9 forward from Minnesota ranked #6 in the 247 Sports Composite, has long been thought to be a heavy Kansas lean and understandably so.
UK has a much better chance with Hurt than people think. I get the sense that Hurt himself prefers Kentucky, but a lot of people around him are pushing some other schools. Shoe companies, family preferences, being able to play this summer for Bill Self. Those are reasons I’ve heard UK won’t land Hurt, but I know other players in the class of 2019 believe that UK may be the team to beat for Hurt.
Kentucky may have to win Hurt and his family over on the official visit, which will happen this fall. I like where things are going in this recruitment.
Hurt plays on the Adidas circuit, which like Walker wrote, could end up being a major factor, but the note at the end should provide some positivity for Kentucky fans hoping to see Hurt in Lexington.
Oftentimes, the people who have the best pulse on a player’s recruitment are their fellow classmates. Recruits talk amongst themselves a lot, so other guys thinking Kentucky could be a leader for Hurt ultimately is a positive sign.
Does that mean Hurt is a lock to Kentucky? Absolutely not. Kansas will be difficult to beat out, especially if the Jayhawks are the preferred option among those in Hurt’s inner circle and his family. Kentucky could obviously win over those people and make the decision easy, but this could also be a situation where the kid prefers one school while those around him prefer another and it is a toss-up who wins out.
Hurt plans on scheduling visits toward the end of this month, according to USA Today, and it is likely Kentucky will receive one of those visits. John Calipari was also in New York to watch one of his games last Friday. Hurt had some positive remarks about Kentucky to USA Today.
“They produce really good players after one year, a couple years, four years — however many years it takes,” Hurt said of the Wildcats. “They’re pitching the same as normal: Be here, be great for one year, and then be in great position to try to get drafted.”
Hurt would be an excellent pickup for Kentucky. His combination of size, athleticism, shooting ability, and versatility to play inside and out would make him a dangerous weapon at Kentucky or anywhere he decides to go.
Here is some highlights of Hurt in action.