Matthew Hurt, one of the last remaining options in the class of 2019, announced on Friday that he’s committed to the Duke Blue Devils.
Kentucky’s staff had been heavily involved in the recruitment of five star power forward Matthew Hurt for quite some time but were prepared for his decision to commit to Duke on Friday.
After canceling his remaining last minute visits with both Kentucky and Kansas, it became a forgone conclusion that Hurt would be following Wendell Moore, Vernon Carey Jr, and Boogie Ellis to Durham to play for Coach K.
This major addition pushes Duke to the top to the recruiting boards for the class of 2019.
Cats fans had hoped that Matthew Hurt would be the second Minnesota born player in as many years to come to Lexington. Reid Travis was also from the Land of 10,000 lakes. At least his decision came as no surprise which likely softened the blow for some members of the Big Blue Nation.
With the transfer portal currently offering up quality options at nearly every position, there is still time for John Calipari to build a title contending team for next season.
But it’s for certain that this was a versatile scoring option that Coach Cal saw good reason to work tirelessly on recruiting to join his team in Lexington.
Hurt’s size and skill set are rare combinations for a player his age, and it’s probably the most diverse of any player in the 2019 class. If you were to watch any tape of Hurt, you will immediately understand why he was so aggressively sought after by the top schools in America. His jump shot can spread the floor and he can knock it down with range, along with being able to score in multiple ways.
The focal opportunity for Hurt should be to develop more strength and add some weight. He is listed at barely over 200 pounds, so transitioning into Division I basketball, especially the ACC, could be a challenge until he puts on some muscle.
Here is the full scouting report on Hurt, from NBAdraftroom.com
Matthew Hurt is a talented offensive player who has a sweet 3 point shot and great scoring ability. He impacts all aspects of the game but the thing that will get him drafted will be his outside shooting and scoring ability. If he can hold his own defensively at the NBA level he’ll have a long career. But first he’ll have to add strength to a thin frame and develop his athleticism.
- A very advanced shooter with a quick, accurate shot that projects well to the NBA level
- Gets his 3 point shot off quickly and can shoot from range
- An overall crafty scorer who knows how to find space and move without the ball
- An excellent free throw shooter
- Has good court vision and is a great passer, using his height to survey the floor and find cutters
- Although he’s not a powerful post player he’s got great footwork and good moves in the paint
- Hurt is very thin and lacks muscle, especially in his upper body.
- He’ll get pushed around in the post and might not be a factor on the boards against NBA PF/Cs
- Has average foot-speed and average athleticism and will likely struggle to guard NBA wings
- Does not project as a guy who can switch the pick and roll
This came down to a true battle of blue bloods for a top 10 player in the class of 2019. For whatever reason, Duke remains the dominant force on the recruiting trail. At least now the Kentucky staff can move on and focus on finalizing next year’s roster that will feature a whole new make-up of players.
Adding a grad-transfer could very well prove to be more impactful that signing Matthew Hurt considering his main area of weakness right now is strength.
UK could end up with a 22+ year old grown man instead of a college freshman. That is not a knock on Matthew Hurt in any way, it’s just the way that it is. There were multiple stretches of the season last year where Reid Travis’ toughness and experience were crucial to keeping the team on track. A player like Travis will be impossible to replace but adding some experienced depth may allow that void to be filled by committee.
Losing Hurt definitely stings, because it was a drawn out recruitment that Kentucky spent large amounts of time on. But the Cats are still in the midst of building a special team.
So, just how much do you hate Duke?