The most attractive available grad transfer is former Purdue Boilermaker Matt Haarms. After over 20 schools reached out to Haarms, he cut his list to ten today:
Purdue grad transfer Matt Haarms finalists, he told @Stadium— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 11, 2020
Arizona, Arkansas, BC, BYU, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Memphis, Minnesota, Texas Tech and UNCG
The questions, for me, about Haarms are twofold: 1). What exactly is he looking for in his final spot? and, 2). Is he a good fit?
Haarms stated that he wants to go somewhere that he can use to enhance his NBA skills. Does that mean he wants to go to a team that has a track record of sending guys to the pros or does he want to go to a team where is a guaranteed starter? While Haarms has elite shot blocking ability and is a decent shotmaker, there are many questions surrounding the rest of his skill set.
The second question about being a good fit is an important one. John Calipari likes to run an up-and-down style of basketball while Haarms is more of a plodding player. With that being said, Calipari has had success with guys like Reid Travis and Dakari Johnson at the five spot. Neither one of those guys were viewed as the new style “athletic big”.
I think Haarms would be a good addition for Kentucky for the simple reason that the team needs a big. I think Nick Richards is going to declare for the draft and I have no idea what EJ Montgomery is going to do. Calipari has been bitten before by not using all of his scholarships (see this season as an example).
If Haarms picks Kentucky it would be a big deal but I wouldn’t expect him to come in as a star. I think he comes in as an important piece with the potential to start depending on what EJ does and how good Isaiah Jackson is from the start.
Keep checking back with ASOB for all of your Matt Haarms updates.