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UK and Texas Tech viewed as frontrunners for Matt Haarms, per report; BYU also in mix

UK and Texas Tech are believed to be the leaders, but BYU and former Wildcat Mark Pope has BYU still in the hunt.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Haarms announced his intent to transfer from the Purdue Boilermakers on April 6th, and since then, he’s been one of the most sought-after grad transfers on the market.

After more than 25 schools reached out, the 7-3 big man is closing in on a decision, and Kentucky remains in the hunt.

According to Jeff Goodman, it’s Kentucky and Texas Tech who are believed to be the top two schools for Haarms, while BYU and former Wildcat Mark Pope are also in the mix.

A three-star recruit and only one offer coming out of high school, Haarms has enjoyed being recruited by programs across the country to play his final season of college basketball.

The Kentucky Wildcats are right in the thick of things as they have a noticeable void at the center position for next season. Haarms could step in and start from day one for the Cats.

The Amsterdam native has averaged at least two blocked shots per game during his three seasons in West Lafayette. And that’s in only about 20 minutes per game.

As a sophomore, Haarms had his best season, averaging 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 63 percent from the floor and close to 70 percent from the stripe.

His numbers noticeably declined last season as a junior; however, the emergence of Trevion Williams is the reason why. Williams was a force on the block and it forced Haarms to not only lose minutes but to play on the perimeter more than he was accustomed to.

So, last season, Haarms averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting only 52 percent from the field and 63 percent from the line. However, his three-point percentage increased to 31 percent, whereas it was 28 percent during his sophomore campaign and 14 percent his freshman season.

The decline in his stats is somewhat worrisome, especially because he lost his minutes to a player that was simply better than him, but you can’t teach size. Haarms is simply looking for a good fit, where he can show off his game and get prepared for the NBA.

I can’t think of a better place than Kentucky. With a load of freshmen coming in next season, Haarms’ ability to protect the rim will be essential. Moreover, his ability to roam the paint and even spread the floor makes him an ideal fit for the Cats.

Where will he choose? We’ll likely find out soon.