Purdue Grad Transfer Matt Haarms Picks BYU Over Kentucky, Texas Tech

Apr 23, 2020, 10:00 AM | Updated: 11:11 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU lands a huge prospect both figuratively and literally in Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms. Haarms, a 7-foot-3 big man announced his commitment to BYU via social media.

The three-year letterman picked BYU over Kentucky and Texas Tech. Two programs that boast some of the best coaches in college basketball in John Calipari and Chris Beard. But Haarms will spend his final collegiate season in Provo, shocking many that BYU was able to land one of the nation’s top grad transfers.

When Haarms entered the transfer portal earlier this month, dozens of college programs showed interest including BYU’s WCC rival Gonzaga.

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A native of the Netherlands, Haarms averaged 7.5 points, 2.1 blocks, and 4.4 rebounds in 20 minutes per game during his three seasons with the Boiler Makers.

BYU head coach Mark Pope said to KSL Sports earlier this month that the transfer market would be a “big part of what we do.” Very few players are bigger than Haarms in this year’s transfer class.

Haarms is ranked by ESPN as the No. 2 graduate transfer in the country and his departure from Purdue was somewhat of a surprise to head coach Matt Painter. The 7-foot-3 big man was expected to share time next season with Trevion Williams which opened the door for Haarms to look elsewhere.

Adding Matt Haarms bolsters an already big BYU roster in 2020-21

With the addition of Matt Haarms, BYU goes from a projected big team next season to a huge roster in terms of size. Haarms is the tallest player to join the BYU basketball program since 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley played for the Cougars 30 years in 1990-91.

Along with Haarms, Mark Pope and big man coach Chris Burgess bring back Kolby Lee who made significant leaps forward in his development a season ago. 6-foot-9 Gavin Baxter will have more time to completely heal from a torn labrum that forced him to miss most of last season. Then Utah Valley transfers Richard Harward and Wyatt Lowell are eligible next year as well.

Haarms improved in his three-point shooting a season ago at Purdue going from 28 percent to 31.3 percent. Will Haarms shoot more from outside at BYU? If he does and continues to improve in that area of his game, it gives Pope a lot of flexibility with his lineups next season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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