What Type Of Player Is BYU Getting In Purdue Transfer Matt Haarms?
PROVO, Utah – BYU landed one of their biggest commitments in recent memory by picking up Purdue transfer Matt Haarms. Haarms, a 7-foot-3 center/forward picked Mark Pope’s BYU program over the likes of Kentucky, Texas Tech, Arizona, and Gonzaga.
Those offers are impressive, but what type of player is BYU getting in Matt Haarms?
Mark Pope believes Haarms could be one of the premier bigs in college hoops
“No words can express how excited we are to welcome Matt to our BYU family,” Pope said. “Clearly with his size, athletic ability, versatility, and skill set he has the potential to emerge as one of the premier bigs in college basketball. His passion for the game and intensity on the court are inspiring. There’s a reason he was one of the most sought-after transfers this offseason. And most important, he is one of the most intelligent, engaging, self-aware, and giving players I have ever met. BYU fans are going to love this Matt Haarms. He has an extraordinarily bright future in the game.”
Observations on Matt Haarms’ game from a Purdue insider
For more insight on how Haarms performed at Purdue, Boiler Maker beat writer Mike Carmin from the Journal & Courier shared some of his insider knowledge on BYU’s big get.
Q: Why did Haarms only play 20 minutes per game during his career at Purdue?
“He did start quite a bit in quite a few games. This past year Haarms was in and out of the starting lineup,” said Carmin. “They have another senior in Trevion Williams who as [Purdue] got deeper in the season [Coach] Matt [Painter] kind of made him the primary big man. Matt [Haarms] was coming off the bench but didn’t see any problems there. If there were problems with that then [Haarms] hid them very well.
“He’s always been or portrayed the perception that he’s a team guy and will do everything that he can to help a team win. His numbers don’t look great this year, but he had some injuries. He had a concussion on the first day of practice and then suffered another concussion in December which kept him out of a couple of games and then he had a hip flexor against Michigan early in January. He didn’t finish that game and hobbled around in the next game. But he didn’t seem to be 100 percent healthy throughout the year and that may have impacted his play a little bit.
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) April 23, 2020
“But [Haarms] played a big role at Purdue and he’s been part of two Big Ten Championships, nearly a third, and helped them get to the Elite Eight two years ago. I think he had a good career at Purdue. This season maybe not reflective of everything but he seemed to give them an element that a lot of teams had trouble matching up within the Big 10. And that probably allowed him to have some success in a lot of those games throughout his career.”
Q: Is Haarms a big man who has the range to knock down the three?
“I think that is his game, to be honest,” Carmin said. “I don’t view him as a back to the basket type of center. He’s from Amsterdam so he’s a European type of player. I think he prefers to face the basket more and play with some more space. He did shoot a few more three-pointers this year when the opportunity came up. I think he would like to do that a little bit more. Just by my observations watching limited BYU games late at night, he would seem to have a pretty prominent role in their offense just based on my limited knowledge of watching their system and how they play. But he’s a good pick and roll guy.”
Haarms will have one year of eligibility while at BYU. Haarms turned down offers from dozens of programs upon entering the Transfer Portal to sign with the Cougars.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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