Dick Vitale Says BYU Basketball ‘Is Gonna Be A Threat’ With Grad-Transfer Matt Haarms
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former basketball head coach and current college hoops analyst/commentator Dick Vitale said that BYU basketball will be a “threat” next season with grad-transfer Matt Haarms.
Vitale, who currently works for ESPN and was previously a head coach in college and the NBA, said that Haarms would be the most impactful grad-transfer in next season during a video he released on his Twitter account.
“The number one impact player in terms of the fifth-year transfer is gonna be the big guy,” Vitale said. “The seven [foot] three [inch] guy at BYU.”
Haarms turned down offers from dozens of programs, including Kentucky, Texas Tech, Arizona, and Gonzaga, after he entered the Transfer Portal and signed with the Cougars in mid-April.
“He broke the hearts of people in Big Blue Nation [Kentucky fan base] when he decided to go play at BYU,” continued Vitale. “Now BYU with him I really believe is gonna be a threat for national ratings and watch out Gonzaga, even though the Zags are my No.1 preseason pick, watch out for Matt Haarms and BYU.
Vitale’s comments about Haarms aren’t his first since the grad-transfer joined BYU. Following Haarms’ decision, Vitale tweeted that the big man was a great “get” for BYU head coach Mark Pope and the Cougars.
“A fab get by Mark Pope and BYU basketball as he beats out his ex-school Kentucky for prize transfer 7’3” Matt Haarms,” tweeted Vitale on April 23. “BBN relax as this will bring fire to John Calipari and he will find a way to strike gold.”
Mark Pope Talks Matt Haarms
Pope believes that Haarms has the potential to be one of the best big men in college hoops.
“No words can express how excited we are to welcome Matt to our BYU family,” Pope said shortly after Haarms joined the Cougars. “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.”
Pope continued by saying that Cougar fans will love the new BYU big and that Haarms’ future is bright.
“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,” Pope said. “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.”
Haarms has one year of eligibility while at BYU. During the 2020-21 season, the Cougars are expected to have a non-conference schedule featuring games against Utah in Provo, Pac-12 favorite Arizona State, and in the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas.
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