Five-star Matthew Hurt talks visits and more
While John Calipari hosts the 6-foot-9 scorer from Rochester (Minn.) John Marshall this weekend, Hurt confirmed to Rivals.com that he will also be taking at least three more official visits this winter and has tentative dates set with North Carolina (12/15), Duke (1/19) and Kansas (2/02).
Hurt looked back on his high school career, went in depth on his recruitment and much more during a question and answer session with national analyst Eric Bossi
Eric Bossi (EB): You played in your first varsity game as a seventh grader. Now that you are finally a senior, what’s the feeling?
Matthew Hurt (MH): I feel good. It’s been a long five or six years but I’ve enjoyed it and I’m just ready for this final upcoming season.
EB: What are your goals for this season?
MH: I want to get past the Section Championship. We’ve lost like the last six years to the same team and that’s my focus, to win that game.
EB: You are skilled on the offensive end, you shoot, you are versatile and able to play inside and out. What do people have right in their scouting report of you, what are we maybe missing?
MH: I think most scouting reports are right because I can shoot it, I can go inside and out. But I think I’m more athletic than people think I am. That’s a big thing. I think my quickness is pretty good and I can use my length to my advantage when I’m guarding. I’m just trying to improve every day.
EB: You have your first official visit this weekend, to Kentucky. You’ve been there before unofficially, you know a little bit about what to expect but what are you looking for different this time?
MH: I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday and what they do before a game. How do they prep the team? What shootaround looks like and what the atmosphere is like for a game. I’m looking for a lot of things this weekend.
EB: Why is it so important for you to see that game prep type stuff? Not every kid focuses on that.
MH: I’m just trying to look at what they really do and I’m really excited about it seeing a game live. Seeing a game live is much better than going to a football game. I’m also seeing practice and that’s my mind set.
EB: What’s coach Calipari’s pitch been to you lately?
MH: That he needs me and that he would use me in the right way, all over the floor.
EB: There are three other schools that you are going to for sure visit, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina. I just wanted to run through each of those programs a little bit. North Carolina, they’ve won some National Championships under Roy Williams, what stands out about the approach that Roy Williams has had with you?
MH: He’s been here in Rochester a lot and that means a lot to me and my family. He compares me to Luke Maye the guy he has on his team right now who plays inside out and can do a little bit of everything. He’s said he would use me like that and he thinks I could be pretty successful.
EB: Maye plays as a four for them and I know you would like to play both the four and the three some. Does that impact how you look at things?
MH: I think the game is going to positionless basketball so I’m looking at a couple of guys and how they use them and what they do. I’m not just focusing on him.
EB: You go down Tobacco Road and you have Duke, North Carolina’s rivals. They’ve made a lot of noise with freshmen the last few years, how big of a sell is that by Mike Kryzyzewski?
MH: They say they need me because three for sure are going to leave after this year. So, they are going to need some scoring next year. Coach K runs an NBA kind of system so it would get me ready for the NBA, that’s what he says to me.
EB: They’ve had some success in Minnesota with the Jones brothers. They are point guards, but have they tried to push a Minnesota pipeline?
MH: Yeah. I think Tre Jones is probably one of the best point guards in the country. If he stays another year it could be great to play with him because he gets the ball right in your hands in a good way to score so I really like his game a lot.
EB: Then you have Kansas who has been involved for a while. What is Bill Self’s approach been through this? Has it stayed the same or has it changed?
MH: It’s stayed the same. They’ve always told me I’m their guy in that class and that I could make impact as a freshman. Being coached by (Self) was pretty cool and a good experience for me. I got to see what he’s like in a practice, in a game, how he plays his players so I think their message is the same.
EB: You did play for coach Self at USA Basketball, how beneficial is that to you in the process? Is it beneficial to them that they’ve had that experience with you?
MH: I think it helps but I’m not going to make my decision based off of him coaching me for a couple of weeks. It definitely helps and I really liked playing for him. He’s a good coach, a hall of famer coach. Beneficial to them? You could say that but I’m not going to base my decision off of just playing for him.
EB: You will have one more official visit that you can use, have you got in mind yet whether you are going to use that visit or if you use it who would be the candidates to potentially use it on.
EB: Minnesota is interesting because your older brother Michael is there. You get an advantage having somebody like that who has been through it all. What kind of things have you learned from him and as you have gotten closer to our decision what kind of advice has he given you?
MH: Just to make every day the best. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. There’s going to be ups and downs in my recruitment and that you only get to pick one school. So he tells me to stay calm and make the best decision for me personally.
EB: Players like yourself aren’t just thinking about college, you are thinking long term and potentially playing in the NBA. Do you see yourself as a potential one and done type player?
MH: I think I could be. But I think that I still have a lot of work left. If it’s one year or if it’s two years, I think I could make that jump.
EB: Then how much of the sell from college coaches is here’s what you can do in my system and here’s how I can help you prepare for the NBA? Is that a big factor for you?
MH: So a lot of coaches are saying what they are running and how they could use me and how they could help me so that is also a big part for me too.
EB: What’s been the best part, what’s been the hardest part?
MH: The best part is just talking to the coaches, calling them, texting them and then seeing them on tv the next day on like ESPN or something like that, I find that pretty cool. I think the hardest part is going to be just that I can only pick one school and saying no to everybody else. At the end of the day you only get to pick one and that’s going to be my hardest thing.
EB: Is there anybody out there, committed or not committed, that you’ve seen where you are like wow I’d really like to play with him? Is there anybody that’s really working you to come play with them?
MH: There’s some players in our class that are trying to get me and recruiting me to whatever school they are going to. But, I think I can play with anybody and in the summer we can build team chemistry and we’ll be fine.
EB: Finally, when you make this decision who are you going to listen to the most and what do you think will be the things you really lock in on?
MH: I’m going to listen to my family and see what they have to say. I’m going to try and see what environment I could fit into the best and I’m trying to check off some boxes on these visits to see what I like. That’s going to be a big part of it.