Is Kansas the early leader for 2019, 5-star forward Matthew Hurt?
While the Kansas men's basketball program still has some work to do to fill out its 2018 recruiting class — Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo is headed to campus this weekend for one of his five official visits (Creighton, Gonzaga, Texas and Villanova are the others) — the KU coaching staff continues to work hard in the 2019 and 2020 classes.
With back-to-back open evaluation weekends now in the books, the KU coaches can start to zero in even more on the players they want to target in the next two classes.
Some of them received offers as a result of their play during the past two weekends. Others, like Minnesota prospect Matthew Hurt, have been on KU's radar for a while.
Hurt first caught KU's eye early in his high school career. The 6-foot-9 forward from John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 5 overall in the Rivals 150 for 2019 and carries with him a five-star rating and plenty of interest from some of the top programs in the country.
Rivals.com's Eric Bossi recently provided an update on where Hurt stands in his recruitment and, based on what Bossi is hearing, the Jayhawks appear to be in great shape.
“Hurt isn't saying much about his recruitment or leaders,” Bossi wrote this week. “But, after spending a few weeks on the road and asking around about what people think is going on with Hurt, a few patterns developed. Many feel that Hurt is likely to leave his home state and speculation is that if there is an early leader it may be Kansas.”
Bossi indicated that, as of today, it seems as if Hurt would like to make his choice this fall so he can focus on his senior season with John Marshall.
As for his current thoughts about Kansas, the versatile forward, who uses his athleticism, strength and size to create match-up issues all over the floor, clearly has a good feel for how he might be used by KU coach Bill Self should he sign with the Jayhawks.
“You know they are a great program,” Hurt told Bossi when asked about KU. “All of these programs (recruiting me) are great, really. I think they have a pretty good usage (history) of a big guard. Look at Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins, those type of players.”
While Hurt is not cut from the exact same cloth as that trio, he does have that wing element to his game and his stats clearly reflect that.
During a junior season in which he averaged 33.9 points and 15.1 rebounds per game during 2017-18, Hurt chipped in 36 3-pointers, 124 blocks and 107 assists while swiping 61 steals. (Stats according to mnbasketballhub.com)
He topped the 30-point mark in 22 of his team's 29 games, including a season-high of 51 points in an eight-point victory last December.
According to Bossi, Hurt will play on the grassroots AAU circuit this summer, with D1 Minnesota, and plans to cut his list down toward the end of the summer.
This spring, Duke, Memphis, Indiana, Minnesota (where his older brother plays), Kentucky, UCLA and Kansas were the programs that were most active in tracking his performances.