Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Fresh off winning their 14th straight Big 12 title on Monday night, Kansas coach Bill Self and assistant Jerrance Howard were in Minnesota on Tuesday for Matthew Hurt, the 6-foot-9, 215-pound star forward for Rochester (MN) John Marshall.
Hurt went for a triple-double with 31 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 6 blocks.
Kansas is making Hurt a priority for their 2019 class, as are Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina, among others. Self and his staff have made four visits to see Hurt since September.
In December, Hurt listed Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Minnesota and Indiana as the seven programs working the hardest.
“That seven,” he said then. “It’s not my list, it’s just the schools working hard right now.”
He broke down all seven:
Duke: “[Their message is] that I can fit in with their play style because they think it’s really tough to have a tall guy like me that can shoot from deep. [Coach K] said he can’t really compare me with anybody on their team right now. They’re great players, most of them are going to be lottery picks, so it just felt good when he said that.”
North Carolina: “Kind of like the same thing, that I could fit in really well. I would have the freedom to play. Roy Williams compared me to Luke May on their team this year, who does a little bit of everything. They really want me to rebound and push it up the floor, so that’s good.”
Kentucky: “Their message is, they say that they produce really good one-and-done players and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time right now.”
Minnesota: “Just like North Carolina, I would have the freedom to do a little bit of everything, so it feels good when a coach says that. They just want me to play loose and play free, so that’s good.”
Kansas: “They had a really good 2018 recruiting class and they think I can fit in really well with their 2018 class, so a little bit of everything.”
UCLA: “I have a friend committed there already, [2019 guard] Grant Sherfield, and he’s been texting me a little bit. And their message just in general is just come, make a legacy there and just try to win a national championship.”
Indiana: “They’re not trying to put any pressure on me but they would expect a lot from me first year. It’s pretty cool seeing these coaches on TV and seeing them in person, too. But just in general try to be a playmaker and a scorer at the same time.”
Hurt, who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 5 player in the Class of 2019, took unofficial visits to Duke (Oct. 20) and North Carolina (Oct. 21). He has also taken unofficial visits to Kentucky (Sept. 28), Indiana (Sept. 29), Minnesota (Oct. 29), and Kansas (Nov. 17).
“I’m trying to cut my list by the end of the year,” he said.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.