Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky: They are the blue bloods of college basketball and the schools Minnesota super recruit Matthew Hurt is "mainly focusing on," he said Monday in an interview with USA Today Sports.
But don't be devastated just yet, Gopher fans. Jason Feldman of the Rochester Post Bulletin reports that while one of the aforementioned universities is Hurt's likely choice, the Gophers and Memphis remain on his mind.
Hurt, a 5-star recruit, averaged 37 points and 12 rebounds per game this season for Rochester John Marshall, where he'll announce his choice on April 19, one day before his birthday.
Hurt explained to USA Today Sports what he likes about the schools he's mainly focused on.
- Kansas: Close with the coaching staff, likes the "family" atmosphere.
- Kentucky: Attracted to their one-and-done history of putting players in the NBA.
- North Carolina: Appealing to possibly play for legendary coach Roy Williams.
- Duke: "Their pitch is 'come be that last piece and try to win a national championship.'"
It doesn't sound likely that Hurt will join his brother, Michael, in Maroon & Gold, although Hurt did say the Gophers have explained to him what it would mean to Minnesotans if he stayed home the way Trae Young did for Oklahoma and Michael Porter Jr. did at Missouri recently before being drafted to the NBA.
"Trae Young, Michael Porter Jr. what they did – staying for their home city, home state. They think I can do that as for Minnesota," said Hurt in an interview with Rivals. "Their fan base is great. They just had a Round of 32 run [in the NCAA Tournament], a lot of fans went down to Des Moines to watch them play."
Hurt's father, Richard Hurt, told Kentucky.com that his son's decision will largely be determined by players who come back versus entering the NBA Draft. Players have to declare draft eligible within 60 days of the June 20 NBA Draft, which is right in line with Hurt's April 19 announcement.
"If you’re a guy that doesn’t have the ball in your hands a lot, you want to know who’s going to be facilitating for you," Richard Hurt told Kentucky.com. "And if Ashton (Hagans) stays, obviously that’s a big checkmark in favor of Kentucky. The same thing could be said about Tre Jones at Duke. Coby (White) at North Carolina. Devon Dotson is probably going to stay (at Kansas).”
The 6-foot-9 point-forward will find out Tuesday night during the Timberwolves-Heat game at Target Center if he's the winner of the 2019 Mr. Basketball award. He's one of five finalists, along with Isaac Fink (Springfield), Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins), Tyrell Terry (DeLaSalle), and Tyler Wahl (Lakeville North).
Hurt is currently in Atlanta, Georgia for the McDonald's All-American Game that'll be televised by ESPN on Wednesday night.