University of Kansas

Matthew Hurt chooses Duke over KU, others: Teaming with Tre Jones cited as factor

Top basketball recruit Matthew Hurt talks about UK, Duke, Kansas and UNC

Five-star basketball recruit Matthew Hurt talks about Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina. He will announce a college decision April 19.
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Five-star basketball recruit Matthew Hurt talks about Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina. He will announce a college decision April 19.

Matthew Hurt has decided to play college basketball at Duke.

Hurt, a 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American out of John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., on Friday announced for the Blue Devils over Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina in a ceremony at his high school.

He placed a Duke hat on his head in announcing for the Blue Devils while seated at a table in the high school auditorium. He also wore a Duke T-shirt.

“I think he saw himself at any one of the four schools,” Hurt’s father, Richard Hurt, told Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi on Friday. “One of the deciding factors was a desire to play with Tre Jones (point guard from Apple Valley, Minn., who elected to return to Duke for a sophomore season). They are both Minnesota kids, and even though they never played together during high school or AAU there was always an admiration of each other’s game form afar. He didn’t think that was going to be a possibility because he thought Tre would go to the NBA,” Richard Hurt added.

Hurt averaged 36.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this past season for John Marshall. He is ranked No. 7 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com.

“I don’t know what coaches say to other players, but certainly he (coach Mike Krzyzewski) envisions Matthew potentially being their leading scorer, and somebody who plays a lot of minutes,” Richard Hurt said to 247sports.com’s Brian Snow. “Coach K talked to Matthew about his versatility of playing inside and outside. Nothing was promised, but he did say he envisioned Matthew is a starter, but nothing is guaranteed. Matthew has to work hard and continue to do the things that he has been doing, but the coaches are confident he will make a major impact right away,” Richard added.

Hurt, the AP’s player of the year in Minnesota, earned second-team all-USA honors by USA Today. He averaged 14.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for Team USA in the FIBA Americas tournament last summer. KU coach Bill Self was head coach of that team.

“This is a tough loss for Bill Self and the Jayhawks,” Bossi stated on Friday. “Hurt is a kid that they prioritized for some time, appeared to lead for during much of his recruitment and Hurt played for Self last summer on USA Basketball’s 18U team. They needed a shooter and without him they could be quite thin in the frontcourt.

“Where can they turn?” Bossi added. “The main target has to be five-star forward Precious Achiuwa. He isn’t the skilled player that Hurt is, but he’s a big time athlete and could make an instant impact as a freshman and he’s been on campus for an official visit. Grad transfer T.J. Holyfield is an option and it will be interesting to see if they can get involved with Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear,” Bossi added.

Matthew Hurt on Friday said: “Thank you to the schools that recruited me. Unfortunately I could only pick one. That being said, Duke University.”

In late December, Hurt told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “My goal is to make it to the NBA. I’m trying to get with the right coaches who can lead me in that direction.

“I just try to take one player from each team and what I can see myself in their system and how they run things,” Hurt, the all-time leading scorer in Minnesota prep basketball history (3,819 points including 1,072 points his senior season) added to the Star-Tribune.

Duke currently is perceived the favorite to land a second player KU has pursued heavily in recruiting.

Cassius Stanley, 6-5 senior shooting guard from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, California, who is ranked No. 33 nationally by Rivals.com, will announce Monday for either KU, Duke, UCLA or Oregon.

Stanley, who is known as perhaps the most athletic player in the Class of 2019, averaged 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 2018-19.

Stanley is the second player from Sierra Canyon to be recruited in the last three years by Duke, which signed Marvin Bagley III in 2017.

The Jayhawks have several scholarships to award in the spring signing period, which started Wednesday and will last until May 15.

Scholarship players who at this time are expected to be on the 2019-20 KU roster: Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot. Also, KU has signed incoming freshmen Christian Braun and Issac (Mackey) McBride. Freshman point guard Devon Dotson is testing the NBA waters, but there is a strong possibility he will return to school.

If those players are indeed all on the roster (and if Udoka Azubuike and Silvio De Sousa ultimately leave and Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson decide to stay in the NBA Draft) KU would have six scholarship slots to fill to reach the limit of 13.

There are candidates for the scholarship openings.

Holyfield, a 6-8 forward and graduate transfer from Stephen F. Austin, will make an official recruiting visit to KU on Monday.

Holyfield, who is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a list of KU, Illinois, Texas Tech, Miami and Oregon. Holyfield missed all of last season with a dislocated shoulder after averaging 12.9 points (on 54.8 percent shooting, 28 of 68 from three, 41.2 percent) and 6.4 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 campaign. As a junior, he shot 54.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.

Tristan Enaruna, a 6-7 senior forward from Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, will visit KU on April 28. Enaruna, who is ranked No. 105 in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com. has a final three of KU, Miami and Creighton. He will visit Miami on April 24 and Creighton on April 26.

Enaruna, who hails originally from the Netherlands, averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game this past season. Self made a trip to Utah in mid-January, offering Enaruna a scholarship on Jan. 17.

KU is also in the running for Achiuwa, 6-9 senior forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy. Achiuwa, who is ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, is considering KU, North Carolina, Memphis and Georgia, perhaps others. Achiuwa, a teammate of guard Harlond Beverly who committed to Miami on Monday, will visit Memphis on April 22.

Achiuwa — who is originally from Mali — has visited KU and North Carolina. He is not expected to sign until the end of the early period.

KU is in the running for three players considering reclassifying from 2020 to 2019.

R.J. Hampton, a 6-5 junior point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School, the No. 5-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2020, has a list of KU, Duke, Kentucky and Memphis.

Hampton averaged 32.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists per game last season for Little Elm (Texas) High School. He topped the 50-point mark twice.

N’Faly Dante, a 6-10 junior center from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, is said to be considering KU, Kentucky, LSU, Oregon and others. Dante is ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.

Kyree Walker, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, who is the No. 18-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2020, has a list of KU, Arkansas, Memphis, Nevada, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Kentucky and others. At one point, he was committed to Arizona State.

KU also is in the running for graduate transfer Rayjon Tucker, a 6-5 guard out of Arkansas-Little Rock. He visited West Virginia on April 12 and is visiting Auburn this weekend. He will visit Memphis April 25-27 and Iowa State on May 3-5. KU and South Carolina also are trying for visits. Tucker — who started his career playing for former KU assistant Joe Dooley at Florida Gulf Coast — averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game last season.

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