National recruiting analyst Andrew Slater has logged a new Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Kansas for five-star power forward Matthew Hurt, one of UK’s top targets in the class of 2019.
Hurt — a 6-foot-9 prospect from Rochester, Minn. — was recently announced as part of the 12-player USA Basketball U18 team after taking part in that squad’s training camp in Colorado over the past week. Kansas Coach Bill Self is coaching the U18 team — meaning he’ll get plenty of time with Hurt — and the Jayhawks were seen by many as the favorites in his recruitment even before the U18 tryouts.
John Calipari has also made Hurt a major priority, along with Duke, North Carolina and several other top schools.
“A year ago at this time, I thought it was clear cut: Carolina or Kansas,” Rivals.com national analyst Corey Evans told the Herald-Leader last week. “I think those two are still at the top, but I think in recent months the Duke idea has gotten to him. I think Kentucky, of course, intrigues him. And Louisville as well. Indiana’s also in the picture. And then you can’t discount Minnesota — they’re always going to be right there.
“But I would say it’s going to be a battle royal of the blue bloods for this one.”
There was some buzz courtside at USA Basketball tryouts last week that Hurt’s recruitment might come down to Kansas and Kentucky, though the Jayhawks are typically viewed as the favorite. KU now has 50 percent of the picks on his Crystal Ball page.
Hurt is the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He averaged 33.9 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.9 blocks and 3.6 assists per game as a high school junior and is one of the top players on the Adidas circuit.