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Adding Matt Haarms could give UK “enormous fan favorite” as well as rim protector

By LARRY VAUGHT

If Kentucky is able to land 7-3 Purdue transfer Matt Haarms, just what would it mean for the Wildcats.

I couldn’t think of anyone who might have better insights on Haarms than Mike DeCourcy, who not only works as a Big Ten Network studio analyst but is also a Sporting News columnist.

“He is an excellent defender. He can be a game-changer at times,” DeCourcy said about Haarms. “He has great size and bounce and excellent timing. I think he would definitely be an asset for the Wildcats if he were to choose UK.”

DeCourcy says what he likes best about the 7-3 Haarms is that he can be effective at both ends of the court.

“He is not a great post scorer, but he has very good hands and can hit consistently from 10-12 feet. He has made 3’s on occasion,” DeCourcy said.

Haarms has over 200 career blocked shots and has played in numerous big games for Purdue the last three years.

Kentucky will have at least six true scholarship freshmen on next year’s team along with a sophomore — Keion Brooks Jr. — and redshirt freshman — Dontaie Allen. The Cats have also already added one grad transfer in Creighton guard Davion Mintz.

“I think Haarms is more an energy guy than a leader. He helps drive your team forward even when he’s not in the game,” DeCourcy said.

Haarms is a player that should be embraced by Big Blue fans, too, because of his personality and playing style.

“I think he would be an enormous fan favorite. He plays with a lot of personality. He is very invested in his team,” DeCourcy said.

“That’s one reason people were so surprised to see him transfer. He just seemed to love Purdue so much.”

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  1. UK could sure use him with all their bigs headed to the NBA .

  2. If Tubby Smith we’re still the coach at UK I would agree that Haarms would be a 100% great fit. But since he only plays 20 minutes per game that leads me to believe that at 7’3” that’s all he can go. He plays a post up game. Last season UK players refused to feed the post to what I consider to be a much better player in Nick Richards b/c Calipari teams don’t play that way. Remember, Cal loves to brag that Anthony Davis took the 5th most shots on the team. So if a player can only play 20 minutes, has marginal quickness and plays mostly with his back to the basket can he be a key player for Calipari? Probably not. Could he help in some ways? Yes. Great pick and roll guy. But I think Cal is going to have to go to ”small ball” next year for this team to be successful. Mixing in a slower 7’3” traditional post player with a group of guys that get up and down the floor doesnt seem like a recipe for success to me but what do I know.

    1. Maybe, but I will take his size, his emotion and fire any day, and the fact that UK is short on bigs now, thanks to the NBA draft. Haarms can block shots, and he can shoot from close range. He is also a veteran experienced player. Lord knows UK needs one of them now.

  3. Given that we have no bigs for 2020, landing Haarms would be a big win for us, regardless of what he can and can’t do. You can’t coach height. Even if he only plays 20 minutes, that is 20 minutes of big on the court. He should be able to score 10 points on alley oops, put backs and foul shots alone. Add 2 or 3 blocked shots and 7 or 8 rebounds (shot blocking and rebounding should be his main focus) and he would help us immensely. Can Coach get him here?

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