PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU is definitely in Haarm’s way.
Purdue 7-foot-3 center Matt Haarms announced on Instagram Thursday that he is transferring to BYU, where he will be immediately eligible to play next season, and will have one year of eligibility left.
Haarms chose BYU over Kentucky, which was rumored to be the favorite, and Texas Tech.
“No words can express how excited we are to welcome Matt to our BYU family,” head coach Mark Pope said. “Clearly with his size, athletic ability, versatility and skill set he has the potential to emerge as one of the premier bigs in college basketball. His passion for the game and intensity on the court are inspiring. There’s a reason he was one of the most sought-after transfers this offseason. And most important, he is one of the most intelligent, engaging, self-aware and giving players I have ever met. BYU fans are going to love this Matt Haarms. He has an extraordinarily bright future in the game.”
A native of Amsterdam, Haarms averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for Purdue last season, while shooting 52 percent from the field in 29 games (15 starts). He also shot 31.3 percent from 3-point range.
His best season was his sophomore season when Haarms averaged 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
The Cougars have a big void to fill in the middle with Yoeli Childs graduating.
Haarms will join Gavin Baxter, Richard Harward and Kolby Lee in the front court for the Cougars next season.
Haarms originally had a top-10 list of BYU, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Arizona, Arkansas, Boston College, Gonzaga, Memphis, Minnesota and UNC Greensboro. but later narrowed it to BYU, Kentucky and Texas Tech.
BYU had a stellar 2019-20 season, finishing the season at 24-8 and 13-3 in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars fell to St. Mary’s in the semifinal of the conference tournament, and the college basketball season came to an abrupt end after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the NCAA Tournament to be cancelled.