Purdue transfer Matt Haarms picks BYU over Kentucky, Texas Tech

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BYU landed the biggest grad transfer left on the market, as 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms committed to the Cougars on Thursday afternoon.

This is a significant addition for Mark Pope’s club, as Haarms was pursued by basically every program in the country that was looking to add a grad transfer at center. Haarms, a native of Amsterdam, started 41 games for Purdue over the course of the last three seasons, averaging 8.6 points, 4.6 boards and 2.0 blocks last season. The previous season he averaged 9.1 points, 5.4 boards and 2.1 blocks.

BYU is coming off of a season where they were on track to be as high as a No. 5 seed before the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the NCAA tournament. They will be looking to replace quite a bit of talent on the roster, including star center Yoeli Childs.

Kentucky and Texas Tech, both of whom are ranked in the top 10 of the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25, badly needed Haarms to shore up their interior defense. They will now have to look elsewhere for help. VCU’s Marcus Santos-Silva is an option if he can graduate this summer, and there is a chance that some Class of 2021 prospects can reclass given the NCAA’s reduced requirements for Class of 2020 freshman because of the cancellations on the academic schedule from the pandemic.