Uncommitted Matthew Hurt Named McDonald’s All-American; Unlikely to Pick Gophers

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Alright, so I’m going to try my best to keep this post short. There is a lot going on in Minnesota Sports this morning that I want to touch on some other things before it’s over. However, this topic has me going..

Matthew Hurt is a top-10 national basketball recruit for 2019 and he plays in Rochester, MN at John Marshall High School. He was named to the McDonald’s All-American Team on Thursday.

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Matthew Hurt is a phenom like we are yet to see in Minnesota. Before you start yelling at me, don’t take that sentiment in a negative tone toward any of the other top basketballers to come out of the great state of Minnesota. It’s nothing on them.

Matthew Hurt is just a different kind of star. His length paired with his dynamic set of skills is hard to find nation-wide. Hurt can run the point and usually does for Rochester – John Marshall. At 6-9 I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone his age handle the ball like he does. It looks so natural and smooth… If you ask him, he doesn’t play a specific position. Don’t try to fit this kid into a box. he doesn’t fit.

Do you want a comparison? How about a white Kevin Durant? You decide…

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Oddly, Hurt is the only participant in the McDonald’s Classic that is yet to commit to a college for 2019. A projected “one and done” Hurt still has the Gophers on his list. We’ve seen that before, though. Does the delay mean he’s actually considering his hometown Gophers?

Not if you ask Ryan James of GopherIllustrated.com… Nobody is more plugged in than Ryan.

Does Matthew have interest in playing for Minnesota? Yes. Would he love to play with his brother? Yes. Would his family love for him to be a Gopher? Yes. But at the moment it just doesn’t seem like Hurt to Minnesota has a decent chance of happening.

I’m not mad at Matt and he’s not the only one opting to leave. Look at both Jones’ brothers right in front of him. How about his many 2019 elite basketball classmates, who ranked in the top-100 nationally?

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Why is it so hard to choose Minnesota?

That’s what I continue to wonder. The Gophers have a good enough core and will be adding important new pieces next year, especially two young PG transfers — Marcus Carr – Pitt (ACC), Payton Willis – Vandy (SEC) — who already have major conference experience. Even without Hurt, I’d expect the Gophers to be a top-25 team. They’d be a top-10 team if they added Matt. 

Why isn’t being a hometown hero more desirable? You can go to Kansas and Duke and North Carolina. You will never be the greatest at those schools. You are very unlikely to even be remembered unless you win a National Title. They are never going to build statues for you. As a one-and-done player, you’ll never get your name in the rafters…

If Hurt were to stay home, he’d be the most popular figure in all of Minnesota. The Minnesotan who turned down the blue-bloods to try and bring his Gophers a Final Four. The guy who took it upon himself to raise Minnesota to basketball heights it hasn’t seen since 199—- oops… ever. We are BEGGING to retire another number so we can stop going back to before pictures had color… 

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If you do the unthinkable and win –gasp– a National Title in Minnesota, you’re a hero forever. Every kid in the state would want to be you. 

And if you are confident in yourself and you believe the Gophers can be successful with your help, then your draft profile will only be heightened by picking here. Nobody will question the character or playing level of someone who put his home-state on his back and carried them to their first Final Four since 199—- oops…. ever.

Again, I’m not pissed off at Matthew Hurt because I don’t live in his head. It’s possible these things don’t arouse Matt like they do me. I just wonder WHY those things don’t intrigue top in-state products more often…

Most kids I knew/know dream of winning in Maroon and Gold… but then again, none of those kids are getting offers from Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky either.. so there’s that.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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