COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Matthew Hurt is no stranger to big-name universities.
The 6-foot-9 power forward from John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., has an offer from all but one college programs that have won an NCAA basketball championship since 2005.
There’s little that one team’s trophy case can show off that another can’t match.
At the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp over the weekend, Hurt said his choice will come down to the school that plays with a style that matches his own.
“More up-tempo,” he said. “I grab the rebound, push it up the floor by myself. And then just playing fast, that’s my main objective.”
He’s also interested to see how schools develop potential one-and-done players. An example is Indiana freshman Romeo Langford, a five-star recruit who chose the Hoosiers from a tall stack of offers.
“I’m pretty sure he’s one-and-done,” Hurt said. “I just want to see how they develop him. What they do for him is key for me.”
Hurt’s abilities match the ideal big man in today’s NBA. He’s a confident ball-handler, an able shooter in both mid-range and beyond the arc, and can make key passes with his ability to spread the floor.
On the first day of USA Basketball minicamp, he sneaked into the corner while facing a zone defense. As four-star forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim closed out and five-star center James Wiseman moved toward him, Hurt made a quick pass to an open shooter, who sunk it.
His three-point ability spreads the floor. Even though he missed the shot in the clip below, he forced Wiseman, the No. 4 player in USA Today’s Chosen 25, away from the key and into the corner.
Hurt also played solid defense against Wiseman. Though Hurt couldn’t stop 7-foot-1 center all the time, he didn’t back away from the low-post challenge and once helped force Wiseman to lose the ball in the paint.
He showed his range of offensive prowess during a three-play sequence on the final day of camp.
In the scrimmage, he dunked the ball, hit a three, and then, controlling the ball at the top of the arc, found a wide-open three-point shooter in the corner for an assist, drawing a huge reaction from his bench.
Hurt said he’s competed with players who ended up in the NBA, so he knows what to work on to make his style match. He can hit floaters over taller players now, something he said he worked on after AAU, and sees himself as a guy whose skill set matches up with that of the NBA unicorns.
“I think everybody in the league can shoot now. I think I can shoot it pretty well,” he said. “That’s what the game is going to. I think I fit in.”