Purdue center Matt Haarms shocked his coaches when he entered the transfer portal, and the Louisville basketball staff was quick to reach out. But would Haarms be a good fit with the Cards?
The 7’3”, 250 lbs big man from Amsterdam is quite the spectacle on the floor, towering over teammates and opponents alike. Over the span of his career at Purdue, he averaged 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. Last season he shot 52.4 percent from the floor and averaged 8.6 ppg.
Haarms is notorious for a couple of things. He was the other half of Coach Matt Painter’s twin tower tandem (also Isaac Haas). But perhaps most notably, he was the target of Assembly Hall derogatory chants in 2019 during a game at Indiana.
But what exactly the root cause for his departure was, no one is sure, but it’s clear that Haarms likes his chances to develop in somewhere other than West Lafayette. “I needed a change or scenery”, he explained to the Journal and Courier.
Coach Mack reached out to Haarms Monday afternoon about the possibility of him transferring to Louisville, a program that has desperately needed an elite rim protector in recent years. Haarms is fourth all-time at Purdue in blocked shots (210).
I think he would come into the fold just nicely. Mack and staff pride themselves on trusting players with the ball, and the big man has proven he can be effective when fed the ball in the post. On more than a few occasions, we have seen him be able to distribute from the post as well.
More importantly, Haarms brings an intensity to the game that the Cards will need their fill of if they want to continue to contend for an ACC Titles in the next couple years.
For me, the unsung aspect of any new fit on an already developing team is how a player contributes to the quality of practices. Imagine the good it would do for guys like Malik Williams and Aiden Ighiehon if they get to square off against a player with the size and activity of Haarms.
Sometimes, you just get in on the right guy at the right time and it works out perfectly. “I just felt like it was time to move on”, Haarms said.
With Coach Mack and staff fresh off the commitment of the #1 grad transfer in the nation (Carlik Jones), the pressure to land Haarms doesn’t feel dire, but sometimes coaches get on a recruiting trail hot streak.