Chris Richards/Inside Carolina

Roy Williams Calls on Sophomore Matthew Hurt

Rising sophomore forward from Minnesota impressed the Tar Heel staff.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Matthew Hurt arrived on the national stage this past spring.

He was already well known regionally as a top class of 2019 prospect from his early success at Rochester (Minn.) John Marshall, teaming with his Minnesota-bound brother, Michael, with offers from area schools.

But word quickly spread in April after he led D1 Minnesota to a 7-1 record in two Adidas circuit events. Hurt, while still just a freshman, was the leading scorer on the 17U squad.

North Carolina’s coaches watched his 27-point performance against the Eric Gordon All-Stars, featuring heralded 2018 wing Romeo Langford, in Dallas. One week later they saw him post 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against UNC 2018 commitment Rechon Black’s Team Loaded NC.

Hurt heard from UNC shortly thereafter. In fact, he said the Tar Heels were one of two national programs that began showing him legitimate interest after the spring circuit.

“North Carolina after the two live periods, then Kansas called last week,” he said. “Those are the two main schools.”

The next step for UNC – and a step that speaks to the extent of UNC’s interest at this stage - was a call from the head coach.

“They told me to call them, and Roy Williams told me to call him,” said Hurt, who actually has already made a visit to Chapel Hill, seeing the basketball facilities last summer as part of a CP3 Rising Stars Camp tour. “It was great, he’s one of the best coaches in college basketball. He gave me compliments and I’m really grateful.”

As the UNC staff embarks on the July live periods, Hurt will be a priority on the watch list.

“They said they’re going to come watch me play in South Carolina in July,” Hurt said. “And we have a Minnesota tournament during the live period, too, and they’ll try to have an assistant there and in Vegas, too.”

Don’t expect a decision any time soon from Hurt, who is focused on his game and letting the recruiting process come to him, as it did this spring.

“For me I’ll wait until down the road, until after my junior season,” he said. “It’ll be a long way until I commit.”

As one of the youngest participants at the NBPA Top 100 Camp this past week, Hurt averaged 7.3 points (including an 18-point outing) and 4.3 rebounds, shooting 43.8 percent on three-pointers and 93.8 percent from the free throw line.

Standing 6-8, Hurt expects to play a combo forward role at the college level because “I’m a wing that can handle, shoot, go inside.”

Inside Carolina’s lead hoops recruiting analyst Rob Harrington watched Hurt throughout the spring and was impressed by his abilities.

"Hurt possesses the the perimeter-oriented skillset to fit in very well to the modern game,” Harrington said. “He's tremendously mobile and coordinated for his size, and as he gains strength he should develop greater balance. As it is, he's a fine outside shooter and baseline driver who's also a fine playmaker. He's clearly a bright talent in the 2019 class."


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