The BYU men’s basketball program added a sizeable upgrade to its roster with the addition of graduate transfer Matt Haarms, a 7-foot-3-inch center from the Purdue Boilermakers.
“BYU fans are going to love this Matt Haarms,” head coach Mark Pope said. “He has an extraordinarily bright future in the game. And most important, he is one of the most intelligent, engaging, self-aware and giving players I have ever met.”
Haarms was regarded as one of the most valuable graduate transfers in the nation prior to his commitment with BYU, mulling over offers from historic powerhouses Texas Tech and Kentucky before accepting the pull from Provo.
Haarms, a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, has averaged around nine points and five rebounds over 65 games during the past two seasons against elite Big Ten conference competition. The “Flying Dutchman” has also proven to be a prolific shot-blocker, swatting a career average of two shots a game for the Boilermakers.
Recruiting top-tier transfer prospects has become second nature for Pope, who added sharpshooting guard Jake Toolson a year ago along with projected 2020 starting BYU point guard Alex Barcello.
Pope, a center during his NBA playing days, now presides over a frontcourt consisting of seven-footer Haarms, 6-foot-11-inch Richard Harward, 6-foot-10-inch Wyatt Lowell, 6-foot-9-inch Gavin Baxter and 6-foot-9-inch Kolby Lee. This Great Wall of Cougar big men could lead to a more inside scoring-based offensive attack this coming year in contrast to the Cougars’ NCAA leading three point prowess in 2019-2020.
“No words can express how excited we are to welcome Matt to our BYU family,” Pope said. “Clearly with his size, athletic ability, versatility and skill set he has the potential to emerge as one of the premier bigs in college basketball. His passion for the game and intensity on the court are inspiring. There’s a reason he was one of the most sought-after transfers this offseason.”