Breaking News: Former Purdue Center Matt Haarms Picks BYU

Matt Haarms left Purdue on April 6 as a graduate transfer, and has settled on BYU as the place where he wants to play his final season of college basketball.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Former Purdue center Matt Haarms has a new home. He announced on Instagram Thursday that he will be transferring to BYU.

Haarms played three years at Purdue and is scheduled to graduate this spring. As a graduate transfer, he will have one year of eligibility remaining at BYU. The Cougars are coached by former NBA center Mark Pope and were 24-8 last season.

Haarms informed Purdue coach Matt Painter on April 6 that he wanted to transfer, which came as a surprise because the two had been talking about offseason workouts and academics by phone during the three weeks between the end of the season and Haarms' decision to leave.

Haarms released an early list of more than two dozens schools that he was interested in, and then narrowed the list to 10 last week. He trimmed it down to three — BYU, Kentucky and Texas Tech — on Monday before making it official on Thursday.

“It just came down to my overall feeling about (Mark) Pope and the coaching staff,” Haarms told Jeff Goodman at Watch Stadium. . “It was so many things, but the pieces were all there for me. “I trusted Coach Pope. That’s not to say I didn’t trust the other coaches, but I think he had the best plan in place for me to succeed.”

Haarms said it was important that BYU's Pope has played in the NBA.

“That was important to me,” Haarms told Goodman. “He’s played the position and done it at the highest level. He told me he stuck around the league longer than he should have, so I’m hoping he can help me get there.”

BYU went 24-8 led the nation in three-point shooting a year ago, and it wasn't even close. The Cougars shot 42.2 percent from long distance (332-for-786), a full 2.3 percent better than No. 2 McNeese State (39.9 percent).

All eight BYU players who saw substantial minutes shot at least 35.6 percent from three-point range and five of them shot 44 percent or better. Four are seniors however, and will be leaving, including leading scorer, 6-foot-8 forward Yoeli Childs, who averaged 22.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Haarms, in other words, can fit right in. 

Want some comparisons? Purdue shot 33 percent from three-point range and ranked No. 197 in the country (out of 350 Division I teams). The Big Ten's best team — No. 24 Ohio State — shot 37 percent.

Haarms has worked hard to improve his perimeter game, and it's shown in the numbers. He shot 31.3 percent from three-point range this season (10-for-32), and that percentage has gone up every year

Haarms played 102 games at Purdue, starting 41. He started earlier this year for Purdue, but lost his job to Evan Boudreaux midway through the season. Haarms averaged 20.5 minutes per game, averaging 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

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