Five star big man Matthew Hurt has been one of the top targets on the recruiting board for the Blue Devils over the last few months. Recently the Minnesota native took part in the Team USA trials in Colorado Springs where he sat down with TDD to discuss his recruitment, the competition at the camp, and where he sees his recruiting process heading over the next few months.

Since I last talked with you, it appears you've been working to add some weight...

Matthew Hurt: Yeah I've just been trying to get in the weight room, and it’s been going good. My brother is back in town and he’s been lifting four days a week with this great program that he has, the strength and conditioning program from Minnesota, so he’s brought that back home and has been helping me out. To start we do a lot of stretches, then there’s a lot of power cleans, bench presses, and my upper body is starting to get a lot better, so I’m trying to work on that a lot right now.


It seemed like your shooting motion is more compact from a year ago and that the increased strength in your base is helping with your shooting range, is that something you’ve observed as well?

Yeah for sure. I work on my shot every single day and I also lift three or four times a week and I get up shots before and after school, so I think all of that works and helps out.


It also seems like you're trying to be more assertive on the court and off the dribble. Has that been a point of emphasis for you?

You know I feel confident in that, but really for me my main goal here is to make the team and help it win a gold medal, that’s my main focus. That would be an honor to be selected and compete for a gold medal.


Who have you enjoyed playing with or against here at camp?

Yeah, there’s a lot of guys actually, Trendon Watford, Cole Anthony, Armando (Bacot), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, there’s a lot of really good guys here and I love to compete with and against them.


You hear about guys who like to try and recruit a bit out here, is there anybody trying to do that with you?

Trendon (Watford) is, he’s talking about Memphis, Alex (Lomax) too, there’s different guys.


Your dad mentioned prior to the spring weekends that you have a long-term relationship with Mike Miller who is now on the Memphis staff, how has that relationship evolved now that they are recruiting you?

We were close before he took the job, and I think they are trying to build a new culture there and trying to build the program back up, and I think they will do that and in the next couple of years they will be a household name in college basketball. Me personally I’ve gotten closer with the staff there.


How much does the prior relationship with Coach Miller affect your thought process towards Memphis now that they are recruiting you?

Yeah he was at a lot of my games and he’s worked out with a lot of these guys before so he has that NBA experience and that’s my ultimate goal. I think with them adding Sam Mitchell also that if you work hard everyday, they know what that means because they have experience at the highest level in the NBA, and they could develop me well.


How are you thinking through that staff’s NBA background in comparison to other programs who don’t have the coaches with NBA coaching backgrounds but who do have experience in developing a lot of guys who have played in the pros?

Yeah I think Memphis has those coaches that have played or coached in the NBA at the highest level, so they have that. But I also think that there are a lot of college coaches who have great minds and can help you get to the next level too.


For programs like Duke and UNC and others who have been involved with you for a long time building relationships—how have the conversations changed with them over time?

Those relationships haven’t really changed yet to be honest, they are still reaching out to me several times a week. They’ve been great and haven’t been overdoing it and getting to know those staffs has been great.


We’ve heard that Coach Scheyer from Duke has been increasing his communication with you, does it feel like he’s making you more of a priority?

Yeah, that’s a good read of the situation with them. They are going to be a top 5 team against next season and they have a great recruiting class coming in this year, and he told me they are trying to bring in a lot of the top guys in the 2019 class like me. I like his message, it’s great to hear from him that he likes me.


How specific has Coach K and Coach Scheyer gotten with you as to how they see you fitting in with the rest of the class they are trying to bring in with your class?

Yeah, they think I can play with anybody in the country and I were to commit early they could build around me with other good guys. They were asking me if I was passionate about Duke Basketball and stuff like that, but definitely with the guys that they recruit each year that they are at the top with players they try to have a part of their program.


Have you evaluated the history of the programs in terms of bringing in guys with your skill set?

Yeah there are other schools who do to, but like Jayson Tatum had a great rookie season, Justise Winslow has been great, Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre have all been good in the League too. Kentucky is great too with that, they have a great team again this year and their campus is great, their program is great.


So who is left for you that you think you need to see unofficially visit-wise?

I’m going to try to do all my five official visits in the fall. I’ve been to most of the places I wanted to see unofficially.


Are any programs asking you yet whether you are considering committing in the fall or spring?

Nobody has really asked me that or pressed me up in terms of when I’m going to decide, things like that. They say it’s up to me, because I can only pick one place.


Do you have a preference on deciding in the fall versus deciding in the spring?

Right now I’m thinking about trying to decide in the fall, but if I’m not ready I can wait and decide in the spring.