Duke Basketball: 55 more reasons Blue Devils want 2019 PF Matthew Hurt

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

A scoring wizard at the high school level had a record-setting night on Friday, providing Duke basketball fans even more reasons to hope he is playing in Durham this time next year.

Pouring in a modest 20 or 30 points in a high school game has been nothing new for Duke basketball target Matthew Hurt ever since he began playing for his varsity team as an eighth-grader.

With his sly drives to the hoop and flick-of-the-wrist outside shots that routinely wear out the bottom of nets, the five-star 2019 power forward — listed as such, but seems better suited for the wing  — is a scoring machine.

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As of late, though, the machine has been manufacturing buckets at an astounding rate.

After dropping  42 points last week in a game for his John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., Hurt stepped up his scoring another notch on Friday night. During his squad’s 85-70 win, the first of its season, the 6-foot-8, 215-pounder scored 55 points — his personal high (previous high was 51) and also a record clip for his school and city.

The feat is even more remarkable when one considers that high school games include only 32 minutes of action.

Forty percent of his points came as a result of his completing the simplest of tasks — shooting free throws — far more efficiently than the current Blue Devils (just 65.0 percent across their 9-1 start). Hurt was 22-for-25 from the charity stripe; he was 14-for-21 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, and also added 11 boards and seven assists.

Not too shabby.

But Hurt likely didn’t stay up late to celebrate his highlight night; he had to wake up and catch a flight to North Carolina on Saturday morning, as he is taking his official visit to UNC this weekend (unfortunately for the Tar Heels, Chapel Hill’s weather welcomed him with nothing but rain and gloom).

Hurt, ranked No. 7 on the 247Sports Composite, will take his official visit to Duke the weekend of Jan. 19 — the same weekend that the Blue Devils, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, host the Virginia Cavaliers, currently ranked No. 6.

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In addition to Duke and UNC, Hurt scheduled official visits to Kentucky (he took that last month) and to Kansas (set for the weekend of Feb. 2).

Although the 247Sports Crystal Ball favors the Jayhawks to land him, it’s been nearly six months since any expert has either entered or changed a prediction. And due to his scheduling an official visit with the Blue Devils, it would be foolish to count out head coach Mike Krzyzewski in the battle for his services.

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Hurt is not expected to announce his college choice until the spring.

Coach K and his staff have already received commitments from three 2019 recruits: five-star center Vernon Carey Jr. (ranked No. 2), five-star small forward Wendell Moore (ranked No. 24), and four-star combo guard Boogie Ellis (ranked No. 36). The recruiting class ranks No. 6 in the country at the moment, according to 247Sports.

The Blue Devils currently have offers still on the table to Hurt and five-star center Isaiah Stewart (ranked No. 6), who took his official visit to Duke the last weekend of November.

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