Duke Basketball Player Review: Matthew Hurt needs more seasoning

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Matthew Hurt came into the Duke basketball program with high expectations and the assumption he would be a one-and-done, but the freshman could use some more seasoning in Durham.

Landing Matthew Hurt last spring was something that was going to put Duke basketball over the top, and no one will know if that turned out to be true since the ACC and NCAA Tournaments were canceled.

However, during the regular season, Hurt experienced a significant adjustment period to the college game, and while his offensive game caught up to the speed of the game, there is still significant room for improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

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The Minnesota native played in all 31 games for the Blue Devils, starting 22, and averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from 3-point range.

Hurt would have been on the floor more during the latter stages of the season, but Mike Krzyzewski knew he had more reliable offensive weapons, like Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr., and rolled with the more defensive-oriented rotation.

Matthew Hurt was a projected lottery pick, or at worst a late first round pick, entering the season, but he has completely vanished in most mock drafts due to his defensive play and his sometimes absent offensive production.

Many speculate if Hurt will enter the NBA Draft, transfer, or return to Durham for a sophomore season, and the first and last options are much more likely than the middle.

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Transferring would make no sense for Hurt as it would then be at least three years out of high school before he enters the NBA Draft since he would have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Adding some muscle in the offseason along with a constant summer in the gym would not only do wonders for Hurt, but it could result in a sixth National Championship banner hanging from the rafters inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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Matthew Hurt could be on a Luke Kennard or Ryan Kelly-like trajectory if he returns to Duke for a second run and could insert himself as a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft