Texas Tech Basketball Makes Top 3 For Coveted Grad Transfer
Red Raider fans likely recognize the name Matt Haarms from Chris Beards' first trip to the NCAA tournament when the Red Raiders ran through Purdue on their way to the Elite 8. Now, the fourth-year senior grad transfer is looking to make a move and has Texas Tech in his top three choices along with blue blood Kentucky and the distant third BYU.
Matt Haarms is widely regarded as one of the best post players available, but do the numbers back that up? It's a mixed bag really. Standing at a true 7'3", Haarms only managed just over eight points per game and less than 5 rebounds per game last season. Those numbers per 40 minutes would have been closer to 16 points and nine boards per contest.
It's not the offense that has teams wishing to have him commit though. Especially for Texas Tech, it's his defensive prowess protecting the middle of the floor. He compares favorably to Tariq Owens in his defensive rating metric and actually has more blocks per 100 possessions than Owens managed at Texas Tech during his record-breaking season. If you want to be successful at the "No Middle" defense of Mark Adams it helps to protect the middle, something Texas Tech sorely missed last season.
It's not that Haarms would make Texas Tech an instant contender, but Haarms plus the rest of the talent coming in would certainly put Texas Tech on the right track. It is important to set expectations though.
Haarms isn't Tariq Owens the all-around star, but he would provide much-needed protection and credibility to the Texas Tech defense and make them a front runner in the Big 12 race.