PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball center Matt Haarms is not returning for another season. The 7-foot-3 center announced his intentions to declare for the NBA draft in an Instagram post on Friday.
“I could have never imagined how hard it would be to say goodbye to the BYU community. From the day I committed here I was embraced by both my teammates and the community as a whole and I will be forever grateful for my year spent in Provo.
“I am also extremely thankful for our coaching staff, who made me feel valued every single day and who worked tirelessly to put me in the best position to take my game to the next level.
“However, while my year here at BYU was one I will never forget, it is time for me to move on into the next chapter of my life. After many conversations with those I trust, I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.”
Haarms has always been clear about his intentions of not playing another collegiate season. When news broke last October that everyone in college basketball had a free year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Haarms said, “This is my last year.” After a loss to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament, Haarms stated, “That was my college career.”
BYU coaches put a fullcourt recruitment to land Haarms back for one more year. Haarms even received a puzzle from the coaching staff with a message, “#OneMoreYear.” Making many BYU fans wonder if the efforts from the relentless coaching staff led by head coach Mark Pope would have any sway on the former Purdue big man.
Instead, Haarms is sticking with his original plan to move forward with his basketball career after BYU. Due to the free year of eligibility in college basketball this past year, all NBA draft hopefuls have to enter the NBA draft early entrant list.
Matt Haarms was WCC Defensive Player of the Year at BYU
In one year at BYU, Haarms averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. Haarms earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors for his play in 24 starts.
Haarms was a star pickup for the BYU basketball program out of the Transfer Portal in the spring of 2020. The former Boilermaker picked BYU over Kentucky and Texas Tech.
During his one year at BYU, Haarms played both power forward and center. Before arriving at BYU, he played three seasons at Purdue and had 40 starts for the Boilermakers. He averaged 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.