First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge a few of Minnesota’s great High School players. NBA Hall of Famer Kevin McHale, UCONN great and Minneapolis North hero Khalid El-Amin, Lawrence McKenzie, Royce White, Tyus and Tre Jones, and before my time players Mark Olberding, Jim McIntyre, and Randy Breuer. All worthy of contention of best ever players.

Since Matthew Hurt was a thin, yet mature 8th grade basketball player, he’s been on the Varsity team. Statistically, he’s the best Minnesota High School Basketball player ever, no context reviewed. For context, Hurt scored 3,745 points, state record for Big schools, averaging nearly 37 a game as a Senior, and 35 as a Junior.

More context: he shot 64% from the floor and 41% from 3 in 2018-19, his Senior Year. Hurt wasn’t a high volume chucker who scored because he shot a lot. He did shoot a lot, however he was efficient. During 2018-19 he took 562 field goals (FGs) and 212 free throws (FT) during the regular season, 26 games. That’s 21.6 shots per game. In his 2 50+ scoring games, 52 point vs Faribault, Hurt shot 27 shots and 55 point game vs Winona he took just 21 shots (25 free throws).

Need even more context to his scoring abilities? During Hurt’s senior year he scored 40+ points 14 times and broke 50 points twice. Routinely, Hurt was double-teamed whenever he had the ball, and even guarded by 3, sometimes 4 defenders.

Hurt isn’t just a scorer, he has all-around game. He averaged 15 boards a game as a Junior, 12 as a Senior, and grabbed 1,439 rebounds total for his high school career, the Big school Minnesota State record.

As a Senior, he averaged more than 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. In 14 games, he produced at least 5 assists and vs Red Wing, he tallied 10 dimes but missed a triple double by one rebound. In total, he had 32 points, 9 boards, 10 assists and 7 steals that night. Hurt did put up a triple double in Rochester JM’s first section game vs Rochester Century, posting a line of 41/12/10.

Red Wing Highlights

Hurt excelled playing AAU for D1 Minnesota’s top 17U team from age 14 until 17, in the Adidas Gauntlet Series. His last year playing with D1MN, Hurt led the team to the championship vs the Compton Magic, but they lost in overtime.

The final year on the Gauntlet, Hurt averaged 17 points and shot 58% from the floor and 48% from 3, in 11 reported games. That Adidas Gauntlet team featured Stanford committed PG Tyrell Terry, Arizona BIG Zeke Nnaji, and Wisconsin committed forward Tyler Wahl.

He was named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball, a McDonald’s All-American, played for Team USA U18 team (who won gold), and was a consensus Top 10 player nationally. He was hotly pursued by Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, and home state team Minnesota before selecting Duke in April. There is some assumption that he will play only one year of College basketball before he heads to the NBA. Hurt is currently projected, by ESPN NBA Mock, as a Top 15 pick in the 2020 Draft.

TEAM USA HIGHLIGHTS

Hurt will walk away from High School basketball with some criticism, because he never made it to a Minnesota State High School Tournament. Rochester JM was never able to surpass the dominant immovable object section opponent, that is Lakeville North. Lakeville North beat Rochester JM all five of the years Hurt played Varsity basketball. North finished twice runner-up to Hopkins at state, ended up in the third place game twice, and consolation tournament once, in those 5 years. It’s is a top-10 Boys Basketball program in Minnesota.

Using JM’s inability to advance to the state tourney, as why Matthew Hurt isn’t the best Minnesota High School player ever, is shortsighted. It doesn’t quantify the talented teams and players Hurt competed against. Look at some of the talent that came through Mn during Hurt’s high school career: Tre Jones, Tyus Jones, McKinley Wright, Ezekiel Nnaji, Daniel Oturu, Ryan Larsen, Theo John, and Tyler Wahl. All of these players made it to state or won state titles, with strong supporting casts.

Street History | Minnesota Sports Fan | @streethistory