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Arizona to pursue Purdue grad transfer Matt Haarms, a 7-foot-3 center

Illinois v Purdue Getty Images

After adding Seattle grad transfer Terrell Brown to bolster their backcourt, the Arizona Wildcats have shifted their focus to the frontcourt, reaching out to Purdue grad transfer Matt Haarms, who entered the portal Monday.

More finesse than physical, the wiry 7-foot-3 center averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 20.5 minutes with the Boilermakers this season, while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 10 for 32 from 3. His 12.6 block percentage was the ninth-best mark in the country.

The Dutchman started 40 of the 102 games he appeared in at Purdue, and actually was a bit more productive as a sophomore when he made 23 starts and averaged 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.

Known for his infectious energy, Haarms is fourth in Purdue history in blocks (210). Before enrolling at Purdue, Haarms attended Sunrise Christian in Kansas, the same high school former UA center Dusan Ristic attended.

As of now, Christian Koloko, Jordan Brown and Ira Lee are the only big men on Arizona’s 2020-21 roster, so they definitely can use a player like Haarms, who had six points and five blocks in a win over UA in the Bahamas a couple years ago.

He and Koloko, who posted a 12.3 block percentage as a freshman, would give the Wildcats two elite shot blockers, though they will have plenty of competition for him. Haarms told Evan Daniels of 247Sports that more than 20 schools have contacted him.