Purdue big man Matt Haarms had a lot to say on Monday on the Big Ten Network.
He chatted with Matt Hall for over five minutes on a number of subjects from Isaac Haas to his now-famous hair to watching other tournament games.
Hall started with one of the bigger questions first though, when Haarms found out that Haas, who has a fractured elbow, wouldn’t be playing against Butler.
The redshirt freshman from the Netherlands said he knew he’d be starting once Haas got hurt, but they found out he wouldn’t play once his brace was not approved.
He did say Haas was an “A+” cheerleader though.
“He was not just a cheerleader, he was a mentor,” Haarms said. “…He helped us immensely. Every time I came out of the game during a timeout, he was in our ears talking to us about things we might be able to improve. He was big-time for us.”
One of the best quotes came at the end of the interview, though, when he was asked if they got to watch other games.
With early games, Haarms said they’ve been able to watch a lot, like the UMBC upset and other Big Ten games like Michigan-Houston. He noted there were mixed feelings when the Wolverines beat the Cougars.
“There’s a little animosity there from the Big Ten Tournament final, but then you want to maybe getting another opportunity against them would also be very interesting for us as a team so you’re cheering for the Big Ten of course,” Haarms said.
Hall also asked Haarms what it was like starting after playing 16 minutes a game but coming off the bench behind Haas.
“The only thing I was a little worried about was the tip,” Haarms said. “I hadn’t done the tip since I was like 16, but when I got that, the nerves were gone and it was a normal basketball game.”
They then shifted the conversation to some light topics, like Haarms’ hair which flops all over the place when he plays. He can be constantly seen wiping it out of his face.
Haarms said he’s gotten a lot of positive feedback and that he enjoys it, especially the March Madness super cut, noting he will not be changing his hair product any time soon.
“I don’t keep it in place because it goes everywhere,” he said. “That’s why I’m always touching it.”
He then touched on Dakota Mathias’ big shot in the win over the Bulldogs.
“It was amazing,” Haarms said. “We ran the play. We were confident he was going to make the shot because he’s been a big shot maker for us all year. I set the screen, I turned around to look and the ball was already out of his hands so I was confused as to what was going on. I was scrambling to get the rebound and it went in and it was a big-time shot for us. I think it won us the game.”
Moving forward against Texas Tech, the Haarms said the Boilermakers can always get better defensively in terms of ball-screen defense and containing the ball.
He also said having Vince Edwards back has been huge.
“Vince is a big-time player, especially in March,” he said.
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