Run-N-Slam Q & A: Class of 2015 big man Matt Heldt updates recruitment

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Class of 2015 Neenah (Wi.) center Matt Heldt was one of the top rising senior post players last weekend at the Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam at Spiece Fieldhouse and he’s also a prospect that Indiana has been tracking for several months.

On the opening night of the April evaluation period, Tom Crean was in Milwaukee watching Heldt compete with the Milwaukee Spartans and the Hoosiers also hosted him for an unofficial visit last fall for Hoosier Hysteria.

Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-foot-10, 210 pound Heldt in Fort Wayne for the latest on his recruitment, his thoughts on Indiana and more:

Inside the Hall: Indiana has been recruiting you for a while, you visited last fall for Hoosier Hysteria, what’s been their interest level to this point?

Matt Heldt: I think it’s been pretty moderate to this point. I’m sure they’re going to be out in July again once they can (to see me). It kind of sucks for the D1 schools this year because they only get the one evaluation period and it was last weekend and they have to wait all the way until July.

ITH: The fact that they were there, Tom Crean was there to watch you the first night of the April evaluation period, does that tell you anything about their interest in you?

MH: It definitely told me they are sincere, that they’re really avid about getting out to see me and that they’re not just blowing smoke. They’re in there to recruit me. It was a big thing for Crean to be there.

ITH: When you visited for Hysteria, what was your takeaway from that?

MH: The fan support is amazing. When you have a line out (of the building) the day before for a free event like that, it’s crazy. And obviously, the basketball tradition at Indiana is probably the best in the country. Their facilities are really, really nice and I think the players like to play tough and hard.

ITH: I know Marquette and Xavier both offered recently. What has their message been to you?

MH: Marquette, coach (Steve) Wojciechowski came out to see me right away. I visited down there last week and he offered me. He wants me to come to Marquette, he likes my skill set and he thinks I fit into the way they’re going to run their offense. And then Xavier, coach (Chris) Mack called me two days later and said that Xavier knows how to use their bigs, he likes my skill set and he wants me to come to Xavier.

ITH: Which other schools have been active in recruiting you?

MH: Clemson has been pretty active. Also Northwestern has been talking to me a lot.

ITH: Are you open at this point? Are you even thinking about a decision right now?

MH: No, not at this point.

ITH: When you go on a visit to a school, what kind of things are you looking at?

MH: The teammates to see how they interact. I want to be on a family as a team, I don’t want any big egos or guys that are just worried about themselves. And also good academics, I don’t want to go to a school that doesn’t value their academics.

ITH: Are those things you saw when you visited Indiana?

MH: Yeah, those guys definitely like to play together. Indiana is like the stomping grounds for how to play the right way, team basketball.

ITH: What’s IU message been to you when they’ve talked to you?

MH: I’ve just got to play as hard as I can. They like tough bigs that can rebound. If I continue to get stronger, more athletic, I think I could fit in well there.

ITH: It seems like you’re comfortable using either hand. Is that something you’ve always had or have you had to develop it?

MH: My mom actually would always make me play one-on-one against her and only use my left hand. Around the basket I’m kind of ambidextrous, it’s pretty much even.

ITH: What’s the biggest thing for you to work on this summer?

MH: Probably athleticism and strength. I’m trying to put on as much weight as I can.

(Photo credit: 247Sports)

  • Bryce Kepner

    Does he have an offer?

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    No offer to this point.

  • SCHoosier

    Now there’s a “five” who looks and plays like a five. I hope “the post man cometh.” (to IU)

  • Gregory Spera

    Thank God we have ITH to keep all of this straight. We are getting updates on two or three new recruits a day now.

  • KmanCRK

    The russian roulette of recruiting. Is Crean afraid to offer this kid and not have a “spot” open for one of the top bigs in 2016 they are after? Assuming he only has two scholly’s in his back pocket for 2015, does he want to burn one here? I sure as heck would offer this kid and recruit him hard. At some point we have to start building a program instead of just swinging for the fences. This kid seems like a great place to get that going again.

  • CreanFaithful

    Is he comfortable going to college away from home???

  • skotchie

    Mom taught him how to use both hands he might miss her come X-Mas break.

  • deebo

    Lol I hope so

  • CreanFaithful

    Persistent at working on the block and uses both hands to finish. Wish we could have seen some samples of his post passing. Like the fact that he can space the court if need be.

  • Ole Man

    Love the literary reference…LOL!

  • HoosierGrampy

    Kudos to whomever made this tape for NOT showing us 4 minutes of slam dunks. This young man showed the ability to comfortably shoot with either hand from 6-8′ out and he keeps the ball high when rebounding. He’s got a nice spin move to the rack, too! Adding 20+ lbs to his frame should only help his game on both ends of the court. My guess is that he’ll be watching what CTC does with our big men this year before signing.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Hard to believe this guy is 16 or 17… Great interview. Shocking lack of cliches or superlatives. Actually has some perspective on life. Haven’t pressed play on the video yet, but if he has any potential or skill he seems like he’d be a great kid and teammate.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Just watched the video… What’s not to love. I’m 100% sold! This kid knows how to play and he’s definitely not a stiff. Good hands, good feet, and appears to know his role. Only thing left to figure out is if he can stand his ground in the post on defense against kids his age. He actually seems pretty strong for being fairly thin, and it looks like his frame can add weight. I’d love to have him.

  • Snookafly

    Ageed. Something about the interview makes me really like this kid. He doesn’t sound like the typical PR machine.

  • RMK

    Reminds me somewhat of Tyler Zeller. Not nearly as athletic, but very skilled at turning over both shoulders and using both hands for little hook shots. Looks solid.

  • Nate

    Yeah – the Bradley thing crossed my mind too when I was typing that. Just optimistic that the words ‘Indiana Basketball’ still carry some weight….

  • Scott Funk

    I’ll have to say is whatever the ‘White’ team he’s playing with runs a better offense than us.
    Kid has nice moves, and seems to handle himself very well. needs to work on the hops though.

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