Big 10

Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews is heading to Michigan, per report

June 20, 2016

ANN ARBOR — After an offseason of attrition, Michigan basketball has finally secured a substantial addition.

It will just take a year to see.

But once 2017-18 arrives, Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews will have a key spot in the Wolverines’ rotation.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Matthews, a transfer from Kentucky and once a top-100 national recruit, will commit to Michigan.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels later confirmed the report with Matthews’ former high school coach, Gary DeCesare.

Matthews has remained hushed throughout a transfer process that came down to U-M and Xavier.

Now heading to Michigan, the 6-foot-6 guard will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season, per NCAA transfer rules.

A former four-star recruit, Matthews averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 10.3 minutes per game at Kentucky. He was considered one of the Wildcats’ better defensive options on the win. but attempted only 52 field goals in 370 minutes of play. He shot 44.2 percent from the field, while attempting only four 3-pointers.

Coming out of St. Rita High School in Chicago, Matthews was ranked as the No. 59 overall prospect in the class of 2015 in the 247 Sports Composite. He was rated the No. 16 shooting guard and No. 2 recruit in Illinois.

When announcing his transfer from Kentucky mid-May, Matthews said he was leaving to pursue other options.

“I gained great experience during my freshman year at Kentucky,” Matthews said a press release. “This was a difficult decision for me, but at the end of the day, I felt like it was in my best interest to explore other options.”

In the same release, Wildcats coach John Calipari said Matthews will end up as “a productive college player who has the ability to play at the next level.

“I know Charles’ best basketball is ahead of him, and while I’m saddened to see him go, I support his decision and will help in any way I can,” Calipari said.

Matthews visited Ann Arbor over the first weekend of June before heading to Xavier this past weekend. While Illinois was rumored as a possible destination soon after he was released from his Kentucky scholarship, he’s believed to have ultimately decided between Michigan and Xavier.

Matthews committed to Kentucky as a high school junior in February 2014. He picked the Cats over Illinois, Kansas, Marquette and Michigan State, among others, and was the first player in the 2015 class to commit to Kentucky.

Matthews played double-digit minutes in nine conference games as a freshman, but played just one minute in a season-ending loss to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. He scored just three total points in the final 11 games of the season.

Earlier in the season, Matthews recorded a career-high 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting against South Florida, his lone double-figure game of the season.

With Matthews addition, Michigan currently holds one available scholarship for next season.

Brendan F. Quinn | bquinn@mlive.com 

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