Hoops Hello: Kentucky Transfer Charles Matthews

Submitted by Brian on June 20th, 2016 at 10:25 PM

Per Jeff Goodman, Michigan has picked up a wing:

Matthews was a freshman at Kentucky last year, where he played sparingly. He'll sit out next year and have three left.

As a recruit he was #59 in the 247 composite and the #16 shooting guard; at 6'6" he could play the two or three at Michigan. His ranking dropped over the course of his recruitment from five-star territory (he was #17 on the composite at one point) to the mid four-star range. The most recent scouting report comes from his freshman year:

Good: Matthews has been a pleasant surprise this season finishing at the rim and along the baseline. With some development, he looks to be a valuable asset to the program in the years to come because of his length, athletic ability and defensive prowess.

Homework: Must continue to round out his game and become a more consistent outside shooter.

This is not a typical Beilein recruit. He's the platonic opposite of Duncan Robinson:

"Last summer, they tried to play him at point guard--that’s not what he is," Calipari said. "He’s a playmaker off the ball. He’s a slasher, he’s a finisher." …  At 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds, Matthews possesses many of the qualities that Calipari typically covets: he's long, athletic, can get to the basket and has the ability to defend multiple positions.

"He's a tireless defender. He can guard multiple players … He can get to the basket anytime he wants but he could always become a better shooter," DeCesare said. "He needs to work on his free throw shooting."

Mathews is super athletic and defensively oriented, which will thrill Billy Donlon. He might be something of a bricklayer, which won't thrill Beilein. Beilein is renowned as a guy who can teach offense and shooting; this will be a test.


Trader Jack

June 20th, 2016 at 10:32 PM ^

This is a huge pickup for us. I'm not going to be one of the "I thought Beilein couldn't recruit?!" guys, but I do hope that a recruiting victory like this quiets some of the negativity around these parts about Beilein and the basketball program. This is a really good thing, and Beilein and Co. deserve props for making it happen. Hopefully this speaks to the recruiting ability of the new assistants too.

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June 21st, 2016 at 12:27 PM ^

The 2017-18 team badly needs some starpower/NBA caliber talent.  Matthews may be that guy or not, but at least he is another candidate.

It's more likely he's just a glue guy, which will probably be fine. Simpson, Poole, and Watson are all promising offensive prospects.  Robinson spaces the floor and we'se seen MAAR show signs of rounding out his game.

It could be a solid team but until a star player emerges it's hard to set expectations too high.



June 21st, 2016 at 12:29 PM ^

In 2017-18 there is no obvious replacement for Irvin on the defensive end. My hope is that Robinson can gain some strength and transition there. Irvin and Novak have stand as examples of 3s moved to the 4.  Defending 4s would mitigate Robinson's issues with perimeter defense.  If you believe it's easier to add strength than athleticism, I think it makes sense.


June 21st, 2016 at 12:04 AM ^

Hahahahahaha you have to be kidding me.
Hardaway? https://youtu.be/aWXJEDUe60s

Stauskas? http://mweb.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25540055/watch-sixers-n…

Irvin? Couldn't find the video, but here's that dunk he had against Syracuse where his head was at the rim. http://a.fssta.com/content/dam/fsdigital/fscom/NCAA-BK/images/2014/12/0…

In short, fuck off troll.


June 21st, 2016 at 12:30 AM ^

First off learn the definition of a troll

Second being 6'6 and being able to dunk to me should be considered average for an NBA player. I said the knock on them was they don't have elite athletisicm which they don't nor does Trey Burke nor do a lot of guys coming out of college. When the first main attribute to Matthews game is Athletic its different than when compared to other good Michigan wings as of late. The first thing that comes to mind about THJ or Stauskas isn't athletic. They're athletic say compared to you or I but compared to the rest of the NBA they aren't more than average. 

Note Nik's draft profile weakness

Nik Stauskas Draft profile


Note THJ's outlook and weaknesses

THJ's Draft profile



June 21st, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

the only guys on that list with plus athleticism were Lavert and GRIII.  The other players were all skilled players with varying degrees of athleticsm, but certainly not as athletic as Matthews.  I'm not sure why that is such a controversial viewpoint.  


June 21st, 2016 at 12:32 PM ^

I think too much is gettig made of the shooting issues.  Beilein has succesfully utilized non-shooters in his offense (Harris, Morris) and recruited people who can't shoot very well (Brundidge, GR3, Rahkman).  Anyone thinking Beilein only wants guys who hit 3s isn't paying close attention.

turd ferguson

June 20th, 2016 at 10:54 PM ^

The "played sparingly" thing is mostly true, but he was 8th in minutes played at Kentucky last season (as a true freshman) and one of four guys who played in all 36 games. So it's not like he was totally glued to the bench.


June 21st, 2016 at 12:54 AM ^

Michigan's defense team rankings at the conclusion of each season

2015-2016 168

2014-2015 204

2013-2014- 153

2012-2013- 97

2011-2012- 176

2010-2011- 140

2009-2010- 129


Average ranking 152

Total # of D1 teams in 2015-2016 is 351

175.5 is the middle of the road there so just slightly better than the average D1 team. 


June 21st, 2016 at 3:04 PM ^

Because Beilein won't win a National Championship ever and I'd like to win one. It's kinda like dating a girl to date her you know you won't get marreid to her but you still date her anyways because you just need to date someone when you could actually go maybe try something different vs. getting mediocre results. 


June 21st, 2016 at 3:11 AM ^

I don't know what the fuck kind of rankings you found but they seem to have no basis in reality compared to reputable kenpom's adjusted efficiency stats which has us on *average* 77(!) spots lower PER YEAR.

2010: 58
2011: 37
2012: 61
2013: 48
2014: 109
2015: 107
2016: 109

As I've said, I trust kenpom a lot more than I trust your unsourced random number generator type stats. Also of note is the fact that one of the best defenders on the team, LeVert, was injured for 2 of the worse than 100 years, and the other year we set the kenpom record for offense EVER to that point and were a chucked up 3 away from playing overtime for a 2nd straight final 4. Just face it, you're flat out wrong.


June 21st, 2016 at 2:59 PM ^

LeVert isn't an elite college defender he's the best Michigan had to offer which isn't saying much. Okay so kenpom's stats look better and you're right they look better on paper than what I looked up. I was wrong something I have no issue ever in admitting. I was looking at defensive efficency vs kenpom's adjusted D. They both give two different rankings as ranking teams defesnively isn't black and white. My entire point is while sure Michigan plays defense, they are not ever elite in defense. Ever, they are very pedestrian when it comes to playing defense. Beilein himself admits he isn't the best defensive coach. 


June 21st, 2016 at 8:56 AM ^

Biggest question, to me, is who will play the 4?

Wagner/Davis/Teske rotating at the 5.

1-3 spots will be some combo of Duncan, MAAR, Poole, Simpson, Matthews, Ibi, and, hopefully, Carmody (?).  Maybe Duncan bulks up enough to play the 4? 

If we add Cain and/or Livers, they'd have a chance to get some run at the 4 I'd imagine.