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.


Mr. Yost

June 21st, 2016 at 4:47 AM ^

It's a piece...don't quite think it's THE piece...but a piece nonetheless.

Sounds like they replaced Dawkins with a version of Dawkins who will play defense.

Mr. Yost

June 21st, 2016 at 4:47 AM ^

It's a piece...don't quite think it's THE piece...but a piece nonetheless.

Sounds like they replaced Dawkins with a version of Dawkins who will play defense.


June 21st, 2016 at 9:28 AM ^

I think JB is an excellent offensive coach and I know his teams shoot the three, almost to the point of being a handicap on some nights.  But is there demonstrated proof of him improving poor 3-point shooters into average or above average shooters?  

It seems like the initial belief is that Matthews' weakness will be helped by a Beilein strength.  I'm hoping that's true, but was wondering if there were stats or stories to back this up.


June 21st, 2016 at 12:47 PM ^

Also not a lot of guards who have stuck around long enough to provide a decent data set.

Novak, Douglass improved over their 4 years. Rahkman improved dramatically last year.  Bielfeldt and Horford showed some 3 point shooting they year after they left Beilein (and he probably deserves credit for that).

Morris and Burke seemed to improve significantly despite leaving after their soph years. (Morris actually became an OK 3 point shooter - 32% - in the NBA after shooting less than 20% his freshman year in college).

The number of people who have more or less stayed the same is bigger than the number of people who have improved I think.

I think the argument for Beilein with Matthews is that he will put him in a better position to succeed than Calipari.  Beilein has a proven track record of restructuring his offense around the talent he has (Harris, Morris, Burke, Stauskas all being very different players.)

Flying Dutchman

June 21st, 2016 at 10:11 AM ^

Very similar and size and style to GRIII.   However, Glenn wasn't nearly that polished as a high school player.  Just a tremendous athlete who put some work in on his game. 

It is important to note that by the time this guy is allowed to step on the court in a Michigan uniform, he will already have spent more time in college than GRIII.   A year at Kentucky has to equate to some gains, and a year developing under Beilein during the transfer year could be great for this kid.  

Lavall Jordan's impact on this guy will be missed, but Saddi Washington was a good big guard and could benefit this kid very much as well.    Looking forward to seeing Charles Matthews in the maize and blue.  


June 21st, 2016 at 10:55 AM ^

Matthews has skills but he's nowhere near the offfensive threat some of you are making (hoping) him out to be.  His best attribute is getting to the goal.  Much more of a slasher.  Not a perimeter shooter.  Left UK because handwriting was on wall with incoming class and dearth of PT.  With a year off, I'm optimistic he can develop into a contributor for UM.


June 21st, 2016 at 11:18 AM ^

too many times this year we were stuck passing the ball around the perimeter w/o creating any good shots, someone who can get that pass make a move and consistently get to and finish at the basket is exactly what we need.

Yard Dog

June 21st, 2016 at 10:59 AM ^

the lack of our team's ability to get to the rim.  I like this pick up because we need guys that can create their own shots.  Should be a nice add.  Beilein will always have shooters on the roster.  A slasher of Matthews' caliber is welcome.


June 21st, 2016 at 2:11 PM ^

both from a standpoint of filling a big need and from a perception standpoint of Jb closing on a big time wing talent which hadn't happened in awhile.   


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