Charles Matthews burst onto the scene as a freshman playing for Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita. At the time the 6-foot-3 guard looked like he could play either the point guard or shooting guard, and at that point schools such as Kentucky, Marquette, Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, and Wisconsin all quickly jumped into the mix.
For the most part Matthews kept things quiet with his recruitment, however he did make visits. He tripped to Wisconsin a few times, went down to Illinois, checked out Michigan State, and overall made the rounds to local schools.
Still all along the way the word behind the scenes was that he really liked Kansas and Kentucky. The two blue blood programs both offered Matthews, though he never made it down to Lawrence to see the Jayhawks in person.
Nearly everybody close to Matthews expected the recruitment to drag into his senior year, but in a surprise move heading into the state of playoffs of his junior season, Matthews announced that he was ready to make a choice, and all the talk centered around Illinois and Kentucky.
Matthews hasn't quite developed into the super elite prospect that it looked like he might become as a freshman, and he clearly now is a kid who has to play as a secondary ball handler and not as a point guard, but he also is one of the best in his class.
Matthews is at his best working along the baseline and scoring in the mid-range. He moves very well without the basketball, and has a very nice game from 12-18 feet where he can make plays for others with solid floor vision or hit shots on his own. Also Matthews has a very quick first step which allows him to get to his sweet spot area on the floor with ease.
Beyond that Matthews has the ability to really be versatile on the defensive end. He is now around 6-foot-4 and has long arms, good lateral movement, and the frame to add a lot of strength. That should allow Matthews to defend any of the three perimeter positions, and keep him on the floor at all times even if he is struggling with his offense.
Long term there is still a ton of upside left for Matthews, though the hope is he gets a bit more consistent with his production heading from his junior season into his senior year.
Brian Snow: The timing of this announcement was seen as a major surprise to most in the Chicago area, and that caused some interesting initial debate about what it meant and who really wanted Matthews the most. However after talking to numerous people close to the situation it looks like Matthews will be headed to the SEC to play at Kentucky. John Calipari was recently in Chicago to see Matthews, and all indications are that is where he wants to spend his college career for as many years as that will be. The Prediction: Kentucky
Evan Daniels: All signs are pointing to Kentucky for Charles Matthews. UK made him a priority and saw him quite a bit over the summer and have been by his school multiple times. Kentucky has a strong connection with his HS coach -- Gary DeCesare. Orlando Antigua played high school ball for DeCesare in New York. That connection, plus the fact that Kentucky made him a priority and recruited him hard, are among the reasons I think he picks the Wildcats. The Prediction: Kentucky