Matt Walls Spurns Local Powers

Matt Walls met with Louisville coach Rick Pitino and the Scott County (Ky.) unsigned senior guard had an offer to play for the Cardinals. However, he spurned the former NBA coach and various other high-major programs to play for a new Conference USA coach.

New Marshall coach Donnie Jones landed his first recruit since taking over with the Thundering Herd and he may be the next Lee Humphrey.

Scott County (Ky.) unsigned 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior combo guard Matt Walls committed to Marshall on Tuesday after receiving recent interest from the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, Xavier, Wake Forest, Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.

``Huntington was a lot like Georgetown (Ky.)," Walls said. "It's a thriving athletic community, a great university and the president and Coach Jones are terrific guys. It was a great fit for me."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino met with Walls on Monday and offered him a chance to receive a scholarship for his final three years, but the sharpshooter – who played point guard until his senior season when he moved to the two-guard spot – opted to go with Jones and Marshall instead.

``It was kind of tough, but I believe in Coach Jones," Walls said. He's coming from a great program and I believe in him. He's going to turn around this program and I have all the confidence in him."

The 6-foot-3 ½ Walls was the runner-up for Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky and also led Scott County to a state title and a 34-2 overall record. Walls averaged 20.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Cardinals.

Walls is similar to one of Jones' former players at Florida – Lee Humphrey. While he's not quite as deadeye of a shooter as Humphrey, he's a better ball-handler and passer and will be able to play some point guard.

``Right now I'm labeled as a shooter," Walls said. "But I think there's more to my game than just that. Coach Jones compares to me to Lee Humphrey, which is a great compliment, but he says I can do a little more."

If that's the case, Jones has hit the jackpot with his first recruit.

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