Charles Matthews will transfer from Kentucky to Michigan this fall as the news became official on Monday night.
On Tuesday, Scout.com's basketball recruiting analyst Brian Snow appeared on WTKA 1050 with Sam Webb and Ira Weintraub to discuss Matthews and what he brings to the Michigan basketball program.
Snow, who has seen Matthews play first-hand since he was a freshman, says the guard started quickly in terms of his development and soar up the recruiting rankings, only to stall and see his rankings slip a little bit.
"Charles was a kid that we saw as a freshman," Snow said on WTKA. "He kind of had that rep of the next big thing in Chicago. You saw him as a freshman at 6-foot-4, can handle it, he's almost a combo guard at the time. When he committed to Kentucky, we had him as the No. 15 player in the country. Then it seemed like his development stalled quite a bit and he ended up finishing as the No. 80 player in the country."
Matthews enrolled at Kentucky and, despite playing in every game last season, just didn't get the playing time he might've expected heading in. Seeing the writing on the wall, Snow says Matthews wanted to find greener pastures and a better opportunity to see some minutes.
"He goes to Kentucky, he's behind really good players," Snow said. "Whether it's (Isaiah) Briscoe, (Tyler) Ulis, Jamal Murray. He just didn't get enough minutes and I think he felt he wasn't going to get enough minutes going forward and that they were going to recruit over him. So he decided to leave."
So what exactly is U-M getting in Matthews? Snow said that the Wolverines will be getting an athletic guard that fulfills a need the team has been sorely lacking as of late, a versatile defensive player.
"As a player he's 6-foot-5 and has really long arms, really good athlete," Snow said. "I think his biggest impact as a college player will be on the defensive end. You can play him at two, three or four defensively, maybe even at the one. The fact that you can switch every screen with him, and he can do so many different things, he'll rebound a little bit, I think defensively he gives a team a lot of versatility and allows him a lot of freedom at that end of the court."
Having to sit out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Matthews is heading into a situation where he might have to relied upon to be the go-to guy for the Wolverines offense. However, does Matthews have the ability to do so? Snow says its possible and that was one of the driving factors for Matthews choosing U-M in the first place.
"In terms of his impact at Michigan, obviously Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton are gone after this season, so theoretically, your two leading scorers are going to leave so there's going to be a big void," Snow said. "Duncan Robinson is going to be around for a year, Duncan is not a go-to guy, he's a catch and shoot dude. Xavier Simpson, to me, is a not a go-to scorer, that's just not quite his game. The opportunity is there for (Matthews.)
"Now, can he take it? I'm not sure if he's going to be able to do that. But I know he wants to. That's going to be hid mindset going in, I'm going to be the best player on the team, I'm going to stay there a year, maybe two, and I'm out. We'll see if that's realistic or not but I think that's his attitude heading in and of his reasons he did choose Michigan."