One of the top recruiting targets for Providence this summer and fall has been Virginia native J.J. Matthews. Matthews, a 6'8 power forward, had an impressive summer and recently included the Friars in his final list. Here's what he had to say about Providence.

JJ (Jermaine) Matthews is a 6’8”, 225 lb power forward from the Millwood School in Midlothian, VA. He played AAU ball this summer with the River City Reign, along with PC point guard recruit Maliek White. JJ recently cut his list of schools to 6 – PC, Temple, Murray State, Old Dominion, Towson and James Madison.

Matthews is listed as a 3 star recruit on Rivals.com, and 4 star on ESPN.com where he narrowly missed their latest top 100 list (the #100 recruit, Joe Hampton, is the #24 power forward, Matthews is #26). He will be visiting PC in early October, along with teammate Maliek White. ScoutFriars.com recently had the chance to talk to Matthews about his game, his recruitment, and interest in PC.

ScoutFriars: With Providence making your final list of schools, how high would you say your interest is in them?
JJ: I would say quite high, the program definitely stood out enough to make my list cut without a problem.

SF: What do you like about Providence?
JJ: They play in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, they do a good job of recruiting me, style of play, coach and staff are all a big plus.

SF: Are you and Maliek White considering going to school together?
JJ: It’s definitely possible. If things happen to play out that way then that’ll be great, but if not then it’ll still be great. We’re mainly just looking for the best fit.

SF: I had read that ESPN.com said you were a candidate to crack their latest top 100 for 2016. Did you have offers from a lot of other big schools that you cut from your list?
JJ: I had a pretty good amount of offers. Other high major offers from Boston College and East Carolina. I may have gotten more if I would've waited to cut my list, but I felt and still feel that that was my best decision because it's working out in my favor. I feel comfortable and confident with my list and the steps moving forward from here. I did have a lot of interest from bigger schools.

SF: I was expecting to see some big schools in the VA/NC/SC area on your list. Providence and Temple are the biggest names. Does anyone stick out to you, or is it a level playing field before your visits
JJ: I believe so, but I was more so into the best fit, connection/relationship with the staff, and where I feel most needed. Right now it's an even platform but that's highly likely to change after my visits.

SF: When are your other visits set for?
JJ: Towson is August 27th - 29th, Murray State is September 10th-12th, Old Dominion is September 26th weekend, and Providence is October 1st to 3rd.

SF: Are you visiting Temple and James Madison also, just no dates set yet? And do you plan to take all your visits or might you commit somewhere if you feel it's the right place for you before
JJ: Yes, I will visit them both. I plan to take all of them, and I'm pretty sure I will. I think it'll be best to take all of my visits that I have set.

SF: Do you see yourself playing the 4 or the 5 in college? I had read about you possibly playing the 5 at a mid major or the 4 at a high major.
JJ: I haven't been aware at that one, I'm being recruited at the 4 from both levels.

SF: Could you describe your game a bit? Are you more of an interior big man, a banger, or a stretch 4 with an outside shot?
JJ: I would say some of both. I've worked hard at becoming a lot more versatile. I can play inside and step out some to drive both sides. Also, I’m a forward with a whole lot of toughness and rebound hard. I love to bring toughness and intensity to the game every time I'm in.

SF: Does the location of the school matter at all to you? Do you want to stay close to home if possible?
JJ: No, the location doesn't matter to me at all.

SF: What were your stats playing for River City Reign this summer, and last year in high school?
JJ: For RCR I averaged 19.2 points and 11.4 rebounds over the summer and 14.5 and 9.3 rebounds for Millwood.

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