Illinois SG Roth Likes Four

Washington (Ill.) Community High shooting guard Matt Roth is taking an unusual approach to the July recruiting period. Rather than traveling every weekend with his summer team to try to impress college coaches, Roth will be staying home and trying to help his high school team get better.

"I've got enough schools that I'm interested in that I feel like it's more important to be with my high school team and my teammates," Roth said on Tuesday afternoon. "We are going to have a young team, so I need to be there with them and be a leader."

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Roth likes four schools — Bradley, Saint Louis University, Illinois State and Wichita State — and said he's hoping to make a decision before the early signing period.

It figures to be a difficult choice.

Roth grew up as a fan of the Big Ten Conference, with his father being a University of Illinois fan. But he's also grown up in the heart of Missouri Valley Conference country, not far from both Bradley and Illinois State.

"It's about 40-45 minutes out of Illinois State and about 15 minutes outside of Peoria," Roth said.

The sharpshooter also has connections to both SLU and Wichita State.

New Billikens assistant coach Porter Moser was formerly the head coach at Illinois State for four years. New Wichita State assistant coach Chris Jans served as Moser's assistant at ISU for three seasons.

Roth has spent plenty of time at Bradley and Illinois State over the years and made two unofficial visits to Saint Louis University since new coach Rick Majerus took over the Billikens. He has yet to visit Wichita State and said he might not be able to do that until school starts.

"Ideally, I'd like to be able to sign in November," Roth said. "I can't determine how things are going to go. That's ideally what I want to do."

Roth told earlier this month that he enjoyed both of his visits to SLU. He's also been following the Billikens recruiting, which already has verbal commitments from four players in Roth's graduating class.

"I've been updated quite a bit on what their situation is and trying to stay updated on that," Roth said. "They're bringing in some high quality recruits who are going to boost the school's image. I think they have a lot to offer, too. That's the hardest part right now is trying to find the best fit."

Roth, who said he will play with his summer team next in Las Vegas, attended the NBA Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia last week.

"It went really well," he said. "I didn't know what to expect going into it. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of things both on and off the court. It's something down the road, either in college or doing something after basketball, that I'll be able to use."

Roth was an Associated Press first-team all-state selection after averaging 21.1 points per game as a junior. He was a Mid-Illini Conference first-team selection after helping the school win its third straight outright league title and was the MVP of the Pekin Holiday Tournament.

Roth made 143 3-pointers, which was three short of the state record, and made 48.1 percent of his 297 attempts. He made 100 3-pointers as a freshman and 86 as a sophomore. Roth made 12 3-pointers in a game in December in which he scored 37 points.

He has a career scoring average of 16.4 points per game, with 1,439 points (fourth in school history) in 88 games. He is a career 44.5 percent 3-point shooter (329 of 739) and 84.4 percent free throw shooter (168 of 199).

Matt Roth Profile

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