Cougar hoops: Hopson, Matthews to transfer

WITH LITTLE PLAYING time behind them and the outlook for more unlikely given that most of the prime-time cast returns next season, WSU guards Mac Hopson and Chris Matthews will transfer at semester's end. Their moves open two more slots in the 2007 recruiting class, thus bringing an end to ongoing speculation about how head coach Tony Bennett would shoe-horn expected new talent onto the roster.

Hopson, a point guard, and Matthews, a shooting guard, recently asked for and received their respective releases from the Washington State basketball team, Bennett announced on Wednesday.

"Our program wishes Mac and Chris nothing but good things," Bennett said. "For the last two years, Chris has helped our program rebuild and Mac was an important part of our 2007 NCAA team. We will help them in any way we can."

The incoming recruiting class includes forward Abe Lodwick, an Oregon prep star who signed in November, and 6-10 German center Fabian Boeke, who made a verbal commitment last month but has not yet signed a letter of intent. Boeke still has some academic work to do to qualify but if all goes according to plan, the Cougs look to have a versatile big man in the fold.

Bennett would like nothing better than to round out the class with sharpshooting prep prospect Ty Abbott, who will trip to Pullman next week. The Phoenix standout said this week that he'll choose from among WSU, hometown ASU and Washington.

Abbott signed with New Mexico during the early signing period last November, but requested and received a release from his LOI when the Lobos fired their head coach last month.

Hopson appeared in 21 games, including seven starts, for the Cougars in 2006-07. The emergence of Taylor Rochestie resulted in Hopson's playing time diminishing as the year went on. Still, the Portland, native averaged 4.2 points and 16.0 minutes per game. Mathews, a two-year member of the WSU men's basketball program, came off the bench in 17 games, averaging 3.7 points and 11.5 minutes per outing.

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