Charles Matthews is reportedly transferring out of Kentucky.
A highly-touted guard has officially entered the college basketball transfer market. Freshman guard Charles Matthews is reportedly transferring from Kentucky and has been granted a full release, the school announced on Wednesday.
Head coach John Calipari sees the potential in Matthews and expressed disappointment in the decision in a school-released statement.
“The hardest thing as a coach is to lose a player that you really want to coach,” Calipari said. “In Charles’ case, I believe he is going to be a productive college player who has the ability to play at the next level.”
Matthews is likely to be a hot commodity to a good number of schools in search of backcourt reinforcements. Coming out of high school, he was a 4-star shooting guard prospect and the No. 80 overall recruit in the class of 2015.
Along with his ability to score, Matthews has been described by Calipari as a great energy off the bench, as well as a relentless rebounder and defender. Although, it is likely that he will no longer be playing off the bench with whichever new school he chooses.
While the exact reason for Matthews’ decision is unknown, one would have to believe that Kentucky’s stockpile of 5-star talent played a major factor. Last season, Calipari had the likes of Skal Labissiere, Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee, and Isaiah Briscoe at his disposal, to name a few.
This upcoming season will be no different, as Kentucky has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Calipari will field, arguably, college basketball’s best starting five with his 2016 class alone, as 5-star recruits Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, and Wenyen Gabriel along with 4-star forward Sacha Killeya-Jones are all headed to Lexington.
Matthews likely figured that five prized incoming recruits would mean another year of riding the bench with severely limited playing time.
As Calipari said himself, Matthews is an extremely talented player capable of thriving under the spotlight. The reality was, though, that the spotlight would rarely shine on him were he to stay with Kentucky.
Matthews joins a short list of Kentucky players to transfer out of Calipari’s landmark program, joining Darnell Dodson (Southern Miss), Stacey Poole (Georgia Tech), Ryan Harrow (Georgia State), and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga).
Arguably the most important factor of Matthews’ decision, however, is that Kentucky will now have an extra roster spot available regardless of whether or not Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe stay in the NBA Draft or return to school. Marques Bolden, the No. 1 center in the 2016 class and No. 8 prospect overall, is set to announce his college decision on Thursday afternoon, and he’s narrowed his choices down to either Duke or Kentucky.
This could play a major factor in his decision. If Bolden were to join Calipari, then Kentucky would further distance their 2016 class from the rest of the college hoops realm and have one of the best incoming classes in NCAA history.
Note: Scout rankings and ratings used in this article.