August 27, 2014

Matthews dips as new Rivals rankings released

The summer AAU period and all-star games have finally come to a close, and with that an updated Rivals150.

While Kentucky is sitting at just one commit in the class of 2015, that one commit continues to slip. Charles Matthews was once a top 15 player but now finds himself at No. 56.

Still a four-star, the Chicago native will need to have a stellar high school season to move up the rankings.

"Charles Matthews is a tough call because he has all of the physical attributes that you would look for in a high level basketball prospect," National Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi said. "He has good size, he is athletic and he is quick. When he walks in the gym, he simply looks like a hoopster.

"However, his production and consistency hasn't been equal to his previous ranking."

Matthews battled with injuries throughout the spring and summer, while only playing in eight Nike EYBL Games.

He averaged 11 points and 7.6 rebounds per game when playing in the Nike EYBL. Matthews also traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he won a 3-on-3, under-18 title.

Matthews was named MVP of the tournament.

"He had injury issues as a junior so we wanted to watch him more through the summer but at this point, we simply feel his new ranking is a more accurate reflection of where his game currently is in comparison with others in the class of 2015," Bossi said.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound Matthews has seen a steady decline in his ranking over the past months, and he told Cats Illustrated in July that he isn't worried about his stock falling.

"I don't have to prove nothing but to myself," Matthews said. "I'm my own worst critic. I'm just trying to go out here and play my hardest every time and win as much as I can."

With Matthews on board, the Cats have offered 14 other players in the class of 2014. If UK is able to pull in a few of those recruits Kentucky's overall team ranking will skyrocket thanks to 12 of UK's 14 targets being in the top 18 in the newest Rivals150.

The Cats are in a good position with six of the top seven players.

UK has made the No. 2 player in the class, Jaylen Brown a priority at the wing position, as well as the No. 3 player, Malik Newman, at the guard spot.

Kentucky's first offer in the 2015 class when to Skal Labissiere who finds himself at No. 4 in the class.

Newman's possible package deal buddy, Diamond Stone rounds out the top five.

John Calipari and his coaching staff spent time all summer watching targets but the Cats never missed a game from No. 6 Cheick Diallo. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward is planning to decide in December.

Rounding out the top ten is Stephen Zimmerman and the 7-foot, Las Vegas center recently told Cats Illustrated that he has a very strong relationship with Calipari.

UK fans were on commitment watch over the weekend when Doral Moore was supposedly visiting. The visit never ended up happening, but Moore remains a serious candidate for the Cats and he finds himself at No. 48 in the latest rankings.





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