In a bit of a surprise today, Charles Matthews is transferring from Kentucky and will play his college basketball elsewhere.
Per the Kentucky Wildcats Men's Basketball twitter account:
Freshman Charles Matthews has decided to transfer from UK. He will be granted a full release with no restrictions.https://t.co/drHQxi4cp6— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 18, 2016
First, good luck to Charles wherever he ends up. I think it is good of Kentucky to grant him a full release without any restrictions. It has become a common practice for coaches/programs to restrict players from transferring to certain schools or teams of the same conference. Good on UK.
Second, Matthews' freshman year may not have gone as he had expected. His minutes diminished as the year progressed and wasn't much of a factor near the end of the season. He was battling an injury in which he had taken care of at season's end, so that may have contributed to his lack of playing time.
Third, this opens up a scholarship for Marques Bolden if he indeed decides to come to Kentucky. And even better, it opens up a scholarship of Marcus Lee decides to come back. With Matthews' departure, Isaiah Briscoe, Lee, and Bolden can all have spots on the team.
I do not think this was a force out issue on John Calipari's part. Nobody knows what Bolden is going to do at this point and Marcus Lee has been intent on staying in the draft. I think Cal was planning on Matthews being a part of the team for several years to come. It is now very important that Briscoe returns for guard depth.
Matthews came into Kentucky as a four-star recruit, a little less heralded than what we are used to around here. He committed to Kentucky early.
Matthews averaged 10.3 minutes per game, 1.7 points per game, and 1.6 rebounds per game last season.