It's always unfortunate to see a player transfer out of a program.
In the case of Charles Matthews, it sounds like something that neither he nor UK wanted to see. All indications were that Matthews was happy at UK after rarely seeing the floor during his freshman season.
However, it was becoming clear that, while Matthews is a talented player, he may never be good enough to overcome guys like Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and other uber-talented guards/wings for playing time.
Those are the kind of names Matthews has seen or will see come through Lexington as John Calipari continues to recruit the best of the best, so getting recruited over is something that unfortunately happens here and at every major university.
It didn't help matters that Matthews had offseason surgery done and is already behind the 8-ball in terms of earning playing time on next year's team. All of this makes Matthews' surprise transfer not very surprising at all.
But Calipari still expressed surprise, sorrow and even a sense of defeat in his press release about Matthews leaving Kentucky Basketball.
"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. I know Charles’ best basketball is ahead of him, and while I’m a saddened to see him go, I support his decision and will help in any way I can.
"It hasn’t happened very often in my career, but transferring is a part of our game. It doesn’t change who we are as a program. We will support every kid in whatever way we can to make sure they can pursue their dreams, because ultimately that’s all I want for these young men."
As for Matthews, he too sounds like leaving was not something he nor UK wanted to happen, but that he felt was for the best.
"I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and the Big Blue Nation for all of their support this season," Matthews said. "I gained great experience during my freshman year at Kentucky. This was a difficult decision for me, but at the end of the day I felt like it was in my best interest to explore other options. I appreciate the support Coach Cal has given me in making this decision and the commitment the coaching staff made to me for this past season and beyond. Kentucky will always hold a special place in my heart."
One other note: Matthews' high school coach, Gary DeCesare, told SNY.tv that Matthews has not list as of yet for where he will consider transferring to. One would think schools like Marquette, Ohio State, Illinois, Providence and Depaul could be among those reaching out after offering Matthews scholarships during his recruitment.