Charles Matthews decided to transfer after his freshman year at Kentucky in 2016, much to the surprise of many around the program, but he’s carved out a role at Michigan, and will be playing in the Final Four this weekend.
Matthews talked to Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports to reflect back on his time with Kentucky and how he’s grown in Ann Arbor.
“I feel like I needed a different fit, different scenery,” he said. “I understand basketball is an equal opportunity sport. You’re not just going to come and play. You may not play.
”Kentucky was a great experience for me. Unbelievable coaching staff, unbelievable culture and environment there but I wanted a different fit.”
Matthews played in 36 games during the 2015-2016 season, averaging 10.3 minutes per game in a backcourt with Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, and Isaiah Briscoe. Matthews averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. On the defensive end, according to Sports Reference, Matthews averaged 1.6 steals per 40 minutes.
But obviously Matthews was concerned with his future prospects of playing time with De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk coming in, along with the return of Briscoe.
So, Matthews decided to transfer, but based on this Twitter exchange, he and Calipari still remain close.
Very happy for @1CMatthews for being named the West Region’s most outstanding player and making the Final Four. A terrific player and a great young man.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 25, 2018
Appreciate it Coach. Love you my guy. @UKCoachCalipari— Charles Matthews (@1CMatthews) March 26, 2018
The decision has obviously worked out for Matthews. This year, he has started all 39 games for the Wolverines while playing almost 30 minutes per game.
He’s upped his shooting percentage to nearly 50 percent, and is averaging 13 points and 5.6 rebounds per game along with 2.5 assists. Matthews went on to be named the West Region’s Most Outstanding Player by averaging 16.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, shooting 52 percent from the floor.
While it may be tough to watch as Matthews succeeds with the Wolverines as opposed to succeeding with the Wildcats, it’s clear the move was best for him and now he is thriving in his new role.