UK target Matthews to make decision Wednesday

broberts@herald-leader.comFebruary 25, 2014 

One of John Calipari's top targets for the Class of 2015 is prepared to announce his college decision, and it's shaping up as another good day on the recruiting trail for the University of Kentucky.

Chicago basketball star Charles Matthews will reveal his college choice at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. His finalists are UK, Kansas, Michigan State, Illinois and Marquette.

Matthews — a 6-foot-5 shooting guard — was one of the first players in his class to receive a scholarship offer from Kentucky, which came last June. Calipari traveled to Chicago on Monday to visit with the recruit at his school.

Shortly after the UK coach left, Matthews announced that he was ready to end his recruitment.

The timing looks good for the Wildcats.

"I think all signs point to Charles Matthews picking Kentucky," national analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. "John Calipari was in his school (Monday). I think they've been the leader for quite some time. It makes sense.

"Some of the other schools that people are saying are involved — I don't think that they believe they're involved."

Matthews has plenty of ties to the UK program.

His head coach at St. Rita High School — Gary DeCesare — was the longtime coach at St. Raymond's (N.Y.), where one of his star players was UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua.

Matthews is a friend of fellow Chicago star Tyler Ulis, who was also his teammate with the Chicago Meanstreets AAU program. That same squad produced top NBA Draft picks Anthony Davis and Derrick Rose, who both played one season for Calipari between their high school and professional careers.

All of the major recruiting services consider Matthews a top-15 overall prospect in the Class of 2015. He's ranked No. 11 by, No. 12 by ESPN, No. 13 by 247Sports and No. 15 by Scout.

Matthews has the size and skill to play both guard positions at the next level, and he told the Herald-Leader last summer that he would like to get some playing time at point guard. Daniels said Matthews also "has the tools" to be an exceptional defender in college.

"He's got a good upside," he said. "I think he fits Calipari's style."

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog:

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