Matthews picks Kentucky
Updated at 8:39 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26
Five-star combo guard Charles Matthews from Chicago St. Rita verbally committed to Kentucky on Wednesday morning at his high school.
Matthews, a consensus top-15 player in the Class of 2015 who has helped guide the Mustangs to a 17-7 record leading up to Friday's regular season finale, had Illinois in his final five list of schools, along with Kansas, Marquette and Michigan State.
But he chose the Wildcats, becoming the second straight prep player from Illinois to pick John Calipari's program. Class of 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis, a McDonald's All-American from Marian Catholic High School, signed with Kentucky in November.
11:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24
Much buildup was made among the Illinois fan base last November when a five-star recruit in the Class of 2014 from Chicago had Illinois among his final college choices.
Expect a similar scenario unfolding Wednesday.
Cliff Alexander, the aforementioned power forward from Chicago Curie, ultimately picked Kansas. Illinois will find out what another highly-touted five star recruit from the Chicago area — this time from the Class of 2015 — will decide Wednesday.
Earlier on Monday night, word from the Matthews camp was that he would pick a college on Tuesday.
Matthews’ mother, Nicole, tweeted at 8:14 p.m. on Monday that “Charles Matthews will announce his college decision tomorrow - I’m so proud of my sons.”
Charles Matthews, whose older brother Dominique is a senior a St. Rita who also has Division I interest, then tweeted at 8:15 p.m. his final five list of schools: Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Marquette.
A phone message left with St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare was not immediately returned on Monday night.
Matthews then sent out a tweet at 11:18 p.m. on Monday that he would make his announcement at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Rita.
Matthews, who missed several games early this season for St. Rita with an ankle injury, and St. Rita are 17-7 heading into their regular season finale this Friday at St. Joseph.
The Mustangs, who feature Northwestern signee Vic Law, are the fourth seed in a loaded Class 4A Chicago Marist Sectional that features Curie, Chicago Whitney Young and four-time defending state champion Chicago Simeon among its top four seeds.
“Charles got off to a slow start once he started playing because he was out for so long,” said Joe Henricksen, publisher of the City/Suburban Hoops Report. “You could see a little bit of the rust, but I think now he’s starting to get back into the regular flow with his team. He’s a terrific talent. He’s a player that affects the game differently. He can guard multiple positions. He’s still trying to refine his shot and polish that up to get more consistent with it. I do think Illinois was in there very early with him, and they’ve got a great relationship with Charles Matthews and his people, and there’s no reason to think that they won’t be there until the end.”