Ex-UConn Commit Emmitt Matthews Jr. Finds Home At West Virginia

Dom Amore
Contact Reporterdamore@courant.com

All of Kevin Ollie’s 2018 recruits have found a home. Emmitt Matthews Jr., the 6-foot-7 wing from Tacoma, Wash., committed to West Virginia on Saturday night.

"Everything happens for a reason,” Matthews told the Tacoma News-Tribune. “I always think of it that way. Now I'm in a situation where I really feel like I can go compete for a national title every year.”

Matthews committed to UConn last September, and signed a national letter of intent in November, but he asked for his release, and received it, shortly after Ollie was fired as UConn’s coach and replaced by Dan Hurley in late March.

UConn’s other recruits, guard James Akinjo (Georgetown) and center Lukas Kisunas (Stanford) also found high-major Division I homes since the Huskies changed coaches.

Hurley replaced them with grad transfers Tarin Smith from Duquesne, Kassoum Yakwe (St. John’s) and freshman guard Brendan Adams, who had formerly committed to him at Rhode Island.

Matthews, considered a top-150 prospect, averaged 25 points and nine rebounds for Woodrow Wilson High in Tacoma last season, playing in the state tournament despite a hairline wrist fracture. He will play for coach Bob Huggins with the Mountaineers, who were 26-11 last season and were eliminated by eventual champ Villanova in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16.

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