Emmitt Matthews Jr. used to speak optimistically about his family members, even his grandfather, coming to see him play for the University of Washington basketball team.
Much has been made of Matthews (West Virginia) and three other locally produced players – Terrell Brown Jr. (Arizona), Daejon Davis (Stanford) and PJ Fuller (TCU) – returning home from other schools across the country to see what they could together make for Huskies winners.
On Monday, the novelty of it all had seemingly worn off when word got around that Matthews, a 6-foot-7 senior starting forward and UW’s best returning player, had entered the portal once again. transfer. He has one year of eligibility left.
Matthews’ departure is a blow to the UW, which already had Brown and Davis, both starting guards, exhausted their collegiate eligibility and 6-foot-11 starting center Nate Roberts leaving early, indicating he had intends to pursue a professional basketball career. Another guard, the underused Dominiq Penn, was also transferred.
Matthews was the Huskies’ second-leading scorer last season with 11.7 points per game, just behind Brown’s Pac-12 leading average of 21.7, for a 17-14 team that didn’t falter. qualified for a post-season tournament.
From Tacoma, Matthews originally committed to Connecticut before a coaching change saw him return and sign with West Virginia, where he played for three seasons.
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It’s possible he took a look at Mike Hopkins’ current UW roster and wasn’t too encouraged by it as it notably lacks proven big men.
At this point, the only returning Huskies starter is guard Jamal Bey and he wasn’t even sure at the end of the season if he would be back.
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