Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Charles Matthews has been granted his release and will be eligible to transfer and play immediately, coach John Calipari and Kentucky announced Wednesday.
Kentucky freshman Charles Matthews will transfer, school says. Full release. No restrictions.
— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) May 18, 2016
Matthews came to Calipari’s program as a four-star recruit but struggled to break through in Kentucky’s star-studded team. He averaged only only 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in a little more than 10 minutes per game last year as a freshman. The talented 6-foot-6 guard was one of Calipari’s first commits in the class of 2015, picking Kentucky over Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State among others.
“I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and the Big Blue Nation for all of their support this season,” Matthews said in a press release issued by Kentucky. “I gained great experience during my freshman year at Kentucky. This was a difficult decision for me, but at the end of the day I felt like it was in my best interest to explore other options. I appreciate the support Coach Cal has given me in making this decision and the commitment the coaching staff made to me for this past season and beyond. Kentucky will always hold a special place in my heart.”
It is uncertain where Matthews will transfer. Matthews also faces coming off minor hip surgery earlier this month.
His highlights from his freshman year include an 11-point outing against South Florida in late November.
“The hardest thing as a coach is to lose a player that you really want to coach,” Calipari said in a press release. “In Charles’ case, I believe he is going to be a productive college player who has the ability to play at the next level. I know Charles’ best basketball is ahead of him, and while I’m a saddened to see him go, I support his decision and will help in any way I can.
“It hasn’t happened very often in my career, but transferring is a part of our game. It doesn’t change who we are as a program. We will support every kid in whatever way we can to make sure they can pursue their dreams, because ultimately that’s all I want for these young men.”