Hang tight, Illinois Fighting Illini basketball fans. We are about to dive right in to the deep end of the recruiting pool again on Wednesday. The last time John Groce and the Illini were in on a recruit with as high of a profile as Charles Matthews brings to the table things didn’t turn out so well, but that doesn’t mean that Groce and Company will quit trying to land 5 star players.
The good news? Illinois is firmly in the mix. Don’t believe me? Here’s confirmation straight from the man himself.
Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan St, and Marquette was the final 5
— Charles Matthews (@CMATT_4) February 25, 2014
Illinois is listed first? Surely that means something right? I doubt it.
The good news is that Illinois is in the mix. So, before we shove our stack all in that Matthews is selecting Illinois on Wednesday because he listed Illinois first in his list on twitter, or because John Groce visited him earlier this month let’s take a second to temper our expectations by absorbing this most likely very crucial piece of information.
— Scott/Ballislife (@14judge) February 25, 2014
My take after seeing this tweet is that Calipari pulled a power move today by personally showing up at St. Rita’s practice to essentially force Matthews hand. This entire situation caught recruiting experts by surprise because most thought he would wait to make a decision. My take is as follows; the timing of Matthews announcement today that he will choose his college destination Wednesday certainly seems to indicate to me that his decision is going to be Kentucky.
I hope my read is completely wrong, and Matthews chooses Illinois, but I’m not going to be the least bit surprised if he does indeed select the Wildcats.
At this point all we can do is wait and see what happens. Stay tuned to Writing Illini for our follow-up once Matthews goes public with an official decision.
**This article was updated as further information was released regarding announce date and time per Matthews’ High School Coach Gary DeCesare. See below tweet.
UPDATE: Charles Matthews will announce his college choice on Wednesday at 8:30 am (it’s been changed from Tuesday) http://t.co/gGFAGIQcuQ
— Michael O’Brien (@michaelsobrien) February 25, 2014
You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.