Just two days after picking up a late commitment from big man Ifeanyi Onyekaba, Danny Hurley and his staff struck gold this weekend with a pair of huge commitments in the class of 2013.
The first came from six-foot-four guard E.C. Matthews. The commitment is significant not just because of his status among the top 100 players in the national class of 2013, but also because it has the potential to open the flood gates. Matthews is the first high profile national recruit to commit to Hurley at URI and that’s the type headline that attracts the attention of other recruits.
One such recruit was Hassan Martin, a six-foot-seven forward from Curtis High School in New York and the New Heights AAU program, who pledged on Sunday. While Martin wasn’t quite as highly touted a national prospect as Matthews, he still committed to URI over multiple high-major offers, and went on record as saying Matthews’ commitment was a factor in his decision.
What do these two guys mean from a purely basketball standpoint?
Matthews is a big scoring combo-guard. During the high school season he shares the backcourt with Missouri bound point guard Wes Clark, and so he’s often placed off the ball. But URI recruited Matthews as a big point guard – relying on the persistence of assistant coach Preston Murphy, the example of assistant coach Bobby Hurley’s career and the head coach Danny Hurley’s proven track record of developing players to get the job done.
Martin is a hybrid, bouncy power forward with some developing skill. The southpaw has developed into a consistent face-up shooter to 17 feet and was a consistent pick and pop player within that range this summer, but he’s also a quick finisher and mobile defender.
Speaking of defense, it remains to be seen exactly what system Coach Hurley will implement on that end of the floor, but should he be interested in utilizing some switching man-to-man tactics, both guys have ideal length and mobility for that type of system.