View Full Version : 2009 Draft Prospect: Wesley Matthews

05-19-2009, 10:55 AM
Height: 6-5
Weight: 215 lbs
Birthday: 10/14/1986
College: Marquette

DraftExpress (http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Wesley-Matthews-5501/)
nbadraft (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/wesley-matthews)

05-26-2009, 08:36 PM
I went to H.S with Wes.

Great guy with a solid body.

He'll go in the second round, but whoever selects him will def. be getting a guy who wants to work and strive to achieve.

05-26-2009, 11:43 PM
he looks like chris paul

06-19-2009, 10:08 AM
NBA Draft profile: Wesley Matthews (http://www.examiner.com/x-11996-Marquette-Golden-Eagles-Examiner~y2009m6d18-NBA-Draft-profile--Wesley-Matthews)
Brian Neuberger
Marquette Golden Eagles Examiner

Four years ago, he stood 6’4”, weighed 195 pounds and was commonly referred to as Wes Matthews, Jr. A talented incoming freshman with tremendous upside and promise, Matthews garnered nearly as much notoriety for the name he shared with his famous father (former University of Wisconsin and NBA guard Wes Matthews) as he did for his game.

Fast forward to the present, however, and Wesley Matthews (http://www.gomarquette.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/matthews_wesley00.html), now standing 6’5” and weighing 220 pounds, departs from Marquette University after a stellar four-year career that not only cemented his place within the program’s storied history, but has also made him a sought after NBA Draft prospect.

Taking place on June 25 in New York’s hallowed Madison Square Garden (its annual home since 2001), the NBA Draft represents the culmination of a lifelong basketball journey for the top collegiate and international prospects (114 foreign born players have been selected by NBA franchises from 2001, including 13 in last year’s draft) the game has to offer.

While not a can’t-miss prospect like Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, defensive force like Connecticut’s 7’3” Hasheem Thabeet, or college basketball icon like North Carolina’s Energizer Bunny in high tops, Tyler Hansbrough, Matthews has put himself in the same category as the aforementioned athletes in that he should expect to hear his name called during the 62nd installment of the NBA Draft.

After a disappointing junior campaign in which he saw his minutes, points, rebounds, assists and steals per game averages decrease from his sophomore year totals, Matthews thrust himself on the national map after a tremendous senior year.

Averaging career highs in points (18.3), rebounds (5.7), assists (2.5), field goal (.475) and free throw percentage (.829), Matthews, a Madison native, capped off his senior year by being named Second Team All-Big East; earned Marquette’s Most Improved Player Award and Defensive Player of the Year Award; was one of 30 NCAA men’s basketball players to be named to the John R. Wooden Award mid-season watch list; became the 22nd player in Marquette history to combine for over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds; and became Marquette’s eighth all-time leading scorer (1,673), third in overall games played (127) and set the school record for career free throws made (549).

Before Matthews makes his entrance ino the league that David Stern built, let us further examine the player profile of the former Golden Eagles standout:


Offensively, Matthews took his game to another level throughout the 2008-09 season.

Although he has consistently attacked the rim throughout his career, the evolution of Matthews’ inside-outside (notably via a new go-to baseline fade away jump shot) game made him one of the first bullet points on opposing team’s scouting reports.

As a result of a refined outside game, Matthews oozed confidence that had been prone to disappearing in previous years. During various Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson-style stretches throughout the season, Matthews put together individual 10-0 scoring runs with a barrage of pull-up jumpers (one of the lasting images of Matthews was his ability to consistently hit the mid-range jump shot) and assaults to the basket (Matthews went to charity stripe 257 times this past season, averaging a team-leading seven attempts per outing). Essentially, when Matthews’ game and subsequent man-on-a-mission confidence are in sync, he is capable of taking a game over within a moment’s notice. Maintaining such confidence will be one of the keys to Matthews’ success at the professional level.

In addition, Matthews’ ball handling abilities opened the floor up for the Golden Eagles. While he likely will play the majority of his minutes in the NBA at the small forward position, Matthews is more than capable of taking pressure off the point guard during stretches and creating for teammates.

On the flip side, Matthews’ defensive abilities are NBA ready. While Jerel McNeal took home the Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2007, Matthews was the Golden Eagles most consistent performer on the defensive end this past season.

A physical player by nature, Matthews is an excellent on-the-ball defender whose quickness and agility makes him an even more valuable commodity due to the amount of help side defense he is able to provide—which also allowed Matthews to be in proper position to grab defensive rebounds. Whether it is a man-to-man or zone defense, Matthews has the attributes and basketball instincts to provide a consistent, 48-minute defensive effort.


Although Matthews’ offensive game turned a sharp corner this past season, the lack of lift on his jump shot represents a glaring area of improvement.

While having little difficulty getting his shot off at the collegiate ranks, long-armed defenders (think Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince) will have little difficulty reacting to and disrupting the flight of Matthews’ shot. Minor tinkering with said shot, particularly in catch-and-shoot situations, will be paramount for Matthews’ success at the next level.

In turn, Matthews’ size presents potential matchup problems on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Matthews’ ability to stay in front of shooting guards and small forwards (in which he will most assuredly be overmatched from a size standpoint) will be the litmus test for his ability to earn and maintain regular minutes in the NBA.

Finally, while Matthews’ aggressiveness and magnetic attraction to the paint represents one of his greatest individual attributes, it also was prone to turnovers. Averaging 2.3 turnovers per contest in 2008-09 (his second highest total during his Golden Eagles career), Matthews was apt, at times, to force the issue on plays—in an attempt to either add wood to the fire or simply ignite it—and not let the game simply come to him.

Turnovers notwithstanding (as no one is immune to them), Matthews, like a running back hitting a hole, will need to focus on protecting and angling the ball amid the swarms of defenders that will engulf him near the basket in a matter of milliseconds in the NBA.


After a strong performance at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase event for the nation’s top seniors, in April (where he averaged 14.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.67 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and was named to the All-Tournament Team) Matthews’ draft status shifted from undrafted to possible late second round.

Looking into my crystal ball, I think that a likely draft night scenario for Matthews is with the San Antonio Spurs who own the 51rst overall selection.

San Antonio is a team comprised of veteran, team-oriented players that place an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. An annual top-10 defensive team, San Antonio ranked second in the league in points allowed per game in 2008-09 (93.3, second to the Cleveland Cavaliers) and tenth is opponent’s field goal percentage (45.3 percent), among others.

In addition, while San Antonio can play both up tempo and slow, the Spurs are very methodical in their approach and place a premium on each possession—as their league-low 11.1 turnovers per game last year is a testament to. While playing in Buzz Williams’ fast-paced offense last year and Tom Crean’s set offense the previous three, Matthews is capable of playing within the confines of each offensive style.

Led by cat quick point guard and 2007 NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker and future Hall-of-Fame power forward Tim Duncan (he of prettiest bank shot since Pete Maravich), San Antonio is anchored by one of the best inside-outside combinations in the league. As a result of the double-team coverage that Parker and Duncan command, former castoffs such as Roger Mason, Matt Bonner and Bruce Bowen have flourished in San Antonio’s system as spot-up shooters on the perimeter. A role well suited for a player of Matthews’ shooting ability.

From a drafting standpoint, San Antonio has found numerous diamonds in the rough under the Gregg Popovich regime (four titles in 12 years thus far), namely Manu Ginobili (57th pick, 1999), Parker (28th pick, 2001), Beno Udrih (28th pick, 2004) and George Hill (26th pick, 2008). Similar to the previously listed players, Matthews, a seasoned defensive-minded player not concerned about individual statistics and accolades, fits the Popovich template.

After four years in the Big East, Matthews is accustomed to bumps, bruises and floor burns, which should provide a relatively smooth transition to the professional ranks. Coming into a franchise of San Antonio’s caliber and winning pedigree (San Antonio has won at least 53 games per year since the 1999-00 season), Matthews would be in a situation that would not only foster individual growth from two of the games best player and arguably one of the greatest coaches of this era, but also one that is perfectly suited for the type of game he personified on a nightly basis as a Golden Eagle.

06-19-2009, 03:05 PM
That would be WEIRD if he became a Spur.

In high school, he always laughed at me when I wore my Tim Duncan jersey.


But if he did get drafted here, I'm sure he wouldn't care about any of that past stuff....

And BTW, Wes you OWE me my $5 from Poker...

Mr. Body
06-19-2009, 03:27 PM
That's the longest student newspaper player report I've ever seen.

The Truth #6
06-19-2009, 03:52 PM
I believe his father played for the Spurs in the mid-80s before going over to the Lakers in the trade that got us the wonderful Frank Brickowski. Probably wrong, but I think that's right.