Top 100 Recruit Picks URI
Saturday, September 22, 2012
When Dan Hurley turned around the Wagner men’s basketball program quickly, he did so by bringing in a lot of new players in a short amount of time. In fact, according to Hurley, 8 of the 10 players in his rotation for the Seahawks last season were his recruits.
Now, Hurley and his staff are cranking things up at the University of Rhode Island. Just a couple of days after landing 6’-8” Nigerian forward Ifeanyi Onyekaba out of Virginia who may or may not be eligible to play this season, the Rams got a commitment from a big-time recruit in 6’-4” point guard E.C. Mathews from Romulus, Michigan.
How highly rated is Mathews? He’s considered a top 100 recruit in the class of 2013 with some placing him in the top 50. His head coach Nate Oates said that there was a lot of interest in Mathews. “URI, Iowa, Marquette, UConn, Dayton, Missouri, Minnesota, Providence and Virginia tech were all involved,” he said. “Even schools like Miami, Alabama and Auburn called recently expressing interest in him.”
So what tipped the scales for URI? “Most schools were recruiting him as either a combo or a shooting guard. URI and coach Hurley were recruiting him as a point guard,” Oates said. “E.C. can really score it, pass it and he’s developed into a good shooter. He has a real good feel for the game but needs to work on his academics. I couldn’t think of a better staff than Danny and Bobby to help him develop that mental side of being a great point guard.”
Oates also said that URI assistant coach Preston Murphy deserves a lot of credit for Mathews’ recruitment. “Preston was recruiting him under the previous staff and developed a good relationship of trust with EC,” he said.
Murphy has done a great job recruiting the talent-rich state of Michigan for URI having landed Jordan Hare this past year, TJ Buchanan and now Mathews.
So how close was Providence College at landing Mathews? “It really came down to URI and Marquette in the end,” said Oates. “Providence came in kind of late toward the end of August and EC already had developed good relationships with a couple of staffs. I will say that you learn more about a coach when you call him to tell him that one of your players isn’t coming to their school and committed to someone else. And the call I had to coach Cooley was as good as I’ve ever had. He was very understanding. I like Ed a lot.”
Mathews can officially sign a letter of intent with Rhode Island in November.