URI Freshman Basketball Star E.C. Matthews Named Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
URI freshman shooting guard E.C. Matthews has been named Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. He shares the honor with DeAndre Bembry of St. Joeseph’s.
Matthews averaged 14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game this season. His smooth left-handed shooting stroke improved significantly over the course of the season, and Matthews grew into a better playmaker as a penetrator as his confidence grew over time.
Matthews earned a Conference-best 7 Rookie of the Week Awards this season, becoming the 7th player in conference history to win 7 ROW Awards. The record holder is former URI great Lamar Odom, who won 10 ROW Awards and the A-10 ROY Award in the 1998-1999 season. Matthews is the first URI player to win the ROY Award since Odom.
A highly touted recruit out of high school, Matthews was one of the most improved players in the country over the course of the 2013-2014 season. After averaging 10.2 points per game over the first 11 games of the year, Matthews turned a corner right as the New Year rolled around and conference play was set to start. Matthews averaged 20.7 points per game over the final 11 games of the season (all of which were conference games), a 10.5 points per game improvement over his first 11 games.
Joining Matthews and Bembry on the All-Rookie team are George Mason forward Jalen Jenkins, Fordham guard Jon Severe, and URI’s Hassan Martin.
Martin averaged 6.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game this season for URI. Like Matthews, Martin made significant strides as a player and improved immensely over the course of the season. He had 4 double-doubles in conference play and was one of the A-10’s premier rim protectors despite often playing out of position and guarding the opponent’s center.
URI's Gilvydas Biruta was named to the All-Academic team, a silver lining on what had been a frustrating season for the Rutgers transfer.
1st place St. Louis and 2nd place VCU earned the bulk of the awards for the league. SLU’s Jordair Jett was named Conference Player of the Year, and Head Coach Jim Crews was named Coach of the Year. Jett was joined on the All-Atlantic 10 1st team by teammate Dwayne Evans.
VCU’s Treveon Graham was named to the Conference’s 1st team, and teammate Melvin Johnson won the A-10’s 6th Man Award. VCU’s Briante Weber was named Conferece Defensive Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive season.
For a complete breakdown of the A-10 Awards, click here.