St. Rita's Matthews picks Kentucky over UI

Published 02/26 2014 04:05PM

Updated 02/26 2014 10:55PM

CHICAGO, Ill. - Five-star shooting guard Charles Matthews from Chicago's St. Rita High School verbally committed to Kentucky Wednesday morning, choosing the Wildcats over Illinois and three other finalists.  Matthews is the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois and No. 12 in the nation according to ESPN.

Matthews made the announcement at his high school Wednesday morning.  He picked the 'Cats out of a pool of five finalists, which included Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State and Marquette.  Matthews wouldn't say which school was his second choice, but acknowledged Illinois was in the mix until the end.

"Illinois was definitely top five," Matthews said.

Matthews is close friends with Illinois commit D.J. Williams, and said it was difficult to say "no" to John Groce and the Illini, especially considering he could've played side-by-side with Williams.

"We talked a lot about it," Matthews said.  "But I support him no matter what, and I'm pretty sure he's going to do the same for me.  Just because we're going to different schools, we're still brothers.  It doesn't really make a difference."

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