Nov 19, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Nick Johnson (13) defends Rhode Island Rams guard E.C. Matthews (0) during the second half at McKale Center. The Wildcats beat the Rams 87-59. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Basketball: 2013-14 Report Card – E.C. Matthews

OVERALL GRADE: A

KEY STATS
Points Per Game: 14.3 (2nd on the team)
Field Goal Percentage: 42.1 (7th)
Rebounds Per Game: 4.3 (3rd)
Assists Per Game: 2.3 (4th)

Who else did you expect to get the top grade here? It’s no surprise that Matthews earns our top mark as we begin to review Rhody’s players from the 2013-14 season. E.C. put together one of the best rookie seasons in recent URI history, culminating in Co-Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors. Matthews also earned a spot on the conference’s All Rookie team. And just think – he’ll (knock on wood) be in Kingston for three more seasons.

But wait – it gets better. Besides all of the above – the accolades, the promise, the excitement… there’s more, and it’s found in the numbers. Take a look at our mid-season review of E.C. from back in December. Yeah, his grade improved from then, but that doesn’t mean that much. This is just a fan blog after all.

Instead, let’s have a look at the key stats. Matthews’ scoring average jumped four points per game in the second half of the season, and his shooting percentage took a sizable step forward as well. Even his rebounds and assists saw small increases as E.C.’s game got better and better. Even his defense improved as the Rams moved through conference play.

This year: Conference Co-Rookie of the Year. Next year? Who knows. If the offensive explosions and the 20+ point performances and the game takeovers keep coming, there’s no doubt the accolades will too. Get on the E.C. Matthews bandwagon now – it should be a fun ride.

Tags: Basketball E.C. Matthews Rhode Island Rams

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