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Emmitt Matthews Jr: ‘I Didn’t Burn Any Bridges When I Left’

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Just hours after re-committing to West Virginia, Emmitt Matthews Jr. joined Brad Howe and Greg Hunter of Metro News to discuss his return to the Mountaineers.

The question everyone has asked is why Matthews would come back just after transferring the year prior. Many have also questioned why WVU head coach Bob Huggins would welcome someone back that left.

“I think going to another school and learning a new system is hard to do. I know the system, the play style and the coaching,” Matthews told Metro News. “I didn’t burn any bridges when I left. Hopefully, we can get Huggs a title.”

During his sole year at Washington, Matthews (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) averaged 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. The Tacoma, Wa., native shot 43 percent from the field, 34 percent from three and 76 percent from the free-throw line. Matthews shot the ball more from deep for the Huskies than in his first stint with WVU.

“I think I shot the ball a lot better from three,” Matthews said. “I think I was a little more aggressive than I’ve ever been.”

Matthews is in a unique situation. With the transfer portal giving athletes more freedom, some of the players have returned to their original program. It’s not many players, but the trend is starting to increase. Despite only being gone for a year, Matthews has only played with Kedrian “Keddy” Johnson from any of the guys that are currently on the roster.

“I don’t think it’ll that be hard, we have a good group of guys coming in that are ready to work and excited to go,” Matthews said. “Having Kedrian [Johnson] coming back and those other guys that were already there, that’ll be a big piece. The main thing is having Kedrian there. I think it’ll be good having him out there and leading with him.”

Matthews was asked if he remembers the play styles and schemes from Huggins and his coaching staff.

“Hopefully the plays didn’t change much,” Matthews joked.

With the commitment from Matthews, West Virginia has filled out all of their roster spots for the 2022-23 season. Huggins has made it apparent that they are not against the idea of adding another transfer from the portal. WV Sports Now will keep up to date with the latest recruiting and transfer portal news during the offseason.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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