The University of Toledo men's basketball program picked up a commitment on Sunday from a class of 2011 guard from Ann Arbor, MI. Huron High School standout A.J. Mathew gave the Rockets his verbal commitment and intends on signing a national letter of intent with Toledo during the early signing period in November.
The 6-3, 180 pound guard chose Toledo over offers from Cornell, Colgate, Columbia, Dartmouth, FIU, Holy Cross, Houston Baptist, Lehigh, Manhattan, UNC Greensboro, and Prairie View A&M.
"It just seemed like the right fit for me," A.J. told Rocket Digest in a phone interview. "They have a whole new staff, and they are bringing the right tradition to Toledo. I feel that they will win. And a bonus is that it is so close to home that my family can see me play."
A.J. also said that Toledo's facilities played a big role in his decision to commit to Toledo. "You can't beat the facilities. Of all the schools that I visited, their (Toledo) facilities were the best. They're at the top facility-wise."
Mathew has visited Toledo's campus three times, so he has seen the facilities inside and out. It's also allowed him to start to get an idea of what he wants to study in college. "My last visit, my family and I got to meet with the dean of Business," said Mathew. "I don't know exactly what I want to major in yet, but I know something in business." AJ currently holds a 3.65 GPA at Huron HS.
Last year A.J. played point guard for Huron, helping them to a 23-5 record and a trip to the state finals before losing in the championship game. He averaged 16 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals per game. Then over the summer he played the 2 guard position, or shooting guard. This fall he'll likely play point guard again, and he is excited for the season to start. "We return 8 of 11 guys from last year, so I think we'll be stronger than last year," Mathew said.
During the season he intends to work on his foot speed and explosiveness to prepare him for college ball. He'd also like to become a better shooter. Toledo plans to use Mathew as a shooting guard. He is a skilled player that will fit more of a traditional 2 guard position with his size and toughness.
A.J. said he was recruited to Toledo by "AT" (Assistant Coach Angres Thorpe) and head coach Tod Kowalczyk. He mentioned that the coaches have told him he is "college ready" and will be given the opportunity to play right away in the fall of 2011. AJ also mentioned that Toledo has several transfers coming into the program that have to sit out this year and will be eligible to play in 2011 when he is a freshman, and from that he looks forward to the competition that it will create.
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