Matthews One of 10 National Finalists for Jerry West Award

Matthews One of 10 National Finalists for Jerry West Award

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Rhode Island senior E.C. Matthews is one of 10 national finalists for the 2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today Monday. 

Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men's college basketball.  A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the initial watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.

"Jerry West is widely respected as one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "It is no secret his work ethic and drive for excellence is what set him apart, and we know his continued role in the NBA as a talent evaluator will be extremely valuable as we take a deeper look at our candidates."

In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame's selection committee for the 2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. The winner will be honored at ESPN's College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Matthews has helped Rhode Island reach the highest in-season ranking in program history, with the Rams ranked No. 18/19 in the latest polls. Since returning to the starting lineup from a fractured wrist 12 games ago, he is averaging 15.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, scoring 20+ points four times over the stretch. Overall, Rhode Island is 14-0 since Matthews returned from the injury, the program's longest winning streak since 1939-40.

One of the program's best players in history, Matthews ranks eighth in program history with 1,743 career points. With seven regular season games plus the postseason remaining, Matthews is 175 points behind Tyson Wheeler (1994-98) for second place in scoring in Rhode Island history.

West attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men's basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969, despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, West was named a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1979 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Malik Monk, Kentucky (2017), Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015). For more information on the Jerry West Award, visit

2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates 
Allonzo Trier – Arizona
Chandler Hutchison – Boise State
Marcus Foster – Creighton
Grayson Allen – Duke
Rob Gray – Houston
Kendrick Nunn – Oakland
Carsen Edwards – Purdue
E.C. Matthews – Rhode Island
Tyus Battle – Syracuse
Fletcher Magee – Wofford

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*