4-Star SG Matthew Cleveland Commits to FSU over Kansas, Michigan, More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 21, 2020

Source: 247Sports

One of the top 2021 recruits is off the board after Matthew Cleveland committed to Florida State on Tuesday. 

Cleveland told Sports Illustrated's Jason Jordan that he picked the Seminoles from a group of schools that included Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina State and Stanford

Jordan noted last week that Kentucky and North Carolina tried to make a late push to get into Cleveland's top five, but the Georgia native already decided which programs made his final list. 

"I know that those are two of the schools that most players wait to hear from," Cleveland told Jordan. "They're great programs, but I had put so much time into coming up with my list. I had built a connection with those coaches, and it was tough to get it to five. I was set on those schools." 

A 6'6" shooting guard from Pace Academy, Cleveland has earned high marks from scouts for his shooting ability. 

Jerry Meyer of 247Sports offered this assessment of Cleveland's skill set:

"Good length for a wing scorer. An explosive athlete with top notch body control. Slasher who specializes in making tough shots. Can keep defense honest with long range shooting but needs to improve in that area. Handles well especially in half court. Not necessarily a playmaker for others. Great potential as a versatile defender. Top notch rebounder for his position."

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According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Cleveland is a 4-star prospect who is the No. 3 shooting guard and No. 24 overall prospect in the 2021 class. 

Given the ability Cleveland already possesses as a scorer, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton help him develop into one of the best players in college basketball as a freshman. 

If Cleveland can develop his playmaking skills in order to get his teammates more involved without sacrificing his shooting, there's no telling how high his ceiling can be. 

Hamilton continues to push all the right buttons with this program. His coaching and recruiting staff have had tremendous success in recent years developing players with athleticism and size, like Mfiondu Kabengele, Devin Vassell and Jonathan Isaac. 

One reason that Hamilton has had so much success in his 19 years at Florida State is recruiting players who fit his system. The Seminoles haven't suddenly become a recruiting powerhouse—their 2019 class was ranked 19th overall by 247Sports' composite rankings, the first time they finished in the top 20 in four years.

Cleveland's all-around skill set will help him quickly acclimate himself into Florida State's system as soon as he arrives in Tallahassee. He could crack the starting five as a true freshman next year and will likely play a key role in the team's quest for ACC dominance.