Matos was named to the 2018 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball All-American Third Team on Tuesday. Matos led the Mustangs in scoring and 3-pointers (58 of 189, 35.8 percent). He shot 43.1 percent from the field and 71.3 percent from the free-throw line. He averaged 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
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Matos came to the United States for his final two years in high school. He attended Calusa Prep in Miami for one year and then spent his senior year at West Oaks Academy in Orlando. He played first season of junior college basketball at Eastern Florida State before transferring to Monroe.
“He fits not only from a basketball standpoint,” Grant said, “but being a guy that’s had international experience and has played a couple years of junior-college basketball. He walks in here more of a mature guy, an older guy. Especially when you have the youth that we have in our backcourt, it’s good to get a veteran with some experience walking in the door.”
Jhery Matos, second from right in second row, watches a game against Fordham from behind the Dayton bench on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Matos is one of two members of Dayton’s 2018 class. Dwayne Cohill, a freshman guard from Holy Name High School, is the other. Dayton still has five scholarships open for the 2018-19 season.
Matos is finishing academic responsibilities at Monroe, Grant said, and he didn’t know yet when Matos would arrive on campus, saying it could be May or early June.
Dayton assistant coach Ricardo Greer played a huge part in the recruitment of Matos, Grant said. Greer was born in the United States, but has family from the Dominican Republic and he played for the Dominican Republic national team from 1999-2009.
“He obviously is very, very well connected from the Dominican side of things,” Grant said, “because he’s had experience with the Dominican national team and forged a lot of relationships with Jhery or with people close to Jhery. Ricardo was very instrumental in making the connection to give us a chance to sign him.”
Matos is the first junior-college player to sign with Dayton since Detwon Rogers, who transferred to Dayton in April 2014 and left the program in March 2015. He never played a game for the Flyers.
While Matos isn’t the only junior-college player Dayton has recruited this year, Grant said that doesn’t mean there’s a pattern developing in recruiting. He doesn’t label players as “junior-college guys or this or that.” Grant doesn’t see Matos as different than any recruit.
“I think Jhery is a good fit for us from a basketball standpoint,” Grant said. “From an academic standpoint, he’s done extremely well. To be able to come from the Dominican Republic and have to learn a new language, make the adjustment to basketball in the states, to go through the process of what he had to go through from high school to junior college to get here, I have a tremendous amount of respect for his journey that he’s taken.”