Under the Spotlight: Matias comes up big on the boards

Photo: Ryan Woodham

Robert Huitt

Junior forward “The first thing that comes to mind with Angel is toughness,” GSU Head Coach Mark Byington said. “He’s our best rebounder, and it’s admirable for him because he’s only 6-foot-3. He just goes after everything and tries on every possession.”

Matias, listed at 6-foot-4, has logged the majority of his minutes this season at power forward and is often matched up against taller opponents. Despite being at a height disadvantage on a nightly basis, he leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.

Matias is so effective on the glass because of his body positioning as the shot is in the air and his relentless pursuit once the ball ricochets off the rim.

“Whenever I see somebody shoot, I just go and box out and just try to get a rebound,” Matias said.

Although Matias is known for his rebounding, he averages 7.9 points per game (ppg) and has flashed his scoring ability on a few occasions this season. He scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting against South Carolina State University on Dec. 7.

Against Furman University on Jan. 16, Matias scored 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He drained two three-pointers that shifted the momentum of the game as GSU rallied to send it into overtime and eventually close out the victory.

“I just like to do what I can to help my teammates,” Matias said. “Whenever I have the chance to score, I go and score. But it’s not my first option.”

The Eagles will need Matias’ toughness as they head to Spartanburg, S.C. for a rematch against the Wofford College Terriers tonight at 7 p.m.