Winthrop men's basketball coach Randy Peele has picked up his third verbal commitment for the 2011-2012 season. Fred Mattison, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward of Westside High School in Anderson, announced his decision to play for the Eagles Wednesday night. He joins James Bourne, a 6-6 forward from Chantilly, Va., and point guard Andre Smith from Tampa, Fla.
Mattison plays basketball for Westside coach Paul Brown. He is a good bet to finish his high school career as 1,000-point scorer and rebounder. He also plays wide receiver on the school's football team.
Dion Bethea has coached Mattison on the Carolina Ravens AAU team. The Ravens produced former Chester, Cincinnati Bearcats and South Carolina standout Devon Downey. Current Eagles point guard Reggie Middleton also played for Bethea and the Ravens.
"Mattison is the next in a line of great players we've had," Bethea said. "He puts on his hard hat and goes to work. He's a great kid and plays so hard. Winthrop got themselves a good player."
Bethea got to know Peele while Middleton //and Murphy Holloway, another former Ravens player, were being recruited. Bethea said when Winthrop saw Mattison play, they saw him rebound and finish around the rim.
Mattison, a small forward who can play and defend multiple positions, also received interest from The Citadel, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Richmond.
The website ESPN.com refers to Mattison as one of the most underrated players in South Carolina.
"Mattison is a double-double guy who averaged 16 points and 14 rebounds as a junior at Westside High School," ESPN.com says. "He will be a solid rebounder at the next level... . Mattison has the ability to break a guy down off the bounce and the explosiveness and toughness to finish through contact."
The Eagles still have one more scholarship available for the 2011-2012 season assuming Martaveous Smith, who was academically ineligible this season, joins the team after a year of prep school in Florida.