Lynnwood standout settles on Seattle Pacific

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:28am

Seattle Pacific University had everything that Drew Matzen was looking for in a school.

So the Lynnwood senior standout made it an official late last month and signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the Falcons next year.

“They have a good school. I kind of like how it’s small,” Matzen said. “They have a good basketball program. It’s close to home. That’s important.”

Matzen, a 6-foot-4 forward, averaged 16.9 points for the Royals, who advanced to the district playoffs last season.

Western Washington was the only other school under serious consideration by Matzen.

“It was just kind of a gut feeling,” he said of the final decision to commit to Seattle Pacific.

Some of Matzen’s future teammates already are familiar to him. During the offseason, Matzen went down to Seattle Pacific and participated in some open gyms.

“I get along with all the guys,” said Matzen, who added that the Falcons’ style of play suits him well. “They’ve got a lot of shooters. I kind of like shooting the ball. I consider that to be one of the stronger parts of my game. They run if they need to run. They play tough defense.”

Matzen’s father played for the University of Washington from 1977-80. His advice to his son was simple.

“He said both schools (Seattle Pacific, Western Washington) were good schools,” Drew Matzen said. “They have good academics and good basketball teams.”

The elder Matzen encouraged Drew to do whatever he thought was best.

Matzen, an all-Western Conference 4A South Division swingman and Lynnwood’s leading scorer for the past two seasons, was a key reason the Royals advanced to the playoffs last season.

“He can do lots of things on the floor,” Lynnwood coach Landon Porter said. “He’s just a real good, committed guy … a lot of the younger guys observed and watched him. Now they kind of know what it takes to get to his spot. He’s a real big inspiration to our younger players.”

Seattle Pacific has advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament five out of the past six years. Last season, the Falcons were 16-11 and finished third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The team graduated six seniors, including four starters.

Porter believes that Matzen had several qualities that were appealing to Seattle Pacific.

“I think what they saw is first he’s a big guy who’s real athletic,” Porter said. “They like that he’s pretty explosive and can jump and can move. He has enough size to play that big guard position.”

Matzen also is a good defender, who can crash the boards and put up some points, Porter added. “Part of Drew’s biggest strength is his ability to play smart within his abilities.

“He’s a very aggressive athletic player … he’s worked hard at getting stronger and being more athletic.”

Though he spent most of his time at Lynnwood in the frontcourt, Matzen most likely will be playing guard for the Falcons. Therefore, Porter expects Matzen will be honing his ball handling skills this summer.

“He’ll have to adjust to having the ball in his hands more often with pressure on him,” Porter said.

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