Posted On: 08/31/18 4:10 PM

Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee enters 2018-2019 with their strongest roster in a couple years.  Look to the three sophomores to blossom and support the four integral seniors as the Siegel Stars aim for their first return to state in five years. 

EAB 15u featured all three of the talented Siegel sophomores this summer.  The three sophomores Matthew Schneider, Zion Swader, and Jaylan Wetzel (PrepHoopsTN #41) each glistened against solid opponents.  Of the three Zion Swader is ranked the highest currently at #22 in the Class of 2021.

What has Matthew Schneider (PrepHoopsTN #30) been working on in the last month?

“Just making my game more versatile,” shared Matthew Schneider via phone early Friday evening.  “I am working on my dribble.  This year I will probably play with ‘3.’  My spot-up and down low finishing are strengths.  Mid-range and creating my own shot are what I am working on.”

Even though Schneider recently reached 6-foot-4 he understands his future beyond Siegel will be as a versatile wing. 


Trainer Shaun Sanford and Schneider work out twice a week.  They focus on handles and creating shots…wing skills broadly speaking.

“I know that I can spot up shoot,” said Schneider.  “I can finish around the rim well.” 

With EAB 15u Schneider did plenty of work in the open floor as a finisher or recipient of outlet passes.  Schneider always brings an aggressive hunger to the meal table.

Offensive rebounding is one particular strength.  Toughness and upper body strength also set Schneider apart from most peers his age.

Grit is an attribute that goes a long way.  If Schneider can funnel that yearning to his ideal position (versatile wing), then he has a chance to make a big dent at the college level.

“I work out with my coach most mornings before school,” said Schneider.  “It is going well. That is more skills training.  We do conditioning with the team.  The morning workouts are optional.”  

The goal is to get Matthew into more gaps, more lanes to the basket.  He is a proven low post finisher at the high school level and 15u AAU level.  He rebounds better than most.  The mobility is pretty good too, but he certainly intends to improve mobility with the basketball.  Shorter guards are ahead of him in this singular aspect and he must close that gap to reach his potential.

“I have seen a couple players like…I wanna say like Kristaps Porzingis, a smaller (Frank) Kaminsky,” said Schneider of players he models after.  “Quicker obviously because of the height difference.” 

He heard some player comparisons at an early August ETSU Basketball Camp.

“I liked it a lot,” said Schneider.  “It was really good stuff.  I learned a lot.  They did a lot of advanced fundamentals not just playing games.  I performed pretty well in the games.” 

As expected Matthew faced older, bigger players at the camp.  He did hold his own though. 

“There was some height and some more athleticism. My skills helped me out a lot.”

It is tricky projecting his future position, but the work Schneider is putting in now expands his options and unveils that most flattering of words…versatility.  Coaches love versatility.  If players can play multiple spots it makes the coach’s job so much easier.  They can mix and match lineups, create mismatches.  

Schneider is but one of the three talented sophomores for Siegel.  Together they are just about half of the top players.  If all goes right Siegel will be pushing a revamped Blackman team and hovering near the maturing Oakland and Riverdale teams.  It will be another deep year in Murfreesboro.

“Obviously we want to make it further than we did last year,” shared Matthew Schneider.  “Same goal every year.  State Championship.”