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Player profile

(Updated August 2022)
Atlanta, Ga.
high school
Pace Academy


“Matthew Cleveland will be one of the best players in the ACC as a sophomore,” said Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.  


PTS: 21 vs. UNF (1-20-22)
REBS: 10 at NC State (1-1-22), vs. UNF (1-20-22)
ASTS: 4 vs. UNF (1-20-22)
STLS: 3 at Wake Forest (1-4-22), vs. Wake Forest (2-5-22)
20 Point Games: 3 (21 vs. UNF, 1-20-22), (20 at Virginia, 2-26-22) (20 vs. Purdue, 11-30-22)
10 Rebound Games: 2 (10 at NC State, 1-1-22), (10 vs. UNF, 1-20-22)


2021-22 ACC Impact Freshman (CBS Sports)
2021-22 Julius Erving Watch List (Top Small Forward in College Basketball)
2021 FSU Academic Dean’s List (Fall)
2022 Florida State Student Athlete Advisory Committee
2022 ACC Freshman of the Week (ACC Office) (Jan. 3, 2022)
2022 ACC Freshman of the Week (ACC Office) (Feb. 26, 2022)
2022 ACC Sixth Man of The Year (ACC Office) (March 7, 2022)
2022 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team
2022 Golden Nole Award: Rookie of The Year
2022 ACC Academic Honor Roll
2022-23 Julius Erving Watch List (Top Small Forward in College Basketball)


I will wear No. 35 at Florida State because that is the number I’ve been wearing since my sophomore year of high school.  We won two state championships while I was wearing that number, so I asked if I could wear it when I came to Florida State.

Matthew Cleveland is the 13th player in the history of the Florida State program to wear No. 35.  The first player in Florida State history to wear No. 35 was Dick Kendall during the 1949-50 season.  The last player to wear No. 35 was current Seminole and three-time team captain Harrison Prieto during the 2019-20 season.


My full name is Matthew Nathaniel Cleveland.  Matthew is a name that both of my parents really liked and Nathaniel comes from my grandfather and my uncle – it’s both of their first names.


Atlanta is a big city and a small town.  It’s insanely diverse.  Its fast-paced way of life is an aspect of my hometown that I really like.


One of the nation’s top returning players for the 2022-23 season who will contend for national and ACC honors throughout the season…Florida State’s next standout player…named as the ACC Sixth Man of the Year in 2022 making him the fourth consecutive Florida State player to earn the award – Mfiondu Kabengele in 2019, Patrick Williams in 2020 and Scottie Barnes in 2021…each of Kabengele, Williams, and Barnes were first round picks in the NBA Draft while Barnes was also named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2022…named to the 2022 preseason Julius Erving Award Watch List prior to the start of his freshman season…Florida State’s second-leading returning scorer after averaging 11.5 points during his freshman season…the second true freshman at Florida State to average in double figure scoring for the second consecutive season…Barnes averaged 10.3 points scored per game as a freshman during the 2021-22 season…a starter in eight games with his first career start coming against Virginia Tech on January 29, 2022…played in 18 games as a Seminole freshman before earning a starting assignment…started eight of Florida State’s 20 ACC games during the 2021-22 season…a two-time high school All-American and one of the top recruits in Florida State history…earned All-American Second-Team honors as a senior and All-America Honorable Mention honors at Pace Academy in Atlanta in 2021…an outstanding addition to Florida State’s roster who will quickly become acclimated to the Seminoles’ system on both ends of the court…the No. 14 ranked recruit in the nation by rivals…the No. 15 overall recruit in the Top247 rankings…the No. 22 ranked recruit nationally in the class of 2021…ranked as the No. 5 shooting guard entering the college ranks for the 2021-22 season…the No. 3 overall ranked player in the state of Georgia…steadily climbed the national recruiting rankings and was a top-25 national recruit throughout his senior season…an all-around talent…has great length for a wing scorer…is a very explosive athlete with outstanding body control…a slasher who specializes in making tough shots…a special handle especially in traffic…can score from all three levels on the court…top notch rebounder as a guard who’s versatile abilities as a defender will allow him to be very successful in Florida State’s system…has an incredibly high basketball IQ…a freakishly athletic player…a member of Florida State’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee in 2022…named as Florida State’s Rookie of the Year at FSU Department of Athletics year-ending Golden Nole Awards Banquet…earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the summer prior to his freshman season at Florida State…named to the 2022 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team and to the 2022 ACC Academic Honor Roll…named to the FSU Academic Dean’s List during the fall of 2021…won or shared four awards at the Seminoles’ Annual Honors Banquet hosted by Leonard Hamilton and his staff…was presented with the First-Year Academic Achievement Award, the Seminoles’ overall Academic Achievement Award, the Newcomer of the Year Award and the Sixth Man of the Year Award in finishing tied for first among his teammates for postseason team awards.


Named to the initial Julius Erving Watch List as the nation’s top small forward by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for the second consecutive season…totaled a team-high 16 points, with 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot in Florida State’s season-opener against Stetson at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Nov. 7)…totaled 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists against Florida in the Donald L. Tucker Center (Nov. 18)…season-high of 18 points with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots in Florida State’s victory over Mercer (Nov 21)…totaled a team-high 14 points, a team-high tying 6 rebounds and 1 steal in 33 minutes played against Siena in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational (Nov. 24)…scored a team-leading 17 points with 6 rebounds and 1 assist against Nebraska in the final round of the ESPN Events Invitational (Nov. 27)…totaled 20 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist against No. 5 Purdue in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Nov. 30)…


Averaged 11.5 points (second on the team), 4.6 rebounds (third), 1.2 assists (sixth), and 0.7 steals (sixth) while playing in 29 of Florida State’s 31 games…the 2022 ACC Sixth Man of the Year…named to the initial Julius Erving Watch List as the nation’s top small forward by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame…the ACC Freshman of the Week as named on January 3, 2020 for his double double performance against NC State (Jan. 1)…the ACC Freshman of the Week as named on February 26, 2022 for performances against Boston College (18 points and 8 rebounds) and in a win at Virginia (20 points including the buzzer-beating game-winning shot)…certainly has a flair for the dramatic as he made two buzzer–beating shots – a lay-up at the buzzer to defeat Boston University and a long 3-point shot at the buzzer to defeat Virginia on the road in ACC play…the Seminoles defeated Boston University, 81-80, and win at Virginia by a 64-63 margin…his game-winning bucket against Boston University came with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime…led Florida State with 19 double figure scoring games – including 14 times in ACC as Florida State’s second leading scorer, he led (or was tied) as the Seminoles leading scorer in a team leading nine games: against Loyola Marymount (13 points, Nov. 21), Boston University (17 points, Nov. 24), at Wake Forest (13 points, Jan. 4), Miami (15 points, Jan. 11), North Florida (21 points, Jan. 20), at Duke (16 points, Feb. 19), at Boston College (18 points, Feb. 21), at Virginia (20 points, Feb. 26) and against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament (13 points, March 9)…Totaled 20 or more points twice as a freshman – 21 in the Seminoles’ win at home over UNF and 20 in Florida State’s victory over Virginia…scored in double figures in each of Florida State’s final nine games of the season (Feb. 5 vs. Wake Forest through March 9 against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament) and totaled 127 points for an average of 14.1 points per game to close the season…his first career double double of 13 points and 10 rebounds came in Florida State’s ACC road win at NC State (Jan. 1)…second career double double of 21 points and 10 rebounds came in Florida State’s win over North Florida at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Jan. 20)…his 21 points against North Florida were tied for the fifth most in a single game by a Seminole during the 2021-22 season…double figure rebounds came in victories over NC State (career-high 10 rebounds) and UNF (career-high 10 rebounds)…led the Seminoles in rebounds in four games: 10 against NC State and UNF, eight at Boston College and seven at Georgia Tech……totaled 9 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist in 20 minutes in his Florida State debut against Penn at the Donald L. Tucker Center…the Seminoles defeated the Quakers by a 105-70 margin in their season-opener (Nov. 10)…one of two Seminoles in double figures with 11 points and added six rebounds in Florida State’s game against Florida in Gainesville (Nov. 14)…scored 5 points, pulled down a career-high 7 rebounds and was credited with a team-high tying 3 assists in Florida State’s 59-54 win over Tulane at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Nov. 17)…team-high 13 points with 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal in Florida State’s 73-45 win over Loyola Marymount in the semifinals of the Jacksonville Classic at the UNF Arena (Nov. 17)…scored 10 points with 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot in Florida State’s 81-58 win over Missouri in the championship game of the Jacksonville Classic (Nov. 22)…totaled 17 points — including his first career game-winning basket with 2.1 seconds left in overtime — to give Florida State an 81-80 victory over Boston University at the Donald L. Tucker Center…totaled 17 points (6 in the overtime period), seven rebounds, three assists, 2 steals and one blocked shot in the Seminoles’ win over the Terriers (Nov. 24)…scored 6 points with 2 blocked shots and 1 rebound in Florida State’s game against Syracuse in its ACC opener at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Dec. 4)…totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist and 1 blocked shot in Florida State’s ACC road win at the PNC Arena in Raleigh against NC State…his two free throws with 4 seconds left in the game gave the Seminoles an insurmountable 83-78 win in closing out the Wolfpack…in double figure scoring with 13 points, 3 steals and two rebounds in the Seminoles’ ACC road game at Wake Forest (Jan. 4)…scored 17 points in Florida State’s 79-70 win over Louisville at the Donald L. Tucker Center…totaled 9 points and 3 rebounds in the second half of the victory (Jan. 8)…in double figures with 15 points and 4 rebounds in Florida State’s 65-64 win over Miami at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Jan. 11)…totaled 9 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in Florida State’s 76-71 win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome (Jan. 15)…totaled 8 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes of playing time in Florida State’s 79-78 victory over No. 5 Duke at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee (Jan. 18)…scored 4 points with 7 rebounds and 1 assist in Florida State’s 61-60 win over Miami on the road at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables (Jan. 18)…scored 10 points with 5 rebounds and 3 assists as a first time starter at home against Virginia Tech (Jan. 29)…a near double double with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot as a starter in Florida State’s game against Wake Forest in Tallahassee (Feb. 5)…in double figures with 12 points and 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 steal against Pittsburgh at Donald L. Tucker Center (Feb. 9)…in double figures with 13 points, and 2 steals as the Seminoles played in North Carolina in the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill (Feb. 12)…totaled 13 points with 1 rebounds as a starter in 30 minutes of playing time in Florida State’s 81-80 win over Clemson at the Donald L. Tucker Center (Feb. 15)…totaled a team-high 16 points with 3 assists and 2 rebounds against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium (Feb. 19)…in double figures for a sixth consecutive game and was the Seminoles’ leading scorer with 18 points and leading rebounder with 8 rebounds in Florida State’s game at Boston College (Feb. 21)…the game-winning 3-point shot with no time remaining in the game to give Florida State its 64-63 win over Virginia in Charlottesville…received a baseball pass from Harrison Prieto, spun, and got a well defended, off-balance nothing but the bottom of the net shot from the left elbow to win the ACC road game for the Seminoles…totaled 20 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot and 1 steal in the ACC road win (Feb. 26)…double figures with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 1 steal in Florida State’s 89-76 win over NC State on Senior Day at the Donald L. Tucker Center (March 5)…a team-high 13 points with 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 blocked shot against Syracuse in the second round of the ACC Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. (March 9).


Graduated from Pace Academy in 2021…averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior and was named as a Second-Team All-American by MaxPreps in 2021…earned All-America Honorable Mention Honors as a junior in 2020 by MaxPreps…ranked 15th in scoring, 17th in rebounding, 19th in free throws made and 22nd in steals in the state of Georgia as a senior in 2021…totaled 18 double double during his incredible senior season…his play led Pace to an appearance in the GEICO National Tournament in 2021…totaled 30 points and eight rebounds in Pace’s game against Oak Hill Academy in the opening round of the GEICO Nationals…Pace was ranked as high as No. 16 nationally in the 2021 MaxPreps rankings…led Pace to a state championship title as a senior in 2021…Pace finished the 2021 season with a 28-2 overall record and were undefeated in league play at 8-0…led Pace to a 28-game winning streak during his senior season…the 2021 Atlanta area Player of the Year and an All-Atlanta/South Fulton County First Team selection by the Atlanta Journal Constitution…the Class 2A Player of the Year and a First Team Class 2A selection in 2021…the Metro Atlanta Player of the Year as a senior as named by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club…a convincing 73-42 win by Cleveland and Pace gave the Knights the Class 2A State Championship during his senior season…totaled 24 points, seven assists and five blocked shots in leading pace to the state title win over Columbia from Decatur County in Georgia… totaled 30 points and 11 rebounds in Pace’s victory over the Elite Scholars Academy during his senior season…earned four 30 point, 10 rebound double doubles during his senior season…totaled 10 points and four rebounds as a member of Team Loyalty in the 2021 Allen Iverson Roundball Classic…led Pace to the State Championship title as a junior…averaged 22.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 2020…named as the Georgia High School Class 3A Player of the Year in leading the Knights to the state title…helped lead Pace to two of the three state championships in school history (2016, 2020, 2021)…totaled 62 points at The Opening while playing as a member of the Atlanta Celtics during the Summer of 2020.


Born Sept. 15, 2002…Matthew is the son of Sandra and Ralph Cleveland…both his mom and dad graduated from Georgia Tech…his mom was a member of Georgia Tech’s Goldrush Dance Team…has three older sisters: Veronica, Alyssa and Bryana…Alyssa was a cheerleader at Duke during her collegiate career…excelled as a baseball player before concentrating solely on basketball when he was 12 years old…27 high major scholarship offers before deciding to play for the Seminoles…chose Florida State over Kansas, Michigan Stanford, NC State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Miami, Arkansas, Tulane, Maryland, North Carolina and Kentucky…committed to Florida State and Head Coach Leonard Hamilton in the summer prior to his senior season…visited Florida State three times as he committed to becoming a Seminole…major is Criminology.