With all the talk about the mass exodus, the natives are getting a little restless. Oden and Conley are definitely gone, Cook is crazy enough to take a leap of faith and now Jamar Butler is running his gums about turning pro. Obviously, both Cook and Butler need to return to put themselves in better position to get guaranteed money in next year's draft but sometimes stupid is as stupid does.
Thankfully, Thad Matta is a recruiting machine and this year's incoming group is certainly putting up stellar numbers on the all-star circuit. In case you missed it, 7-footer Kosta Koufos produced 14 points and 8 rebounds in just 25 minutes in the 2007 Jordan Brand Classic showcasing his smooth inside-outside game. This cat is going to start right away and will fit in perfectly with Matta's system.
Two other incoming recruits, 6'8" power forward Dallas Lauderdale and 6'7" sharpshooter Jon Diebler teamed up in the Ohio North-South All-Star game leading the North to a 127-122 win. Diebler blew up for 31 points (11 below his season avg) stroking 5 threes. Down low, Lauderdale dominated the paint hitting 13 of 14 FG attempts finishing with 28 points and 8 boards.
Bottom line, take a deep breath Buckeye fans. Koufos, Lauderdale and Diebler will all see significant playing time on what will be a young but more hungry team. Sprinkle in 6'6" Evan Turner and 6'7" Eric Wallace and next year's squad will undoubtedly challenge for a league title and will be much deeper than this year's bunch, especially in the paint. Better yet, the 2008 class is getting rave reviews. PG Noopy Crater and 7ft BJ Mullens give the Buckeyes two 5-star preps and 6'8" Luke Babbitt was recently named Nevada's POY.