Since we were in the midst of the spring game aftermath, the addition of Jeff Boals to Thad Matta's coaching staff kinda fell by the wayside. On second thought, maybe it wasn't the spring game but instead a growing numbness that comes from non stop turnover on both the court and the sidelines.
I know we're only talking about an assistant coach here but I think there are two key reasons for Buckeye fans to at least take notice of what could turn out to be a great hire.
For starters, Boals is the first "outsider" Matta has brought on staff since he came to Columbus. Until this opening, Matta had always gone with a guy closely aligned with his coaching tree, which essentially meant bringing on a guy who was already a disciple of the current coaching and strategic philosophy. I'm not necessarily up for challenging Matta's existing game management and such at the moment but I think it can only help Thad to have a guy with fresh and different ideas on how to attack and defend offering suggestions. Even better, Matta has stated more than once this represents one of the key reasons why he made the hire.
Secondly, Boals has made a name for himself on the recruiting front in recent years and we all know it doesn't matter what the game plan is if you don't have the talent to execute. Specifically, Boals is Ohio grown and should help Matta maintain a firm grasp on the state's top talent. Even more specifically, Boals revives hope that OSU can add 6'10" Adreian Payne (Dayton Jefferson) to a 2010 class already featuring two of his AAU teammates in Jared Sullinger and Jordan Sibert. In fact, Payne was set to visit Akron but canceled after Boals left for Columbus and we've heard the Buckeyes are now major players for his services.
Some insiders claim the loss of former Matta assistant John Groce had a negative impact on recruiting, in game strategy and overall communication with prospects and existing players. A lack of communication could have something to do with the Cameron Wright decommit though another school of thought says Matta and company grew disinterested. Regardless, it was wasted time either way so maybe Boals can play a role in helping avoid the few recruiting mistakes made by the current regime.
Whatever the short term outcome, let's hope Boals is the last coach/roster move for a while so the program can regain some stability on the personnel front.