It’s been eight days since coaches were allowed unlimited contact with rising high school juniors, and the Ohio State staff has wasted little time getting out offers to those recruits.
Four highly touted members of the class of 2015 announced they received Buckeye offers this week.
While Thad Matta and his staff expands its options for their 2015 class, one of target in the class of 2014 dropped OSU from consideration.
Plus, an Ohio State target in the class of 2016 – possibly the top prospect overall – will have major reconstructive knee surgery.
We cover all of that in this week’s basketball recruiting notebook:
Buckeyes Target Davis, Dozier, Simmons, Zimmerman
This week, Thad Matta and his staff just about doubled the amount of offers out to members of the 2015 class.
A day after coaches were allowed to make contact with rising juniors, Ohio State offered 6-foot-9-inch wing Ben Simmons – an Australian native. He recently enrolled at Florida powerhouse Montverde Academy, which makes a teammate of 2014 Buckeye commit D’Angelo Russell. Going forward, the hope is that Russell can help lure him to Columbus.
Then, on Tuesday, OSU offered two more scholarships – to 6-foot-11-inch Las Vegas Center Stephen Zimmerman and 6-foot-2-inch Saginaw, Mich. point guard Eric Davis.
Zimmerman shows great finesse, both around the rim and with an impressive mid-range game. He’s lanky, lacking much bulk, but can make up for it with impressive court vision and an active motor.
Davis is insistent on being known as an unselfish, pass-first guy. However, he may benefit from playing off the ball at times. He’s a solid jump shooter, but his slashing ability is his best trait – he combines aggressiveness with a quick first step.
The last scholarship offer handed out this week went to 6-foot-4 inch guard P.J. Dozier, from Columbia, S.C. Dozier is another combo guard – with a little bit more range than Davis – who can push it in transition and has an array of offensive weapons. His length and ability to move laterally on defense also create havoc for an opposing guard.
Ohio State currently has no commitments in 2015, but has offers out to seven of the top 20 players (according to 247 Sports rankings) in the class. This includes Zimmerman, Ivan Rabb, Simmons, Carlton Bragg, Isaiah Briscoe, Mickey Mitchell, and Luke Kennard.
Alexander Cuts List, Leaves off Ohio State
NO ORDER❗❗❗ TOP 10 School Kansas Michigan state Kentucky Louisville Illinois DePaul Indiana Memphis Baylor Arizona NO ORDER
— Cliff Alexander (@humblekid11) June 21, 2013
That’s the list for 6-foot-9-inch, 2014 forward Cliff Alexander (Chicago), which was released on Twitter Friday morning. He had a Buckeyes offer, but it never really felt like that was the best fit for him. At this point, Kentucky and Michigan State are the front runners.
Alexander’s AAU teammate is top-ranked big man and OSU target Jahlil Okafor. Alexander previously stated that he wished to play with Okafor in college, as well. However, he recently acknowledged that it might not work out, considering all the moving parts of trying to play with friends at the next level.
With a limited amount of scholarships available, the Buckeyes preference is to land Okafor or another center, such as the critically acclaimed Myles Turner or Elbert Robinson.
Elite 2016 Recruit Will undergo Major Surgery
Harry Giles traveled to Uruguay, earlier in June, to participate in the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 tournament.
In only his second game, the 6-foot-8-inch forward injured his knee – originally diagnosed as a sprain, with the severity unknown. He sat out the rest of the tournament.
When he got back to the U.S., doctors discovered that he had torn his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee.
Giles, who has an Ohio State offer, spoke to USA Today’s Jason Jordan and said:
"It's tough, but I'm just trying to keep a positive outlook… I was hoping for the best, but in the back of my mind I thought it was pretty bad. I can walk on it a little bit. I guess it's more of a limp though. I'm not gonna get down though. I'm staying positive."
- Harry Giles, to USA Today, on his knee injury
Hopefully this setback does not limit his high-level athleticism and leaping abilities.