Ohio State Basketball Recruiting Notebook: 8/29

By Mike Young on August 29, 2013 at 6:00p
10 Comments

It’s been a busy week on the recruiting trail for Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and his assistants.

With one commit and a couple new offers, the Buckeyes are already making major inroads with its 2015 recruiting class.

The 2014 class is almost filled, but Ohio State is targeting two big men who are still uncommitted. One has an official visit scheduled in Texas this weekend, while the other had some interesting thoughts to share regarding his recruitment.

Plus, there is a new member of the basketball support staff.

More on the Mickey Mitchell Commitment

In case you missed it, Texas native Mickey Mitchell – the brother of Buckeye linebacker Mike Mitchell – committed to the Buckeyes last week.

Now that the fervor surrounding his commitment has settled down, it’s worth wondering how Mickey Mitchell fits in with the 2015-16 roster.

Mitchell is entering his junior year of high school and we’ve only seen the mere foundation of what he’s capable of.  Since his injury, he’s been working on his jump shot mechanics – as if his game isn’t resourceful enough.

It’s too early to predict where he fits in exactly, but we’ll give it a shot. In his freshman year, the Buckeyes will be loaded with young talent. Barring any transfers or walk on players under scholarship, Amedeo Della Valle will be the only senior on the roster.

At this point, unfortunately, Mitchell will be one of the biggest players on the team.  At 6-feet 8-inches tall and 245 pounds, he equals Marc Loving in stature and outweighs him. Dave Bell is the only one currently taller than Mitchell and who knows if he’ll be ready to step into the rotation.

Given Mitchell’s versatility, he could man the frontline on a Buckeye team that would fly down the court. A.J. Harris is the only “true point guard” committed, but a number of guys possess tremendous ball handling and passing instincts. You can count Harris, Mitchell, D’Angelo Russell and – to lesser extent – Jae’Sean Tate and Loving among them.

In the next few years, Matta will play the most athletic group of guys he’s ever had.

Buckeyes offer Davis, Diallo

Coming off the momentum of Mitchell’s commitment, the Buckeyes offered his AAU teammate, Tyler Davis.

via D1 Circuit The big-bodied Texan is a 2015 4-star

At 6-feet 10-inches, and 285 pounds Davis would provide a massive post presence to a thin frontcourt. There isn’t a lot of tape out there on Davis. Some of the only footage is of him is him playing at – what appears to be, at least – a much higher weight.

Davis has reportedly slimmed down, and his jump in the rankings proves that. Up to 23 overall in 247Sports’ rankings, he is considered a four-star talent and has offers from SMU and Texas Tech.

With the lack of another substantial high-major offer, Matta is either ahead of everyone else or potentially taking a risk.

Davis isn’t the only big man the Buckeyes are after, as of this week. They extended an offer to highly ranked big man Cheick Diallo.

Diallo sits as a top six player in Scout, Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports’ recruiting rankings. He is a native of the African nation Mali, and currently attends Our Savior New American School in Centereach, N.Y.

The 6-foot-9-inch big is a gifted high-riser on both ends. He hasn’t quite developed his mid-range game yet, but CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein compares Diallo to former Louisville Cardinal Gorgui Dieng.

Although the Buckeyes just recently offered, they’ve reportedly been interested in Diallo since April.

Okafor, Turner Recruiting Updates

Considered a long shot, Jahlil Okafor is still considering OSU’s offer, although he is not scheduled to go on an official visit to Columbus.

All things being even – which Okafor’s father believes they are – he is still going through with his five official visits. His first visit is to Baylor, which is this weekend.

The reason the Bears may have the upper hand on the Buckeyes because Tyus Jones plans to accompany Okafor to Waco, Tex. Eleven Warriors will update their visit in this forum thread.

Meanwhile, another – and possibly more attainable – 2014 big man is opening up about his recruitment.  Myles Turner posted an interesting blog entry to USA Today. He reflects on the process, which is finally slowing down for him.

His only official visit is to Kansas, Oct. 4. The lure of their history, plus their showcase “midnight madness” preseason event might make it tough for the Texas big man to consider another school.

However, Turner still plans to take all of his visits.

“That's my plan, but I don't know if it'll actually happen,” Turner wrote. “I hear all the time about guys who say they're gonna take all of their visits then go on a great visit and they're ready to commit.”

One of those might be to Kentucky. Like him or not, John Calipari is straightforward. He told Turner “Myles, I'm a 50-year-old man and you're a teenager; there's nothing we can talk about every day. I'm not gonna be calling you seven days a week."

Turner also said that Mike Krzyzewski called him, essentially, a “one and done” player. That is something to keep in mind, as Matta has not had a player jump to the NBA after his freshman year since B.J. Mullens.

The new recruiting coordinator

With his addition, Spartz will be compared to football counterpart Mark Pantoni. We can’t immediately expect Spartz to be a “swaggernaut” or Matta’s version of “Mariano Rivera,” but that’s what type of role Spartz will take on. 

Matta and assistant coaches Dave Dickerson, Jeff Boals, and Greg Paulus are the only ones allowed off campus to recruit, but Spartz will play a large part in what they do. The typical recruiting coordinator maps out the details surround what recruits to target, well before the staff steps off campus to see them.

As far as Spartz’s background, he is a former assistant coach at St. Ambrose (Davenport, Iowa) and ex-player for the infamous Washington Generals squad. If you’re interested, he also has some tips on how to improve your ball handling skills:

10 Comments

Comments

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great recruiting news Mike.  Love it that both of the Mitchell boys are coming to OSU.  Would love to get Okafor, but there are some really good options if we don't.  I know Thad will push harder than most can.
Go Bucks!!

BucksfanXC's picture

I just want to point out that I asked about Mickey in the last Bball recruiting notebook. Who should I ask about in this one to get us a commitment?

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

chirobuck's picture

Its a good comment he makes about this going to be the most athletic team we've had here.....If we can get even a half way decent big man this team should make a run, hopefully Bell will develop fast so we have some depth too

 
^ best post ever ^

Orlando Pancakes's picture

Nice skills there Coach Spartz!!!

tennbuckeye19's picture

Love the b-ball info Mike. You're doing good work on the site. 

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

I can't wait for some of the tweets between Spatz and Pantoni

thekornidentity's picture

Having Chris Spartz as a coach for Ohio State is kind of weird cause he's related to one of my best friends who's not exactly great at basketball.

“Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn.” -Woody Hayes

pjtobin's picture

I'm starting to like following the basketball Buckeyes. I never have. It's cool knowing something about bball. Other than Mr. Craft. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Question for Mike and, if interested, anyone else to chime in:
Okafor is obviously everyone's choice and we'd take him yesterday, but given our youth, a one-and-done situation puts us in a bind for the following year and beyond. Does a Turner or Davis give us a bit more continuity and depth for a longer haul? In other words, might we be better off with a developing big man who stays three years than a phenom who may (or may not) shine for one?