Ohio State Basketball Recruiting Notebook: Injuries Taking Their Toll on Tate, Funderburk, Bragg

By Mike Young on February 13, 2014 at 4:15p

The biggest recruiting-related news of the past week – linebacker Mike Mitchell's impending transfer – might adversely affect his brother's chances of coming to Columbus. As of now, Mickey Mitchell, a 2015 Ohio State pledge, has yet to comment on his commitment status. Eleven Warriors will keep you updated, should that change. 

Mickey has previously stated Mike was not the deciding factor in the commitment, instead citing his relationship with Thad Matta and the entire staff.

Best wishes to the entire Mitchell family, as they go through a difficult time. 

Now, on to the notebook:

injuries end tate, funderburk's seasons

One player who we know will suit up for the Buckeyes is Jae'Sean Tate. The question now becomes: how soon? 

Tate was scheduled to undergo surgery, today, for a torn labrum in his right shoulder, an injury he suffered in May, according to ThisWeekSports.comIt has bothered him since the summer, as he sat out a few games during the All-Ohio Red's AAU season, and he noticeably battled the injury during the prestigious Nike Peach Jam event.

He recently spoke to Matta about the possibility of having surgery.

"[Tate] called me, probably a week and a half ago, and said 'Coach I think I got to have this surgery,'" Matta said, in a press conference before the Michigan game. "He felt awful, because of the high school season and he feels like he's letting people down. By the same token, for his long term success, it's something that needs to be done as quickly as he can."

Matta thinks Tate will probably still be rehabbing it by the time he gets to Ohio State. Additionally, according to Matta, the doctor that will likely perform the surgery also dealt with injuries to Tate's father, Jermaine.

Meanwhile, a 2016 OSU target also had his season cut short due to an injury:

The Buckeyes offered Funderburk in January, shortly after assistant coach Greg Paulus watched one of his games. 

"[We're] very excited," Derek Funderburk Sr. told Eleven Warriors after his son received the offer. "He's motivated to work even harder."

On top that, he'll have to rehab the injury. His broken foot, apparently suffered during Monday's practice, caused him to miss St. Edward's game against Shaker Heights.

Now, he'll be out for the rest of the season and the state basketball tournament. That will certainly hurt the title chances of the Associated Press' No. 1 ranked Division-I team in Ohio.

Bragg set to return

According to the News-Herald, 2015 Buckeye target Carlton Bragg will likely suit up for his Villa Angela-St.Joseph squad, this weekend.

The five-star recruit has missed the last four games due to a broken toe on his right foot and was recently medically cleared to return to practice. VASJ plays back-to-back games against St. Thomas Aquinas (Louisville, Ohio), Friday, and will host fellow Cleveland-area squad St. Ignatius, Saturday.

Kennard breaks his own school record

Luckily, the other highly sought after, five-star recruit in the 2015 class has stayed healthy.  For a scorer as prolific as Luke Kennard, that means he's bound to put up some big numbers.

Last week, after being called "overrated" by the Bellbrook crowd, Kennard dropped 31 points in the second half and led his team to a division title. Somehow, he managed to top that.

Wednesday night, the Franklin High School guard broke his own school record by scoring 59 points. The previous mark was 53, and he also managed to score 50 or more on one other occasion this year. 

Check out these highlights of Kennard's historic night, in which he also hit 9 three-pointers (via Scarberry Media):

turner remains fond of matta, Osu

In a live chat with USA Today and readers conducted in January, 2014 center Myles Turner described his connection with Matta as "simpatico." 

He reiterated that feeling in an interview with Bleacher Report's Jason King.

"Coach Matta is one of the most genuine coaches I’ve ever talked to. I feel like we’re similar in a few different ways, so conversation between us is easy," Turner said. "The Ohio State program itself doesn’t have a huge history of big men, but they’ve had bigger men that are versatile such as Jared Sullinger and Amir Williams, guys that can play on the outside, too. That’s how I see myself."

Turner is about as astute and perceptive as you can imagine a high school senior being. As the quote shows, he's well aware of Matta's history with big men – both positive and negative – and has been a part of detailed discussions with the coaching staff on how he would fit in (rather, how the offense would fit him) on the Buckeyes. 

He is expected to make a decision in April, around the same the time as the McDonald's All American Game, and sign a NLI during the spring signing period.


Comments Show All Comments

mh277907's picture

Mike, do you have a gut feeling on Turner?


+3 HS
Mike Young's picture

At this point, not really. I would say Kansas, but he still hasn't visited there. Not that it's a requirement (see: Darius Slade) but he has 3 more official visits left & still hasn't gone there. 

mh277907's picture

That's what I was thinking, as well. Thanks Mike


+1 HS
d5k's picture

Whether we get Turner or not (not seems likely), we need a 2015 big man desperately as Turner could be 1 and done.

Kennard should take a look at some Deshaun Thomas film at OSU to see what we can do with a lefty scorer with size.

+2 HS
Killer nuts's picture

I get the uneasy feeling that Turner is going to the big12 and Kennard is going to UK but I'd love if Thad could get em both

tennbuckeye19's picture

Man. I hope Turner ends up in Columbus. My guess is he ends up closer to home, but we shall see.

As for his comments: OSU might not have a 'huge history' of putting big men in the league, but they've had some decent bigs under Matta (all of which are still playing hoops somewhere), like Terence Dials (still playing in Europe), Greg Oden,  BJ Mullens and Kosta Koufos (don't care much for either, but they're both in the league), Dallas Lauderdale played a year overseas and is now in the NBDL, Evan Ravenel is playing overseas, and of course Jared Sullinger is with the Celtics.

And what in the world was he saying about Amir Williams? 

GABuckeye's picture

Not to take anything away from Kennard, but the dudes guarding him in that video play terrible defense.  

+1 HS
chili96's picture

Kennard has a nice stroke and can get open at will against these guys. I haven't seen much of him, but I would like to see how he does against better competition. But even against bad competition, scoring 59 in a high school game is pretty ridiculous. We could definitely use a point guard that can stroke the 3.

+1 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

He's listed as a shooting guard, but let's face it, we could use anyone that can stroke the 3. 

InvertMyVeer's picture

SWBL, Southwestern Buckeye League, or as I've heard some City League folks here in Dayton jokingly call them the Slow White Boy League. Kennard is legit though, he's played at a high level against premier teams in various tournaments too. Averaging over 40 points a game this year.

Football is complicated...

tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't put much stock in 247's crystal ball stuff, but I noticed Miles from LGHL and Jeremiah from Men of S&G, both made picks for Kennard to OSU.

+1 HS
chowoon97's picture

We need Myles Turner. None of KU, Duke, and Oklahoma State doesn't have huge history of big men.

+1 HS
buckguy10's picture

I'm sorry but saying KU doesn't have a huge history of big men is absurd. I disagree with him that OSU doesn't as Thad has put 4-5 big men in the league but KU might have the BEST history of big men. Starting with Wilt back in the 60s and going through today with Withey, Thomas Robinson, the Morris twins, Cole Aldrich, Darrell Arthur, Nick Collison, Drew Gooden just off the top of my head. Plus Self has turned Embiid into the #1 prospect for the NBA draft.

+1 HS
bergy22's picture

I like to think Ohio State has had a pretty good history of big men. Must not be looking very hard. Lucas, Havlicek, Dials, Funderburke, Ken Johnson, Bradds, Oden, Mullens, Koufus, Ravenel, Hunter, Sullinger, Lauderdale? Not too shabby of a list with the more recent bigs getting a shot in the NBA and playing professionally overseas.

+1 HS
WC Buckeye's picture

I was waiting for someone to point that out - thanks for the legwork. +1!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

4cardpoker's picture

How could you forget Matt Terwilliger ?

+4 HS
My2Sons's picture


lol !  You didn't really 'remember' Matt, did you?

My2Sons's picture


lol !  You didn't really 'remember' Matt, did you?

whobdis's picture

Yea..thought that comment was kind of odd. That tells me that other programs are TELLING him this. Frankly he's not going to take the time to look this stuff up and Thad has to set him straight. We've had 4 centers drafted since 2007.

Deadly Nuts's picture

Is it just me or could Kennard be a sibling of Nick Stauskas?


+1 HS
seafus26's picture

We need players very explosive physically with a good offensive game. Matta will make them a better defender while there, but athletisim and offense will not be developed. That being said, are we any where in the thought process for the one year Thon Maker must attend college?

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

hammerhandle's picture

Kennard reminds me of kid named Jon that played at Upper Sandusky

+2 HS
gm3jones's picture

I am pessismistic about plucking turner from the south. To many things happening behind the scenes there...

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

+1 HS
BuckeyeRealist13's picture

Is Luke Kennard Job Dieblers younger brother?

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

hammerhandle's picture

I watched Jon Diebler in high school.  Like I alluded to above, Kennard reminds me of him.



ibuck's picture

Love Kennard's quickness, but is it just me, or does he shoot straight from the shoulder? Would like to see his shot motion compared to Craft's and Q's.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.