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.

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