There are few greater showcases for a school's athletic program than during a rivalry game.
In college basketball, Duke and North Carolina are lucky enough to meet at least twice a year. It allows both to host a hoard of five-star recruits, with each campus boasting an "unmatched atmosphere."
While Ohio State-Michigan basketball doesn't resonate quite like it does in football or like Duke-UNC, there is a noticeable difference in each arena when their rival comes to town.
That's why it's disappointing to hear the Big Ten still won't ensure a home-and-home series between basketball rivals. OSU-Michigan, Indiana-Purdue, Michigan State-Michigan, etc., would all benefit from games on each home site and would be the ideal time to host top recruiting targets.
Duke Hosting Turner, Kennard
In their second matchup with the Tar Heels, Saturday, the Blue Devils are planning on having at least five elite recruits on campus.
Of the five-star hoopers scheduled to be in attendance, three have Ohio State offers – Myles Turner, Luke Kennard and Harry Giles.
After his team was eliminated from the state playoffs, Franklin (Ohio) wing Kennard will take his first official visit to Durham, N.C., as first reported by 247Sports.com's Steve Helwagen. The 6-foot-5-inch junior watched Ohio State-Iowa at Value City Arena and attended a football game last fall, but neither of those were considered "official" visits.
Turner is making his second official visit of the week, coming off a trip to Kansas. He originally planned to check out KU before the season started, but cancelled it when USA Men's National Team tryouts created a conflict.
He'll also head to Duke, Saturday, as first reported by ESPN's Paul Biancardi, and sat down with the Fort-Worth Star Telegram to discuss his recent visits (which includes an unofficial to Texas A&M) and why his recruitment will drag into April:
Roberts Discusses Recent Visit to OSU
While the Buckeyes are primarily focused on potentially filling out their 2014 group with Turner, building upon a strong start to the 2015 class, and keeping in touch with budding in-state sophomore stars, such as V.J. King, the staff is also scouting 2017 prospects.
One of those is Pike (Indianapolis) point guard Justin Roberts. He is a four-star prospect on Future150.com and the site's scouts praise his ball-handling skills.
"Roberts is one of the better freshmen lead guards in the Midwest and can compete among the best nationally," Spencer Pulliam wrote. "Size and explosiveness are concerns but he's crafty, can get by and separate from defenders, and has proven to be a capable finisher at the rim."
According to 247Sports, Roberts vsited Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky before heading to Columbus for the Minnesota game. He spoke highly of his Feb. 22 trip to OSU's campus.
"They treated me like royalty," Roberts told Eleven Warriors. "I really appreciated that."
He does not currently have an offer from any of the aforementioned schools, but he hopes those or others will offer over the summer.
"I like working for a lot the things I have," Roberts said. "So, I'm just being very patient with offers."
There's plenty of time and talent to build upon, as you can see from this recent mixtape (via InTheGymHoops.com):
Harris, Bell keeping ohio playoff hopes alive
Ohio State will add A.J. Harris to the roster in 2015. For now, he's trying to lead his Dunbar (Dayton) High School squad to another title before he does the same in Scarlet and Gray.
Harris was a part of the undefeated, 2012 Division-II State Champion team and, this year, has Dunbar in a district final against Carroll High School. They'll play Friday evening at the University of Dayton Arena.
Meanwhile, 2014 signee Dave Bell and Garfield Heights takes on Euclid, tonight, to determine who will play No. 1 seed Shaker Heights in the Solon district finals.
Jae'Sean Tate is the only other Ohioan committed to the Buckeyes. His Pickerington Central squad is still alive in the Columbus region, despite Tate's torn labrum.