Basketball Recruiting Notebook: Howard Nearing College Decision

By Mike Young on April 10, 2014 at 4:00p
8 Comments

Franklin Howard will be celebrating his birthday with Scarlet and Gray balloons, if Thad Matta has any say. 

Howard, a composite four-star guard in the 2015 class, will make his college decision, Monday, which also happens to be his 17th birthday. The Buckeyes will have heavy competition from Syracuse, in particular, while Howard will also consider Georgetown, Maryland, N.C. State and Virginia. 

The Paul VI Catholic High School guard (Fairfax, Va.) is attempting a comeback from ACL surgery and missed all of his junior year while rehabbing it. According to his AAU coach, Keith Stevens, Howard is close to returning. He injured his knee while playing for Team Takeover (Washington D.C.) last summer.

Stevens told Syracuse.com about Howard's dominant ball-handling abilities. 

"He's definitely a point guard," Stevens said. "He's a very good passer. He has a very good feel for the game, he's athletic and he makes shots."

If he plans to be Ohio State's next point guard, he'll have instant competition from 2015 commit A.J. Harris and, possibly, sophomore D'Angelo Russell. As good as his AAU coach claims his 6-foot-4-inch guard is at passing, Howard is just as adept at slashing. It's most evident in the open court – where he can pull up – but Howard also displays terrific touch around the rim and in traffic.

Howard visited Columbus, Nov. 9, for the Buckeye's home opener against Morgan State. He's not revealing much in regards to his decision, but Howard did talk to CSN about his combo guard abilities. 

"Throughout my career, I kind of had the ball in my hands most of the time," Howard told CSN. "I just think I kind of had a point guard mindset and was kind of molded into being a shooting guard and a shooting mindset."

If he does commit to OSU, he'll join Mickey Mitchell, someone else who recently recovered from a knee injury. To draw your own conclusions about Howard's playing style, check out this mixtape (understandably, from over a year ago): 

Russell Can Pass Too 

The desperation caused by Ohio State's lack of scoring has caused all of us to focus on what Russell, Keita Bates-Diop and redshirt freshman Kam Williams can bring in terms of outside shooting.

His Montverde (Fla.) Academy squad rolled to another high school national championship, and, as Cleveland 92.3 The Fan's Anthony Lima points out, Russell dished out a few assists along the way: 

Harris Leads Loaded AAU Squad

The 2015 Buckeye commit couldn't quite will Dunbar (Dayton) past the regional semi-finals. At least his King James AAU team will ease the pressure on him.

At the King James Cincinnati Icebreaker, they showed flashes of what their team is capable of. OSU target and 2016 five-star V.J. King, as well as Kent State commit Devon Andrews, Jibri Blount (Mel Blount's son – yeah the one that played for the Pittsburgh Steelers), Derek Pardon (has a Northwestern offer), and Caleb Tregre (Cincinnati Walnut Hills) joined Harris for their first weekend of AAU action. 

King James played without Duke commit Luke Kennard, three-star recruit Nate Fowler, Kyle Ahrens and Kipper Nichols, so imagine what this team can do with them (via NextUpRecruits.com): 

Embiid's Absence Might Be Kansas' Gain

Now, it's official – Jayhawks center Joel Embiid is headed to the NBA to, probably, be a lottery selection. 

The impact on recruiting (other than Bill Self sending another big man to the NBA) could be huge for KU and bad for any other school that wants Myles Turner. He maintains he has no favorites, but Kansas has been considered the front-runner since offering him.

With Embiid declaring for the draft, that might seal Ohio State's fate as an unlikely landing spot for the top remaining prospect in 2014. As Turner said in a live chat with USA Today, he wouldn't consider going to the Jayhawks with Embiid there.

"Coach [Bill] Self told me himself," Turner said, "if Embiid stays it's not worth my time."

Around The B1G

While Rutgers continues to prove it is the unwanted stepchild in an attempted marriage to the New York market, the other future Big Ten school is quietly positioning itself as an incoming, basketball power.

Maryland now has a composite top ten recruiting class for 2014 after adding a 7-foot Slovakian center named Michal Cekovsky. One Ohio State fan greeted the news with blunt sarcasm.

The Terps also had three players transfer out of the program – Shaq Cleare, Nick Faust and Roddy Peters – but the incoming talent should more than make up for their losses.

8 Comments

Comments

Barnsey69's picture

Maryland is a fantastic add for the hardwood schedule, but unless Rutgers has a varsity bowling team, they're presence in the B1Gis still a mystery.

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

+1 HS
BROSEPH's picture

$$$$$$$

Mystery solved.

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Yeah, I let out a pathetic sigh when I saw the headline that Embiid was going to declare for the draft. But hopefully, that doesn't guarantee that Turner will head to Kansas. I still think the situation at OSU is a better one (I'm a Buckeye fan, OF COURSE I DO!), simply because OSU has a greater need and less competition at the center position. 

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+1 HS
chowoon97's picture

I wish Myles Turner selects the Buckeyes. D'Angelo Russell has been a winner all the time.

Kingbuck12's picture

Im starting to get excited about our b-ball team in years to come. Looks like Matta is recruiting guys that will be around a few years. Kinda like U conn does it. National champs in 2015 maybe 2016?????  

Kingbuck12

Seattle Linga's picture

With the athletes coming in the future looks very bright. 

So excited

d5k's picture

Can't help but notice you mentioned Mickey Mitchell.  I thought the assumption was he would stay close to home but just had not decided where yet?

d5k's picture

Self > Calipari based on his comments to Turner about Embiid.  Notice 5 star Marcus Lee was 3rd string C this year and Calipari didn't dissuade him from coming to UK.  If he went somewhere else he could've been 1 and done.  And he's still going hard after Myles Turner despite having Towns Jr. and potentially 2 of the 3 guys already on the roster ahead of Turner.