Basketball Recruiting Notebook: Buckeyes on the Trail

By Mike Young on April 23, 2014 at 3:03p
20 Comments

In the final days of the recruiting period, coaches are taking advantage of their final chance to meet with high school talent. 

The Ohio State basketball staff is no exception, as their footprint extends from Ohio to Georgia, Tennessee, New Jersey and California. Today is the final day in which coaches can make in-home or at school visits and make contact with recruits off campus until July.

With that in mind, Thad Matta spent the past week in Georgia with five-star center Doral Moore (Locust Grove). According to The Recruit Scoop, Matta had an in-home visit with the 7-foot tall center over the weekend. Moore has an Ohio State offer, and Matta watched him play with his Luella High School squad in February. Check out some highlights of the lanky big man here.

From there, Matta traveled north to Tennessee, where he is meeting with a relatively new target – Andrew Fleming (Ensworth High School, Nashville). As first reported by Future150, the 6-foot-5-inch wing is meeting or has met with Matta, at some point today. While he does not currently have a Buckeye offer, Fleming has the opportunity to impress the OSU head coach while working out in front of him. Highlights show Fleming is tough around the rim:

 

Fleming isn't the only prospect Matta plans on visiting around Nashville. He'll watch 2016, composite five-star Braxton Blackwell practice, according to Blackwell's head coach. The 6-foot-6-inch forward already has offers from Florida and Indiana, among others.

As covered in last week's recruiting notebook, Matta will head to California, this weekend. He is supposed to be in attendance while Esa Ahmad's All-Ohio Red team continues EYBL play. Matta has not watched Ahmad play in-person, according to Ahmad's father, so an offer not been extended, yet. 

The King James AAU squad will also compete in Sacramento, meaning Matta has the opportunity to watch 2015 commit A.J. Harris and 2016 five-star V.J. King. Plus, Kyle Ahrens (Versailles) will return to action, completing his return from a severe, left leg injury. 

The rest of Matta's staff has been busy, as well. Assistant coach Greg Paulus continued his recruitment of Tyus Battle. He watched Battle, Tuesday, according to SNY.tv

Coaches Ain't Too Proud To Beg Turner

Myles Turner has repeatedly stated he's still considering the Buckeyes, but they won't get a chance to make a final impression.

Much like other undecided recruits, Turner and his family are hosting coaches during the final week of the recruiting period. According to SNY.tv, Oklahoma State and Duke will receive the final in-home visits, after Turner already met with Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M. 

That means there are only two schools on his list that won't reportedly visit with him – Ohio State and SMU. They're not lacking in communication, though, as Turner has previously said he speaks frequently with the Buckeye staff. 

Future Buckeyes Compete in Brooklyn, Louisville

Incoming OSU freshman D'Angelo Russell once again joined Turner, as the two highly-touted recruits competed in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Brooklyn's Barclays Center hosted the 13th annual event, which features many of the same recruits that played in the McDonald's All American Game. While Turner sat out with an ankle injury, Russell played 18 minutes. The box score wasn't particularly flattering (hit only 1 of 9 shots), but he did dish out an assist on what was, probably, the top highlight of the night.   

Meanwhile, future Buckeye Keita Bates-Diop competed in the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, April 18. Although it did not have Michael Jordan's namesake, it still fielded rosters with elite talent. In addition to Bates-Diop, former Ohio State target Goodluck Okonoboh and several future Big Ten freshman took part in the event.

Via NextUpRecruits.com, here are highlights of Bates-Diop from the event: 

Around The B1G

In the past week, Indiana received a bit of good news and bad news.

First, Tom Crean landed a commitment from Jeremiah April. The 7-foot center received interest from Washington State, Marquette and Arizona State before the Hoosiers swooped in. 

A few days later, Crean lost an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator to Louisville. Kenny Johnson will join Rick Pitino's staff after helping IU land Noah Vonleh, Rob Johnson, and James Blackmon, in his two years in Bloomington. 

20 Comments

Comments

JakeBuckeye's picture

Darn. If the Turner ship was 99.99% sailed before this, news that we're not getting a final in-home visit makes it 100% IMO. :/

+2 HS
tussey's picture

Unfortunately I was thinking the exact same thing

Horvath22's picture

Hang in there, Thad.

+3 HS
Waltbuck's picture

Nothing but confidence in Matta's recruiting.

+3 HS
MichaelJ721984's picture

Thanks for the updates on these young guys! Solid work

+1 HS
Osurrt's picture

Is the 7-footer out of Georgia a 2104 or 2015 recruit?

Squirrel Master's picture

he is 2015. Only guy matta is looking at for 2014 is Myles Turner. Outside of him, I think 2014 is done and any open spots will carry over to 2015.

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

tennbuckeye19's picture

I've seen both Fleming and Blackwell play and I would love to have either (or both) of them play in Columbus. 

Barnsey69's picture

Turner is going to Duke...out of that group Coach K is the Urban of B-ball...The Closer. It's too bad, Turner would be "The Man " here, just gonna be another 5-Star at Duke.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

-1 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

I'd be really surprised if Turner ends up at Duke. They've already got a 5*center in Jahlil Okafor for next year (although Turner could play the 4 and Okafor the 5, I suppose), but most feel its down to Texas or Kansas.

+2 HS
d5k's picture

If he's smart he will go to Kansas out of those 2.

skid21's picture

I love Thad but let's pay attention to the fact that he is letting Ohio's best get away. He is not able to keep our own at home. That concerns me.

-5 HS
TheShookster's picture

1 for 9...that's just what everyone wants to see after how great the offense was this year. Now now now I know he's the real deal, and even though I thought he struggled a little bit offensively in the Dick's HS tournament too, this is a guy who's going to score a lot of points and will easily find ways to distribute the ball when he's having an off night. I actually think Bates-Diop is the better scorer from the highlights I've watched, but obviously I don't really know. 

osu407's picture

I saw that list for turner earlier but it was abbreviated so I assumed OSU was Ohio State not Oklahoma State. 

Damn

sbentz4's picture

Bates-Diop can definitely ball, but his dance moves need help.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I caught up with Andrew Fleming following Matta's visit. Buckeyes haven't offered, but doing so could make them a favorite.

bethesdabuck's picture

Could it be Fleming AND Ahrens, or Fleming OR Ahrens? Wouldn't we prefer the in-state kid with the outside shot?

Seattle Linga's picture

Bring it with an offer Thad

+1 HS
Fuzzbuck's picture

I understand what you mean on missing on some Ohio guys but not sure I would get concerned too much yet. Think he is coming after some O-H-I-O guys in these next couple classes pretty hard. This probably would not be an issue at all if the current junior class would have improved/turned out to be what they were projected to be in the first place- which they have not.