Hoops Recruiting Notebook: Mickey Mitchell's Decommitment & What's Next for 2015

By Mike Young on August 28, 2014 at 4:10p
Wing Mickey Mitchell decommitted from Ohio State last week.

The day Buckeye basketball fans dreaded since Mickey Mitchell's brother decommitted from the football team came a week ago.

So, the younger Mitchell is no longer a Buckeye pledge and the 2015 recruiting class is back to three – center Daniel Giddens, wing Austin Grandstaff and point guard A.J. Harris.

"Mickey's one of my best friends and I still think we have a shot at getting him, for sure," Grandstaff told Eleven Warriors, Sunday. "I'm still going to recruit him and hope to bring him to Ohio State, but it's his choice and I respect him doing what he needs to do for himself."

The Mitchell family has not spoken about Mickey's situation, but his brother, Mike, said one of the reasons he transferred Texas Tech was because of their father, Ken. 

"My dad’s health isn’t great. It wasn’t as bad when I left (for Ohio State), and for a while it seemed to be getting better. But now, it’s kind of not as good," Mike told FoxSports.com in June. "But really, it was mostly about my family, about being back in Texas and being closer to them, being around them as much as I can."

The pull of family is, obviously, strong and that's certainly the case with the Mitchell family. It's also worth noting Mickey's high school and AAU teammate, Tyler Davis, recently committed to Texas A&M. Expect the Aggies, along with Texas Tech, to be a contender for Mickey's services. 

Scout.com's Brian Snow also made an interesting point on the night of Mickey's decommitment. Ohio State loses another basketball recruit on the heels of a football transfer:

Options to Replace Mitchell

From a roster construction standpoint, there's still a lot to like about the future of Ohio State hoops.

Barring further movement, when the trio of current Buckeye commits end up on campus, nine players will be underclassmen. As weird as it sounds now, Marc Loving would be the most experienced player on that team. So, it leaves a lot of room for development, particularly with young, big men Giddens, David Bell and Trevor Thompson. 

With 10 projected scholarship players and no seniors, there are three scholarships left to distribute among the next two classes. Thad Matta now has freedom to be more aggressive in recruiting the class of 2016 and have an extra spot to roll into that year.

However, with Mitchell's departure, Grandstaff believes there's a void in 2015.

"I don't know if there's one player I can think of that I really want to join us at Ohio State, but we need a power forward, so someone like Esa Ahmad or Carlton Bragg would be a huge get for us," he said. "probably recruit Esa the hardest of all the guys I've met. He was my roommate at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy so I got a chance to get close with him."

Much like D'Angelo Russell before him, Grandstaff adds the "active recruiter" label to his dangerous shooting range. His classmate, Harris, has a quick first step, can get into the lane at will and is a good distributor. Giddens is probably the best shot blocking rising-senior in the country. What they lack the most, in Mitchell's absence, is a high-IQ player with tremendous passing skills, especially for his size. 

While he hasn't produced mixtapes as flashy as Mitchell's, the 6-foot-7-inch Ahmad would provide a similar level of basketball instincts. Speaking of whom:

Ahmad Sets Visit to Maryland

According to InsideMDSports.com, Ahmad will take an official visit to College Park, this weekend. He previously took a pair of unofficial visits to Maryland's campus during a busy summer.

His early August visit to Ohio State was also an unofficial one, and an undetermined, official visit may follow. In the meantime, Ahmad has pushed college decision into September, when he is now expected to choose between the Buckeyes and Terrapins, as well as Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


Comments Show All Comments

THE's picture

Our class is still dope with the three we have. 

Sucks to lose another Mitchell we were all psyched about...I heard some calamoring that he hasn't been the same since his knee injury. Dude looked like a beast though. 

Anyhow, hope Thad pulls in another stud. 

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+2 HS
Killer nuts's picture

Ohio state is dope bro

+3 HS
grantmeaname's picture

Why not Ohio State bro?

THE's picture

My life is dope and I do dope sh!t. 

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+1 HS
TLeeUpInThisJ's picture

I'd be happy with just Ahmad. He seems like a really solid player that'll make an impact for four years.

I'd love to see Carlton Bragg in Columbus, but I can see him going to college for one year and then leaving for the NBA. That first year in college may be him developing his game with the associated growing pains, and may not be as good as what Ahmad could be his JR and SR seasons.

We shall see. I love the basketball recruiting updates on this site. Great work, Mike!

+2 HS
ibuck's picture

I'd be pretty darn pleased with either Ahmad or Bragg on the squad.

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.

+2 HS
rosenbuck's picture

I'm glad we've got you out there Mike.  I'm equal parts basketball and football fan and it's just so much harder to find good stuff on the basketbucks than the football squad.

+3 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

To be honest about Nigel Hayes, I never got the vibe from him that he was all that interested in Ohio State. I don't know if that was because his brother left, or what. It would've been interesting to see if Kenny was still on the football team if he would've given OSU more consideration. I just remember reading about him visiting Wisconsin and saying "he loved it" and "he loved their style of basketball" and I was like "WHAT?" And it sounded like he visited OSU as a courtesy and wasn't all that high on them. 

+1 HS
THE's picture

Toledo Whitmer kid. 

Ask BuckeyeDude why most Whitmer kids love the Skunk Bears.

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sb97's picture

I thought the problem with Nigel Hayes is that we waited too long to offer him.

GreatLakesMike's picture

Agreed. I don't recall Hayes ever being close to an OSU lean.

Zimmy07's picture

I just remember reading about him visiting Wisconsin and saying "he loved it" and "he loved their style of basketball"

+3 HS
DenBuck's picture

I like Grandstaff...great get. Really want Esa to wrap this class. 

Buckeye For Life

+2 HS
sb97's picture

It seems like Ahmad is interested in Ohio State.  I wish he would do an official visit here.  It would make me feel a bit better.

+1 HS
Gobucks2204's picture

Wishing we get Esa as well, would really make it a well rounded class.

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"

BuckeyeMike74's picture

It was very cool with both Mitchell bros.  Family first certainly, but it almost seems there were other factors in play.

IGotAWoody's picture

I would love it if we could full court press Jaylen Brown, since he plays HS ball with Giddens. Seems like there should be a possibility there, but the prognosis is he's headed to KY or UCLA, or staying home and going to GA or GA Tech. I wonder if Giddens is in his ear?

Ahmad is almost getting to be a MUST GET, unless we manage to secure Carlton Bragg's commitment. One of those guys would be great, both of them would be outstanding!

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

+1 HS
HoopHal's picture

There is NO WAY we can outbid Kentucky for Bragg. Let's hope we get Esa

dubjayfootball90's picture

The class is very good, still opens up possibilities for others in later years, but this kid has some serious game. Still sucks he probably will not be donning the S&G

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

BuckWylde's picture

 . . . " Oh Mickey he's so fine, he's so fine he blows my mind, hey Mickey, . . . hey Mickey . . ."                                                      

Ok, so now that the old Toni Basil pop ditty is over for the Buckeyes, maybe someone can help me understand why we seem to totally rely on scouting services that  tell us that the only good players live outside of Columbus and vicinity? . . . while coaches from (reigning national champion) Syracuse, Michigan, Dayton etc., find jewels, right here in the shadow of Value City Arena?         Now I'm fully prepared for all the down votes and smarmy comments that are commonly directed at anyone who would dare  to imply that Thad Matta is anything less than perfect, but I'm willing to take that chance in order to help facilitate a return to the glory that I was a witness  to in 1960, when we won our only b-ball national championship.(with Ohio, and even Columbus kids!)

I'm happy to see Jermaine Tate's son coming here and Sully was great but I'm firmly convinced that we routinely undervalue local kids that could at least equal what I've seen brought into the program from elsewhere, and in many cases these national recruits have under-performed and left here under developed. Time to stop prowling the distant forest and grab more of the trees growing in our back yard!


All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. -Adlai Stevenson, governor, US ambassador

-2 HS