Didn't Gary just say he's planning on making his verbal commitment at the Under Armour or Army All-American game in January 2016? If so, any thought as to where he is "leaning" today may not make a lick of difference.
His presentation style may not have been the best, but I 100% agree with him. I'm a Reds fan and I don't follow any other baseball team closely - but I do not typically hear about this guy or that guy being unavailable for a specific game for the Reds' opposition. I watch A LOT of Reds games on FSO, and you rarely hear Reds broadcasters give out detailed roster information about the opposing team. Yet, somehow, you have Reds beat reporters telling the world ahead of time that Billy Hamilton can't play today, or Devin Mesoraco is not in the clubhouse tonight, etc. You better believe that info gets passed on to the opposing manager during the game.
I agree that I would not be surprised if Price just quits talking to certain guys that he does not trust with information. He's already shown he's aware of who has leaked out information prior to the club releasing anything, so you know he's set his marks on which reporters he has zero trust.
Does Dontre Wilson figure at all into the discussion as a vertical threat? I know his size is a bit of a hindrance in that regard, but he was a guy that saw some action last year down the field, and he seems to be a threat when he is sent vertically. I have noticed as an "H" his role is often discussed as mostly a threat on the jet sweep, but rarely vertically. It seems to me like his speed alone could help take the top off the defense and force the safety to be concerned with the threat of a vertical passing game.
I agree that the tweet is directed at any and every recruit who is considering Ohio State. They are cleaning up - pulling in top recruit after top recruit when the current roster is already stacked. Some may shy away, but the OSU coaching staff is counting on recruits seeing the depth chart battles make you stronger.
I thought I had seen a promo on ESPN about the awards show - I'm 99.9% sure they mentioned all the different awards that would be handed out, including basically one for every position (Best Center, Best Point Guard, Best Shooting Guard, etc.).
If anyone knows how to drag something out, it is ESPN.
Relax, guys. D'Angelo is in LA for the Wooden Award presentation. That doesn't mean he won't declare for the draft, but he's there on account of his time at OSU.
I guess Thad will get a chance to do "something" with "nothing" for once. An "unexpected" run could be in the cards, which sounds as though it would make a lot of people happy (based on prior conversations).
King is a 2016 recruit, like Funderburk. Lorbach will be gone by the time the 2016's roll in, so that wouldn't have any affect on whether or not a spot would be available for V.J.
I had seen just a few highlight videos before on Funderburk, but this is the first where I've seen him actually shoot or handle the ball. I had thought of him as an athletic dunker with not a lot of skill yet, but the video posted here now has me VERY excited for his commitment.
His handle and shooting stroke will improve - those always do with high school kids. A tall, lanky athletic player with handles and a pretty nice shot? Yes please!
IF he is able to play as a stretch 4, and you can pair his athleticism and shot-blocking ability with Daniel Giddens? LOOK OUT!
I saw Jeff Boals' "BOOOM" on Twitter and figured it was an April Fool's joke. But, Funderburk's Twitter says he has decided to be a Buckeye. Hopefully this is legit!
I've made the decision to become a Buckeye. I will pursue my college career at The Ohio State University. #BuckeyeNation— Derek Funderburk (@TooEvsy4) April 1, 2015
NFL talent-wise, I'd have to argue that 1995 was probably Cooper's most talented team, although '96 and '98 were right there as well.
Orlando Pace, Eddie George, Shawn Springs, Terry Glenn, Bobby Hoying, Ricky Dudley, Mike Vrabel, Ty Howard, Nicky Sualua, Rob Kelly. All were fairly high draft picks, if I recall correctly, and many had stellar NFL careers. When you look back on that team, it is amazing they couldn't quite get the job done against Michigan and in their bowl games.
I agree, though it does feel like Thad has already noticed this and tried to change it. The past few classes are more full of "shooters" than athletic specimen. Guys like Delle Valle, Loving, Kam, and even KBD and D'Angelo this year are players with more skill than ready-made college-level athleticism.
In fact, I'd say if you look at the past two classes (this year's freshmen class and next year's incoming freshmen), Thad has done well to mix the two together - you have guys with great skill shooting the basketball and basketball acumen (Russell, KBD, Grandstaff, Harris), and you have the more gritty, athletic types (Tate, Bell, Mitchell, Lyle, Giddens).
Well deserved honor for D'Angelo. I don't know anyone who could foresee this type of freshman season from him, but he surpassed all expectations. Good luck to him in anything he decides to do - he has earned the right to make this decision, and I hope he chooses exactly what he wants to do, regardless of any outside influences.
I wouldn't say Michigan is winning year in and year out. They had two good seasons, and came crashing back to earth this season. Even without injuries they were nothing special this year.
MSU, I would argue, does not recruit "classes full of those kind of players". Tom Izzo typically gets the best players in the state of Michigan, and many times gets very high level players from all over the Midwest (Dawsen, Harris, Appling, Payne, Green, and so on). He does take fliers on certain guys (usually sons of coaches) and allows them to develop over time. Usually though his classes are full of top 50-100 prospects.
Wisconsin develops lower-level players by utilizing redshirts and then slowly bringing players along by giving them a little time as freshmen and slowly increasing their responsibility within the team. There are exceptions to this, but mostly it is a program of development over time. The problem with this is you don't get high-level prospects, and you go through lulls when your guys don't develop. Also, they typically are at a disadvantage when playing against better athletes and good pro prospects. Everyone wants to talk up Wisconsin after back-to-back Final Fours, but prior to last season Bo Ryan had gotten the Badgers to exactly ONE Elite Eight appearance and a total of 5 Sweet Sixteens (including the Elite Eight season) in 12 years.
I'm not sure I agree with all these statistics either. This "rule" affects Division I athletes/programs. The NCAA and media do not care at all about Division II or III, let alone NAIA or JC. According to Kenpom.com, there are 351 men's Division I basketball programs. At a max of 13 scholarships per program, that is around 4,500 athletes, not 18,000.
Also, according to the NCAA study that is linked, only 237 out of the 604 transfers actually transferred within Division I. That is, a transfer from one DI program to another. That is just over 5% of DI basketball players. Of the 237 transfers, only 46 transferred "up" to a better program, with the remaining athletes transferring pretty closely between lateral moves, or moves "down" to a lesser program.
This is much ado about nothing, considering the majority of the transfers are undergrads who do, in fact, have to sit out one season. The NCAA basically considering 1% of athletes transferring with immediate eligibility to be a problem is ridiculous.
I will say this - Thad goes after the big fish. He invests time and resources into those guys, but only if they show mutual interest. He got burned this recruiting class with Bragg and Kennard - two guys who talked up their interest in Ohio State because it was their chance at the big time. But, as soon as the blue bloods came calling OSU's chances of getting them went from very likely, to slim and none.
THIS is why I can't understand those upset with Thad and the OSU basketball program. Matta's teams have the talent and, mostly, the results you would consider normal for a blue-blood type program. And, he's done it for 11 years. His "bad" seasons result in 24-25 win years and his teams almost never get run out of the building, even by the best of opponents. He does all this when recruits don't look at OSU as a blue-blood. They see the results and Thad getting guys into the NBA. They see Thad giving the ball to his best players and allowing them to showcase their skills as well as any other coach in the country. They also see mediocre home crowds, little fan support in comparison to other top 10 basketball programs, and a program that takes a backseat to football in the eyes of the general fanbase. The fact that Thad has sold this program to so many really good recruits is a blessing, and something way too many take for granted.
Matta has built OSU into a desirable place for recruits to go, because of what he can offer them - championship aspirations, possibilities of individual awards and accolades, and a chance at an NBA future. But, when a recruit looks at OSU versus the attention and support they will receive at a blue blood program, quite frankly the comparison isn't even close. THAT is why OSU doesn't just bring in any recruit they want, even major in-state talent.
Go back and look at when Amir, Shannon, Sam, and Ross were incoming freshmen. Compare them, as recruits, to Aaron White, Travis Trice, Traevon Jackson, Caris LeVert, etc. None of those guys were more than a middle-tier 3 star recruit, AT BEST.
Can you imagine Thad Matta signing a class of White, Trice, Jackson, and LeVert (yes, I realize they are not all from the same recruiting year - this is just an example). Those guys, combined, had probably 5 offers from Big Ten-level programs. Combined! Thad would have been a laughingstock here and everywhere else around Ohio.
Revisionist history always sounds better. Those guys were late bloomers, some of which didn't really bloom until they were in college for a year or two. Thad needed guys who he thought could come in and play right away. As much as we all want to bash this OSU senior class, they didn't play all that badly as true freshmen and sophomores. They contributed to a Final Four team and an Elite Eight team. The issue is that they didn't improve years 1-4 like they should have, while the lower-tier Ohio recruits happened to improve immensely.
This is where the confusion begins to build with many who question Thad's recruiting the past few years. Ohio has ended up with many very good players, but the majority of those guys weren't thought to be "high major" players when they were in high school. Thad goes after the best of the best. If they show interest, OSU continues to show interest.
Let's say OSU doesn't offer Potter, and he ends up at West Virginia as the next Pittsnogle/Kyle Wiltjer type. People will be up in arms because here was a guy in OSU's backyard who they didn't go after. This is similar to Traevon Jackson, Aaron White, Travis Trice, and so on. However, by OSU going after Potter, who is not that highly ranked, you have people complaining that Matta is settling for lower class recruits when there are better players available. It's a double-edge razor here.
Underappreciated because he was a very good strategist and he got A LOT out of not so much talent. However, in most cases he didn't have much talent due to his own accord - he publicly said he didn't want to go after surefire "pro's" because he wanted 4-year players. If that is the case, why would any high-level prospect ever want to come play for you?
I'd be all for this.. except I highly doubt he'd leave Arizona for Ohio State. Arizona is level with or above OSU in terms of program prestige, and you could argue with the downfall of UCLA over the past 5-7 years, they are now without question top dog on the West Coast. Miller/Arizona is right at the top in getting top recruits from California and the private Nevada academies, and Miller has already won with the administration as far as changing the culture there to get most anything he needs to be ultra-successful.
I would be completely shocked if Sean Miller ever leaves Arizona on his own volition, unless Kentucky, North Carolina, or Duke come calling.
The state finals, tomorrow pretty much all day, will be shown on STO.
I LOVE the way Harris finishes in traffic at the hoop. For his size, he has a unique way of contorting his body and finishing high at the rim while being contested.
This kid is a winner. He's been starting on dominant Dunbar teams since he was a freshman, and playing AAU at the highest level. There will be a learning curve for him to get acclimated to the size and strength of big-time DI players, but his quickness and burst with the ball take a backseat to no one.
We agree on that - 24/25 wins and the resulting place in the conference, conference tournament, and NCAA tournament are not ideal seasons. If it becomes consistent, then there is a problem. Two years like this, being considered "down" years, is fine as long as it doesn't turn in to 5 or 6 in a row. I do not foresee that happening under Thad Matta. He has won with every group he's had, except for this senior group. Something was amiss. Now, with a new group coming in and new minds/talents for Thad and his staff to mold, I look forward to the successes that will be forthcoming.
I'm not completely disagreeing here, but you can't just snap your fingers and expect OSU to become a blue blood program in basketball. It happens over a long period of time, being a dominant team year in and year out to where kids see your program and automatically have interest because of the history of success.
Ohio State has great resources. They have, like it or not, a very nice home arena. They have sparkling new practice facilities. They are close to being a blue blood, but not just because of the resources. Prior to Matta, no high profile recruit would have looked at Ohio State and gotten a warm feeling in their tummy. It was a mid-tier program who hoped to make the NCAA tournament. They are now a step below blue blood because Thad Matta has changed the culture of the program into something that national recruits like.
If Thad, God-willing, is able to coach for another decade at Ohio State and has similar success, I'd be comfortable saying Ohio State is a top 10/blue blood program. It takes time to build to that level, and fans up in arms (not saying you are, but there are many) over back-to-back 24 and 25 win seasons is ludicrous.