With The Vest's footballers garnering their share of national attention, the Buckeye hoops program has taken its usual backseat but it won't be long before Thad Matta's squad begins preparations for the '07-'08 campaign. Matta is looking forward to a healthy season after multiple back surgeries and his bank account is certainly healthier after his recent inking of an updated contract in both years and dollars.
Another reason for Thad to smile is the potential shown by incoming recruit Kosta Koufos during a recent tournament in Europe leading the U18 Greece national team to the championship game. Draft Express raved about Koufos as the dominant player in the tournament and updated their 2008 NBA mock draft to position him as the #4 overall selection. This meteoric rise to lottery pick status centered on the observation that Koufos' midrange game is buoyed by accuate shooting and fluid footwork reminding some of a young Tim Duncan.
Koufos hardly practiced with the Greek squad before the tournament began, but managed to average 26 points, 13 boards and 3.5 blocks in 8 games including a 33/19 effort against the Serbs in the final. The hype generated after his performance could however lead to a one and done season forcing Matta to again attempt to reload a little prematurely.
Hoopsvibe recently posted their preseason poll and OSU checks in at #18 with the Sparty at 10 and Indiana in the 13th slot.