It’s been a busy last 10 days for the Ohio State football program – things are relatively quiet on the basketball front, however.
Thad Matta and his staff didn’t land any marquee names to shoot them up the rankings, but they did entertain Ohio’s top 2015 recruit on a campus visit.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are now chasing another elite 2015 recruit from the Midwest.
The top national recruit in 2014 is competing overseas for Team USA, on a squad filled with elite college talent
Plus, one of the top forwards in that same class has Ohio State in his top-five schools:
Carlton Bragg Visits Columbus
How did his visit go? Well, let’s check in with a member of the coaching staff:
Great time on campus today!! Always love showing recruits what The Ohio State has to offer. The campus and facilities are second to none!
— Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) June 28, 2013
He can’t explicitly reference Bragg, but we all know Jeff Boals tends to lack subtlety, at times, regarding recruits and social media.
We’re not entirely sure if Bragg shared Boals’ sentiments, exactly. What we do know about the Cleveland native is that he’s extremely long, athletic and can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor.
Don’t expect him to commit to the Buckeyes any time soon, however. Not because he doesn’t like the school, he’s just doesn't want to rush the process.
"I'm not in a hurry to make a decision," Bragg told the News-Herald. "I'll make a decision by the end of my senior year."
Buckeyes Offer Five-Star Guard
From the Chicago native’s Twitter account:
— Charles Matthews (@CMATTHEWS_1) June 29, 2013
Charles Matthews is the only rising junior to receive an OSU offer this week. It’s coming off a week in which Matta extended offers to four other 2015 recruits.
Scouting reports describe Matthews as “lean,” which means he needs to put on more weight, essentially. Once he does that, he has the potential to be a dominant perimeter defender.
For now, his scoring instincts and ability to create off the dribble are his top assets.
He has a finesse game, but that’s OK – his touch around the rim allows him to play like that.
Okafor Competing for team usa
Being only one of two members of Team USA U19 still in high school (the other being F Justise Winslow), the experience in training for and competing in the U19 World Championships will prove to be invaluable for Jahlil Okafor.
Florida’s Billy Donovan leads the team, while his assistants are VCU’s Shaka Smart and Tony Bennett of Virginia.
That coaching prowess, coupled with going up against Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell, Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes and Virginia center Mike Tobey, will only help to get Okafor acclimated to the physical nature of the college game.
He hasn’t shied away from contact, either. During training camp, he flaunted his array of post moves and graceful footwork.
Okafor isn’t flawless, with his lack of experience showing on the defensive side. Donovan (although it sounds like Smart has a major hand it in too) is trying to instill some of his defensive principles in Okafor’s game.
“The coaches have stressed from day one, just our pressure on defense,” Okafor told USABasketball.com. “That’s the standard we have, to create havoc against the other team and disrupt everything they want to do on offense.”
After three days of competition in the Czech Republic, he is averaging 12 points on 76-percent shooting, and 6.3 rebounds per game.
OSU Makes Victor’s Top Five
CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello spoke to top-40 forward Craig Victor, who revealed that Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU and Ohio State are currently his top five choices.
The 6-foot-8-inch 2014 big man already has a chiseled frame, is solid while posting-up and has an excellent face-up game.
Right now, Arizona is considered the favorite to land Victor. It won’t get any easier for the Buckeyes or the other schools trailing the Wildcats, since Victor will be playing his final year of high school in the southwest U.S.
He is a New Orleans native and played for Saint Augustine High School. However, Victor will reportedly transfer to basketball powerhouse Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada.
The school has produced elite basketball talent lately, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward and 2013’s top pick Anthony Bennett, Cavs forward Tristan Thompson, Celtics guard Avery Bradley and Ohio State’s Amedeo Della Valle (wasn’t going to leave him out).
Victor previously said he was looking at transferring to either Findlay or Montverde Academy in Florida – where Buckeye commit D’Angelo Russell will spend his senior season.