Hoops Recruiting Notebook: A Key Visitor for Virginia Tech & Thoughts on Carlton Bragg

By Mike Young on September 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

The lead recruiter for the class of 2015 is at it again. 

Ohio State pledge Austin Grandstaff aided in landing Daniel Giddens, has previously tweeted about his recruiting exploits and isn't done with his efforts in finding fellow classmates. This weekend, while confirming his official visit to Eleven Warriors, Grandstaff will be focusing on a fellow Texan.

As he told Eleven Warriors in August, Grandstaff is not giving up on Mickey Mitchell, even though the former Buckeye commit recently re-opened his recruitment.

"Mickey's one of my best friends and I still think we have a shot at getting him for sure," Grandstaff said. "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."

Point guard commit A.J. Harris will join those two during the Virginia Tech game weekend. Harris is one of Ohio's best in 2015, but if that's not enough to sway Mitchell, perhaps the best basketball player born in Buckeye State will change his mind: 

Mitchell originally committed to Ohio State in August of 2013. Recruits are allowed to take official visits as of Jan. 1 in their junior years. In February, Eleven Warriors reported Mickey's brother, Mike, would transfer from OSU. Mickey has not openly disclosed a visit to Columbus since.

Harris has previously attended Ohio State football games and is frequently in Columbus for summer basketball activities, while Grandstaff committed on his only visit to campus. 

Four-star guard Curtis Jones, a 2016 recruit who recently transferred Huntington Prep, is also expected to take an unofficial visit this weekend. 

Ahmad Sets Another Visit

Regardless of whether Mitchell decides to re-commit, the Buckeyes are firmly seeking a pledge from Shaker Heights' Esa Ahmad.

The four-star forward was in Maryland this past weekend.

"[Maryland] was awesome," Ahmad's father, Ibby, told SNY.tv. "They have a good vision for Esa and a super team with excellent pieces coming in."

Following his trip to College Park, the Ahmads will head to Morgantown, to check out West Virginia again. After that, he'll be back in Columbus, according to Cleveland.com's David Cassilo and confirmed through Ahmad's twitter account: 

Cassilo watched Ahmad at a Shaker Heights open gym and also reported Ahmad received an offer from Oregon, last week. The 6-foot-7-inch, versatile forward has cut his list of schools to five: Ohio State, Maryland, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

Bragg and The Buckeyes

Meanwhile, another Cleveland-area forward is not currently considering Ohio State.

Carlton Bragg, in his senior year at VASJ, tweeted his top five schools and it did not include OSU. Perhaps it was a matter of how Thad Matta's offense operates. Bragg thinks Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA can better utilize an explosive wing.

"They like to play open and my style of play matches their style of play," Bragg told Cleveland.com. "I think these schools were the best fit for me, and Ohio State was not the best fit for me."

Seemingly every fall, Buckeye hoops players maintain the team will play more up-tempo. When the season begins, the shooting limitations become apparent and we all realize that isn't possible.

For a player who thrives, largely, in the open court, it is a fair criticism. Obviously, Matta is capable of adjusting to a player of Bragg's skill set, but he is unique in terms of someone with his size and athleticism – there are no proper comparisons for the coaching staff and Bragg to make with former or current Buckeyes.

In general, the other schools on his list had the proper personnel and, as a result, have been better in transition. Illinois might seem out of place, but, head coach John Groce has recruited at a high, national level with the Illini before – e.g. Cliff Alexander. Plus, as Bragg's mentor, Michael Graves, told BigStageHoops.com, Groce has been incredibly vigilant in recruiting Bragg.

Regardless of how it all shakes out, Kentucky has been the presumed leader for a while. Yes, leaving the Buckeyes out of his top five is surprising. In the end, Bragg committing somewhere other than Ohio State would hardly be considered a shock.

Around The B1G

Nebrasketball and head coach Tim Miles keep the program's momentum going through the offseason by adding a commitment from four-star point guard Glynn Watson (Westchester, Illinois):

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