Ohio State Basketball Recruiting Notebook: Fallout from Kobi Simmons' Decision, Matta's Staff Scouts New Talent

By Mike Young on January 21, 2016 at 4:10 pm
Buckeye recruits on the hardwood

With the news of Ohio State's decision to stop recruiting Kobi Simmons and his eventual commitment to Arizona, the Buckeyes have a chance to find a better fit for the program in the 2017 or 2018 classes.

Head coach Thad Matta did not sound distraught about this opportunity:

OSU will likely explore an opportunity to add a grad transfer in the offseason. If they choose to add one, it will take up the lone available scholarship for next season. Another 2016 commit does not seem likely, as anyone Ohio State offered already committed – Josh Jackson is the exception, but OSU has not made a significant push for the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2016 class for over two years.

The biggest benefit is a chance to add one more commit to the 2017 class. Westerville South's Kaleb Wesson is the only pledge in that class, so far. Ohio State's staff seems focused on adding another member to the backcourt. 

Gary Trent Jr., a long-time Buckeye target, continues to be a priority. Jeff Boals visited him in Minnesota twice throughout September – Garry Trent Sr. called Boals one of the "hardest working coaches" recruiting him. Since then, Trent Jr. unofficially visited Duke and Kentucky. Blue Devils coaches scouted him multiple times since.

Ohio State also offered point guard Chris Giles – Mickey Mitchell's high school teammate – while more recently offering Oak Hill's Matt Coleman, Lonine Walker (Reading, Pennsylvania) and Troy Brown Jr (Las Vegas). OSU scouted Brown Jr. in September.

Frontcourt depth is not an issue, and was not an issue over the summer. Matta still offered power forwared Xavier Tillman. The staff can now get a better look at Tillman, as the recent Grand Rapis Christian (Michigan) transfer is now eligible to play at his new school.

Looking Towards 2019

In the world of recruiting, it's never too early to start scouting high school freshmen. As they showed with Dane Goodwin last year, the Buckeyes are willing to accept early commitments. 

The OSU staff is still constantly tracking Goodwin's progress to achieve a better understanding of his fit with the program. It's difficult to project that far out, but always helpful to establish a baseline with a young prospect.

Assistant Greg Paulus recently scouted a local freshman in Worthington Christian's Taylor Currie. The six-foot-eight-inch forward unofficially visited the basketball facility in October and is now firmly on the staff's radar. 

3rdCoastHoops.com described Currie as having "a basketball IQ that you don’t see too many freshmen possess." ThisWeekSports.com wrote Currie is providing key minutes and providing versatility for his team with his size and ability to run the floor.

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