Ohio State Basketball Recruiting Notebook: National Recognition for OSU Signees & a New 2017 Point Guard Target

By Mike Young on January 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm
Thad Matta stalks the sidelines of Welsh-Ryan Arena

The list of McDonald's All-American Game nominees is always exhaustive but players consider it an honor nonetheless. Of the 755 total boys and girls, five will be on Ohio State's campus next season.

A confused Derek Funderburk wondered why he wasn't nominated, but he made the same mistake most did when they looked under "Virginia" on the nominee list. Funderburk will be considered for the game, even if the panel accidentally put Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Virginia) under the "Washington" section. 

Micah Potter joined him on the nominee list, correctly listed under "Florida." OSU target Kobi Simmons is also on the list.

Historically, all Ohio State commits are nominated for the game. At most, two make the final cut, as was the case with Shannon Scott and Amir Williams. Austin Grandstaff, Daniel Giddens, A.J. Harris and Mickey Mitchell were all nominated last year – as a fifth year senior, JaQuan Lyle was not eligible. None of them played in the game, however. 

D'Angelo Russell was the last Buckeye to make an appearance in the McDonald's All-American Game, in 2014. 

On the women's side, 2016 signees Tori McCoy, Kiara Lewis and Jensen Caretti were all nominated. 

Newest Potter Highlights 

Last week, the notebook recapped Micah Potter's performance at the City of Palms Tournament over the holidays.

Potter impressed scouts with his range and ability to get out in transition all while earning his first minutes as a starter with Montverde Academy. He spoke with Eleven Warriors' Jeremy Birmingham about his transition to Montverde and taking on a leadership role with his new team.

"(Coming here) was the best decision of my life," Potter told 11W. "But it takes its toll at the same time. And responsibility. Having to take care of myself and teammates all the time instead of barely at all (like before)."

When Thad Matta scouted Potter for the media after Potter signed his letter of intent, he highlighted Potter's natural rebounding abilities.

"One of the things, watching him this summer, I loved how he rebounded the basketball," Matta said, in November. "He understood angles, he understood positioning. Those are the things that are, sometimes, hard to teach."

Via NextUpRecruits, here are highlights of Potter at the City of Palms Tournament. He rebounded at a high level while scoring from the low-post, high-post and well beyond the three-point arc:

Buckeyes Scout Eastern

In addition to adjusting to the shooting angles at one of the Big Ten's most unique arenas, arriving in Evanston, Illinois well ahead of their game against Northwestern had an added benefit.

Per Wildcat Digest editor Luke Srodulski, assistants Dave Dickerson and Greg Paulus watched Evanston Township's Nojel Eastern, Tuesday. The 2017 point guard prospect is a four-star recruit according to 247Sports' composite rankings. Eastern already has offers from Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue, but does not have one from the Buckeyes yet.

Some scouting services list him as a two-guard considering he stands at 6-feet-5-inches tall. 

"His size is the first thing that stands out," said Scott Burgess, Prep Hoops Illinois scout and recruiting analyst, via the Medill News Service. "He understands the game well beyond his years. He is a good ball handler; he is smooth with it in traffic. He can finish with both hands, which is kind of rare for prospects at a young age."

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