Ohio State target Jahlil Okafor was one of the key reasons the United States Under-19 squad won the FIBA World Championship gold medal yesterday afternoon, in Prague, Czech Republic. Playing only 11 minutes, Okafor finished with six points and four rebounds in the 82-68 victory over Serbia. Even though he might not have lit the stat book on fire yesterday, he was a massive part of the overall United States success overseas. Scoring nearly 100 total points and grabbing over 40 rebounds, his play led him to be named to the All-Tournament Team. While in Prague, Jahlil, stated he would like to end his recruitment before his senior season and is currently sitting atop the wish list of many programs including OSU and Duke.
The LeBron James Skills Academy started Friday in Las Vegas and runs its course this evening. Ohio State hoopers Aaron Craft, Sam Thompson and current class of 2014 commits Jae'Sean Tate and D'Angelo Russell are all in attendance. Joining them is a small army of potential Buckeyes, such as, Elbert Robinson, Myles Turner, Isaiah Briscoe, Charles Matthews and Luke Kennard, to name off a few of the many in Vegas. Robinson (concussion) and Turner (hamstring) both suffered injuries and had to watch the rest of camp from the sidelines yesterday.
Russell committed to Ohio State last month after visiting Columbus and clicking with Thad Matta and staff. The left handed five-star guard has impressed most of the scouts at the camp with not just how he finds his teammates for open buckets but how he can score in bunches:
D'angelo Russell is a flat out bucket getter. Has impressed me at both the guard skills academy and here at LBJ— Miles Simon (@milessimon) July 7, 2013
After recently visiting Columbus to check out Ohio State, 2015 Cleveland Vila Angela St. Joes forward Carlton Bragg returned to the Capital City, this time to lead his Ohio Basketball Club AAU squad in some OBBL action at The Hoop. Bragg, a 6-8-ish, junior was pretty rock solid all weekend and led his team to the 16 and under division championship game, where OBC defeated the Ohio Phenoms, 58-54. Carlton finished the game with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
"Carlton had an impressive showing in Columbus, but not nearly impressive as earlier performances in Akron and Fort Wayne. While Bragg was a force on the glass, at times, the junior forward looked disengaged, and his body language wasn't the same as it has been in the past. Nonetheless, Carlton was still the top prospect in Columbus, and showed flashes of his out of the universe potential. Bragg must work on staying focused, and not trying to block each and every shot. On the shots that Bragg whiffed on, the opposing player that he was guarding numerous times received an easy offensive rebound and put back. He must use his length and become an anchor on the block to increase his rebounding ability."
Let's switch gears to the gridiron: Class of 2014 Bishop Ready offensive lineman Brady Taylor cut his list to five potential teams on Friday. Ohio State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia all made the cut for the 6-5 270 pound Columbus native. Even though the Buckeyes has yet to send a scholarship offer his way, Brady recently made the short trip to campus and checked out what Ohio State had to offer. He returned only a few days later to show off his talents in front of the coaching staff at camp.
After attending camp, Taylor told me the following:
"I feel I did pretty well. Camp was great, high intensity, getting work done and a lot of good competition. A thing that stood out was the way the OSU coaches worked with us in drills, they treated you like a player and it gave you a good feeling of what it is like to be a Buckeye. I talked to Coach Warinner afterwards and he sounded pretty excited about my performance. He loved my athletic ability, coach ability and overall performance. It was great to show my skills in front of the OSU coaches because I know I could succeed as a Buckeye."
- Ohio State commit Parris Campbell tells our Adam Waters he will attend Friday Night Lights on the 26th.
- Ohio State commit Sam Hubbard tells me he will most likely attend Friday Night Lights.
- South Carolina class of 2014 offensive lineman Donell Stanley has cancelled his Friday Night Lights visit. Stanley tells Adam "I'm not coming (to Friday Night Lights) and they understand that. That time of the year is the only time that my entire family can spend with each other. I'm thinking that I will visit Ohio State for one of my official visits, though."
- 2015 four-star New Jersey defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick tells me he is headed south on Friday and is trying to set up a visit to Ohio State for Saturday morning.
- 2015 Washington, DC (Friendship Academy) defensive back Ashton White tells Dallas Jackson of Rivals.com that Ohio State is his early favorite.