Ohio State recruiting: The Bucks' search for a big man in 2014

Could Myles Turner be the guy for Ohio State? - NBPA

For all the good Thad Matta and co. have done, they still could use to land a big for 2014. Where might they turn?

With a number of highly-coveted big men prospects remaining uncommitted in the class of 2014, Ohio State is desperately searching for a center to complete the talented pieces already assembled. Montverde Academy's D'Angelo Russell headlines a strong recruiting class that includes 2014 Ohio Mr. Basketball favorite Jae'Sean Tate and 5-star small forward Keita Bates-Diop. The lone center committed to the Buckeyes is Garfield Heights' Dave Bell, who is regarded by many to be a project, and years away from serious contribution, which means Thad Matta must find an immediate contributor for 2014. Let's take a look at several possible prospects for the Buckeyes, and where they might land.

Myles Turner (C, Euless Trinity, TX / ESPN No. 10)

At 6'11 and 225 pounds, Turner has ideal size for an NBA center, and has even been compared to the likes of Tim Duncan and Anthony Davis by several high-profile scouts. With incredible length, Turner is a stalwart on the defensive end, and has proven to be a potent scorer anywhere from the block to the three-point line. The Texas native runs the floor exceptionally well for his size, and finishes a high-percentage of his attempts around the rim. Against the top prospects in the country, Turner saved his best performance of the summer for the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June, when he skyrocketed up recruiting boards everywhere.

Where Ohio State fits in?

Cutting his list to eight, Turner's only scheduled visit is with Kansas in early October. However, at the Big Strick Classic just a few weeks ago, Turner told me that he is "trying" to visit Ohio State in September, and that he would "love" to play alongside Russell. Player-to-player recruiting has proven to be effective at the college level, and might work in Ohio State's favor in this situation. It should also be noted that SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay is also recruiting Turner to stay at home and play for Larry Brown and the Mustangs.

Likely Destination?

Kansas. All signs point toward Turner becoming a Jayhawk, and unless Russell and Tate can make the Texas big man an offer he can't turn down, expect Myles to be the next great Kansas center.

Goodluck Okonoboh (C, Boston W&M Academy / ESPN No. 19)

One of the more athletic players in the '14 class, Okonoboh is a highly-intriguing prospect. Utilizing his incredible length and leaping ability, Goodluck plays much larger than 6'9. While his offensive game is still evolving, Okonoboh gets busy on the boards, and has proven to be one of the country's top defensive players. In the first game I watched him in person, Okonoboh had 19 points, 11 rebounds and an absurd 10 blocked shots in a win over Florida Elite Black at the Adidas Invitational in July. Sitting next to me for that very game was Ohio State assistant coach Jeff Boals. One day later, the Buckeyes offered the Massachusetts center.

Where Ohio State fits in?

Okonoboh included the Buckeyes in his top five a week ago, which comes as a good sign for anyone in Columbus hoping to land the center. With one scholarship remaining, Goodluck would fit in perfectly with the pieces assembled, and would catapult the '14 class among the nation's best. The longer he waits to make a decision, the better, as Ohio State can continue to make greater pitches to the 5-star center.

Likely Destination?

Indiana. According to 247Sports Crystal Ball Projections, Okonoboh is a virtual lock for Tom Crean and the Hoosiers, as all 13 recruiting analysts have him headed to Bloomington. However, crazier things have happened in college basketball, and no one projection holds any weight until the player makes an actual decision.

Elbert Robinson (C, Garland Lakeview Centennial, TX / ESPN No. 60)

Listed at 7' and 322 pounds, Robinson is an absolute anchor on the block. Using his massive frame, Robinson is arguably the nation's best at carving out space in the paint, and securing rebounds. The Texas center does more than just attack the boards, however. The senior has a surprisingly soft touch around the rim, and has shown an ability to occasionally hit from mid-range. Wherever he goes, Robinson will make an immediate impact, as his polished skill set and NBA size is a mismatch for opponents.

Where Ohio State fits in?

Making the cut in Robinson's top six, the Buckeyes have a great chance at landing the Texas center. With no clear leader in his recruitment, Matta can make a pitch to the center that may lead him north to Columbus. Unless Ohio State center Amir Williams makes rapid advances in his development in the coming year, Robinson would likely receive major minutes as a freshman for the Buckeyes, something he has to seriously consider.

Likely Destination?

Unknown. While many scouts and recruiting analysts can predict where a player will go, the jury is still out on Robinson. Jerry Meyer of 247Sports predicts Georgetown will be the destination for Robinson, while the rest of the nation remains unsure. Interestingly enough, Elbert was the other center that SMU commit Mudiay listed as players he is targeting.

Payton Dastrup (PF, Mesa Mountain View, AZ / ESPN No. 85)

Recently entering the Ohio State mix, Dastrup is an intriguing 6'9 218-pound power forward out of Arizona. The senior power forward spoke with the Holy Land a few weeks ago about receiving an offer from the Buckeyes and what he thinks of the program. Dastrup also took part in the NBPA Top 100 Camp, and looked to be more of a "stretch four," than the low-post presence that the Buckeyes are looking for, but was impressive nonetheless. The Arizona native has a reliable jumpshot that he can hit from the perimeter, in addition to an effective right hook shot that he utilizes in the paint. It should be noted, however, that Dastrup is likely take a two-year mission trip upon graduation, meaning he would really be a 2016 prospect.

Where Ohio State fits in?

According to ESPN, Dastrup is down to seven schools, including Arizona, Brigham Young, Florida, Kansas, Ohio State, UCLA, and Virginia. 247Sports' Crystal Ball projects a 67 percent chance that Dastrup heads to BYU, which would make sense considering the power forward's rumored mission trip after graduation. If Dastrup does commit to Ohio State, he likely wouldn't be hitting the hardwood until 2016, which is hard to predict the level of contribution he would have by then.

Likely Destination?

Unknown. Recently cutting his list to seven, the overall consensus on where Dastrup will end up is still widely unknown. As 247Sports' projects Dastrup to become a BYU Cougar, rumors have also circulated about the power forward's interest in Arizona and Virginia. Given the circumstances, Ohio State still has a great shot at landing Dastrup, even if it means he won't suit up until 2016.

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