While Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football team were busy with Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl, the OSU basketball coaching staff were out watching recruits in action on Friday night. Greg Paulus headed north to Cleveland to check out University of Detroit Jesuit High (MI) take on Cleveland St. Ignatius. Paulus was in the stands to give four-star class of 2016 point guard Cassius Winston a look.
Winston definitely showed why programs such as Michigan State, Colorado and Iowa State have offered him by going out and scoring 18 points in front of the Buckeye assistant, Paulus. Led by the 6'0 165-pound Winston's 18, Detroit Jesuit headed back to Michigan with a 82-52 victory over the Wildcats of St. Ignatius.
Ohio State was joined by programs such as Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio as having coaches posted up in the stands at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, West Virginia on Friday. One game the coaches had a close eye on was the match up of class of 2015 phenoms Carlton Bragg of Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Steven Zimmerman of Bishop Gorman out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The game, which was televised on ESPNU, lived up to all its hype. Zimmerman, a near 7'0 center who shows a sweet stroke when given the chance, led Gorman to a 73-60 win over Bragg and St. Joe's. Zimmerman, who holds offers from the likes of OSU, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and just about every other top college program, chipped in 21 points and eight rebounds in the win. While Bragg didn't have his best outing on the offensive end, the 6'8 five-star forward, finished with nine points and 14 rebounds for the Vikings in the loss.
Carlton Bragg didnt have best scoring game, yet sign of maturity today where he remained active and brought down 14 rebounds in the loss— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) January 4, 2014
Potential Buckeyes weren't the only ones in action over the weekend, as many of the current OSU commits were also back on the court. Jae'Sean Tate and Pickerington Central took on Newark Friday evening. In what sounded like a complete fight from the tip, Newark, led by class of 2015 guard Jordan Dartis and his game high 31 points, survived Tate and Pickerington Central, 62-56, in the OCC match up. The future Buckeye, Tate, had another double-double for the Tigers with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Jae'Sean Tate has been rather passive offensively. Struggling shooting the ball from the perimeter— Zach Fleer (@ZachFleerLGHL) January 3, 2014
On Friday, fellow class of 2014 commit Dave Bell and Garfield Heights took on class of 2015 forward Esa Ahmad and Shaker Heights. Ahmad might have out shined Bell on the stat sheet, finishing with 18 points compared to Bell's quiet five, but Bell and the Bulldogs got the victory, defeating Esa and Shaker Heights by a final score of 52-50.
Bell and Garfield Heights were back to it Saturday evening, as they played John F. Kennedy to close out the first day of the Play-By-Play Classic. Bell, once again, didn't shock the world on the offensive end, but it wasn't needed as 2016 guards Willie Jackson and Frankie Hughes both scored in double digits to lead the Bulldogs to a blowout win.
End 3rd: Garfield Heights 85 Cleveland JFK 31 - Looks like the Jordan-less Toon Squad against the Monstars.— Corey Albertson (@Corey_TDP513) January 5, 2014
D'Angelo Russell, who played in his first games of the season last weekend after having to miss two months recovering from an injury, didn't start Saturday afternoon for powerhouse Montverde Academy (FL), but finished with 13 points in a 74-46 thrashing of Wheeler (GA) at the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia.
With Mickey Mitchell (Plano, Texas) still out nursing a knee injury, his 2015 classmate, AJ Harris was running point guard for his Dayton Dunbar squad against Thurgood Marshall on Friday. The 5' Harris was all over the court for the Wolverines, finishing with 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals in a 66-55 Dunbar win. Harris and the Wolverines are now 10-2 on the season.
Just like Ted Ginn Jr., Beanie Wells and numerous other ex and current Buckeyes did, OSU football commits, Damon Webb, Demetrius Knox,Johnnie Dixon, Jalyn Holmes, Dante Booker, Curtis Samuel and Marcelys Jones all played in the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
On offense for the East squad, Johnnie Dixon had two receptions for 24 yards, including a spectacular 18-yard grab near the sideline to give his team a first down. His fellow East teammate, Jalyn Holmes, was in the offensive backfield causing havoc almost every snap he played. The defensive end finished with one tackle but played a role on numerous plays pinning the West for a loss.
Jalyn's biggest play of the game came when he scooped up a fumble and ran it over 60 yards for a touchdown. Holmes did his best "Neon" Deion Sanders impersonation, high-stepping all the way to pay dirt, only to be flagged for his celebration which negated the touchdown, instead setting up the East team with just great field position. A few plays later, the East would punch it in for a score.
Dixon and Holmes weren't the only Dream '14 members to get their name in the stat books, Saturday. Curtis Samuel chipped in a tackle, while defensive back Damon Webb finished with two tackles and also broke up a pass play for the West squad.
Speaking of the Dream '14, it got whole lot bigger on Saturday during the Army game. Glenville teammates Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore both committed to Ohio State live on NBC. Smith and Lattimore picked the Buckeyes over opportunities at programs such as Alabama and Georgia Tech.
In the days leading up to All-American game, Smith announced that he would put off his commitment, stating he wanted to give programs like Michigan and Michigan State a more serious look. After talking with Lattimore, family and others close to him, Smith ultimately decided OSU was the right place to continue not just his playing days but also where he will further his education.
The 6'1 safety Smith, who is solid enough in coverage to even play cornerback in spot duty if needed, finished with six tackles while Lattimore, a cornerback who has the ball skills to play on offense, had two tackles for their East team Saturday.
- 2014 early enrollee recruits QB Stephen Collier, LB Raekwon McMillan, ATH Curtis Samuel, OL Kyle Trout, WR Johnnie Dixon, K Sean Nuernberger and OL Marcelys Jones were all scheduled to arrive in Columbus and start classes today, but due to classes being canceled on Ohio State's main campus today (congrats, students), they won't begin officially until tomorrow. We'll let you know if any change their plans at the eleventh hour.
- Class of 2016 PF Matthew Moyer, of Gahanna Lincoln visited Ohio State on Saturday for their game against Nebraska. Moyer, who also visited OSU earlier this season, currently holds offers from Dayton, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and others.