College football is in full swing, which means recruiting has taken a bit of a backseat for both coaches and high school players (well, as much as it can in the 24/7 year round world of recruiting we live in). The players are focusing on their senior seasons, while the coaches are either trying to win a championship or aid their job stability.
However, the fall is prime recruiting time for college basketball coaches, and Thad Matta and his staff have been on their grind lately. Using the atmosphere of campus on a football Saturday, the staff impressed athletes such as Jae'Sean Tate of Pickerington Central, AJ Harris of Dayton Dunbar, and Noah Dickerson of North Atlanta (GA).
This week, the staff took to the road. Matta took a trip to Illinois last night to check out Ohio State commit Keita Bates-Diop, while he dispatched his assistants all over the Midwest.
2014 #OhioState commit Keita Bates-Diop tells me Thad Matta & Dave Dickerson visited him today. #Buckeyes— Charles Doss (@CDoss_LGHL) September 13, 2013
Matta has struck gold in Chicago over the years, with players such as Evan Turner and Sam Thompson hailing from the Windy City, and Bates-Diop is the same kind of impact player.
The small forward, who measures 6'7", 190 pounds, is the 27th ranked player in the 2014 class, per Scout's recruiting rankings.
Top assistant coach Jeff Boals was in Northeast Ohio on Thursday night, checking out powerhouse Akron St. Vincent St. Mary's open gym.
Ohio State @JeffBoals, George Mason @CoachKreider and Coach Hewitt, West Virginia, and 2 from Virginia Tech at open gym tonight.— STVM Hoops (@STVMHoops) September 12, 2013
The same high school that produced the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, is manufacturing another great one in V.J. King. The top prospect in the state, King led the Fighting Irish to a Division II state runner-up finish last season. Within the past year, King has also been named to the USA U16 team, as well as an AAU All-American.
If Matta, Boals, and the rest of the staff have anything to say about it, we'll see King's locker right next to LeBron's.
From a high school recruiting vantage, Ohio State targets Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith both had themselves games Thursday night. The Cleveland Glenville duo both scored touchdowns, while Lattimore added an interception to the box score as well.
Check out this touchdown catch-and-run from Smith from Thursday's action:
- Rivals released their latest college basketball rankings. See where Ohio State's commits and targets stack up.
- Ohio State's current class ranks second overall in the class of 2014, per the 247Composite.
- The top recruit in the 2016 class, Harry Giles, tells Land-Grant Holy Land's Adam Waters that rehab on his torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus is "going pretty good". The power forward from Wesleyan Christian Academy (Winston-Salem, NC) injured his knee playing in the FIBA World Championships this past June in Uruguay. The 6'9" Giles has received offers from national powers like Ohio State, North Carolina, Duke, as well as from every other Tobacco Road school.
- One of the top receivers in the state of Virginia plans to make a trip to Columbus this summer for camp. Trevion Armstrong, a four-star recruit from Matoaca (Chesterfield, VA), currently fields offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- With recent commitments from Noah Brown and Curtis Samuel, the Buckeyes are planting the flag in the New York metropolitan area. Another target on the radar is four-star offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez, who plans on visiting campus once his junior season is over. Gonzalez has offers from Rutgers, Louisville, and South Carolina.
- One off the radar recruit that still says he's considering the Buckeyes is Petera Wilson. The linebacker from White Station (Memphis, TN) will be choosing between Ohio State, Miami, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, and Georgia on Friday. Expect Ole Miss to keep their pipeline from Memphis flowing with the 3-star linebacker.