There is no question Thad Matta and staff would like to add another big man to their the 2014 class. After having already signed Garfield Heights power forward Dave Bell, the Bucks are still in the Myles Turner race, and are even reportedly taking a look at the junior college ranks for a post player. Between all that and trying to get the team marching in the right direction, Matta and company are also heavily recruiting 2015 prospects.
Late last week, one of the top overall basketball players in the country announced his top six, with the Buckeyes making the cut. Five-star center Daniel Giddens, who visited campus in December, released a list that consists of OSU, Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, Florida and Kansas. The 6'10, 215-pound Georgia native is currently the 22nd overall ranked player in the class of 2015, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Numerous recruiting analysts believe Ohio State could currently be the team to beat for the force down low, with six writers already casting their votes for the Buckeyes on their 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.
Check out these highlights of Daniel Giddens from earlier this season:
When good news comes, sometimes bad news soon follows, and that is exactly what one future Buckeye received recently. After reaggravating a right shoulder injury from the summer against Northland last month, Jae'Sean Tate got word that he tore his labrum following an MRI on Thursday, and will miss the rest of the season.
The Pickerington Central senior, who was a McDonald's All-American Game nominee, will soon have surgery to fix the problem, and should be back to near full health in time to participate in all basketball activities when he reaches campus in the summer.
JaeSean Tate is officially out for the season due to a torn labrum, which will require surgery. #TigerBasketball— Pickerington Central (@PCTigersHoops) February 8, 2014
Tate's classmate Keita Bates-Diop has his University High (IL) squad rolling in the right direction with the state playoffs right around the corner. Not playing much of the second half on Friday, Keita shot five of eight from the field, scoring 12 points in a 60-19 absolute thrashing of Olympia. Bates-Diop and his Pioneer teammates are now 11-0 in Corn Belt Conference play and 19-3 overall on the year.
In a battle from the tip, Garfield Heights and Dave Bell came up just short to 2015 standout Esa Ahmad and Shaker Heights on Friday, losing in the final seconds of the game, 47-45. Shaker Heights senior guard TJ Steele took the ball coast-to-coast and got to the bucket to knock down the game winning layup at the buzzer to give the Red Raiders their 15th victory of the season.
Ahmad, a top 100 prospect in the class of 2015 with numerous scholarship offers, finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Shaker Heights, while class of 2016 guards Willie Jackson and Frankie Hughes both had 16 for the Bulldogs of Garfield. Playing a limited role, the future Buckeye Bell chipped in four points in the loss.
The Ohio State football team offered another one of Florida's top 2015 prospects over the weekend. On Sunday, current West Virginia commit, Kahlil Lewis tweeted that he received an offer from the Buckeyes. Lewis, a 5'11, 180-pound three-star wide receiver, told Land-Grant Holy Land that he found out about the offer from OSU assistant Zach Smith and that it feels great to receive an offer from such a big school like Ohio State.
Ohio state offer #Buckeyes 😎— Kahlil Lewis (@_Dbkiller) February 9, 2014
Lewis picked West Virginia just over a month ago and was soon joined by OSU target Kendrell McFadden after their coach at Miramar High left to take an assistant coaching position with the Mountaineers. Since giving his verbal commitment, Kahlil has picked up numerous scholarship offers, and will more than likely continue to do so, making his recruitment something to keep a close eye on over the coming months.
Check out these highlights from last season of Lewis in action:
- Recent OSU signees Dylan Thompson and Brady Taylor participated in the International Bowl over the weekend. The game places some of the top American players versus the best of Canada. USA rolled past Canada, 43-7. Thompson had two tackles for loss and a half sack in the victory after battling a quad injury most of the week.
- Shelby Spence, high school teammate of future Buckeye offensive lineman Jamarco Jones at Chicago's De La Salle Institute officially visited Ohio State over the weekend. Shelby, the son of one time Notre Dame defensive back Marv Spence, has reportedly been offered a preferred walk-on spot with the football squad.
-Class of 2015 target, Luke Kennard once again scorched the nets over the weekend. On Friday, after having fans chant "overrated" towards him, the five-star prospect went for 41 points to lead Franklin High over Bellbrook, 63-54. Take a look at these highlights from the game brought to you by the Friends of the Holy Land at Scarberry Media: