There is no doubt that the class of 2012 is quite murky at this point of the recruiting process, as schools across the nation gear up for the regular signing period that starts tomorrow.
Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio State are all looking to replace their big man. Memphis and UCLA are also looking to fill voids they’ve had for quite some time.
With the loss of Jared Sullinger and William Buford, as well as Jordan Sibert’s possible transfer, Ohio State has two/three open scholarships left for the 2012 class.
Of the 17 scholarships offered by the Ohio State coaching staff, only three have yet to commit to play for a school next year. And as it looks right now, all three are favoring other schools.
That put’s the coaching staff in a territory they haven’t been in for quite some time.
Swing forward Amile Jefferson still has Ohio State listed in his top five, but there is no doubt that the return of Deshaun Thomas killed any chance of the five star recruit making his way to Columbus. Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina State have all quickly jumped out front. The Philly native was supposed to select a school early in the year, but continues to hold off as he waits for players of each team to declare their intentions for 2012.
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky and C.J. Leslie of NC State still deciding whether or not to jump, Jefferson is in the dark. Coach K really put in a push for Jefferson’s services before the Wolfpack and Wildcats put their major push in. With Austin Rivers in the NBA, it seems like Jefferson could choose Duke simply because he almost instantly becomes a top playmaker and starter. Especially if Plumblee 1 decides to jump into the draft mix with Cody Zeller staying out of the draft.
Georgia big man Tony Parker was thought to have been a major target for the upcoming season, especially if Jared Sullinger opted for the NBA. Now, according to Baptist, Parker won’t even return voicemails left by the Buckeye coaching staff.
Back in December, it seemed like the former AAU teammate of Shannon Scott was favoring Ohio State. So what has happened since to cause Parker to rethink things?
Since visiting Ohio State’s campus, the Miller Grove product has been to his hometown school of Georgia twice. One theory is that he is hoping to stay closer to home than previously known. Most experts don’t buy into that, because of all the other rumors swirling around. We all know that Kansas needs a big man to replace Thomas Robinson. Parker would be a great fit for the Jayhawks. In fact, he just visited their campus at the end of February and raved about it.
Some think he could join Amile Jefferson at Duke, while Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Nerlens Noel head to the land of one and dones.
The most popular rumor is that Shabazz Muhammad and Parker want to both go to UCLA – one of the few common places both has as finalists. Parker really liked Duke in the beginning, but some believe he soured because he didn’t feel like he fit in the post (See Plumblees).
The Bruins have coaching ties to the state of Georgia and it seems to be paying off. Assistant Korey McCray has done a good job in the peach state of convincing talent to play at one of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the history of the game. Jordan Adams has already committed out of Lawrenceville and seems like a good fit at small forward or shooting guard. Ben Howland preaches defense, so it will be interesting is Parker wants to be a part of that down low alongside Joshua Smith.
Seems at this point though that the hopes of seeing him play down low are just hopes at this point. Either way, we’ll find out tomorrow morning where the big man is going. At every point through the recruiting process, a different team has been considered the “favorite” to land Parker’s services.
That makes me think there is some hope for tomorrow.
The third and final prospect targeted by the Buckeyes is guard Amedeo Della Valle. It seems he is favoring Michigan, where he will visit this weekend. Arizona also seems to be a good fit, as he plans to commit at the end of April. He will make a campus visit to Ohio State before then. He is listed as a point guard, but can play off guard as well. Right now, he’s feeling out the best opportunity for him. He also has an offer from Cal and Texas A&M.
Why Not Ohio State?
Why has the coaching staff struggled with the 2012 class? It’s simple. There is so much talent on this roster, that nobody wants to commit to it. It’s the same reason we are seeing a handful of players consider transferring.
There is so much talent, that nobody knows if they are going to get any playing time. Amir Williams, Evan Ravenel and Trey McDonald are one heck of a trio inside.
Meanwhile, the class of 2011 is so talented, there is no doubt that Shannon Scott, LaQuinton Ross, and Sam Thompson are going to demand playing time. Not to mention Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, who play nearly 40 minutes a game.
Not to mention, this class is full of one and done talent. Of the 17 scholarships offered, at least half could be considered good enough to jump to the NBA after one year of college ball. Though we’ve a handful of talent leave after one season, this university hasn’t been known for going after players that are ready for the NBA. In most instances, those players become promising to the NBA as they continue their development at the college level.
Five are going to other teams in the Big Ten (2 Indiana 2 Michigan State 1 Iowa).
As much as we love Thad Matta, prospects that are looking to the NBA already don’t, because he doesn’t give any talent a free pass. You have to earn your time on the floor. As frustrating as that is — it’s the foundation that has built this program up to what it is.
With recruits leaning their way to other schools tomorrow (which seems to be the case at least), it seems that the Buckeyes could fill a couple of their spots on the roster via transfer.
As we found out today, this is the time of the year where we find out who is coming back and who is moving on. A ton of talented underclassmen have shared their intent to move on from their current programs. Two seasons ago, the Buckeyes landed Evan Ravenel from Boston College after Al Skinner was let go by the university. Though I don’t think the Buckeyes will add more than one transfer in hopes of keeping space open for 2013, it’s still possible we could see a new face on campus with experience.
Here are some possibilities.
Rodney Hood, 6’8″ G Mississippi State – Hood made it clear he plans to leave SEC Country after his freshman season, as the Bulldogs have flipped the program after 14 year head coach Rick Stansbury retired last month. Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports tweeted on Monday that Ohio State and Duke have contacted Mississippi State already about the guard who averaged just over 10 points and nearly five rebounds a game last season.
Alex Oriakhi, 6’8″ PF/C UCONN – According to some media outlets, Ohio State was a school that Oriakhi initially listed Ohio State as a university that he would consider for his senior season. Since the Huskies are currently banned from next year’s tournament, Oriakhi would be able to play right away next year. Except in the SEC. Believe it or not, the conference has some merit. It doesn’t allow athletes to play the same year of transfer unless the previous school got rid of the sport the athlete competes in. Missouri seems like a favorite, but they are deterred by the SEC rule. Xavier is also a favorite and it’s possible Oriakhi could consider Ohio State. He doesn’t plan on “definitely” visiting at this point, but that could change in the upcoming weeks.
Matt Humphrey, 6’5″ G Boston College – How about another Boston College Eagle landing in the Columbus nest? Humphrey is a solid contributor that could provide some solid depth and experience. The junior led the team in minutes and was second in scoring. Since he is graduating this spring, he would be able to play right away next season. If you were to ask BC fans, he is a solid contributor but also a bit of a head case. Not sure if he would be willing to take a role instead of being a major contributor, but he could be a decent addition that you gets you a scholarship back in 2013.