This morning we bring you a new feature here at tBBC. Of course, we try and bring you the latest in recruiting on the basketball front from time to time. There is no doubt that it could be touched upon even more, especially in the off-season as we prepare for the 2012 season on the hardwood. As always, the future is bright for the Buckeyes, but everyone is wondering what is the next move on the recruiting front. With the recent addition of Amedeo Della Valle, three more open spots remain in the class of 2012. Will the Buckeyes look to fill them? We find out on today’s tBBC Recruiting Report.
Now that it seems that the rest of Ohio State’s open scholarships will be turned down for other programs across the country (Amile Jefferson, Anthony Bennett), Thad Matta and company will be looking at the best transfer options and gauging interest in the upcoming month.
Yet, there is still one more interesting option that has evolved from the class of 2012.
Former Loyola Marymount commit Tobe Okafor has gotten some notice from major programs looking to fill out their next class. The 6’11″ senior center decommitted earlier this week, after realizing he could contribute at a major program right away in 2012.
The Nigerian native is rated as the best center coming out of the state of Maine. He has a great frame and is very athletic. The teammate of Xavier target James Farr at Maine Central Institute started the year off the bench and worked his way to more playing time.
Since being released from his letter of intent, Auburn, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Tennessee, San Francisco, LSU, and a handful of other schools have shown interest.
What makes him so valuable is his athletic ability. Though he is grounded in the post game, his god given ability allows him to make some pretty good plays. Specifically on the defensive side of the ball. His blocking ability is up there in this class and really was noticed by recruiters throughout the year at various tournaments and camps. He might not be the most polished post player, but at the next level he is going to be able to get some easy baskets based on his ability to run the floor better than most centers.
Considered a rising prospect at the beginning of his senior year, Okafor verbally committed to Loyola Marymount because of a high familiarity with the coaching staff. It’s because of that connection that other schools stopped spending time on the recruit. Now, he should hear from a ton more schools in the upcoming weeks with open scholarships and a dyer need for size.
Simply put though, there is a lot of experience still needed for him to become an all-around player. Just a few years in the states has him a bit behind when it comes to basketball IQ, but his athletic ability still takes over. Once he learns the intricacies of playing the post, he is going to be hard to stop.
And the only way he can learn them though is through time spent on the floor in game situations.
We’ll see what “interest” really means from Thad Matta and his coaching staff, but we know they were targeting a big man in this class, but fell short with Tony Parker and most likely Anthony Bennett. After a true evaluation through film and discussion of coaches, I’m sure they’ll make the move to set up an official visit.
We’ve already talked about Rodney Hood. Former South Carolina forward Anthony Gill has made the decision to make his way to Virginia. With more and more players leaving their respected scholarships, the Buckeye coaching staff has gotten more intrigued with adding players a few names 2012 class.
Here are some of the latest notes on transfers.
On the 2013 recruiting front, the coaching staff has been pretty busy the last few weeks. In total, eight have been offered scholarships in next year’s class, with Toledo small forward Marc Loving as the only verbal commitment up to this point. There are some really good power forwards in this class to keep an eye on. Next week we’ll break those guys down a bit further. Here are some notes on the 2013 class.