This week’s basketball schedule has been altered slightly, so expect Tim’s look at Trey McDonald on Friday night and Eric’s look at Evan Ravenel on Sunday. The Tuesday/Thursday schedule will resume next week!
The loss of several stars to early entry into the NBA draft has made recruiting little tougher for Thad Matta. The scholarships have dwindled for the 2012-2013 season leaving just one open spot for a new-comer. Amedeo Della Valle will have the honor of being the lone newbie to this year’s squad.
Over the last couple of years the Bucks have lost the likes of Jon Diebler and William Buford. This has left Matta searching for someone to step in to fill the scoring void in the Buckeyes’ lineup. If Della Valle (or ADV for short) lives up to his hype, Matta will have found that someone and maybe even more.
Hometown: Alba, Italy
High School: Findlay Prep (Las Vegas)
Position: Guard (2,1)
ADV comes from a basketball background. His father, Carlo, played 15 years as a pro basketball player. His father never pushed ADV to become a basketball player which, in my opinion, was the best move Carlo could have made. Carlo allowed ADV to play soccer and basketball both and always told him to “play what you like”.
At the age of 10 Carlo began to coach ADV and then introduced him to Alberto Bogliatto. Bogliatto coached ADV for the next four years before he moved on to the Italian U18 National team. Injuries delayed his debut with the U18 but he finally got his chance in the European Championships in Poland where he scored 90 points in the first four games but another injury cut his tournament short.
ADV decided to put his professional dreams aside and move to the United States to play for Findlay Prep in 2011-2012. Findlay Prep was one of the best moves of his career because this allowed him to play with the players that complimented his talents and allowed him to grow as a player.
High School Film
Ok, technically junior European film. Amedeo Della Valle is #8 for Blue in the following clip.
He’s #8 in White here.
It is reported that he shot OVER 50% from three point land and this alone brought ADV into the spotlight for college recruits. Despite only being a three-star recruit, ADV landed offers from Arizona, Gonzaga, Texas A&M, TTUN, and Ohio State. He only made visits to A&M and OSU. Four days after his visit to OSU he committed to be a Buckeye.
Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s hard to break down strengths and weaknesses to an incoming freshman but at this point I would have to say ADV’s biggest strength is going to be his three point threat. With Thomas throwing up shots from anywhere in the state, if ADV can hit his shots it will make Thomas a very deathly threat to opponents.
Another strength to ADV would have to be his size. With Craft only being 6-2, ADV can be a HUGE asset to the Bucks guard play against Big Ten foes. TTUN, Indiana, and Michigan State all have guards that are listed 6-5 or taller. Combine his height with Craft’s ability to smother people on defense and this could mean lights out to the competition.
The only weakness that I can see at this point is the fact that ADV has a history of injuries. In his time in Italy he missed significant playing time due to leg and back injuries. He didn’t seem to have any major problems last year at Findlay Prep and I would tend to think that a college strength and conditioning program will do wonders for a growing boy!
In Europe and in High School Della Valle played the point guard position proficiently. With the depth Ohio State possession at the 1, and considering his shooting abilities, it seems reasonable to project him to play the 2 with the Buckeyes. Add to that his nose for getting the ball to a player down the court, as is obvious from the video above, add you’ll have a pretty well rounded player that could work in tandem with Craft and Scott in the backcourt.
After all is said and done, no one knows how ADV will do because that is why we have terms like “recruit” and “prospects”. One thing is for sure though, if ADV can live up to the shooting abilities he can be a dangerous weapon in Thad Matta’s arsenal.