Yesterday Myles Turner, the #2 recruit on the ESPN100 big board, decided he would be playing for the University of Texas in what will likely be his only year in college. Turner has an NBA ready body at 6’10” and 225 lbs. Turner would have been a major front court upgrade for the Buckeyes, with only Amir Williams and Anthony Lee able to play the center position. Despite not landing the top recruit the Buckeyes are still in great position going in to the 2014-15 season.
With the additions of top freshmen recruits DeAngelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop, and Jae’Sean Tate the Buckeyes still have one of the best recruiting classes they’ve had in a long time. Russell is a sharp shooting two guard that can also facilitate on offense. Bates-Diop is a scorer that can hit from range and around the basket and will likely be the team’s primary scorer. Tate is a strong perimeter player that is also capable of creating his own shot. The three freshmen are going to be instant impact players for Thad Matta, and under the wing of Shannon Scott should have a strong first year campaign.
On top of the good recruiting class the Buckeyes have also pulled in some high profile transfer students. Anthony Lee, a senior from Temple will share time with Amir Williams at center and really makes not landing Turner an easier pill to swallow for Buckeye fans. Trevor Thompson is a sophomore from Virginia Tech who will also bolster a weak front court for the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, Thompson isn’t expected to play this upcoming season but there is a chance the NCAA will waive his year of ineligibility.
All the new additions will help an Ohio State basketball team that went 25-10 this past season and got eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Dayton. Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson will be the leaders of this team next season. Scott should help the three freshmen wing players to acclimate to the college game and the competitiveness of the Big Ten and Thompson will have a better chance to shine with the added depth of the front court.
Thad Matta has a promising squad for the upcoming season and the Buckeyes have a serious shot to make a splash in the Big Ten. While Myles Turner would have easily put the Buckeyes in the conversation for a Top 10 team, Ohio State should be a Top 25 team the entire season and should compete for the Big Ten Title.