Russell to provide scoring punch

Five-star prospect D'Angelo Russell is now a part of a big time four man class for the Buckeyes, and his presence fills a major void on the roster.

For the past couple of years the Ohio State coaching staff has been building to the class of 2014. Without many scholarships to offer the past couple of years, 2014 was a huge focus and so far Thad Matta and his staff are pulling in one of the truly elite classes in the country.

With the news on Friday evening that D'Angelo Russell is a Buckeye, things are definitely looking bright in Columbus, and the 2014 class is a huge reason for it. Russell is the fourth commitment already for Ohio State joining Jae'sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop, and Dave Bell as pledges.

Russell is already a five-star and Bates-Diop is knocking on the door of that status and very well might join that level the next time rankings are updated. Tate might be the hardest playing guy in the country, and for Ohio State this is huge to go along with a solid 2013 duo of Kameron Williams and Marc Loving.

What Russell brings to the table is a perimeter player who has some versatility, and definitely will give OSU options. Ohio State has no player like Russell on their roster. The only guards slated to be on the roster in 2014 are Shannon Scott who will be a senior, Williams, and reserve Amedeo Della Valle.

Scott is a pure point guard who isn't a major scoring threat, Williams is an undersized but effective shooter, and then Della Valle is mostly just a spot up shooter. Russell however is a bigger guard who can handle the ball, get to the rim, and then also is a good shot maker.

Russell views himself as someone who can play point guard or shooting guard, though it is clear playing off the ball as a secondary ball handler is his definite best position. Still in a pinch he will be able to come in and relieve Scott off ball handling duties when he will need a break.

However what makes Russell a five-star and the No. 1 rated prospect at his position is his ability to score the basketball. Russell can do it from all three levels on the court and he will give Ohio State a major threat from the outside to take his man off the bounce or shoot from deep, and no player on the roster gives them that ability besides him.

Add in that Tate, Bates-Diop, and Russell can all play multiple spots on the defensive end, all are athletic, and all play hard making it a trio that should give Matta and his staff a ton of flexibility in their style of play and how they will do things.

With at least one, and probably two more commitments to get for Ohio State, the Buckeyes will now focus on the interior with players like Jahlil Okafor, Leron Black, and others. Ohio State has the luxury of now swinging for the fences with a solid four-man group already in the fold, and expect them to do just that.

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