Ohio State didn't want history to repeat

Some quality in-state point guards have gotten away from Ohio State recently, they weren't going to let it happen again with A.J. Harris.

The name Trey Burke will resonate with Ohio State fans for quite some time. Burke grew up only minutes from Ohio State's campus. He wanted to wear the Scarlet and Gray, and was considered a good player, but not an elite player, and was seen as a bit small for the position coming out of high school.

Ohio State made the decision to not recruit Burke at all, and the rest became history. Burke went to Michigan and became the National Player of the Year and an NBA Lottery Pick.

Whether one situation was related to the other is impossible to know, but Ohio State wasn't going to let it happen again with another in-state point guard who was dying to be a Buckeye. On Monday Ohio State hosted class of 2015 point guard A.J. Harris, and the Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar product committed on the spot.

Now Harris is significantly smaller than Burke at 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, but is more athletic. Like Burke, Harris isn't seen high on many national rankings lists, but is someone who has had a lot of success at the high school level as well as the AAU level.

On the court Burke and Harris are actually very different players, and Ohio State knows it, however what Thad Matta and his staff saw this summer led to the offer.

Harris is someone who is a pass first point guard. In fact he is clearly at his best in an AAU setting around other high level player where he can simply run the team and distribute as opposed to having to score. During the high school season he is being asked to score more, and that actually takes away from what Harris does best, and that is be a true floor general.

One area where small point guards tend to struggle with is defense. However that isn't a problem at all for Harris. While his size limits him some, he makes up for it by really playing with intensity on the defensive end and getting into the ball handler with significant pressure. Also he is very quick and strong which allows him to bump taller point guards off of their drives.

Overall there is no way of knowing if Ohio State hit the homerun with this commitment that they are hoping. The Buckeyes are looking for five-star class of 2014 guard D'Angelo Russell to play the point as well with Harris biding his time, and being a solid player who contributes early on before becoming a starter later in his college career.

Still that same description was said about Burke at this point in his high school career. While the odds would say that Harris doesn't nearly have the college career that Burke did, one can't help but wonder if Ohio State saw some similarities in the two recruitments and decided to not let this prospect get away.


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