Notebook: Intrigue in Ohio

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Ohioans drawing offers

The 2016 class in Ohio has long been hyped, and while some of the best have moved out of the state, including V.J. King and Omari Spellman, still numerous Ohio kids keep pulling in high level offers, and that is leading to some interesting recruiting battles.

In the past two weeks Jarron Cumberland (pictured above) received firm offers from Cincinnati and Xavier, while Xavier Simpson got an offer from Illinois, and Nick Ward picked up an offer from Ohio State.

In fact, Ohio State has in-state offers out to Seth Towns, Derek Funderburk and Ward along with the aforementioned King and Spellman, so clearly there is a lot going on with the Buckeyes in regard to in-state recruiting. However, Ohio State is limited in scholarships in the class, so things get very interesting when determining the timeline of those involved.

Even with one of the best in the state, Mathew Moyer, off the board to Syracuse, the dominoes and how they fall could be interesting. Will Ward, who is local to Columbus, pick the Buckeyes and would that eliminate them with Spellman and Funderburk? Would Towns spurn the local school for Michigan, and how would that impact the Buckeyes pursuit of Funderburk, or potentially even Cumberland?

Add in guys such as Frankie Hughes, Ibi Watson and Trey Landers who are all seeing their stock rise this year and entering the high-major radar, and it is going to be interesting to see exactly how it all shakes down and who ends up where, because there are a lot of kids who are going to high-major schools from the state, and they have a lot of similar schools who can't take all of them.

— Brian Snow

Arizona State reloading with shooters

While it's been a bit of a down season for Arizona State, the good news for Sun Devils fans is that Herb Sendek's program is doing a nice job in recruiting and reloading for the future. When Sendek has been at his best in Tempe he's had consistent shooters, and he certainly has more of that heading his way in the next few years.

Siewert will help boost ASU’s perimeter firepower

On Sunday, ASU landed a commitment from 2016 Los Angeles Cathedral center Lucas Siewert, who is one of the top shooters on the West Coast in his class. Siewert joined American Fork (Utah) wing Brendan Bailey in ASU's 2016 class, and Bailey is one of the top perimeter scorers and shooters in the region as well.

In 2017, Arizona State has a commitment from Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry point guard Markus Howard, who has one of the most lethal pull-up jumpers on the West Coast, regardless of class.

ASU's coaching staff has been aggressive in filling its recruiting class with guys who can shoot and so far, is having success in the 2016 and 2017 classes.

— Josh Gershon

Holman sets plans, picks up offers

Aric Holman announced his post-graduate plans over the weekend.

Originally a 2015 recruit out of Owensboro (Ky.) High, Holman will reclassify to the 2016 class and attend Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy next season.

Another year of development should help Holman’s strength considerably

According to Hoop Dreams coach Mike Scott, Holman, a 6-foot-9 lengthy power forward, currently has scholarship offers for the 2016 class from Cincinnati, Louisville, Saint Louis, Xavier, Western Kentucky and VCU. Florida, Oklahoma State and Auburn are also showing interest.

Holman took an unofficial visit to Louisville for their game against Duke on January 17.

“They actually offered him to come on next year too,” Scott told Scout. “They were going to give him a scholarship and have him red-shirt that year.”

A four-star prospect, Holman will make his debut in Scout's 2016 top 100 on Thursday.

— Evan Daniels

Junior class: How much better?

You’ve read here and likely elsewhere that the Class of 2015 appears relatively weak at the top, while the junior crop of 2016 is far, far stronger.

But while there’s clearly merit to that sentiment, it’s easy to overlook a class top to bottom when assessing its relative strength. In the course of discussing our upcoming rankings for the junior class, for example, we arose at a loose consensus that there’s a fairly steep drop at this point somewhere in the 30s for 40s.

That’s typical, in a sense, but when arguments among us took place, some would suggest a player in the mid-30s belonged more appropriately in the 70s while someone else might want someone in the 80s to receive a jump of 30 or 40 spots.

The numbers ultimately don’t make a difference in terms of what players actually go on to do with their careers, but the point is that the field might be more open for hard-charging juniors than previously believed. Yes, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to jump out of nowhere into the national top five or even the top 10.

But that still leaves ample room within the McDonald’s range, for instance, because even between 12-20 we might see a great deal of fluctuation. All in all, it should be a fun and potentially wild spring, even if everyone continues to bandy about the same names at the top of the class.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

Scout Hoops Top Stories