Ohio State lands key piece in Funderburk
During the 2015-16 season, Ohio State will be one of the youngest teams in the country. The Buckeyes won’t have any seniors and only one junior is slated to be on the roster. With that the scholarships are right in the 2016 class, but on Wednesday morning one of them got filled and it was a solid piece to the puzzle. While the in-state class in Ohio in 2016 lacks someone who right now projects as a McDonald’s All-American following the departures of V.J. King and Omari Spellman, there are a lot of good players, especially at the power forward and center positions. Knowing that, and knowing that they are fairly similar in talent level, Ohio State looked to secure one early on in the process and extended offers to Derek Funderburk, Micah Potter, and Nick Ward. Knowing that it was likely first come and first served for whoever would accept the offer, Funderburk decided that Ohio State was the place for him and pulled the trigger on the commitment. By landing Funderburk, Ohio State now has a long, lean, and athletic 6-foot-9 prospect with a ton of upside. He possesses good hands, good feet, runs the floor very well, and has a nice touch out to 15 feet. With this Ohio State, at least on the surface, looks fairly set at the power forward and center spots. If there are no defections, when Funderburk arrives on Ohio State’s campus, the Buckeyes will have three players locked in at center and then likely another three at power forward. That is a good thing for Funderburk, because while he is very talented, time is something that he needs. Right now his biggest weakness is a lack of strength. Funderburk doesn’t have the frame to be someone who weighs 250 pounds, but he will most definitely benefit quite a bit from a college strength and conditioning program. Once Funderburk does add that strength, all of the natural tools are likely to shine through. He is a solid passer to go along with his athletic gifts, and that allows him to play in multiple spots on the court. Overall Funderburk might not be an immediate impact freshman who blows away conference opponents from day one, once he gets time and gets comfortable on campus he could be someone who really begins to improve as he gets older, stronger, and more experienced.
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