OSU Likely To Miss On Early Signees

Though the week-long early signing period for college basketball started Wednesday, Ohio State doesn't have any signatures to speak of just yet. Get the full story of where the Buckeyes currently stand on the recruiting trail inside.

The number of Ohio State men's basketball commitments for the 2012 class will remain at zero – at least through the first portion of the week-long early signing period that commenced Wednesday.

Though Ohio State is still in the running for a number of top targets in this year's class, those prospects are still in the midst of making up their minds.

Ohio State's top target is Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove big man Tony Parker, a five-star prospect ranked as the No. 19 overall recruit in the class by Scout.com.

Despite views from recruiting analysts that Ohio State is currently in good position with the highly coveted Parker, the prospect said recently that he won't come to a final decision until December.

If that's indeed when Parker announces his decision, he'll sign with his school of choice during the regular signing period that spans from April 11-May 16.

"I'm narrowing it down," said Parker, who is still considering Ohio State, Duke, Memphis and UCLA. "I'll probably make my decision in December."

Duke picked up recent momentum in the recruitment of Parker after hosting the prospect on an official visit during the last weekend of October, particularly because legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski has done everything in his power to make the prospect feel like a top priority.

Still, Parker said no school currently holds an advantage.

"It went well," Parker said of his trip to see the Blue Devils. "I really had a great time. I got a chance to see what it like to be like a Duke play for 48 hours, which was pretty cool. They showed me around the campus and I went out with the guys."

Having seen all the schools remaining on his list, Parker won't take any more visits before coming to his decision in the next month. Parker was last in Columbus the weekend of Sept. 10 and he has fond memories about the trip.

"It was great because they had a football game and Ohio State football is nuts, so of course I had a good time there," said Parker, who witnessed the Buckeyes knock off Toledo 27-22 in Ohio Stadium. "I didn't get to see them play basketball at all, but I still had a pretty good time."

The Buckeyes, however, could get a decision from Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends' Central standout Amile Jefferson before the early signing period is over. Though Jefferson is supposed to take his final official visit to Stanford this weekend, his father, Malcolm Musgrove, expects his son will sign with a school before the early signing period comes to a close next Wednesday.

"We will take a look at Stanford and as soon as we get back we will sit down as a family and look at all of the programs under consideration," Musgrove said. "It will be a tough decision for him to make, but he will have all the information. He has taken the visits and knows the schools and situations."

The 6-9, 200-pound five-star combo forward is ranked as the No. 4 overall power forward prospect in the 2012 class and he's taken official visits to Ohio State, UCONN, Kentucky and most recently N.C. State.

Jefferson, who has also taken unofficial visits to Villanova and Temple, spent the weekend of Nov. 5 in Raleigh, getting a feel for the Wolfpack basketball program.

N.C. State is currently putting together one of the best classes in the nation with commitments from five-star recruits Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren and four-star point guard Tyler Lewis. Landing Jefferson would give the Wolfpack one of the best basketball recruiting classes of recent memory.

"It was an excellent visit," Musgrove said. "Amile has been to N.C. State before, but this time it was important to get back down there because he didn't have a chance to meet with all the players on the previous visit. He did that this time around which he liked.

"He spent some time with the players and also talked with Rodney Purvis, one of the commitments in their class. Amile is very familiar with Rodney from the AAU circuit, and they spent some time talking. Again, I would say he had a very good visit."

Musgrove said all the schools Jefferson has visited remain in the mix.

"As soon as Amile gets back on the 13th we're going to talk," he said, "and I believe very shortly after he returns we will be calling all the coaches notifying them of his decision."

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow, however, feels as if the Buckeyes could be on the outside looking in on Jefferson's looming decision.

"Ohio State has been pursuing Amile for a long time and though some feel he has a shot of choosing them after his official to Stanford this weekend," Snow said. "At this point it seems unlikely that the Buckeyes will be able to get the signature of one of the top prospects in the class."

Ohio State also has an offer out to Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep power forward Anthony Bennett, a five-star prospect ranked as the No. 2 overall player at his position. However, Bennett has been relatively quiet about where he stands in the recruiting process and isn't expected to make a decision until spring. The widespread sentiment is that the Buckeyes are a long shot to land his services.

The Buckeyes currently have 11 underclassmen on scholarship and the limit is 13. Ohio State has two scholarships to give, but could have more depending on whether there are early departures.

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