While the 2015 Ohio State commit cannot yet count himself in the same category as those two Buckeye greats, the Ohio State staff expects to use Grandstaff in the same ways that they used Turner and Diebler when he gets on campus next fall, the recruit said.
Grandstaff, a four-star shooting guard from Rockwall, Texas, has drawn many comparisons to Diebler as the No. 48 player in the 2015 class is undeniably a knockdown shooter. Buckeye head coach Thad Matta has said that Grandstaff is a better shooter at this stage than Diebler, who became Ohio State’s all-time three-point leader, was in high school.
“You are looking at a kid who can flat-out shoot the basketball with tremendous range, and he’s got size to go with it,” Matta said. “He’s got athleticism to go with it.”
While Grandstaff welcomes the comparisons to one of the most prolific offensive players in Buckeye history, he wants to do even more than Diebler did.
“Coach Matta showed me a lot of highlights of him,” Grandstaff said. “I watched a lot of highlights of him and I love the way he plays, he can shoot it, but I don’t know, I feel like he was really just a knock down shooter. I want to do more, I want to make plays and stuff like that, but I do like that comparison.”
“They also showed me some of Evan Turner because I’ve been playing a lot of point this year. I’ve become more of a combo guard. My junior season I was more of a shooter, but I’ve developed. I’ve gotten a lot quicker and faster, so I think I could play both.”
Those clear examples of how Grandstaff could be used in the Buckeyes system along with a path to early playing time led the 6-5 shooting guard to commit to the Buckeyes in May of 2014. That commitment followed Grandstaff reneging on his commitment to Oklahoma State. Once he knew that the Cowboys weren’t going to be a part of his future his first official visit was to Ohio State.
“I think the biggest thing that he found at Ohio State was just the family atmosphere,” Rockwall High School coach Alan Simmons said. “He got along well with all the coaches, and I just think it was very similar – as far as the atmosphere that he was looking for – it was very similar to what we have here, the family atmosphere.”
While relationships were a big factor for Grandstaff, playing time mattered as well. The Buckeyes will lose at least three starters from last year’s team with a fourth departure likely as D’Angelo Russell is a projected Top 5 NBA pick, though he has not made his intentions clear.
All of that could clear the way for Grandstaff to get on the floor early next season. While he doesn’t think of himself as just a shooter, he knows that his greatest asset is his ability to put the ball in the basket. That’s what the Buckeyes will need next season as 64.9 percent of their scoring will be gone from last season assuming Russell goes pro. “I think just scoring, that’s what I’ve always done best and that’s what they said they are going to use me as. Just making plays off the dribble and making shots,” Grandstaff said. “They just said they needed a scorer and that’s kind of what I do.”
That’s what Diebler and Turner did at Ohio State and next season Grandstaff will have the chance to prove that the Buckeyes coaches’ comparisons to those former Buckeye stars are apt.