It's been over two-and-a-half months since Ohio State Basketball scored its first verbal commitment of the summer. But it's hard to forget about a prospect when he stands 6'9", as does Troy-area standout MATT TERWILLIGER. Bucknuts' own Charles Babb caught up with the Senior-to-be Power Forward and had this scoop for the OSU faithful.
Terwilliger on the Recruiting process:
Charles Babb: What was it about Ohio State that led you to commit here? (No doubt asked for about the 1000th time J)
MT: "It was not one particular thing. It was basically everything. The whole atmosphere, coaching staff, and the school. I mean, I liked everybody on the team. They are all good guys, and there is a great coaching staff, a Big Ten atmosphere, and then also, the schooling was very important to me. You can't get much better than Ohio State."
CB: What about the team?
MT: "Sometimes you go places and the players are nice to you because
you are a recruit and you can kind of tell that people are ‘putting on faces,'
but it just seems like they (the Ohio State players) are really nice people.
They are just all good guys, really nice to hang out with and everything and
good basketball players too.
CB: What about the Ohio State coaches – how did they recruit you?
MT: "It was really a lot of Coach Monte (Mathis) and Coach O'Brien. They were around a lot. Some schools kind of were there every once in a while and then disappeared for a while, but they were always there. They were at every one of my games out in Vegas…. every one in LA. You know, they just made it feel like I was the top priority, where other schools, I was a priority, but not the top."
CB: Some in the past have charged O'Brien is not a great recruiter. What do you think about that statement? How does he stack up as a recruiter?
MT: "He is a great recruiter. He is one of the best recruiters, and he is honest. He is up front. He will tell you -- even if it is not what you want to hear -- he is going to tell you, because he is not going to lie. He is real classy about everything. He doesn't go try to bend the rules in his recruiting. He does everything straight. He will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Sometimes coaches have a tendency to just tell you – everybody has a tendency to hype you up like you are ‘the man' and everything. What he did with me is tell me what I have a chance to do and what they can do to help me, but also what I am going to have to do to get to the point that he wants and that I want to be at. He was like, ‘We can do so much, but you gotta do it on your own too.'"
Terwilliger on the Upcoming Season
CB: What parts of your game do you want to improve on in your senior season at Troy?
MT: "Strength definitely. Strength and intensity are my two big things."
CB: What is your weight right now?
MT: I weigh about 220.
CB: What is your goal (weight-wise)?
MT: I want to be 230 by the start of the season. We will see if we can get that to happen.
CB: When I was 17 or 18 I could not hardly gain weight to save my life…..
MT: "Yeah. I can't gain. I mean I'll eat like two pizzas, go to McDonalds and Wendy's and lose all that weight sitting on the bench!"
CB: What is the strongest point in your game?
MT: "I am not selfish. I would rather have five assists than have five
points. I like to pass and keep the team involved because I know when you have
players who don't who want to do everything on their own, the rest of the team
kind of gets out of the loop and sits around. I like to keep the team involved;
I know I am not a guard, but even going inside-out, I like to keep other people
CB: What are your team goals this season?
MT: "I have high expectations just because we have the talent. I think we have the talent to win a state championship. It is just a matter of -- I mean I know we have the talent -- it's just a matter of us jelling. We have played together -- we've basically had the same team for the last three years. It's going to boil down to how much we want it, how hard we are willing to work, and whether we come together and play as a team or as five individuals."
CB: What is your height right now?
MT: "I have not grown a lot in the past couple months. I am 6'9"
right now, and I really have not grown all that much lately. I may be done, or I
may just be in a dry spot. I am not really sure yet."
Terwilliger—some stuff you may not have known
CB: Who was the toughest match up you had during camp season this summer?
MT: "This year through the AAU, probably Dwight Howard. He is just amazing. He is just the best player in our grade, the number one player in the class. It is just everything about him. He is 6'11", he can jump out of the gym, and he is just strong."
CB: Who are your role models?
MT: "My role models are my grandpa and dad. My grandpa was an Olympic decathlete… so, he is a role model. As for NBA players, it would be Kevin Garnett."
CB: How did your grandfather do as a decathlete in the Olympics?
MT: "He got invited, but it was in WWII, so he decided to go fight. He enlisted instead of going to the Olympics. Then my dad was a AAA baseball player and tried out for a few NFL teams. So, he was an athlete as well."
CB: Do you ever feel you have a lot to live up to or are you just proud to have that legacy?
MT: "I mean, I am definitely proud of what they have done. They don't make it (feel that way). I don't feel that I need to but I want to. I set the goals for myself to at least make it that far if not do better."
Know this OSU brethren. There are always student-athletes out there that make it ridiculously easy to cheer for them. Terwilliger is that type of guy, as he exudes team play and unselfishness to the max—on top of the fact that he has some serious basketball skills. (In next month's issue of Bucknuts the Magazine, you can see all about that)
We've got a good one.