C-J's Brown Reacts To OSU Hiring Matta

Dayton Chaminade-Julienne's Derrick Brown, the state's No. 2 senior-to-be basketball prospect, discusses Ohio State's sudden hiring of Xavier coach Thad Matta. The 6-7 1/2 Brown had been considering both schools. We also share where some of the state's top basketball prospects are camping this week.

Soon after Thad Matta's hiring was confirmed at Ohio State, speculation turned to the recruiting wars. After all, the Buckeyes have four scholarships to offer seniors-to-be and five more for prep juniors-to-be.

Matta already had a verbal commitment from Ohio's top senior-to-be in Toledo St. John's 6-6 wing forward B.J. Raymond to attend Xavier.

But he was also working the state's No. 2 prospect -- as rated by HoopScoopOnline.com -- in Dayton Chaminade-Julienne's 6-7 ½ wing forward Derrick Brown.

Brown is currently attending the Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey. But we were able to reach him to gauge his reaction to Matta's jump from Xavier to Ohio State.

"Actually, I just heard about it," Brown told Bucknuts.com Wednesday night. "A reporter from Cincinnati just called me and told me about it. It shocked me because they had been pushing me really hard to get me to commit to Xavier. They were on the edge, saying they would do everything they can for me. All of a sudden, the next day, he's at a new job."

Brown averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds a game in leading C-J to an 18-8 mark and a berth in the Division II state semifinals this past winter.

He has offers from a number of schools, including Ohio State, Xavier, N.C. State, Michigan State and Dayton. Given the sudden news on Wednesday, Brown wasn‘t sure what to think about Xavier or Ohio State.

"Honestly, the only chance I would be going to Xavier now is if (associate head coach) Sean (Miller) is named the coach," Brown said. "If someone new comes in, I wouldn't have a chance to build a relationship with them at such a late date. I talk all the time to Sean. I know him well. They told me that if (Matta) ever left Sean would be the coach.

"I kind of figured I wasn't going to get (Matta) for four years. My parents were pretty sure he'd move to another job. I think he will do well at Ohio State. This was an opportunity for him to look out for himself and take a high step. If you can take that step, you have to look at it."

Brown had been offered by OSU prior to Jim O'Brien's firing. The school had kept in contact through interim head coach Rick Boyages and assistant Monte Mathis.

"They told me they were going to recruit me," Brown said. "They said they would tell the new coach about me. I'm not a big Ohio State fan. I can't ever say anything, though, because things change every day."

When asked if he would listen if Matta made a pitch for Ohio State, Brown said, "Oh, definitely. But it would have to be some strong persuasion to get me to consider. I'm not saying it can't happen."

Brown, who holds a 3.2 GPA, said he probably will narrow his college choices down to Michigan State, N.C. State and Dayton unless things change drastically.

"A lot of schools are calling, but I may just take it down to those three," he said.

Regarding Brown, HoopScoopOnline.com Ohio editor Chris Johnson said: "Brown is the guy who probably made the biggest jump of anybody in that class. Before, he would have probably been a top-20 player in that class. He is very young for his age. He is still growing and could end up 6-8 or 6-9. If he grows to be 6-9, he could have power forward ability and play some on the perimeter."

Going Camping

Matta was not hired a minute too soon. The recruiting evaluation period begins Thursday and he will likely hit the ground running -- and he has to with so many scholarships available over the next two years.

There are three major events going on concurrently. Here is a look at where some of the key prospects looking at OSU are camping this week:

* Nike Camp, Indianapolis -- Raymond is attending this prestigious camp. Other notable Ohioans in attendance include 6-5 senior PF Jamelle Cornley (No. 5 in state) from Columbus Brookhaven, 6-6 senior WF Chris Knight (No. 7) from Cincinnati, 6-3 junior SG James Dews (No. 5 junior in Ohio) from Liberty Twp. Lakota East and 6-3 junior SG Marcus Johnson (No. 9 junior in Ohio) from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.

* Reebok ABCD Camp, Teaneck, N.J. -- Brown is joined at Reebok by a who's who of Ohio players, including 6-5 junior WF Daequan Cook (No. 1 junior in Ohio, top 20 nationally) of Dayton Dunbar, 6-5 junior WF David Lighty (No. 2 Ohio junior) from Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 6-9 junior PF Richard Semrau (No. 3 Ohio junior) from Rocky River Lutheran West, 6-2 junior PG Chris Poellnitz (No. 10 junior) from Maumee (formerly of Upper Sandusky), 6-4 sophomore SG O.J. Mayo (No. 1 Ohio soph and top five nationally in his class) of Cincinnati North College Hill, 6-5 sophomore WF Bill Walker (No. 2 Ohio soph), 6-9 sophomore C Dallas Lauderdale (No. 3 Ohio soph) from Solon and 6-8 sophomore C Aaron Pogue (No. 4 Ohio soph) of Dayton Dunbar.

* Adidas Superstar Camp, Suwanee, Ga. -- Perhaps the top Ohio name at this fledgling camp now sponsored by adidas is 6-2 senior SG Johnny Wolf (No. 8 in his class in Ohio) of Cincinnati St. Xavier. Also there is 6-4 junior SG Adrian Graves (No. 6 Ohio junior) from Cincinnati Hughes.

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