Matta accepted the job one week ago today. But before he could even be introduced as the new OSU coach, he spent last Thursday at the ABCD Camp. He then jetted to Columbus for his introductory press conference on Friday before reportedly heading back to New Jersey to take in the action on Saturday.
After all, most of Ohio's top prospects were on display at ABCD, including many of the key guys in the upcoming junior and sophomore classes that are star-studded.
The camp culminated in the all-star games. Ohio's best were all over the underclassman all-star games. Juniors Daequan Cook of Dayton Dunbar and David Lighty of Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph helped lead the East to a 135-132 win over the West, which featured North College Hill sophomore stars O.J. Mayo and Bill "Sky" Walker.
The 6-5 Cook won East MVP honors with 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was 9 of 11 from the floor, including 2 of 3 on three-pointers. The 6-5 Lighty had 11 points, one rebound and one steal. He was 4 of 8 from the floor.
The 6-5 Walker had 22 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block. He was 10 of 14 from the floor. He shared West MVP honors with Mayo, who had 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal. He was 9 of 15 from the floor, including 1 of 4 on three-pointers.
During the course of the camp, scoring was recorded as players competed in league play. In these games, they typically played one half (roughly 20 minutes with a running clock). Here are scoring averages from those games as well as final camp rankings by HoopScoopOnline.com:
* Walker -- Averaged 11.6 points and five rebounds per game. Ranked, along with Mayo, in a five-way tie for the No. 2 overall spot at the camp behind only Jackson, Miss., star Monta Ellis. Walker was also listed as the No. 2 wing forward at the camp. He listed Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky and West Virginia as his top schools, although sources indicated that he and Mayo were "intrigued" by Matta's hiring at Ohio State.
* Mayo -- Averaged 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Ranked in that tie as the No. 2 overall player at the camp and No. 2 shooting guard. He mentioned Louisville, Cincinnati and Syracuse, among others.
* Lighty -- Averaged 5.6 points per game. Ranked as the No. 14 shooting guard at the camp. Listed Syracuse, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State and Arizona among his favorites.
* Cook -- Averaged 6.9 points in league play. Ranked as the No. 15 overall prospect at the camp and as the No. 4 shooting guard. Cook continues to list North Carolina, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan, among others.
* Derrick Brown, 6-7 ½, wing forward, senior, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne -- Brown averaged five points per game. He is reevaluating his choices after the changes at Ohio State and Xavier. Those two have consistently been on his list as well as Dayton, N.C. State and Michigan State. He was ranked as the No. 16 wing forward at the camp.
* Dallas Lauderdale, 6-9, center, sophomore, Solon -- Averaged three points per game and was ranked as the 15th-best center at the camp. His early top three is North Carolina, Syracuse and Ohio State.
* Richard Semrau, 6-9, power forward, junior, Rocky River Lutheran West -- Semrau averaged 3.4 points per game. He reportedly received an Ohio State offer immediately upon Matta's hiring. Kentucky has long been listed as his leader with Wake Forest, Illinois, OSU, Arizona, N.C. State, UCLA, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Florida State all on his list.
* Chris Poellnitz, 6-2, guard, junior, Maumee -- Averaged 5.1 points per game in league.
* Lawrence Wilson, 6-5, forward, senior, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary -- Wilson received an Ohio State football offer after attending the senior advanced camp June 27. But he is also a standout basketball player, averaging 5.9 points per game at ABCD. He also used his strength, muscle and athleticism inside.
* Also Notable -- Matta was seen watching Herminie (Pa.) Yough senior power forward Ben McCauley, who goes 6-8, 235 pounds. McCauley had considered Ohio State under the previous staff.