West Chester Duo Wide Open

Two more Ohio underclassmen who make the crop of talent in the state so strong are guard James Dews and forward Josh Chichester. The two seem open right now when it comes to college, but OSU is interested in both.

Kings Island is an exciting place to be for many Ohioans traveling to southwestern Ohio. But for Ohio State head basketball coach Thad Matta, it's probably not as exciting as the town of West Chester.

West Chester is the place Matta will probably spending some time in for the next couple of years, as it's the hometown of juniors James Dews and Josh Chichester.

Dews, the 6-3 shooting guard from Lakota East is widely regarded as one of the top 3 to 5 players in the class of 2006 in the state of Ohio, and more notably, the best pure shooter regardless of class in the entire state.

Chichester, meanwhile, is a 6-7 power forward with a growing frame and a rapidly improving game. Although Chichester attends cross-town Lakota West, the two have been best of friends since attending junior high school together in the seventh grade.

This summer, both players had productive summers causing many schools to take note.

"I think I did really well," Dews said. "I've got Michigan, Michigan State, Xavier, Ohio State, Purdue, and Dayton all looking at me closely right now."

Currently, Chichester isn't yet receiving the same attention as his friend, but he's already got several noteworthy programs taking a peek.

In fact, Matta has already taken note.

"Xavier, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Purdue have all started recruiting me," Chichester said. "Wake Forest and Ohio State have looked at me as well."

Chichester grew up not really ever following college basketball. He said that recently he's started to like Xavier, Dayton, Illinois, and Purdue on a personal level.

"I know North Carolina is James' favorite school," Chichester said. "He likes the Tar Heels, Dayton, Wake Forest, and I think he likes Ohio State a lot too."

Dews admitted being a Tar Heel fan.

He also seemed to share a common rationale for how an Ohio kid could fall in love with North Carolina.

"I am a huge Michael Jordan fan," Dews said with a laugh. "What can I say, M.J. is the man."

Although Dews is a big fan of ACC basketball, namely North Carolina and Wake Forest, he also is interested in staying close to home. More importantly, getting to play with Chichester would be of great interest.

"Oh we most definitely talk about that all the time," Dews said of going to college together. "In fact, we were having a long conversation about that just a few days ago. We haven't gone to school together since junior high school, so it would be kind of nice."

Right now, Xavier and Dayton are the two schools recruiting both of them with any consistency, but with the kind of summer that Chichester had, that's very likely to change.

Ohio State is a school that both of them mentioned. Matta is a large factor in the Buckeyes being a possible destination for the two of them down the road.

"I've only gotten to talk to him (Matta) a few times," Dews said. "But he seemed to be a really nice guy, and I know that he's a good coach."

Like many people, Dews was surprised when Jim O'Brien was fired by Ohio State as he had been recruited by O'Brien. He was even more surprised at Matta taking over.

"I was at the Nike Camp when that happened," Dews said. "My father called me and told me the news. I was really shocked by it. I had absolutely no idea he was going to take the job up there."

The coaching shuffle of Matta heading to Ohio State has affected Dews in other ways too.

His high school team, Lakota East, will now be searching for someone to step up this season as the point guard.

"Well, we lost our point guard because he moved to Columbus," Dews said. "His dad is Dan Peters, who just left Cincinnati for Ohio State. So we've got to find someone to replace him."

Although Matta is now in Columbus, he will be spending plenty of time in West Chester. As for that Kings Island stop, Matta might be too busy for that, but don't be shocked if Dews and Chichester are there-together.


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