Weekend Basketball Recruiting Update

News concerning a few Ohio State basketball recruiting targets surfaced over the weekend. Kyle Lamb has a wrap-up of the latest events.

This weekend, a few of Ohio State's top basketball recruiting priorities were in various places related to both basketball and academic purposes. Bucknuts fills you in on the latest with many of them, including super Ohio junior Daequan Cook.

*This weekend, Cook, the 6-5 shooting guard from Dayton Dunbar was in Ann Arbor on an unofficial visit for the Michigan Wolverines. Cook got to tour the facilities and take in the Michigan-Iowa football game.

Al Powell, the man in charge of recruiting Cook, filled us in Sunday evening on how that went exactly.

"He's very tired, as he got back late on Saturday night," Powell said of Cook. "It was a nice visit for him. He's been overwhelmed by the size of these places (he has visited)."

Cook will continue to stay busy, as Monday evening several colleges will be in to watch him during an open gym in the Dayton area. Texas, Oklahoma, and North Carolina have confirmed their presence already, and Powell said it's like Ohio State and some other programs may yet appear.

Sunday afternoon, Cook and his family met with Powell to discuss some of these very same recruiting issues. One of them was the issue of a timetable for a decision.

Powell provided some insight.

"We have come up with a deadline actually," he said. "Right now we want to have a decision by July, but there's definitely nothing saying it can't be sooner than that."

One thing they have made a commitment in doing is to check out some basketball games this winter to see how teams stack up.

Playing style was a big thing for Powell in getting to see how things go.

"We definitely want to go up to Ohio State for some games and watch them play," he said. "I think it's good to see them in person and get a feel for everything."

Cook has big expectations for Ohio State this season, as does Powell.

"We (Daequan and I) feel that the tournament or the NIT are definitely not out of the question," Powell added. "Daequan is really sold on Coach Matta, and I think he feels like they are going to be in good shape."

Powell and Cook are planning to visit Ohio State again unofficially very soon. In fact, there's an outside chance they may come up to visit Ohio State this weekend.

They may decide to postpone that visit, however.

"There's a better chance we may end up coming up for homecoming (the week of Ohio State-Wisconsin) instead," Powell explained. "I would really like him to get a feel for the atmosphere of homecoming and take in the better experience."

*Another top junior, 6-5 David Lighty of Cleveland Vila Angela-St. Joseph was also supposed to be in attendance this weekend in Ann Arbor, but instead chose to stay at in Cleveland for his school's homecoming activities.

The news that Lighty didn't attend might be a breath of fresh air to Buckeye fans, who were somewhat concerned he stayed at home for his mother's party the week he was to visit Ohio State.

Lighty is still too close to call by way of favorites, but Michigan, Syracuse, Arizona, and Ohio State are mentioned most often with him. Success this winter will have a lot of say in his decision of where to attend.

*Raymar Morgan, a 6-7 wing forward from Canton McKinley also visited Ann Arbor this weekend. Morgan visited Michigan State just two weeks ago, and is now planning to visit Ohio State sometime this week or in the coming weeks.

Morgan lists Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan as his primary list of favorites, although Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, and several others have been involved.

*Abdul Herrera, the 6-10 center from Miami, Fla. was set to take his ACT test this past weekend. Herrera is looking to take official visits to Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Illinois. Kansas State, St. John's, Miami, and Florida were also lobbying to get him on campus.

Cincinnati had been pushing for a visit-which would have had to be unofficial, but given the timing of his test, it appeared unlikely Herrera could have worked in a visit.

*A point guard name that might be one to remember is 6-3 Eric Hayes of Potomac, Va. The Potomac Dumfries star is a quick, fundamental guard who had a terrific summer.

DeaconSports.com, Bucknuts' sister site on the Insiders Network covering Wake Forest sports, reported that Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Miami have offered, amongst others.

Of course, it's widely known that Mike Conley, a 6-1 guard from Indianapolis and teammate of 7-0 Greg Oden, as well as Cook, is the top priority at point guard for the Buckeyes in 2006.

We'll have more on Hayes in the coming days.

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