Focus On The Future: Power Forwards

One position Ohio State seems to be set at for now is power forward, but there are several possibilities out there that would be fine additions for this team down the road. Kyle Lamb continues his five-part look at future OSU recruiting possibilities today with a look at the power forward position.

Last week, we began our series on the classes of 2006 & 2007 by giving you some early names to keep an eye on by way of the center position. Now it's time to take a closer look at a few power forwards you won't want to miss.

The common theme amongst the early targets for Ohio State by way of power forward seems to be that many of them are soaring up the charts. With Ohio State extremely young and talented at the 4-position, the Buckeyes might not need to go after a true power forward in the 2006 class.

However, in 2007 there are plenty of talented prospects to be had, and it's almost a certainty they will take one by 2007, if they haven't already.

Currently, Ohio State has 6-8 sophomore Ivan Harris, who will be in the driver's seat to start at the power forward for the next three years. Harris is a talented player whose only real obstacle last season was that he wasn't playing physically tough enough down inside for Coach O'Brien's scheme.

His versatility and outside shooting, however, should play a significant role in Thad Matta's new offense. His competition will be fierce from 6-7 freshman Jermyl Jackson-Wilson.

Jackson-Wilson will be a junior by the time the class of 2006 arrives, and with just a little bit of an outside shot added to his repertoire, could figure to be a dangerous weapon to have given his athleticism and rebounding.

One other player who could see some time at power forward is 6-10 Matt Terwilliger, who we included with the centers given that's where we feel he will see the most time at under Matta.

In 2006, the name most prominently mentioned with Ohio State at this position seems to be Mendota Heights (Minn.) forward, Bryce Webster.

Webster, a 6-9 230-lb junior has been garnering attention from a lot of major programs recently. The St. Thomas Academy star has seen Ohio State, Boston College, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Marquette, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin amongst many begin to recruit him.

In recent interviews, Ohio State has been one of the first, if not the fist team mentioned out of Webster's mouth. An interview that Webster gave this summer indicated what he's looking for in a college.

"I want to find a coaching staff I can connect with and a coach who has energy," Webster told Gopher Hole. "It will also be important to find players I like and get along with."

The last week during the evaluation period, which ended 10 days ago, Matta was present during an open gym at Webster's high school-a pattern that has become quite ordinary.

Last season as a sophomore, Webster averaged 19 points a game and 10 rebounds a game. He played this summer for the Howard Pulley AAU team, considered one of the finer teams in the country.

Although he has already visited nearby Minnesota, Marquette, and Wisconsin, Webster doesn't figure distance in as much of a factor when he ultimately goes to making a decision.

Unlike Webster, 6-8 Josh Chichester of West Chester, (Oh.) is someone who does value staying close to home.

Chichester is a tough-nosed player from Lakota West High School who has grown over an inch the past six months alone. If Chichester continues to grow, some have said his broad shoulders would make him a good post player.

Last year as a sophomore, Chichester averaged over 15 points a game, eight rebounds a game, and two blocked shots a game. This summer, playing for Jerry Watson's All-Ohio Red AAU team, he played so well that Dayton, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Purdue, Wake Forest, Xavier, Ohio State, Indiana, and many other top tier programs began recruiting him.

Ohio State has recently stepped up their efforts to get involved. Just last month, Chichester visited Ohio State unofficially and enjoyed his visit a lot.

Chichester also has the option of possibly playing football at the next level as well. Standing 6-8 and being amazingly coordinated, Chichester is a standout wide receiver for a Lakota West team that remains undefeated.

It appears, however, that Chichester will stick to basketball. If he continues his progress and his growth, Ohio State will definitely remain a very serious player.

Richard Semrau of Rocky River (Oh.) is definitely someone Ohio State has a ton of interest in, but as of now they aren't getting as much reciprocated interest as they desire.

The versatile 6-10 shooter with the ability of running the floor and crashing the glass currently favors Kentucky over Illinois, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. Ohio State is still involved and figures to receive an unofficial visit later in November, but they have plenty of ground to cover.

Semrau's high school coach, Phil Argento, also isn't helping matters for the Buckeyes, as he is a Kentucky graduate and actively pushing Semrau to the Wildcats.

Averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds a game last season for Lutheran West High School, Semrau still was absent from the recruiting radar of many top programs -- until a giant performance in AAU tournaments this spring sent colleges flocking to see him.

For the class of 2006, Semrau is unanimously considered one of the top three or four players in the state behind Daequan Cook and David Lighty. Raymar Morgan and James Dews are the only two players that might rival Semrau's ranking.

Speaking of Morgan, this 6-7 slasher, from Canton McKinley High School, is a player that Ohio State has made a top priority.

This past weekend Morgan visited Ohio State for the Ohio State-Wisconsin football game. Morgan has Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State as his top three teams currently.

Morgan averaged 22 points a game as a sophomore, leading McKinley to the state final four in Division I where they lost to eventual state champion Hamilton.

The fifth and final player to keep an eye on in 2006 is Mt. Zion Academy's Tracy Smith. Smith is a 6-7 230-pounder who plays for the powerful Christian boarding school in Durham, NC.

Originally a native of Detroit, Smith used to be teammates with another high profile Detroit recruit, Ramar Smith.

Smith is limited in range and quickness, as he is a little on the bulky side, but he's very skilled and has a nice mid-range game. He also has improved a lot this past summer in working on his inside moves.

Smith will be a high-major recruit, but his recruiting is just recently beginning to pick up. Expect Ohio State to watch him closely.

The class of 2007 begins without question with 6-8 280-pound Aaron Pogue, the high school teammate of Cook at Dayton Dunbar.

Pogue, who sat out his freshman year because of academic concerns, played extremely well this spring on the same AAU team as Cook, Greg Oden, and Mike Conley.

This fall, Pogue is playing football for the first time on his high school football team and has already performed well enough that schools are beginning to take a look at his progress. It's conceivable that Pogue could be a two-sport athlete at the next level.

Right now, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Ohio State are the teams in on Pogue early on, but by the time he's a senior, he will have a ton of major programs after him. Pogue is good friends with Cook, and presumably would love to play at the same place.

However, recently Al Powell, the assistant Dunbar coach who handles their recruitment, said that Pogue plays a different style of basketball and might not necessarily end up at the same place.

A second name to watch for within the state is still a relatively unknown. Christian Siakim is a 6-7 African transfer that is soon to be eligible for Cincinnati Hughes.

Siakim is considered a top five player in the class of 2007 in the state of Ohio if he gets eligible.

Next up for the Focus on the Future series will be the wing forwards.

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