To summarize, with 2 available scholarships going to Stockman and Sullinger,
all 13 slots will be taken up during the 02-03 campaign.
The two transfers will not be eligible to play until the 03-04 season
however, making this year's OSU unit an 11-man operation for all intents and
purposes. Thus, the math will be
extremely easy barring transfers or long term injuries.
Brent Darby and Sean Connolly are the two seniors on scholarship and
theirs will be the two available to rising seniors this summer.
As those that follow Ohio State hoops know, one of those two scholarships has
already been committed to IVAN HARRIS
(6-8, SF/PF, Springfield OH, South HS), a fluid combination forward from the
Buckeye State. Harris has been
ranked by many as the top senior in Ohio not named LeBron James, and chose the
Buckeyes over interest from Michigan St. and Cincinnati.
Early top 100 lists have Harris pegged anywhere from 35 to 49, so it
could be argued that Harris is as highly renowned a recruit as Coach O'Brien
has ever brought into the program. But
more on Ivan later.
Basically, that leaves only one scholarship open for a rising senior, and
debate has already begun as to what position that player will be.
Most think the decision will come between a point guard and a post
player, but it is my opinion that OSU will take the first available talent at
either of these positions willing to commit.
With such tight restrictions, and given what is in hand and on the way, I
feel it will be impossible to turn down a kid skilled enough to make an impact
at either position. And if one is
chosen, there is plenty of depth on the roster to make up for the position not
chosen, and targets in the 03-04 class to then take up the resulting needs.
The following are the players linked to OSU recruiting for the summer of
2002. Best bets is that the
commitment will come from this pool, but don't count OSU out as a late player
with several others!
BYRON DAVIS (6-3, PG, Detroit MI,
Rogers Academy)-- High School
teammate of Buckeye signee Ricardo Billings and said to be the owner of
exceptional athletic gifts (RE: vertical).
Many have classified Davis as a shooting guard, which might make him
doubly attractive to an outfit like OSU which makes heavy and varied use of
backcourt talent. There has been no
confirmation that Billings' presence on the OSU roster will have any bearing,
positively or negatively, on Davis.
It is a foregone conclusion that Davis has the tools to be a high major
recruit, seemingly on his athletic gifts alone.
Louisville and Michigan St. are said to be monitoring him, as well as
other Big Ten outfits.
BRANDON JENKINS (6-4, PG Detroit MI,
Southeastern)-- Another Detroit
Public School League (PSL) talent, Jenkins is a target of a wide array of High
Major schools this summer. Long armed and a skilled scorer, Jenkins seems to possess
more than just "pure point guard" skills making him all the more valuable to
Ohio State. 1st team all
Detroit by the Detroit Free Press as a Junior, when he averaged 23.4 PPG.
If OSU could choose one guy to land, this is one kid who would be very
high on the list. Appears on
National lists between 50 and 70.
Several schools are involved with Jenkins as mentioned but the main players
seem to be Pittsburgh, Michigan, Missouri, Providence, Michigan St., and Ohio
St. Jenkins' teammate
WALTER WATERS (6-9, C Detroit MI, Southeastern) recently verballed to
Pittsburgh, but it remains to be seen if this has any bearing on Jenkins'
LAVENDER (5-7, PG Columbus OH, Brookhaven)--- The floorleader of the
reigning Ohio Big School champions has been a known commodity in the Midwest for
some time. Peers have raved at his
ability to take on bigger foes and hold his own with plenty to spare. Analysts seem split on Lavender's potential for the next
level as many point out his size will set him up for matchup problems with
larger, more physical guards. Plenty
of Division 1 heavyweights have lined up to say that the other parts of
Lavender's game far outweigh this risk however, as evidenced by Lavender's
national ranking range of 40-85.
Lavender already sports offers from Seton Hall and Ohio State and has also
drawn interest from Cincinnati, Indiana, Clemson, and Mississippi among others.
Notice that Seton Hall and Mississippi are both programs that have had
success with point guards Lavender's size (Andre Barrett, Jason Harrison).
The possibility that Lavender and his high school teammate BRANDON
FOUST (6-7, PF/WF Columbus OH, Brookhaven) are a package deal is also
intriguing as, if true, this would rule out Ohio State.
JAMAR NUTTER (6-2, PG East Orange NJ,
Seton Hall Prep)-- A
magnificent fundamental player, Nutter has often drawn rave reviews over his
ability to do things on a basketball court with minimal fuss.
Many of the Big East and ACC schools have anted up on Nutter, and his
recruitment to Ohio State seems to require a lot of ground to be made up by the
Nutter is a high target of Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Syracuse, St. John's,
and Maryland. If Ohio State wants
to add him to the family, there is plenty of competition on hand.