Although the Buckeyes are well stocked on the wing with Ricardo Billings, JJ.
Sullinger, and Matt Sylvester all underclassmen in 2003 and Tony Stockman also
capable at that spot, it never hurts to have options, particularly highly ranked
ones. Coincidentally, some of the
highest ranked players associated with the Buckeyes are at this position.
It would prove interesting if one of these "studs" chose to be a
Buckeye—at least from the Buckeyes' perspective.
SEAN BANKS (6-6, SF Oradell NJ, Bergen
Catholic)--- Banks is a legitimate top 50 recruit associated with just about
every top program in the country, but particularly those on the East Coast.
More than one source has associated Banks with Ohio State, albeit the
interest will be slightly lukewarm now—especially given the additions of
Sullinger and Stockman. However
this young man might qualify as the "too good to pass up on" type of player.
Arizona, Kentucky, Seton Hall, North Carolina—Banks seems to have the
ability to punch his ticket to the high major of his choice
MICHAEL BUSH (6-3, WG Louisville KY,
Male)-- Bush is the most
coveted two sport athlete in the class of 2003, showing equal promise on the
gridiron. In fact, he already
sports one offer from Ohio State—from Jim Tressel as a WR/DB.
Bush is also a consistent name on top 50 Basketball lists and seems to be
leaning towards trying both sports out at the Division 1 level.
Interestingly enough, Ohio State is not one of the schools said to have
shown interest in this arrangement—odd because DB recruit Nate Salley seems to
be ticketed to just that arrangement in 2002-03.
Bush is also said to have some ability to play point guard, a situation that
might make him a more favorable recruit than others listed under "WINGS".
Indiana and Louisville are two schools that have said he can try both—LSU,
Tennessee, and Kentucky are also involved in one or the other.
His recruitment should be one of the more interesting stories to watch in
BRANDON FOUST (6-7, WF/PF Columbus OH,
Brookhaven)-- Foust is another
"tweener" from Ohio with the ability to play a lot of different positions on
the court. His position in HS has
been power forward although a shift to the wing is most likely given his length
and athletic ability. Foust has
also grown a few inches a year for the past few years, meaning the finished
product may yet to be seen. Rest
assured that Bruce Howard and his fine Brookhaven program will give Foust every
opportunity to sharpen the skills necessary to move to the next level and
If Foust grows to 6-8 or 9, his ability may become extremely similar to
Cincinnati Bearcat Jamal Davis—long, athletic, and hard to match up with.
Cincinnati and Seton Hall are already involved, as well as the Buckeyes
and several mid-majors. The rumors
of Foust and HS teammater Andrew Lavender being a package deal are still there,
and UC and Seton Hall seem to be the programs most involved with both.
REGGIE HARWELL (6-6, WG Cleveland OH,
St. Joseph's)--- Harwell is a player who's stock always seems on the
verge of going upwards. Physical
skills are not a problem, but it seems he has never really experienced a high
level of success at the high school level (two high profile teammates evidently
transferred out of St. Joe's before this year).
Look for Harwell to end up at a high-major program, if not in the Big Ten
then in Conference USA.
Cincinnati has shown great interest as have Iowa and Marquette.
Unless Harwell sharpens his Point Guard skills immensely, it is most
likely he will end up somewhere other than Ohio State.
MICHAEL SAWYER-JONES (6-4, WG
Braintree MA, Thayer Academy)--- The
link between Sawyer-Jones and OSU is recent and vague, but nonetheless
intriguing due to the immense stature of the player.
Sawyer-Jones is very likely on the short list of athletes being
considered for the McDonalds team of 2003—a list that many consider the most
prestigious for a HS senior. His skills are said to be jaw dropping, particularly his
athletic gifts and ability to elevate.
Connecticut has been a consistent player in the recruitment of Sawyer-Jones,
but Duke, North Carolina, Florida, and Maryland are always mentioned as well.
If it turns out Ohio State does have a chance, this would prove one of
the more interesting recruiting decisions in recent memory—do you take the
best available player on the board regardless of position?
Others to watch
Nick Stafford (6-8, SF Worcester MA, Academy)
Joe Davis (6-6 SF Columbus OH, Thomas Worthington)
And finally a word (editorial) on
JAMES (6-7, G/F Akron OH, St. Vincent St. Mary's)--- Quite possibly the
single most decorated player to come out of Ohio since Jerry Lucas.
For those that have had the pleasure of seeing James play, it is obvious
that his is a game not seen in these parts – well, ever.
The gap between James and the next best players in Ohio in the past 10-15
years is astounding. There is
simply nothing this young man is not capable of doing on a basketball floor at
That said, do not look for him at Ohio State, or college for that matter. Look for him on an NBA bench in two years, and probably at the NBA All-Star game in 4. Perhaps the worst scenario possible for the OSU staff would be James' "squatting" on the final scholarship. Similar actions were taken by Darius Miles (now of the LA Clippers) with St. John's and Eddy Curry (now of the Chicago Bulls) at DePaul. The results in both cases were disastrous for the programs--- a recruit that is guaranteed to contribute could be brought on while the scholarship is wasted on the potential addition of the elite recruit.