A look at OSU recruiting possibilities (Part 3)

Time for part 3 of the look at OSU's hoops recruiting possibilities... today brings a look at wing players.

WING PLAYERS

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 2002.

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 succeed.

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

LEBRON 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 this level.

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.


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