The Tuesday night battle between Canton McKinley and GlenOak attracted a sellout crowd. The game also brought Ohio State assistant basketball coach Dan Peters back to his hometown to view the contest.
Peters, who starred at Canton Central Catholic from 1970-1972, is in his second season as a member of Thad Matta's staff.
"This is a great atmosphere for high school basketball," said Peers. "I remember playing here in high school and it's still a thrill to walk into this building."
Peters was unable to speak about any of the players in accordance with NCAA regulations, but it's no secret he was in town to watch GlenOak junior star Kosta Koufos. Koufos, 7-1, did not disappoint as he went toe to toe with McKinley senior Raymar Morgan throughout the game. GlenOak lost the game 59-46 as McKinley proved to be too stong for the Golden Eagles. Koufos is drawing the attention of most of the top colleges in the country and has been offered a scholarship by Ohio State.
Peters did take some time to discuss the current team at Ohio State.
"These guys are really working hard and buying into what coach Matta expects," said Peters. "This year we're a lot more confident as a team. They think they can win every time out."
When asked the reason for the team's surge of confidence, Peters was quick to mention the victory over Illinois last season in Columbus.
"That game was such a turning point for this team and this program," said Peters. "That Illinois team was a great team, and I do mean great. They were as good a team as I've ever coached against. The guys know if they stay together and execute that they can beat anybody."
Peters, a former head coach at Youngstown State as well as an assistant at Cincinnati, was asked about working for Thad Matta at Ohio State.
"First off, Coach Matta is a great guy," said Peters. "He really cares about people and he has a great disposition. That's why he's been so successful at recruiting. People can see he's such a genuine person. People like being around him. He also doesn't take himself too seriously. He has the ability to laugh at himself."
When asked to describe the difference in working for Bob Huggins as compared to Thad Matta, Peters politely declined to comment about his stint at Cincinnati. He did talk about working for Ohio State however.
"Being at Ohio State is off the chart," said Peters. "We have everything we
need to be successful. When I coached at Youngstown, it was such a struggle to
be recognized by the high school players. At Ohio State there is instant
credibility. As an Ohio high school player, every kid should want to play at
Ohio State. It's exactly the same for a coach. This is the best place to coach
in the country. My family and I love everything about Ohio State."