It remains to be seen whether or not Ohio State has itself a junior college commitment, but perhaps the Buckeyes are one step closer.
As reported earlier this week in The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State will apparently host Vincennes University guard Devon Dumes on an official visit beginning today. Dumes, a 6-foot-2 combination guard from Indianapolis was the leading scorer on a 28-6 Vincennes team this past season, scoring 16.9 points and stating all but one of their 34 games.
Vincennes Sports Information Director Dave Hunter could not confirm whether the visit was still scheduled. Attempts to reach Vincennes men's basketball coach Evereck Sullivan were unsuccessful, though according to Hunter, it's the team's policy generally not to comment on recruits, transfers or the specifics of their individual recruitments.
An official visit, paid for by the university, allows recruits up to 48 hours to tour the campus, eat meals and visit with the coaches and players all at the athletic department's expense. Dumes has reported a scholarship offer by the Buckeyes, though the validity of that claim remains in question.
If in fact Dumes holds a scholarship opportunity, as has been suggested, sources indicate to Buckeye Sports Bulletin that Dumes would give strong consideration to committing to the Buckeyes either on his visit or shortly after returning to school.
People close to the former Honorable Mention All-Indiana selection, who signed out of high school with Eastern Michigan believe Ohio State would be the perfect fit for Dumes, who's drawing heavy interest from Colorado, Arkansas and Alabama. Dumes has already visited UTEP, Colorado and Arkansas this past weekend with a tentative visit scheduled next weekend to Tuscaloosa.
This past season, Dumes averaged 3.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range and 84 percent from the free-throw line. Last year as a freshman, Dumes was the fourth-leading scorer for Eastern Michigan averaging 8.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in just over 18 minutes per contest before leaving the program for Vincennes after the season. His best games as a rookie, however, were encouragingly against some of the best competition the Eagles faced: 19 against Ohio University, 16 against Marquette and 14 against Michigan.
Dumes signed with EMU as an unheralded but rather late-blooming senior. Dumes still managed to become the all-time leading scorer at Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis with 1,306 points thanks to a strong senior season (24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game).
As a junior, Dumes averaged 17.9 points and 4.9 assists per game. Unfortunately for the 3-year varsity guard, his team never managed a winning record in the time he was there undoubtedly contributing to the lack of exposure.
Ohio State is in search of a versatile, sharp-shooting combo guard following the graduation of four-year, two-time All-Big Ten selection Jamar Butler and in lieu of the unsettled point guard situation for next season. The Buckeyes bring in highly-touted Anthony Crater from Brewster Preparatory school in New Hampshire as well as Indianapolis prep combo Walter Offutt, but Crater's inconsistency the past year and Offutt's second major knee surgery in three seasons have shrouded the position with uncertainty.
Junior college transfers are typically hit-and-miss, which is one reason Ohio State is in this position to begin with. P.J. Hill, a 6-1 point guard from Minneapolis was signed early last summer to ease the loss of Mike Conley Jr. to the NBA. Though Hill arrived on campus with relatively little fanfare, he was largely a disappointment logging just six minutes per game and shooting 26 percent.
Wednesday was the first day of the late signing period, meaning for the next month, unsigned high school, prep school and junior college players can sign a binding letter-of-intent with Division I institutions, provided they garner the signature of their parents or legal guardians (assuming they're under the age of 21).
Reportedly, Ohio State hopes to land a versatile guard and in the event 7-1 freshman Kosta Koufos declares for the NBA draft or signs a professional contract to play overseas in his family's native Greece, they may also attempt to sign a 4-5 option for the post.
Ohio State's current recruiting class, scheduled to arrive on campus in June for summer courses, ranks as the No. 2-class in the nation by ScoutHoops.com. That ranking, however, includes two-way quarterback-wing prospect Terrelle Pryor, who's the consensus No. 1-football player in America and may never step foot on the hardwood for the OSU men's basketball program.
Including Crater and Offutt, the Buckeyes will have no fewer than four incoming newcomers on next year's squad. Dumes could potentially be the fifth – the third consecutive season Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has brought in at least five players.