Monday marked the opening of the July evaluation period and Thad Matta and his Ohio State Buckeyes staff hit the ground running in Cincinnati at the Takes 5ive Classic. While it's impossible to know all of the guys that Matta and assistants Brandon Miller and Jeff Boals were watching, we were able to see a few on Monday and Tuesday.
Ohio State Targets In Cincy
J.D. Weatherspoon - Actually playing in the 16 and under division with All-Ohio Red, Weatherspoon often had his way because of his athleticism and aggressive nature. As usual, he elevated for one slam after the other, often with little regard for whether or not there was a defender in his way. He's pretty young for the class of 2010 so the hope is that he'll be able to continue to develop his skill level. As it is, he's an undersized and active four man.
Anton Grady - The class of 2011 product from Cleveland is going to be an interesting guy to watch. At 6-foot-7, he's got a long and wiry frame and some traits of a wing player even if he hasn't quite rounded out his skill set. He runs very well, changes directions quickly and has a good overall feel for the game on both ends of the floor. Consistency and strength are two areas that will improve naturally with time and maturity. It's easy to see why high majors are tracking this young man closely.
Austin Etherington - A lot of people are going to look at him and label him a shooter. While he can certainly knock down some jumpers, labeling him as just a shooter would be incorrect. He's a solid athlete who is willing to stick his nose in the mix and get a little dirty and can make some plays for others. He's one of the hottest guys in the Midwest for 2011.
Marshall Plumlee - Coaches love this young man's activity level and his combination of athleticism and skill. He's developing into a pretty solid five man and simply lacks strength at this point. He'll be the center of a major recruiting battle between ACC and Big 10 programs.
Trevor Releford - Even though Aaron Craft offered up a recent commitment, the Buckeyes continue to track the Kansas City point guard. They aren't alone either as he was one of the most closely watched players in Cincy. To his credit, the 5-foot-11 point guard delivered the goods in quite entertaining fashion. Got by defenders at will off the bounce, set up teammates and even delivered a 39 point scoring outburst during a loss to Pump ‘N Run out of Los Angeles. His stock continues to rise.