Big Day For Buckeyes Basketball

While the Buckeyes are fighting for a spot in the BCS on the football field, things are rolling for Thad Matta's basketball program. Signing day should be huge for Ohio State.

While the football team is fighting for a berth in the Rose Bowl, Thad Matta and his crew are just getting started on what looks to be a promising year. Monday night saw Evan Turner produce a triple double and the Buckeyes will play their second game of the year tomorrow night when they host James Madison.

Today, though, is all about saying welcome to their highly anticipated recruiting class as Aaron Craft, Jordan Sibert, Lenzelle Smith, Jared Sullinger DeShaun Thomas and J.D. Weatherspoon are all expected to sign their National Letters of Intent and officially join the Ohio State program.

Heavily covered over the past few years, Ohio State coaches and fans alike are justified in their excitement because the group of six just might be the top recruiting class in the country. BuckeyeSports.com caught up with some of the recruiting game's foremost experts -- Scout.com's Dave Telep/Evan Daniels and Prepstars.com's Rob Harrington -- and even a Big 10 assistant for their thoughts on the future Buckeyes.

Aaron Craft

Daniels- "Aaron Craft is a big time on the ball defender. He plays hard and with toughness and that's why the Ohio State coaches can't wait for him to get to campus."

Harrington- "Craft is a defensive stopper who will frustrate touted guards on other teams. In addition to his on the ball defense, he's an excellent decision maker and natural leader. He's exactly what Thad Matta is looking for."

Jordan Sibert

Telep- "Jordan Sibert should not be forgotten. Remember, he was the glue to his AAU team before he got hurt. Also, we're talking about another guy with high school success. He'll be the Marcus Ginyard for this Ohio State class."

Harrington- "If Sibert can fully recover from the horrific leg break he suffered in the spring, he will give the club some needed perimeter scoring to complement what they can accomplish inside. But, nobody's seen him in a while so he's a bit of an unknown."

Lenzelle Smith

Harrington- "Smith will have a college-ready body after some fine tuning in the weight room. He's a multi position guy and an outstanding rebounder for a guard."

College assistant- "While we were wasting our time figuring out where to play him, Ohio State was busy locking him up. He's physical, plays hard and will be an exceptional glue guy."

Jared Sullinger

Telep- "Jared Sullinger is the most reliable guy in this class. You know exactly what's going to happen each time he steps onto the floor. Set your watch by him."

Harrington- "Sullinger is a prototypical college big man. He's strong, skilled and knows how to play in the post. Because he's a little short for an NBA power forward, he might buck the trend of Ohio State big guys leaving for the pros after one year."

DeShaun Thomas

Daniels- "DeShaun Thomas showed signs of picking his game up during the summer. He's got a versatile scoring packing that allows him to score inside or step out and knock down jumpers."

Harrington- "Thomas is another who may not have the combination of size and athleticism to entice the NBA right away, but in a way that makes his arrival all the more exciting for fans hoping to see greater roster continuity."

J.D. Weatherspoon

Daniels- "With Weatherspoon it's all about his athleticism. He's got high level hops, plays hard and is a willing rebounder."

Harrington- "Weatherspoon is a junkyard dog who should become a valuable role player. He's wildly athletic and should be afforded the time to ease into his role and may be a good candidate for a redshirt year to work on skill development."


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