Matta, Buckeyes Land a Big One for 2014
By Brandon Castel
Just like that, Thad Matta is back to his old tricks.
Ohio State’s basketball coach has been questioned as of late for a perceived lack of success in recruiting high-profile players to Columbus in the last two classes, but he reeled in a big one on Sunday.
With the commitment of 6-7 forward Keita Bates-Diop, one of the premier wings in the country, the Buckeyes have a head start on what should be a big 2014 class for Matta and his staff.
Bates-Diop, a product of Normal (Ill.) University High School, announced over Twitter that he had committed to The Ohio State University, and it was later confirmed by his AAU coach, Mike Mullins.
He is a 4-star prospect in the class of 2014, and the No. 20 player overall according to Rivals.com. He had offers from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kansas State and Purdue, with may people expecting it to be a battle between the Hoosiers and Fighting Illini.
Known for having a lethal jump shot, Bates-Diop was also drawing interest from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Florida before he committed to the Buckeyes.
In recent weeks and months, Bates-Diop's found himself ranked among the top 50 players in the Class of 2014 by every prominent service. He was rated as the No. 7 power forward by Scout.com and the No. 27 player overall.
With his length and size – he is 6-7 and a lanky 190 pounds – Bates-Diop is the prototypical wing in Matta’s system, although he eventually grow into more of a four than a three.
The Buckeyes just signed Baltimore native Kameron Williams and Toledo product Marc Loving in the class of 2013 this past Wednesday. Matta said the 2014 class could be as big as five or six players, depending what happens with some underclassmen down the road.
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