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Buckeyes reload

During Thad Matta's tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have been no stranger to the national recruiting rankings. 

Unfortunately for the rest of the Big Ten, 2011 won't be any different. Rivals ranks OSU's five-player class no. 10 in the country. ESPN has the Bucks no. 6 and Scout has them at no. 8. 

"Matta and his coaching staff have done a tremendous job when it comes to recruiting," Matt Barker from Buckeye Banter said. "They have, for the most part, kept the best players from leaving the state of Ohio that fit the system while going into enemy territory to take some of the better players away from the states of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan."

This year's bunch includes a foursome of four-star athletes, led by Georgia-native Shannon Scott. 

The 6-2 Scott, who could see some major playing time as a freshman, is a point guard's point guard who thinks pass first. Folks in Columbus are excited about his knowledge of the game. 

"Not sure if the word is 'excited,' but I'm really looking forward to watching Scott play," Barker said. "He's been compared to former Buckeye point guard Mike Conley, who was the catalyst for Ohio State's run through the NCAAs back in 2007."

Amir Williams, a McDonald's All-American from the storied Country Day High School in Detroit, will help OSU in the paint with his 6-10, 220-pound frame.

Trey McDonald, at 6-9, will also work on the block.

That leaves a pair of swingmen in Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross. Both are around 6-7 with athletic ability to spare. Ross has a better jumper but Thompson may be slightly more talented. 

With Deshaun Thomas and J.D. Weatherspoon already on the roster, Ohio State now has an abundance of small-forward types. 

"I already know that Thomas is going to get his share of P.T.,  (I'm) just not sure how the others will fair minutes-wise," Barker said. "But with Matta, you have to play defense. David Lighty earned playing time as a freshman because of that and that will now apply to those vying for minutes."

"The 2011-12 season is shaping up as the deepest team Matta has had at Ohio State," Barker said. "There's still two sophomore shooting guards --Jordan Sibert and Lenzelle Smith-- who are hoping to get off the pine and contribute.

"It's going to be very interesting how everything unfolds personnel-wise as the season progresses."

The 2012 class doesn't yet have a commitment, but only one scholarship will be available, for certain, depending on which players return for the 2012-13 season. 


Read Matt Barker at Buckeye Banter.