The Ohio State Class of 2015 is shaping up to be one of the best in the nation. On Sunday afternoon, Thad Matta received his third commitment from a four-star recruit.
The latest Buckeye pledge comes shooting guard Austin Grandstaff, the No. 30 overall recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. The Rockwall High (Texas) star announced his decision via Twitter following his official visit. The 6-foot-5 scoring guard picked the Buckeyes over offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Iowa State, SMU and Oklahoma State, the school he originally committed to.
He joins a class that includes Dunbar High (Ohio) point guard A.J. Harris and fellow Texan Mickey Mitchell, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Plano West High.
This past season, Ohio State struggled to score and had a lack of 3-point shooting options. With Harris and Grandstaff in the back court, the Buckeyes will have two guys who can take defenders off the dribble and create. While Harris still needs to work on a consistent jump shot, Grandstaff can dial it up from beyond the arc.
On the grassroots circuit, Grandstaff is leading Team Texas in scoring at 20.5 points per game, shooting 35 percent from three.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.