Entering the fall there aren’t many programs who have enjoyed as much early success in recruiting the Class of 2015 as Ohio State, with the Buckeyes entering Thursday with four verbal commitments. However Thad Matta’s program lost one of those commitments Thursday evening, with four-star combo forward Mickey Mitchell making public his decision to de-commit from Ohio State.
Mitchell was the second player to verbally commit to Ohio State, doing so last August with point guard A.J. Harris being the Buckeyes’ first 2015 verbal commitment. Baylor, Texas and Florida were among the schools recruiting Mitchell at the time of his commitment to Ohio State, and one would have to assume that many high-major programs will look to get back into the mix with Mitchell back on the board.
Mickey’s decision to de-commit comes a couple months after older brother Mike, who was a linebacker on the Ohio State football team, decided to transfer to Texas Tech. Mickey will be a senior at Plano West HS this season, and the 6-foot-7 forward’s athleticism and skill level are two reasons why he’s developed into one of the better front court prospects in the country.
As for what Ohio State does in the aftermath of Mitchell’s decision, with the program still in the running for both Esa Ahmad and Carlton Bragg those recruitments take on even greater importance for the Buckeyes.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: