Generally speaking, Thad Matta has his team rosters set well in advance. The Ohio State boss has made a habit out of nailing down bonanza recruiting classes well in advance of his need, and he always seems to have his next superstar big man in waiting.
This season, his first verbal has come from a guard, albeit a big guard. Amedeo Della Valle, a 6’6″ wing originally from Italy, has given his word that he’ll suit up in Columbus next year.
Hoopniks.com gives the lowdown on the import’s potential impact:
Della Valle was a season-long starter for the loaded Findlay Prep (NV) squad that was among the best in the country this year. He can play point guard, though he’s likely best suited at shooting guard.
He was also a member of Italy’s U18 European Championship team last summer, scoring 15 points, and adding 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
While he may not be an impact player next year, Della Valle will provide depth and flexibility going forward for Ohio State, due to his versatility.
Matta still has his eye on big men Amile Jefferson and Tony Parker for 2012 as well. His next Buckeyes team will center around the talents of DeShaun Thomas and Aaron Craft, and will likely struggle to replace the production of last year’s top options, Jared Sullinger and William Buford. Securing Della Valle’s multi-positional capabilities could be the first step in meeting that demand. At bare minimum, it will begin to address the gaps in the Buckeye bench left by the transfers of J.D. Weatherspoon and Jordan Sibert.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He likes to crack wise and talk college hoops @stfhoops on Twitter.