Does any of this stuff extend to the basketball team, too? How does Evan Turner from Chicago wind up in Columbus and not Illinois, MSU, or Purdue? How does Greg Oden from Terre Haute and Indianapolis wind up in Columbus and not Purdue or Indiana? How does DeShaun Thomas from Ft. Wayne, Indiana wind up in Columbus and not at Indy or Purdue?
How would any of us know the answer?
Probably none of us would know for certain; however, this type of information circulates under the radar for years before it becomes known. I just thought someone closer to Columbus may have heard something.
On Turner: He only received offers from five schools in the Big Ten according to his Scout.com profile, which didn’t even include Michigan State or Purdue. Remember, he was only the second best player on his own high school team. People rated McCamey higher. Also, if you believe Wikipedia, his father lived in Columbus, so that played into the decision. He picked OSU over Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, DePaul, and Wake Forest. Not Duke, Carolina, UCLA, and Kansas.
On Oden/Conley: Package deal. IU sucked at the time. Purdue sucked at the time. Matta knew Indianapolis well, having coached at Butler and having got a few players to come to Xavier from Indy, too. Columbus is only about 2:15 from Lawrence Township. Conley also wasn’t viewed as the same elite level recruit of Oden…no UK offer, no Duke offer, etc. So, if they wanted to play together, they had to go someplace that had offered both.
On Thomas: He committed really early…like freshman year early. IU was going through Sampson gate at the time. Purdue hadn’t fully bounced back at that point (checking Scout.com, he didn’t even have an offer from Purdue). Finally, Columbus is just about as close to Fort Wayne as both Bloomington (same distance) and West Lafayette (about 30 minutes closer).
Other than that, his big studs, even the one and done centers not named Oden, have played high school ball in Ohio. Lighty, Cook, Diebler, Craft, Sullinger, Mullens, Koufos, Lauderdale, et al.
It’s not like Matta was plucking guys from all over the country to come to Ohio State. Huge school. Good tradition. State of the art facility. And plenty of studs within a three hour drive. It’s pretty easy to recruit, so I don’t think the idea of blue chippers flocking there instead of Indiana (crazy turmoil) or Purdue (really living off of one great class) is so surprising like your initial post suggests.
Now, at the same time, I certainly, certainly, certainly think these basketball players could have gotten similar deals at the tattoo shops or car dealerships like the football players. But I don’t think Matta was roaming around with handfuls of cash or anything like that to get kids to come to Ohio State.
Doubt it since I once saw a blog post from an OSU basketball player who talked about how the football players always had the nice cars. If the hoops team was tainted too, I doubt that he opens his figurative mouth.
MY gosh…there are tO$u Apologists on our board… ???
and…I thought I have seen EVERYTHING.
It’s not like tO$u has never had NCAA violations allegations in BASKETBALL. (2 coaches immediatley come to mind.)