Letters of intent were delivered today for all six members of Thad Matta's 2010 recruiting class. Full text of the article....
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COLUMBUS, Ohio--Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach, announced the addition of six student-athletes to the Buckeye men's basketball program Wednesday. The class of six high school seniors is rated by many analysts as the No. 1 class in the nation and will be eligible to play for the Buckeyes in the fall of 2010. The highly-touted class includes a quartet of Ohioans and natives of Illinois and Indiana.
Matta is excited to begin working with the future Buckeyes next season.
"I am thrilled to add these six young men to the Ohio State basketball family," Matta said. "They all bring versatility at each of their positions on the floor. Most importantly, these are high character individuals who bring a culture of winning to our program. All six have won or played for a state championship and four were part of three national championships during the summer."
Jared Sullinger, a 6-foot-9-inch power forward from Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio, is rated in most major recruiting publications as the No. 1 player at his position and the No. 1, 2 or 3 player overall nationally. His high school teammate, 6-6 small forward J.D. Weatherspoon, is ranked among the nation's best at his position.
Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Bishop Luers) product Deshaun Thomas (6-7 forward) is the No. 1 small forward in the country. He will be joined by Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (6-4, guard) one of the top shooting guard prospects and a consensus Top 75 recruit.
Aaron Craft, a 6-2 point guard, from Findlay (Ohio) Liberty Benton, and Cincinnati, Ohio, native Jordan Sibert (6-4 guard) round out the Class of 2010. Craft and Sibert are both considered to be Top 100 by major recruiting services.
Sullinger and Weatherspoon led Northland to its first state championship as juniors in 2009. Sullinger made the winning free throws with three seconds remaining. He was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Ohio after averaging 19.9 points and 14.8 rebounds last season and is considered to be one of the top prospects in America. The power forward is the brother of former Buckeye J.J. Sullinger. As a sophomore, Jared was named Third-Team All-Ohio.
Weatherspoon averaged nearly 15 points and 8.0 rebounds a game as a junior and was Northland's leading scorer (18 pts.) in the state championship game. The past three summers, Sullinger and Weatherspoon led their AAU team, All-Ohio Red, to a 201-9 record, collecting 29 titles out of 33 tournaments entered, including three national titles.
Thomas is one of the most sought-after recruits to come out of the basketball-rich state of Indiana. The Fort Wayne native led his high school, Bishop Luers, to back-to-back state championships. In the process, Thomas established himself as one of the state's most prolific scorers. He is already Luers all-time leading scorer. As a junior, he averaged 30.3 points to go along with 15.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks. During the state basketball tournament, Thomas averaged 23.4 points. He is currently the 11th all-time scorer in Indiana high school history, needing just more than 800 points this season to surpass Damon Bailey as the all-time leading scorer for the state of Indiana. Thomas has averaged more than 29 points in his career.
Smith, a bigger guard who has a knack for distributing the basketball, will add a new dimension to the Buckeyes' guard play. The 6-4, 210 pound lefty can shoot the three off the catch or dribble and is able to post up smaller defenders with his unusual size for a guard. Smith was first-team all-state last season and led Zion-Benton High School to a state runner-up finish in 2008. He is one of the top guard recruits in the country and was coveted by more than a dozen teams. Along with his basketball skills, Smith is a star in the classroom, carrying a 4.1 grade-point average.
Craft has made a name for himself with his stout defense and is considered one of the best guard defenders for the Class of 2010. Craft led Liberty-Benton High School to a state runner-up finish his freshman season and was named First-Team All-Ohio as a junior. He can also create opportunities for himself, averaging 19 points last year. He is an all-around point guard and has the qualities that should help him excel as a Buckeye. He too played for All-Ohio Red in the summers. In addition, Craft carries a 4.0 grade-point average.
Sibert also played for All-Ohio Red. The shooting guard from Cincinnati led Princeton High School to a state runner-up finish last season, losing in the championship game to Northland High School and fellow OSU recruits Sullinger and Weatherspoon. Sibert scored 21 points in the title game and was named Honorable Mention All-Ohio. Sibert is known for his ability to slash between defenders and get to the rim with his speed and athleticism. He suffered a leg injury after his high school season last summer and was not able to compete in the summer of 2009.
Ohio State Men's Basketball 2010 Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Aaron Craft PG 6-2 190 Findlay, Ohio/Liberty Benton
Jordan Sibert SG 6-4 185 Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton
Lenzelle Smith, Jr. SG 6-5 210 Zion, Ill./Zion-Benton
Jared Sullinger PF 6-9 255 Columbus, Ohio/Northland
Deshaun Thomas SF 6-7 225 Ft. Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers
J.D. Weatherspoon PF 6-7 190 Columbus, Ohio/Northland