A Look Ahead: Matta’s 2013 Basketball Signees

OSU LogoWith the 2013 NBA Draft in the rear view mirror and the NBA Summer League in full swing, it’s time to take a look at the next wave of potential NBA talent. The Ohio State Buckeyes are no stranger when it comes to players being selected in the NBA draft. After all, the Buckeyes have had at least one player drafted every year since 2007. Some have been successful (Mike Conley) and others (Greg Oden & Byron Mullens) have just been tall.

The streak may be in jeopardy this year. Most experts believe LaQuinton Ross has the best chance of any current Buckeye to get drafted. He showed great flashes late in the season, most notably in the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Others believe senior to be point guard Aaron Craft will be the next to walk across the NBA Draft stage. Only time will tell.

Regardless of how a player’s career unfolds, getting to the league is a special accomplishment. It’s certainly one that player and coach can celebrate together. Year after year, Coach Matta and his staff have had the pleasure to celebrate with at least one drafted Buckeye. It really speaks volumes for their recruiting ability as well as honing and developing the talent that is brought in.

Enter 2012 signees Marc Loving of Toledo, OH (St. John’s Jesuit) and Kameron Williams of Towson, MD (Mount Saint Joseph). Loving is a silky smooth 6-7 small forward with range and Williams is a 6-2 shooting guard with range and the ability to slash. Both will be welcome additions to the Ohio State roster.

Neither player is a “one and done” type of recruit. With that being said, both are national top 100 recruits that have a chance to impact Buckeye basketball for the next several years. Lets take a more in depth look at both of them.

Marc Loving

This talented 6-7 swingman can do a little bit of everything. Loving’s decorated high school career was capped off when he won Ohio’s Mr. Basketball in 2012 (where he averaged 22 points and 9 rebounds a game).He has been in Ohio State’s 2012 class for what seems like an eternity. Loving also played for one of the Midwest’s most talented AAU programs in All-Ohio Red. The chance to showcase his talent on that type of stage made him a national name. See highlights here.

Loving brings great versatility with his game when he is on the floor. Essentially, he can be a two guard, small forward or power forward depending on the style of play during any particular game. Coach Matta will be able to create mismatches on the offensive end of the floor for the opposing team. Loving is known for his outside shooting at this point in his development. He still needs to develop a stronger lower and upper body for high level Division I basketball. Undoubtedly, that will come with time and a lot of hard work.

The outside shot of Loving’s also allows him to be an effective driver of the basketball. He can finish with either hand but will need to continue to develop this part of his offensive game. Loving is not known for his defense but will need to prove he can play great defense in order to play for Coach Matta at Ohio State. We’ve seen guys (LaQuinton Ross) with an explosive offensive repertoire not get off the pine because they can’t play defense. I see Loving contributing this season. How much, is still unknown. It all hinges on his ability to play on the defensive side of the floor and develop some strength.

Kam Williams

The 2nd commitment in the 2012 class was Baltimore, MD product, Kam Williams. The 6-2 Williams can flat out score. He will be an instant scoring threat off the bench this season for Coach Matta. Whether it is from behind the three point arc or off penetration, Williams will be a big time scorer in the Big Ten before his career is over.

Much like Loving, he will need to gain strength once he steps foot in a college weight room. His lack of size can be compensated for a quick first step and an uncanny ability to finish at the rim over taller players. 247 sports basketball recruiting expert Jerry Meyer has tweeted, “Ohio State commitment Kameron Williams is a scoring machine”. I hope Meyer (hey, we know that name) is right with his assessment. Check out some highlights here.

During the recruiting process, many experts thought Miami (FL) would land the services of Williams. However, once Williams stepped foot in Columbus all bets were off. It took him less than a week to commit to the program once he visited. “Ohio State is a big time basketball school,” Williams told Bucknuts.com. “It is a big time atmosphere. I love the people, I love the coaching staff and I love Coach Matta. It just seemed like a really good fit.” We couldn’t agree more Kam!

It remains to be seen how long Loving and Williams will be at Ohio State and how successful they will be. They’ve got tremendous upside and more importantly great attitudes and appreciation for the program they are entering. Coach Matta will make sure he puts them in the right position in order to be successful. The rest is up to Loving and Williams. If I was a betting man, I’d say both will have successful careers at Ohio State. They may even have a chance to walk across the NBA stage on draft day and look back at the rear view mirror, celebrating the place that helped them accomplish their dreams.

Comments

  1. We haven’t really had a slasher that finished at the hoop well in a while. It seems like Ross could be that guy, but we need an inside out game. Williams sounds intriguing.

  2. These guys are going to be excellent additions and will have a year to get prepared for the amazing class that will join them in 2014. Great Stuff Chris….

  3. Chris Kuhner says

    These two should be ready for “full-time” duty by their sophomore seasons when a national top 5 class will be joining them.

    I’m also intrigued to see Thompson’s development. He could be the x-factor the next two years.

Leave a Reply to Chris Kuhner Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: