Press release from Ohio State athletics communications:
COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State men’s basketball coaching staff has signed one of the nation’s elite 2014 recruiting classes with four high schools student-athletes signing National Letters of Intent to play for the Buckeyes.
Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, and his coaching staff assembled another class rated among the Top 5 recruiting class nationally. The 2006 class was rated the No. 1 class in the country. The most recent group has been ranked among the Top 3. The 2006 class consisted of Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, David Lighty and Othello Hunter. All five played professionally following their Ohio State careers.
Two student-athletes from Ohio and a pair representing Kentucky and Illinois were added to the Ohio State program this week.
Jae’Sean Tate, a 6-4 forward from Pinkerington Central High School and David Bell, a 6-10 center from Garfield Heights join the Buckeyes from Ohio. D’Angelo Russell, a 6-5 guard from Louisville, Ky., and Keita Bates-Diop, a 6-7 forward from Normal, Ill., make up the 2014 Ohio State class.
Ohio State losses point guard Aaron Craft and shooting guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. after this season to graduation. The Ohio State roster currently has five scholarship juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen.
2014 Ohio State Men’s Basketball Recruiting Class
David Bell Center, 6-10, 225, Garfield Heights, Ohio (Garfield Heights/OBC) · Four-star prospect according to 247Sports (No. 111 overall), and a three-star prospect according to ESPN, Rivals and Scout. · Averaged 17.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.6 blocks as a junior in 2013. · 2013 Special Mention All-District (Northeast Lakes) selection. · Helped Garfield Heights to a 15-6 record as a junior and a 16-5 ledger as a sophomore.
Keita Bates-Diop (Kay-tah Bates Dee-opp) Small Forward, 6-7, 190, Normal, Ill. (University/Illinois Wolves) · Five-star prospect according to Scout (No. 20 overall), ESPN (No. 22) and Rivals (No. 24). · 2013 and 2012 First Team All-State (Class 3A) selection by the Associated Press. · Averaged 18.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and shot 52 percent from the field as a junior in 2013, leading University High to a 22-6 record and a second-consecutive Corn Belt Conference championship.
D’Angelo Russell Shooting Guard, 6-5, 180, Louisville, Ky. (Montverde Academy/E1T1 Elite) · Five-star prospect according to ESPN (No. 12 overall), Scout (No. 17) and Rivals (No. 21). · Averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game as a junior at Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.). · Enjoyed an outstanding summer on the AAU circuit, winning titles at Peach Jam with E1T1 Elite and the Adidas Nations championship with USA Blue. Russell was co-MVP of the Nike Global Challenge. · Helped Montverde Academy to a 27-2 record during the 2012-13 season and the National High School Invitational championship. · In his first season at Montverde as a sophomore in 2011-12, the team finished with a 22-5 record and No. 14 ranking nationally.
Jae’Sean Tate (Jay-shawn Tate) Small Forward, 6-4, 190, Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central/All-Ohio Red) · Four-star prospect according to ESPN (No. 25 overall), Scout (No. 53), Rivals (No. 75) and 247Sports (No. 75). · 2013 Division I Second Team All-Ohio selection by the Associated Press. First Team All-District and All-Ohio Capital Conference. Columbus Dispatch All-Metro Player of the Year. · Averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds as a junior, leading Pickerington Central to a 19-8 record and the regional semifinals. · Helped Central to a 26-2 record and the OHSAA Division I State Championship as a sophomore in 2012. · Named MVP of the 2013 Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam Classic. · Son of former OSU letterwinner Jermaine Tate, who averaged 12.1 points per game for the Buckeyes in 1996. The last father-son duo to play for the Buckeyes was Bill Hosket (1966-68) and Wilbur “Bill” Hosket, Sr. (1932-33). Bill’s son, Brad, was a member of the 1998-99 squad but did not play.