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We need BIGS BIGS BIGS.
Isn't Diop basically the same player as loving ?
How well does he know Okafor ?
He is better than i initially thought.
Keita Bates-Diop Ends His Recruitment And Commits To Big Ten School
By Roy & Harv Schmidt
November 18, 2012
10:45 A.M. CST
In the world of college basketball recruiting there are times when some things just happen. That was definitely the case with respect to the recruitment of Keita Bates-Diop. Simply put, the 6'7 2014 wing forward from University High in Normal, IL decided to end it today by committing to Ohio State University and head coach Thad Matta. Bates Diop's commitment was confirmed by Illinois Wolves head coach and CEO Mike Mullins. He chose the Buckeyes over offers from Illinois, Michigan and Purdue as well as several others in the Big Ten and Big East.
Rumors had been swirling for the better part of the past three months that Bates-Diop could be ready to pull the trigger and commit. However, up until now no one was truly certain as to when it would be or who it would be to. Some believed that Bates-Diop would wait until next Spring (after the upcoming high school season) before committing, as his recruitment was starting to go through the roof after performing in spectacular fashion during the July evaluation period. As a result of his outstanding month, Bates-Diop was named as our Player Of The Summer (http://www.ilprepbullseye.com/Summer_Awards.html).
The bottom line is that while he was extremely grateful for all of the recruiting attention he had received, Bates-Diop had grown tired of the recruiting process and decided that now was the time to put it to rest. The Buckeyes had become an immediate player for Bates-Diop's services from the time that Matta offfered him a scholarship during the July evaluation period.
After totally dominating his competition at both the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam in Mequon, WI and the GRBA National Championships in Ft. Wayne, IN while playing for the Illinois Wolves 16-Under squad Bates-Diop quickly became a household name nationally amongst both recruiting analysts and college recruiters. During July he added scholarship offers from Marquette and Oregon and followed that up shortly thereafter with an offer from Ohio State. Bates-Diop also held offers from Michigan State, DePaul, Northwestern, Kansas State and Indiana.
Bates-Diop visited Ohio State last month and got the opportunity to watch the Buckeyes conduct a full-fledged practice. To make a long story short, Bates-Diop was wowed by every aspect of the visit. He was extremely impressed by the facilities and how organized coach Matta's practices are. To take it a step further, Bates-Diop developed a strong camaraderie with the players as well as the coaching staff at Ohio State. At that point he knew that was the place for him.
What may have sealed the deal with respect to Bates-Diop's decision more than anything else is the Buckeyes' track record under Matta. Simply put, it speaks for itself--reaching the National Championship Game in 2007 and returning to the Final Four last season. Not only will Bates-Diop be a part of a program that consistently wins, but he also knows that Matta is a coach who can prepare him for the NBA--with former Buckeye stars Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger serving as prime examples.
Bates-Diop has the best skill set of any wing player in Illinois from the 2014 class. He is super athletic and possesses tremendous offensive versatility. Not only is Bates-Diop a high-flying and exciting finisher, but his floor game is absolutely outstanding. It includes the ability to handle the ball, face up and consistently convert shots from beyond the 3-point arc. He is also a terrific passer from the wings and the top of the key. We agree completely with Mullins when he says "there are not 20 kids in 2014 (nationally) that are more productive players right now or have more upside than Bates-Diop."
There is no question that Matta and the Buckeyes continue to build off their past success when it comes to recruiting talented players from the state of Illinois. At the present time Illinois-based players on the Buckeyes roster include Lenzelle Smith (Zion-Benton High School) and Sam Thompson (Whitney Young High School).
In addition to Matta, kudos must undoubtedly go out to assistant coach Jeff Boals who was instrumental in Bates-Diop's recruitment. Simply put, Boals has proven to be not only one of the premier assistants in the Big Ten but in the entire nation as well. He has done an absolutely outstanding job of tapping into the state of Illinois and landing elite prospects from the Land Of Lincoln.
Bulls-Eye's Summer Award Winners
July 30, 2012
9:00 A.M. CST
Another July evaluation period has come and gone and there is no question that it was a revolutionary one. That is because it saw the implementation of a new recruiting model as well as new NCAA legislation allowing for free and unlimited communication (including phone calls and text messaging) of recruits. Overall, our early assessment is that the changes have been positive. However, that is a discussion for another time.
Instead, it is now time to turn our attention to everything that went down during July as it pertains to Illinois high school basketball and Illinois-based recruits. With that in mind, we now reach into our grab bag and begin naming our Summer award winners beginning with our Player Of The Summer and Best Player In Illinois.
While many people naturally assume that the Player Of The Summer also must be the #1 ranked prospect in the state, that is not the case. In fact, this is the second year in a row in which we have different winners in each of these two categories. Therefore, without any further adieu here we go!
Player Of The Summer
Keita Bates-Diop 6'7 2014 WF Normal (U-High) Illinois Wolves
This award was still very much up in the air going into the final weekend of the evaluation period. However, after watching Bates-Diop's performance at the GRBA National Championships in Ft. Wayne, IN we realized that the choice was an absolute no-brainer. That is because Bates-Diop was simply dominant at every event in which he participated during July. He was named the MVP in the 16-Under division at Ft. Wayne as he led his Illinois Wolves 16-Under traveling team to the tournament championship. He did the same at the Chicago Summer Challenge at Riverside-Brookfield High School and was also spectacular at the loaded NY2LA Sports Summer Jam in Mequon, WI.
Bates-Diop has the best skill set of any wing player in Illinois from the 2014 class. He is super athletic and possesses tremendous offensive versatility. Not only is Bates-Diop a high-flying and exciting finisher, but his floor game is absolutely outstanding. It includes the ability to handle the ball, face up and consistently convert shots from beyond the 3-point arc. He is also a terrific passer from the wings and the top of the key. Bates-Diop put all of this on full display throughout July.
As a result of his outstanding month, it is no wonder that Bates-Diop has become a top recruiting priority in the 2014 class for a number of Big Ten programs, including Purdue, Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern as well as Marquette, DePaul and Oregon. Plenty of others could follow suit as well before the end of the summer. There is no question that Bates-Diop has now firmly established himself as the #3 ranked player in Illinois from 2014 behind 6'11 center Jahlil Okafor and 6'9 power forward Cliff Alexander.
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