Nov. 12, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Once again, Thad Matta and the Ohio State men’s basketball coaching staff have signed one of the nation’s elite recruiting classes with four high school student-athletes signing National Letters of Intent to play for the Buckeyes, Wednesday.

Matta has again assembled a class rated among the Top 10 recruiting classes nationally. The 2006 class was rated the No. 1 class in the country. That group consisted of Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, David Lighty and Othello Hunter. All five played professionally following their Ohio State careers. The 2010 class also was a Top 5 group. It featured Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas along with Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. In all, over Matta’s career, the Buckeyes have put together Top 10 recruiting classes seven times.

Ohio State’s 2014 class was rated among the Top 5 nationally. That freshman class played for the first time as Buckeyes last Sunday in Ohio State’s exhibition opener vs. Walsh. D’Angelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate all saw action while David Bell, who is expected to redshirt this year, watched from the sidelines.

Two student-athletes from Texas and one each from Georgia and Ohio make up the 2015 class of Buckeyes.

Austin Grandstaff, a 6-5 shooting guard from Rockwall, Texas, Mickey Mitchell, a 6-8 forward from Plano, Texas, Daniel Giddens, a 6-10 center from Marietta, Georgia, and A.J. Harris, a 5-9 point guard from Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar High school comprise the next class of Buckeyes.

What Ohio State Coaches are Saying:

Grandstaff is a shooter by trade but gets teammates involved with his passing abilities. He can get to the basket through traffic and possesses a high basketball IQ.

Mitchell is a lefty who plays aggressively on both ends of the court. He has tremendous passing skills complemented by his ability to rebound, score off the break and shoot from distance.

Giddens will give Ohio State a defensive presence in the middle. He patrols the paint as both a primary and secondary defender. He runs the floor well and is adept at starting the break with his passing skills. Another in a long line of All-Big Ten caliber big men recruited by Thad Matta, Giddens is expected to compete right away in the conference. Offensively, he has the tools to become one of the Big Ten’s better multi-dimensional performers as his career progresses.   

Harris is extremely quick with the ability to get anywhere he likes on the court with the ball. Another lefty, Harris can create his own shot, score in traffic and draw defenses before finding an open teammate.  

Ohio State loses six seniors from the current roster after the 2014-15 season. Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, Amir Williams and Trey McDonald exhaust their eligibility after this season. Graduate transfer Anthony Lee also will depart the program after spending one season at Ohio State after graduating from Temple in the spring of 2014. Walk-on Jake Lorbach also is listed as a senior this year.

Class of 2015 Notes

Daniel Giddens 
Center, 6-10, 235, Marietta, Georgia (Oak Hill Academy/E1T1 Elite)

  • Ranked in the Top 50 in Class of 2015
  • Member of the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team that won the gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
  • Earned 2013 Georgia Sports Writers Association All-Georgia Class 5A Second Team honors
  • Led Wheeler High School to a 28-6 record as a junior and the Georgia Region 5 title as a sophomore
  • Averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks during his junior campaign

A.J. Harris
Point Guard, 5-9, 160, Dayton, Ohio (Dunbar High School/King James Shooting Stars)

  • Ranked in the Top 75 in the Class of 2015
  • Averaged 14.5 points, 6.1 assists and 2.9 steals as a junior, leading Dunbar High School to a 23-4 record and an OHSAA Division II playoff appearance
  • Helped Dunbar to an undefeated season and state championship as a freshman
  • 2014 Division II Second Team All-Ohio and First Team All-Southwest District selection by the Associated Press.
  •  Led King James Shooting Stars with 13 points, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals per contest in 2014

Austin Grandstaff
Shooting Guard, 6-5, 190, Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall High School/Team Texas Elite)

  • Ranked in the Top 50 in the Class of 2015
  • Named District 12-5A MVP in junior campaign after leading Rockwall to second-place district finish and Bi-District championship
  • Led Rockwall with 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and shot 51 percent from the floor, earning spot on SportsDay’s All-Area First Team after junior season
  • Honorable mention selection on MaxPrep’s 2013-14 Junior All-American Team

Mickey Mitchell
Small Forward, 6-8, 220, Plano, Texas (Plano West High School/Texas Titans)

  • Ranked in the Top 100 in the Class of 2015
  • Averaged 13.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists at Plano West in junior season, leading squad to regional quarterfinals of 5A tournament and 22-7 record
  • Notched an average of 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists at 2014 Peach Jam with Texas Titans
  • Helped Prestonwood Christian Academy to TAPPS 5A State Championship and City of Palms Classic crown as a freshman, ending season ranked No. 8 nationally in USA Today Super 25