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Thread: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

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    "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    A new era in Ohio State men's basketball offically begins today!!!

    Thad Five Makes It Official


    The Class of 2006 By Kyle Lamb

    Date: Nov 9, 2005

    Not too long ago, the thought of signing the recruiting class Ohio State has signed today would have seemed like a pipe dream. However, that dream has become a reality as the Buckeyes made it official by receiving letters of intent from each member of their blue-chip recruiting class. Read on for more, and keep posted to Bucknuts throughout the day for more updates.


    It was a name that got its beginning on a message board. A coy poster used a play-on-words of the old ‘Fab five’, and dreamt that Ohio State’s recruiting class would grow into ‘Thad’s five’.

    Well today, the Thad five is a reality.

    It is Wednesday, November 9, 2005. It’s the first day of the NCAA November signing period. It means that verbally committed senior basketball prospects can sign a national letter of intent – a binding agreement between the prospect and an institution, making their intentions to attend the university of their choice official.

    Dayton Dunbar guard Daequan Cook, a 6-5 senior that averaged 22.6 points a game last season, started things off at 11:45 this morning with a press conference. He signed his letter of intent and faxed it over shortly thereafter. The hard copy, signed by both he and his parents will be sent via Fed Ex to Ohio State.

    However, the faxed copy is all Ohio State needs to celebrate.

    One of his coaches at Dunbar, assistant Al Powell, is also his mentor and the guy that has handled his recruitment for a couple of years. They were breathing a sigh of relief.

    “You know, he’s now a Buckeye,” Powell said around noon, “or at least, on paper he’s a Buckeye.”

    Cook commented on why he chose the Buckeyes.

    "It's close to home," Cook said while being joined by family members. "I mean this is my family, and I owe them as much as anybody else that respect and the chance to come see me play. They raised me. I mean, this is my home."

    Powell said that Cook's success has meant a lot to the community.

    "We're proud as a community," Powell said. "He gives kids a lot of hope that it can be done, and he does it through hard work and not hype."

    On paper, Mike Conley and Greg Oden, the 6-1, guard and 7-0, center from Indianapolis Lawrence North are alsoBuckeyes much to the relief of everyone in Columbus. The Spiece Indy Heat duo, AAU teammates of Cook, had considered putting off their signatures until the April signing period to see what would happen with the closure of the pending NCAA issues with Ohio State.

    However, shortly after Noon today, at about 12::30 PM, Conley and Oden signed their letters of intent to play basketball at Ohio State under the condition that if any postseason was lost for their freshmen seasons, they could have the option of being released from the letter.

    Conley and Oden committed to the Buckeyes on June 30 over Wake Forest after a couple of months of indecision. Oden ranks as the No. 1 player in the country by Scouthoops.com while Conley is ranked as the No. 4 point guard. Last season, Oden averaged 20 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocks a game as a junior.

    David Lighty, a 6-5 wing from Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph signed his letter of intent this afternoon at his high school. Lighty, who is recovered now from a torn ACL suffered at the beginning of March, averaged 24 points a game as a junior. He committed to Ohio State in May.

    The fifth and final cog of Thad Matta’s illustrious group is Othello Hunter. Hunter is a 6-9 forward/center from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.

    Originally a native of Winston-Salem, Hunter has only been playing basketball for three seasons. He committed to Ohio State towards the end of September over UTEP, Colorado, USC, Oklahoma, South Florida and others.

    Hunter visited Ohio State, UTEP and Colorado. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker, and will play both the four and five at Ohio State. Hunter is also expected to sign this afternoon.

    A published report in today's Columbus Dispatch stated that Ohio State gave the players written assurance that they could be let out of their letters of intent if Ohio State is banned from postseason play in 2006-07. Cook stated that if by chance something happened that would cause the rest of the players to leave, he would more than likely leave as well, but he spoke with Lighty, Oden and Conley last night and said the players are not focusing on any of the negative aspects of the investigation.

    "(I'm) not really worried," Cook said. "We're only thinking positive about the situation. Me and the coach have been talking and he just told me some of the things and the violations they have gotten. They're just more likely to take away scholarships, not including our scholarships."

    This year's class is rated by recruiting analysts as either the nation's No. 1 or No. 2 class. Cook didn't get too caught up in the rankings but at the same time said to believe the hype.

    "It's fun, but I don't pay much attention," he said. "It's true, but it's going to take work."

    For Cook and the other members of this class, there is only one goal.

    "Championships," he said. "That's all you can think about right now is winning. We all come from winning places. The only thing to do is put it together and win more."

    Can this class push for a championship in year one?

    "It's going to take a lot of work, but I'm not going to doubt us," Cook said.

    Some of the discussion surrounding this year's recruiting class has focused on just how long the players will be staying in college. Oden would likely be the No. 1 selection in this year's NBA draft if he were eligible, and Cook also has the next level in mind.

    "I want to come in and contribute to the team however I can," Cook said. "(But) I'm going to have to step it up one of these years because I plan on one day playing in the NBA."

    The Thad Five got its start in mid-March when Cook surprised people by committing early to Ohio State. He called Powell late one night and said he wanted to commit, so they talked and the next day they went to Columbus. Before leaving, they committed to Matta and announced it a day later at a press conference at Dunbar High School.

    Stay tuned for updates within the story and also on Bucknuts.com, as Matta will meet with the media at 5:30 PM this evening to discuss the 2005 recruiting class. Due to NCAA rules, he will only be able to comment on the players he has received a letter of intent from.
    "Strickland Propane... Taste the meat, not the heat." - Hank Hill

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  3. #2
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Daequan Cook, Mike Conley, Greg Oden, David Lighty, Othello Hunter
    Thank goodness, for us Buckeye fans, that there are no Serbian names in the Thad Five. Nothing against Serb players, but it might be wise to keep them off the Columbus campus for a few more years (clear the air!).
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    I haven't followed the situation closely, but I thought any further sanctions beyond last season's self-imposed post-season prohibition might be in a loss of a scholly or two, but little else. Are the kids just hedging their bets in a worst case scenario situation or is there still a significant chance of a post-season ban from the O'Brien days?
    Can't win with 'em

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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    I haven't followed the situation closely, but I thought any further sanctions beyond last season's self-imposed post-season prohibition might be in a loss of a scholly or two, but little else. Are the kids just hedging their bets in a worst case scenario situation or is there still a significant chance of a post-season ban from the O'Brien days?
    There is still a pretty good chance there could be a postseason ban from the O' Brien violations. The ban last year was self imposed. As far as I know the NCAA still has not ruled at all on the violations. Usually they will give some credit to a university that imposes its own punishment before they have to but they may decide a one year ban is not enough punishment and add years on.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Fanatic
    There is still a pretty good chance there could be a postseason ban from the O' Brien violations. The ban last year was self imposed. As far as I know the NCAA still has not ruled at all on the violations. Usually they will give some credit to a university that imposes its own punishment before they have to but they may decide a one year ban is not enough punishment and add years on.
    It would be unusual for the NCAA to impose a drastic penalty when the self-imposed penalty has already been served and so much untainted water has gone under the bridge since O'Brien's dismissal. Plus there have been no new bombshells (smoking Serbians?) in the past year. I predict the Buckeyes get off with time served.

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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    There is little chance that there will be post-season bans for this season and even less chance of it effecting the recruiting class coming in as far as tournament play goes.

    I think a three-year post season ban would be unprecidented (sp?) and is highly unlikely to happen in this case.

    Loss of scholarships is the worst that will happen.
    "Strickland Propane... Taste the meat, not the heat." - Hank Hill

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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    A three year ban has not happened any time recently. At worst, they could possibly be banned this year and/or possibly forfeit games from the previous regime (1999 Final Four?). I see no reason why all 5 will not be donning the scarlet and grey and hopefully leading the Bucks deep into the tournament.

    The NCAA I believe will have the hearing in December and a ruling should probably come in January. Appearently they are pretty backed up right now so that's why there is such a delay.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    When OSU fired O'Brien I was never happier.

    But when they hired Matta (whom I followed while at Xaxier), I was overjoyed. Buck fans are gonna be more then pleased with Matta. He WILL revive this program.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    There was precedent set with other teams - I'm gathering this from like an Andy Katz espn.com chat from my mind - that Ohio State did what they did for the purposes to statisfy the NCAA from self-imposed ban on postseason. The NCAA will probably ask and receive the 1999 Final Four banner, rings, records, etc. They would be labeled "vacant" in the official records.
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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    I wonder if these recruits will help OSU's case any? Like "do we really want to damage the school to the point that they no longer can recruit such top notch blue chippers?"

    I think they will get time-served and maybe lose scholarships.

    The infractions are nowhere close to what Michigan did in my opinion.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Those responses are along the lines of what I've heard and thought as well. I'm sure the players are just taking a precaution because you never know. Smart move on their part, sure does look like Bucks bball is gonna be fun again.
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    He WILL revive this program.
    He's already well on his way. Ruining Illinois' perfect season was a huge stepping-stone.

    Coaching a team with not great overall talent and no chance of going to any post-season tournaments to a 20 win season makes me extremely excited for the future.
    "Strickland Propane... Taste the meat, not the heat." - Hank Hill

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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30
    He's already well on his way. Ruining Illinois' perfect season was a huge stepping-stone.
    Best of moment of all last year by far. Easily topped storming the field after the Michigan game and that was pretty awesome. Nothing like running onto the court with everyone else completely wrapped up in the moment. I remember shaking Thad Matta's hand as he was leaving the court with Matt Sylvester. That was pretty awesome.

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    C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! WVRed's Avatar
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Picture this team assuming everybody stays.

    PG-OJ Mayo
    SG-Daequan Cook
    SF-Bill Walker
    PF-Othello Hunter
    C-Greg Oden

    David Lighty and Mike Conley off the bench.

    Very unlikely to happen, but this team hands down would be the favorite to win the championship. Not to mention compete with some teams in the NBA.
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    Re: "Thad Five" Now A Reality!

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed
    Picture this team assuming everybody stays.

    PG-OJ Mayo
    SG-Daequan Cook
    SF-Bill Walker
    PF-Othello Hunter
    C-Greg Oden

    David Lighty and Mike Conley off the bench.

    Very unlikely to happen, but this team hands down would be the favorite to win the championship. Not to mention compete with some teams in the NBA.
    My guess is Huggins will end up at Indiana, and Mayo and Walker will follow him there. They would have been Bearcats, but thanks to Nancy that won't happen now. The entire 06' class has bolted thanks to her, they have nobody signed.
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