September 24, 2010

Ohio State among leaders for Smith-Rivera

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It's not often that one school makes such an impression that the prospect visiting is left without one negative to take away from the trip.

That very scenario played itself out when D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and his parents took a trip to Ohio State. His mother, Kelana, was surprised by how much they loved the campus and what the coaching staff had to say. Of the top six school left on Smith-Rivera's list, Ohio State is the only one to have a blank in the 'cons' column.

"I don't know if I could pick any one thing," said Kelana Smith-Rivera when describing her impressions of Ohio State. "I kind of left with nothing that we didn't like about them. That was more of what took us all by surprise leaving; we tend to leave a school with an idea of what we don't like. If anyone knows my husband, they know he's not a major talker, he doesn't ask a lot of questions. I tend to ask more questions. D'Vauntes observes and my husband observes. So when we leave a school, what we do is we kind of put it out there what like or what we don't like. Ohio State was actually a school that there wasn't a 'do-not-like' list for them. It was definitely a bonus when you can't see much wrong with a school."

Despite the very positive feelings about the Buckeyes, Mrs. Smith-Rivera pointed out that there are currently no leaders and D'Vauntes is still considering a total of six schools, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Xavier, Indiana, Miami, and Georgetown, who has yet to officially offer. The Hoyas are expected to offer as soon as John Thompson III is able to watch Smith-Rivera in person.

"I wouldn't say there are any favorites, there are schools with some things that he likes more than others and things like that, as well as myself and my husband. I don't think there are any favorites. There are some [schools] that he does know better than others; he spends more time with them, so he's closer to some staff than he is to others, and there are some schools that he's spent more time on campus than others."

"As far as a timeline, I won't say he'll be making a decision before the season or anything like that but if he felt like he was ready to make a decision we wouldn't be opposed to it at this point," she added.

Talking specifically about Ohio State, Mrs. Smith-Rivera made it perfectly clear that Ohio State has done a marvelous job of recruiting her son, regardless of their late push. Head Coach Thad Matta and his staff have made a strong enough impression that the Buckeyes have positioned themselves perfectly for the services of one of the top rising juniors.

"We decided about a month or so ago to narrow the list of schools that have offered so far and we're down to, of the schools that have offered, five and then we have Georgetown in there as well but they haven't offered yet. So they're [Ohio State] in our top five, they're definitely a school that has really peaked our interest. We really look forward to learning more about the school and about the staff. We hope to make it down this fall for sure, to spend some more time."

"Of all the schools left on our list, other than IU, Ohio State is the only big campus school. We were really impressed with them, my husband and D'Vauntes; we really like what they have to offer at Ohio State," she said.

Smith-Rivera is currently ranked No. 25 in the 2012 Top 150, and the No. 3 point guard in the class. At 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, he has the frame of your classic Big Ten player, and with that size and skill at the point guard position, he will make it tough on any opposing player to stay in front of him.

Mom, Dad, and D'Vauntes couldn't have come away any more enthused about Ohio State and its basketball program. While no timetable on a decision is imminent, Buckeye's fans should feel good about where their program stands with one of the nation's top prospects.


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