Ohio State's Austin Grandstaff, next impact Buckeye scorer?

Ohio State's Austin Grandstaff, next impact Buckeye scorer?
May 23, 2014, 10:45 am
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(Associated Press)

HAMPTON, Va.--Just when you thought Maryland was done with the torments of Virginia’s Joe Harris -- not only because he had graduated, but also because the program has defected from the ACC entirely -- there might be a player similar to him backfilling that spot in the Big Ten.

Meet Austin Grandstaff, the No. 30 overall prospect in the Class of 2015 according to Rivals.com and one player in Ohio State’s three-man haul for head coach Thad Matta.

He averaged 21 points over four games for Team Texas Elite at the Nike EYBL stop in Hampton this past weekend and ranks as the No. 9 overall scorer on the circuit, posting a shade over 19 points per game.

The one-time Oklahoma State commit reopened his recruitment in February and committed to the Buckeyes earlier this month.

“I wanted to make sure that I picked the right school and I wasn’t sure if Oklahoma State was really the right school for me,” he told Comcast SportsNet.

“The reason I chose Ohio State is the relationship I have with the coaching staff is really good. We’re going to have a pretty good class coming in. I can come in and make an immediate impact.”

[RELATED: Maryland signs 4-star international prospect]

Grandstaff is a 6-5, 180-pound guard who appears most comfortable at the shooting guard spot, where he can catch and shoot off of screens or hit shots off the dribble. He also uses his body well to get to the rim and finish.

“I watched Joe Harris a lot,” he said. “I also like [former Michigan guard Nik] Stauskas, the way he plays off the pick-and-roll. I get that comparison a lot, too.”

Scoring was an issue for Ohio State last season, as the Buckeyes focused on defense and ranked 208th in the nation by averaging a shade under 70 points per game.

Scoring in the Buckeyes’ offense was spread relatively evenly because of the absence of a dominant, takeover scorer. Harris operated similarly in Virginia’s offense. Grandstaff could do the same when he gets on campus if he can add the weight and physicality that matches Harris.

Grandstaff, along with fellow 2015 commits Mickey Mitchell and A.J. Harris, should add a scoring punch.

“They just told me they want me to come in and be a playmaker,” he said. “They’re going to maybe try to play me at some point and some two. They just want me to come in and be a playmaker and get buckets for them.”

Watch highlights of Grandstaff below: