The Ohio State men’s basketball program welcomed in one player for an official visit this weekend as Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton power forward Brayden Bell ventured cross country.
“It went great,” said the 6-9, 240-pound Bell. “I had a good time.”
Obviously, one of the highlights of the trip was the OSU football team’s dramatic win over Marshall. Bell was among 104,000 on hand at Ohio Stadium and the scene there left quite an impression.
“That was unbelievable,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave the game. That was a great game. From the second I got to Ohio, I met fans at the baggage claim at the airport. They have a lot of support.”
Bell spent time with various OSU players, including Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Matt Sylvester and Ricardo Billings.
“I just learned that they are very passionate and very confident about how they’re going to be,” Bell said. “They think they can win. They already have the support from the fans.”
Bell said OSU assistant Alan Major has been in contact with him. He also enjoyed spending time with new OSU head coach Thad Matta.
“This gave me a chance to get to know everybody else,” Bell said. “They are all great guys. Coach Matta seems to know what he’s talking about.”
When asked if OSU pressured him to commit, Bell said, “Yeah, a little bit. They said, `We have a scholarship for you. You can commit. Who do we need to work on to get you?’ ”
Bell sees an opportunity to come in and play at OSU, which could take two big men among this year’s projected three-man recruiting class.
“I watched their style of play and I think I would fit in well,” he said. “That’s what they’re telling me.”
Bell said he is also pondering taking visits to UCLA, Pepperdine, Utah and perhaps either Indiana or Illinois. Louisville is no longer in Bell’s sights.
“I don’t have any other official visits set,” he said. “I want to try and make a decision by the early signing period in November. I want to get it done before the season starts.”
As a junior, Bell averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Offensively, I’m able to go inside and outside,” he said. “Defensively, it’s the normal stuff. I play defense, try to rebound and block shots. I do what I can.”