Buckeyes May Get Hunter
When she decided to leave Ohio and head for Duke University, Brittany Hunter felt secure in her decision.
The Columbus Brookhaven star was the nation's consensus No. 1 prep player and was coveted by everyone, including Ohio State. But the Buckeyes got into the mix a little late, and Hunter had already made up her mind to leave the state for college.
But she may be returning.
According to her high school coach, Reggie Lee, "things have changed" for Hunter as far as her feelings for Ohio State.
"They're definitely in the mix," Lee said. "Just getting to know coach (Jim) Foster and the job he's done. They also have one of the best post coaches in the country in Pete Gaudet."
Hunter, a 6-foot-3 power forward, averaged nearly nine points per game for the Blue Devils last year, but missed some time with a knee injury. Lee said that injury never really healed and that Hunter was never 100 percent.
Friends with current OSU center Jessica Davenport, Hunter was a member of the national champion 16-and-under Lady Hoopstars squad.
The Buckeyes will have to beat out Connecticut, which was among Hunter's original final five, if they want her, but it isn't out of the question.
"I think she'll have a decision in about a week," Lee said. "No later than July 4. She wants to get into school in August, so she can't wait around to make her decision."
Lee said Hunter's decision to leave Duke came within the last month, but he did not specify what exactly caused her to leave.
In related news, OSU will be getting the services of Debbie Merrill, a 6-3 junior from the University of Cincinnati. She was dismissed by the Bearcats for violation of team rules, but was a big part of their transformation into an NCAA Tournament team.
Merrill, who was recruited by Foster out of Clarksburg, Tenn., averaged nearly 16 points per game for the Bearcats before being suspended for the last few games of the season.
"She's played three years of college at a high level, so she'll help us," Foster said. "She put up pretty good numbers on a good team. She's a good player."
OSU needed someone with size since Charisse Crews was forced to take a medical redshirt after suffering two severe knee injuries.
Merrill will be on scholarship but will have to sit out the season as a transfer. She can practice and will have one season of eligibility remaining.
OSU has one scholarship remaining, and you can bet they'd hold it if Hunter decided to come home.