Toledo St. John's sophomore-to-be Marc Loving has become the first commitment for Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-7 Loving averaged 13 points as a freshman for St. John's, which advanced to the Division I regional final before losing to eventual state champion Massillon Jackson.
Loving said he was surprised when OSU coach Thad Matta offered him a scholarship on Tuesday. He decided to accept it today.
"Growing up, I always loved Ohio State and wanted to play basketball for them," Loving said. "They have a great tradition on and off the court. When they gave me a scholarship offer to go there, I accepted it proudly."
Loving's mother, Angela, said she encouraged him to take his time before committing. But Marc was sure Ohio State was where he wanted to go.
"We asked him, 'Are you sure?'" she said. "And he said, 'Iím 100 percent sure.' We support him 100 percent. This was his decision. Of course, we've always admired Ohio State, but you have to take the emotion out and make the right decision."
Loving is a versatile player who can play any position except center. At 190 pounds, he will need to get stronger, but that's expected to come.
Physically, Loving resembles a young Evan Turner. Though it would be unfair to compare him to last year's consensus national player of the year, Loving's high school coach saw some similarities.
"Thatís entered my mind. It has," St. John's coach Ed Heintschel said. "Marc is only a sophomore and has to put some meat on his bones, but heíll get strength as he matures. Iím not saying heís another Evan Turner, but he has the skill set to be the versatile player that Evan Turner is."
Loving will be Heintschel's second player to play at Ohio State. Neshaun Coleman played for the Buckeyes in the 1990s. Matta also recruited B.J. Raymond from St. John's when he was coaching Xavier.
The Toledo pipeline has been a strong one for Ohio State, including Kelvin Ransey, Jimmy Jackson, Dennis Hopson and junior-to-be William Buford.
Heintschel gushed about the latest player from the northwestern corner of the state.
"I think Marc will do really well for Ohio State. He is a low-maintenance player in that you donít have to worry about him on or off the court or in the classroom. Thereís no downside to the kid and you get a high return.
"Heís a very, very intelligent player. His basketball I.Q. is extremely high. His skill level is quiet remarkable for an incoming sophomore. We have a very good point guard, but heíll play some point guard for us. He'll play anywhere from 1-4. He makes his teammates better. He wants to win. Heís got an excellent three-point shot and has great touch all over the floor."
Heintschel said Loving won't become complacent after accepting OSU's offer.
"This kid is a wonderful kid," he said. "I think he wants to be a great, great player. More importantly, heís willing to work to be a great player. He will not sit on this scholarship and say heís arrived. Heíll continue to push himself."
Angela Loving said any reservations she had about quickly accepting the offer faded as she got to know Matta and his staff.
"He and his staff were just a class act," she said. "They were very thorough and very patient because I definitely had a lot of questions. It just really felt like a family. They really made me feel comfortable that it would be a great opportunity for him. They were just very warm."
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Goes to my alma mater. Might be the best prospect they have ever had and they have had some good ones.
Shane Komives Cincy/BGSU
Jay Larranaga BGSU-now playing pro ball in Europe
Jake Holmes BGSU/St. Peter's
Neshaun Coleman Ohio St
John Floyd Oakland/BGSU
Brian Roberts Dayton
Zach Hillesland Notre Dame
Bj Raymond Xavier
Joe Jakubowski BGSU
There have been a couple more too, that I cannot think of!
Sloppy St. Edward no match for Toledo St. John's in 66-47 defeat
Tim Rogers, Plain Dealer Reporter, December 13, 2010 10:26 a.m.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It wasn't pretty and it was downright ugly for much of the time. The kind of ugly that makes a guy shudder.
If St. Edward and Toledo St. John's are two of the best Division I basketball teams in Ohio, as they are reputed to be, then as soon as word spreads about the Titans' 66-47 victory on Saturday, many an eye should open statewide
St. Edward, ranked first in The Plain Dealer Top 25, was at a distinct size advantage, as it will be on most occasions. Consequently, St. John's 6-8 sophomore and Ohio State recruit Marc Loving, 6-5 seniors Jeff Copeland and Zach Steinmetz did most of the damage.
Loving finished with 18 points and eight rebounds and Copeland had 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Steinmetz had 11 points and six rebounds.