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Former Buckeye Offutt confirms he's leaving Wright State, says 'leaning towards Indiana'



Published Apr 22, 2010 4:10 pm

As first reported by the Dayton Daily News, former Ohio State guard Walter Offutt is leaving Wright State and considering heading to Ohio University or being a walk-on at IU.

Offutt, a Top 100 recruit in 2008 according to Rivals.com, transferred early this season to Wright State. But mainly due to Brad Brownell's departure for Clemson, Offutt told the IDS this afternoon that he is definitely leaving Wright State.

Confirming earlier reports, the Indianapolis native said that currently "it's between Ohio and Indiana," though he said other teams might contact him.

The 6-foot-3 combo guard, who should have two years of eligibility remaining, added that there is "a real good chance that I will end up there" when asked about IU.

Having already played at Ohio State, Offutt said he would have to pay his own way should he choose the Hoosiers.

The former Warren Central star said he has been talking with Tom Crean now for a few weeks. Offutt, an AAU teammate of Hoosiers Matt Roth and Kory Barnett, plans to make his decision by the first week of May.

The one-time Buckeye had high praises for current Ohio coach John Groce, the man who recruited him to OSU, calling him a "phenomenal assistant" under Matta.

However, there is some concern with Groce's status, after leading the Bobcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"He's been getting interviewed by other schools," Offutt said. "I know he's probably not leaving this year, but the possibility that he may leave the next year or the next year after that. I don't really want to be in a position where I'm stuck like I am now. It's going to contribute to my decision on where I pick."

As for the million dollar question - does he have a leader?

"Right now, over the last couple of days, I would have to say Indiana," Offut said.

Offut talked with Groce today and has also been talking with Crean about making a visit to Bloomington in the next week or so.

"As long as the pieces fall in the puzzle, put the pieces in the puzzle, it looks like I might be a Hoosier," he said. "I don't know quite yet, but we'll see. I'm leaning towards Indiana as of right now."

Follow the jump for other tidbits:

Offutt on original recruitment by IU: "I mean they were going through so many coaching changes, I really didn't want to go there because of all the stuff that was happening. I got recruited by Mike Davis when he was there when I was younger. Then Kelvin got there but I already was committed to Ohio State. IU was always right there but they were going through such a tough time, it was hard for them to keep some of the in-state talent that got away."

On Crean and IU: "One thing I like about Crean is he has a good track record. He wanted to recruit me when he was at Marquette, but I committed to Ohio State so early.... I like Coach Crean's intensity and the fact that it's a good location. It's like 45 minutes from home, my mom can always come see me play. I think I have a good opportunity to play."

On the end of his OSU career: "My sophomore season, Matta told me I could expect to get a bigger role. But he played five guys pretty much 40 minutes a game and that's not going to cut it. It will be interesting to see how he handles his recruits coming in."

On his #99 Rivals.com rating in 2008: "Everybody that you come across, you have to look at their situation. Obviously Ohio State recruit me and I committed early and I expected to play a little bit of "one" and I did not. Ohio State was loaded at guard, probably the most guard-oriented team in college basketball. Coach Matta played four guards and honestly four great guys ahead of me. I was behind future NBA players. If I would have went anywhere else, I probably would have been playing. You have to think of everything that accounts for me not playing... Put me in the right position and I can excel at the Big Ten level.

On his aspirations to play professionally and getting noticed: "The better choice might be IU, but at the same time you can still get seen at the mid-major level. "

On being a 'hardworker and great teammate': "Ask anybody - Coach Matta at Ohio State and ask Matt Roth or anybody at Indiana and they'll tell you that's how I am."

On Ohio State recruiting the state of Indiana: "Matta is a great recruiter, but I think John Groce really did a great job of helping out and really sealing the deal... We'll get a better look of how good Coach Matta really is because John Groce really was a phenomenal assistant under Matta. Coach Matta is a great coach, a great recruiter. But John Groce was his right-hand man. (NOTE: Groce has been gone for over a year but did help land Deshaun Thomas of Fort Wayne)


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