College basketball: Big man in post plans to join Ohio State after 2-year mission

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Ohio State coach Thad Matta and his assistants have been trying hard to get a commitment from one of the top post players in the class of 2014. They finally did last night — but not for 2014.

Payton Dastrup, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center-forward from Mesa, Ariz., surprised many recruiting analysts when he announced he will sign next week with the Buckeyes instead of Brigham Young.

Dastrup, who is a Mormon, won’t be at Ohio State until 2016, when he completes a two-year mission trip that begins in June, after he graduates from high school.

Dastrup said OSU coaches mentioned to him that they have a need for big men the next two seasons, “but they’ll take me whenever they can.”

Amir Williams and Trey McDonald are the only posts on the roster this season and will be seniors next year. The only other big man committed for 2014 is Dave Bell of Garfield Heights, who is not expected to be ready to play immediately.

Dastrup, who can play inside and stretch defenses with his shooting, is rated No. 98 overall and the No. 12 center by ESPN.com.

— Bob Baptist

bbaptist@dispatch.com

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