Thad Matta will have a welcome challenge when the class of 2016 sets foot on campus. After signing forward Derek Funderburk and center Micah Potter on Wednesday, the Buckeyes will have five post players 6 feet 9 or taller for the 2016-17 season.

Thad Matta will have a welcome challenge when the class of 2016 sets foot on campus. After signing forward Derek Funderburk and center Micah Potter on Wednesday, the Buckeyes will have five post players 6 feet 9 or taller for the 2016-17 season.

"It allows us more of the ability to play bigger, just in terms of can we play a stretch-4 or can we put two bigs out there?" Matta said. "A lot of it is predicated on the defensive end of the floor, but I like those options. I like that both guys are highly skilled and can do a lot of different things. Players find their way to the court and coaches find ways to use them to the best of their abilities."

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Funderburk is expected to provide more of a physical presence. Potter has expanded his game outside of the lane since committing, Matta said.

Both committed in April and have since transferred from their high schools in Ohio to prep schools for their senior seasons: Funderburk went from Lakewood St. Edward to Chatham Military Academy in Virginia and Potter from Mentor to Montverde Academy in Florida.

Sophomore forward Jae'Sean Tate said he's familiar with Funderburk after facing him during AAU games.

"Long, lanky and he looks like he could help us when he gets here after he puts on a few pounds," he said. "I'm excited to see what he does this senior year and what he can bring to the table (for us)."

The additions put Ohio State at the maximum for next season, but Matta might not be done. The Buckeyes are one of three finalists for five-star guard Kobi Simmons from Alpharetta, Ga., who will decide during the spring signing period that begins April13.

Although no spots are available, Matta said the likelihood of that remaining the case for an entire year is slim, even though the Buckeyes graduate no scholarship players.

"The odds in college basketball nowadays of a team staying together (are) almost slim to none," he said. "We have to do our job in terms of being prepared if something happens: NBA, overseas, transfers, whatever that situation may be.

"In terms of where we go from here, we're always recruiting, but I know we probably don't need much more size anymore, especially with what's coming down the pipe for us."

Tate to play; Mitchell still out

Tate, who missed an exhibition game Sunday against Walsh because of an ankle injury suffered two days earlier, said he plans to play this weekend against Mount St. Mary's in the regular-season opener.

"I feel like I'm going to be 100 percent by Sunday," he said.

Freshman forward Mickey Mitchell continues to practice but is awaiting clearance from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy