One day before the Ohio State men's basketball team played at Michigan, coach Thad Matta said he wouldn’t be traveling with the team to Ann Arbor because he would be doing some recruiting.
Later Friday night, Matta and assistant coach Chris Jent were in New Haven, Michigan, watching sophomore forward Romeo Weems. After the game, they told Weems’ parents that their son had a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. It came four days after Michigan State had also offered Weems and capped a somewhat surreal week for the sophomore.
“It was a big week,” Weems, who said he didn’t know either offer was coming, told The Dispatch. “It was different. It was exciting, but I just stayed calm and played my game and just played regular.”
New Haven coach Tedaro France listed Weems at 6-7, 215 pounds and capable of playing all five positions for the Rockets. With Matta and Jent in attendance, Weems had 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals in a 77-38 home win.
Most schools view Weems as a small forward.
“I tell people, he plays like a fifth-year senior because his IQ for the game is so high,” France said. “You tell him something once and he knows it. He’s like a coach out there on the floor at 15 years old. It’s scary to know he’s this good at 15. Just think when he’s a senior, how much better he’s going to get.”
A starter as a freshman, Weems is a team captain as a sophomore. ESPN lists him as a five-star recruit, the No. 19 prospect in the country and the state’s top prospect for the class of 2019, while 247Sports lists him as a four-star prospect and No. 2 within the state.
Weems said he also holds scholarship offers from Dayton, Creighton and Oakland and is receiving letters from Kansas, Michigan, Arkansas and Xavier, among others.
Ohio State has been recruiting him for at least the last six months, according to France. Weems visited campus in early November, watched the basketball team practice and also took in a football game against Nebraska. He will be back this month to see the Buckeyes play the Cornhuskers at Value City Arena on Feb. 18.
“They’re very high on him and they want him because he fits their style and what they do,” France said. “We’ve seen them practice, too, and seen some of the stuff they’ve been doing. He loves the school and he loves the staff and he loves the campus. He just loves it, but he’s still young and he just wants to focus on getting better each day.”
Weems said he primarily talks with Jent and that the two hit it off during his last trip to Columbus.
“He’s a great guy,” Weems said. “He’s a cool coach, like a friend. When I went there, he helped me get my shot better. Just from a couple seconds, he improved my shot so I think he’s a good coach and he’ll help me get better.”
With two more years of high school still ahead, Weems said he’s not rushing through his recruitment.
“I just want to keep looking and pick the right school,” he said. “I’m going to keep working and go on visits, see how the coaching staffs are, see how programs work and see where I can fit in and keep looking to make sure I make the right decision.”