Q & A: Walter Offutt

  • 04/28/2010 10:57 pm in

NCAA First Round: Siena Saints v Ohio State BuckeyesIndiana could get a major boost in the coming weeks as former Ohio State and Wright State guard Walter Offutt will choose between walking-on in Bloomington or playing for John Groce at Ohio University. Offutt was a four-star recruit in the 2008 class, but played in just 21 games as a freshman at Ohio State and in two games last fall as a sophomore before transferring to Wright State.

He averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior at Warren Central before missing his senior season due to injury. Inside the Hall caught up with Offutt on Wednesday night for a Q & A:

On his decision to leave Wright State:

“One of the main reasons was (Brad) Brownell leaving to go to Clemson. Brownell was a good coach and I thought I could do really well under him. I really liked his system and wanted to do well under him. Obviously, he left and took on a bigger job at Clemson which is respectable. I’m not mad at him for that. I don’t know how it will be at Wright State. I don’t have the best relationship with Billy Donlon and the way he does things. I just don’t see myself playing with them, so I chose to leave.”

On how the interest in Indiana began:

“My former AAU team, Indiana Elite, the head of that team, Mark Adams and Mike Barnett, Kory Barnett’s Dad, they really like IU’s program and really looked after me during the recruiting process. Obviously I was recruited and went to Ohio State and committed there at an early age so I really didn’t have a chance to be recruited by many schools. They really had a good relationship with Coach Crean and I’ve been thinking about IU for a while. Even though I left the first time, I couldn’t go inter-conference, but now I have the opportunity to walk-on. I talked to Coach Crean already and actually, it’s kind of funny because he wanted to recruit me right after I committed to Ohio State when he was at Marquette. We kind talked about that and that’s how it all kind of started.”

On his interest in Ohio University:

“John Groce, he was the associate head coach at Ohio State and pretty much recruited me all throughout high school and I’ve got a very good relationship with him as well. So obviously, that’s why Ohio is in the mix. He’s showing some interest and has offered me a full ride, so that’s where it stands with that.”

On where he stands health wise:

“A lot of people say they don’t know where my knees stand because they haven’t seen me play in a while. But I can tell you, you can quote this, my knees are fine. They’re 100 percent. Nothing’s going to stop me right now. I’m 100 percent. I can still jump the same. I’m still fast, quick, athletic and nothing’s going to stop me.”

On his decision to leave Ohio State:

“Coach Matta doesn’t play anybody except the guards that he had out there this year, 40 minutes a game. I gotta play somewhere. I didn’t feel like he was going to change much and he didn’t throughout the year. I think that was the main reason for them losing was depth, they didn’t have any and that’s what caused them to lose down the stretch in the NCAA Tournament.”

On what’s next and when he might visit Indiana:

“I plan to go there on one of the next couple of weekends, probably after I make my decision. I don’t know when I’m going to get down there. I know my Mom’s definitely going down there this weekend to check with the academic advisor Marni Mooney and to meet with some of the coaches about the financial stuff. That’s when she plans to go down there, I don’t know when I’m going to go down there though.”

On his thoughts on the IU program while growing up in Indianapolis:

“I loved Indiana. When Bob Knight was there and A.J. Guyton and Jared Jeffries. I loved Indiana with (Tom) Coverdale, (Kyle) Hornsby, (Dane) Fife and (Jeff) Newton. All of them. A.J. Moye. I loved IU when I was younger. But when I was growing up in the recruiting process, Bob Knight had left before I got to high school, then they had Mike Davis and he recruited me somewhat, but he kind of messed up and then he left. Then it was Sampson and then I committed to Ohio State and he got into some trouble. And now it’s Crean. I probably would have went there if they had a legitimate, stable coach there, but they didn’t really have a stable coach there so I really couldn’t pick that program because it was up and down.”

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