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.”

Filed to:

  • Casey

    Can someone explain this answer to me: “I plan to go there on one of the next couple of weekends, probably after I make my decision.”

    Does this make sense to anyone? He says he’s going to visit IU after he makes his decision…

    So, if he chooses Ohio, he’ll then visit IU? Doesn’t make sense. Should I interpret this as him saying that his commitment to IU is an inevitability?

    Someone help me out. Maybe I’m missing something.

  • Kelin Blab

    I really would like for Walter to come to IU ….
    + I think he could provide some well needed leadership
    + I like his confidence and the kid is hungry and a home-state kid
    + I think he woud raise the 'practice/effort' level of the team in practice and games and give guys that insecure feeling with their p/t if they don't come to play….

    Walter, Davis didn't recruit you, Sampson was a scumbag…Crean wants you there, we want you there, and you 'know' what it means to be a Hoosier….

  • marsh21

    A free education means a lot so unless their family just has money to burn or he wants loans to pay off after school Ohio University is probably the place for him. This is an economic deal it appears to me.

    Get the free education because your not going pro so what's the point? It would be nice to have you walk on but free money talks.

  • HoosierDavey

    I hope this one happens, but don't go crazy if he goes to Ohio and turns us down. It would be hard to turn down a full ride. Rejection here would not be because of CTC or IU or us, etc.

  • BaseballBuc

    I think Ohio has an advantage for 2 reasons:
    1. He has a full ride offer
    2. Most of Ohio's roster (including Bassett, I believe) is back from a team that one a game in the tournament last year.

    Hard to turn down if you are Offutt.

  • deserthoosier

    I love his candor.

  • marchus

    he said he is leaning towards IU right now and he doesn't care if he has to pay his own way….. this is what he said

  • valpohistory

    They will find a way to get this kid on the team if they want him to. He won't end up paying his entire way. His family will end up paying a fraction of what it would normally cost, if not nothing at all. In the article up on peegs, he mentioned something about his mother going down to check on everything, talk with an advisor, and the financial aid people. If he can't afford it, they will get him there regardless, he just won't be on an athletic scholarship. Also, if his family REALLLLLLLLLLY couldn't afford to pay for him, he wouldn't even be considering it. He would have just gone to Ohio hands down. Since they can pay for it, he is considering it because he loves IU and understands what it means to wear that jersey. With open arms, the Hoosiers will accept him.

  • T$

    I think the best way Walter could help the team is during practice. Not sure how much he can help during games but having more talented kids in practice will help competition.

  • Kelin Blab

    One other point is also…if he goes to IU he plays next year, he would have to sit out at Ohio and I believe Walter has missed a year already and probaly doesn't want to do so again. Not to mention…'It's Indiana”……

  • psvirsky

    I think I'm already on record as saying I'd love to have him at IU. But I just need to point this out, when answering the question about his health, he says:

    “you can quote this”.

    Umm, Walter? This whole thing is being quoted. This is an interview. Just thought that was funny

  • hoosierclarion

    He has had a couple of years to mature and he proves that by his choice of words explaining his line of thinking. I am sure his BB skills are still very much on the plus side of the scale. He is serious and so is his Mom so help them as much as possible and then let them make the decision on where to attend school. He can be a valuable ingredient to the performance growth of this team. I still believe we need a capable guard more than we need a young big man at this time.

  • eph521

    I agree… reading the article it sounds like he's made up his mind to come to IU.

  • iudawg

    I live in Athens and have been to a few OU games. It's nothing like the atmosphere at Assembly Hall. Plus, being a basketball player at OU is not nearly as special as wearing the candy stripe pants regardless of where the program is right now.

    I think he'll ultimately choose the school in the better conference with the better tradition.

    GO IU!

  • Hardwood83

    That is a good point and certainly a big factor, I would guess.

  • it's Indiana

    Getting Offut to commit would be like finding a $100 bill in your coat pocket. There is zero downside to this.

  • HoosNation

    i think Bawa can be this guy, if given the chance. I felt like i could of been reading an article about BM if he would been able to get some game time minutes. Scoring won’t be a problem next year, but defensive presence and rebounding from the paint is crucial. If we land this guy- great! If we use Bawa in the same light- great! But lets address the problem at the C position. I know TC runs the guard oriented offense, but every team needs a BIG!

  • it's Indiana

    I understand that he is a former ITH writer, but Brennan's ESPN article on Negedu smells. Seems to me that he was more concerned with sounding cute than presenting all the facts. He is paid for his opinion and I am not…so judge for yourself.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation

  • MillaRed

    The more I read into this recruiting deal the more obvious it seems that a transfer or two isn't a possibility, it's a cold, hard fact. It's an ugly part of the process and I would not be surprised if we see one in the next 4-5 months.

  • JerryCT

    If I were Offutt I would come to IU to get “OSU revenge” ….. kind of a “reverse Funderburke”

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I never thought I'd read the phrase “reverse Funderburke” today … or ever. Thanks for the laugh!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I'm assuming his next article will discuss how “desperate” and “irresponsible” IU is for letting Offutt walk on instead of encouraging him to take the full ride at Ohio.

  • millzy32

    Remember though that OU was not a MAC power last year. They won the MAC Tourney to get into the dance, their season wasn't that stellar until they did that.

    Everything just kinda fell into place for them late in the season. Another year like that is unlikely. Bassett went unconscious for about 5 or 6 games in a row.

  • millzy32

    Please forgive him he was at Ohio State for two years. You should see what happens to people when they go there four years. We're lucky he still remembers his name.

    Seriously though it would be great to get him at IU and if he does well enough I'm sure they will work something out for him.

    If he plays well enough I'm sure we could use this blog and take up a collection for his tuition.

    Plus my grandfather's name is Walter and I'm kinda biased (he's 90 this year). Don't hear that name much anymore and I like it.

  • millzy32

    I get what you're saying and I love the comment but sadly Funderbunk was a 5* kid and Offutt was a 4* with injury concerns.

  • JerryCT

    I like your name for him …. FunderbuNk. They both have/had bad knees and according to Offutt ( his “depth” comment ) they both think they cost their former teams a nat'l championship .

    Now lets go get that REVENGE !

  • GFDave

    Casey, could me he just misspoke.

  • GFDave

    I read earlier that WO is concerned that the coach will move on to another job sometime during WO's stay at Ohio. He doesn't want another change and that works in our favor.

  • CutterInChicago

    Thought Bassett had declared for NBA and was likely to stick it out?

  • Tom McG

    back in the day we called him Lawrence Blunderf**k

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    I'm pretty sure no Big Ten school can give a scholly to a kid who transfers out of a Big Ten school, even with a year at another school in between, so it's a moot point. It looks like he has to pay his way the whole time.

  • GFDave

    I think that's right.

  • bhaggard

    Does anyone have any news about the 7'1 JUCO player that is supposed to visit IU very soon? I just saw something, but I don't know his name or school. I feel like Crean is starting to just recruit anything over 6'8.

  • marcusgresham

    1.) He grew up loving Indiana.
    2.) He seems pretty mature and honest.
    3.) Non-scholarship kids generally are devoid of any sense of entitlement.
    4.) You know at least two games a year (against OSU) he will absolutely bust his ass beyond anything we've seen around Bloomington in several years.

    I don't see any reason this can't be a positive other than the scholarship issue, and if that is the case I can't fault him, but I'd expect to see him in cream and crimson.

  • marcusgresham

    Interesting, and I agree with many of the people who responded to it by saying that I'd leave it up to experts in cardiology to determine whether he is or is not fit to play, but I hate that many of them had “IU something or another” in their names and simply sounded bitter and petty–makes us look like UK equivalents.

  • MillaRed

    “he would immediately give IU an injection of talent that Crean wasn't able to provide in his meager 2010 recruiting class.”

    Meager? Hey dude, only ITH bloggers can call this class meager. Who in the h_ll do you think you are? That statement in itself sums up this guys feeling toward IU. Looks more like sour grapes than anything.

    No one really knows what went down at Tennessee. It could be a legal matter. Maybe they want to wash their hands of the whole thing after the big scare.

    I've got a medical background myself and if the kid is cleared to play then so be it. If he can get through it, contribute and graduate, Crean and IU are heroes for giving the kid a chance. If he has a hiccup, you do the right thing and tell him he has to back off.

    Getting both of these kids would be a huge lift to the program right now. Albeit a little bass ackwards. At this point I'm willing to take my chances. And in no way is Offutt a “practice player.” He will see the floor early and often.

  • MillaRed

    His breakdown of Matta's depth in the tourney didn't sound warm and fuzzy did it?

  • Kelin Blab

    bhaggard……
    His name is….Guy Marc Michel
    The quick skinny…..recruited by Gonzaga and….Colorodo, so I assume there is a mcclain connection there. 7'1, 7'6 wingspan…….defensive minded FIRST, does have some offensive skills but is more of a DEFENDER first….

    The twist…..I think Crean and McClain are doing their due diligence because I believe someone or two is leaving. Crean just mentioned again about having scholly's available….There is no way we sign another kid and Ngedu without someone leaving….can't see it happening.

    “We’ve got balance issues to work through (with the returning players) so we can recruit properly,” he said. “That will happen as we go down the line.”

    is this kid tijan…I don't think so….is he an impact player, we don't know….he is what we all want though….BIG

    http://www.ralphiereport.com/2010/3/21/1383537/

  • MillaRed

    The more I read into this recruiting deal the more obvious it seems that a transfer or two isn't a possibility, it's a cold, hard fact. It's an ugly part of the process and I would not be surprised if we see one in the next 4-5 months.

  • MillaRed

    Ugh. 7 foot JUCO players have really left a bad taste in my mouth after the last two years.

  • bhaggard

    this article gives me hope. i think that we will have few problems scoring next year, especially with creek back. i really like what i read about his defense, something we lacked last year.

  • HoosNation

    Who wants to trade WOffutt for Danny Moore?

  • garyindiana

    i thought the biggest problem we had last year (besides turnovers) was defending the post. i think this would be huge if he would just keep his hands up and rebound. as for his offense, if he can catch the ball it is an immediate improvement.

  • Sallad

    He's a former ITH blogger. Oh Eamonn, so quickly forgotten.

    I wasn't a big fan of that particular post, mainly because I've been rolling my eyes anytime anyone starts a post about Negedu with “I'm not a doctor, but…” The main thing that upset me is that he called it a pacemaker, it's not a pacemaker, and if you think it's a pacemaker you don't have an understanding of the condition that he has.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Thanks for the clarification K_S_S_S. If we don't have to offer Offutt a scholarship in 2011, then I see absolutely no downside to this situation.

  • tg1438

    I find it odd that some people don't see giving a 4* kid a spot (w/o losing a scholarship) as a good idea. Yet there are people complaining and complaining about getting too many 3* players and guys that aren't Top 100.

    This is a kid who can come in, and at least defensively play right away. He has a Big 10 body, he's athletic, and brings experience. He will see the floor and contribute if he chooses the Hoosiers.

  • Uncle Joey

    This kid really seems like Tijan 2.0

    In my opinion, the only way I see Crean bringing in another borderline “project” player is if our other current project (Bawa) decides to transfer. I really REALLY hope (for the sanity of everyone who follows IU hoops) that Crean isn't bringing in another A-HOPE kid that is “raw” and “needs work.” We simply don't have room for those kind of players on our roster at the moment… even if he's a juco player.

  • Kelin Blab

    I don't think Crean would bring in another Tijan project, he knows we don't have scholly's to waste. I don't think he has bought in any A Hope kids, but lets not forget…I believe Perea and Jurkin are A Hope kids too….I think…..

  • 3banger

    I say we take the kid just on the fact that he can talk to future recruits about his time at OSU.

  • JerryCT

    WO was not elgible to play at Wright until the end of the fall semester. I have questions;

    1. would he be available to IU after the fall semester ?
    2. How many years of elgibility are left , 2 or 3 ?