Sunday Special: Greynolds: Matta clueless
GlenOak coach upset by Ohio State's treatment of Koufos
Sunday, June 29, 2008
BY Todd Porter
REPOSITORY SPORTS WRITER
No matter how long Jack Greynolds Jr. coaches, he knows it is extremely unlikely that he will get another player like Kosta Koufos.
Greynolds, though, would tell you at least he got the chance to coach Koufos at GlenOak High School. He might also tell you Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta never really took the opportunity.
Koufos was taken 23rd overall by the Utah Jazz on Thursday in the first round of the NBA Draft.
It is safe to say there is no love lost, at least as far as Greynolds is concerned, between the GlenOak coach and Matta. Greynolds isn't pleased with how Koufos' freshman season went at Ohio State, and there were rumblings in the weeks leading up to the draft that Matta held Koufos back as a freshman to try to persuade him from being a one-and-done player.
Koufos averaged about 16 points a game in his first 10 Ohio State games. His numbers dwindled during the Big Ten season when he averaged just 12 points a game in the conference. Some of that could have been the fact that Big Ten teams know one another well and they scout each other better than non-conference opponents.
But Koufos came on again at the end of the season as his offensive opportunities increased. He earned the NIT Most Valuable Player Award during the Buckeyes postseason run. By then, overtures were being made that Koufos was looking at the NBA Draft, and Koufos became more involved in the offense.
Greynolds doesn't like it.
"Listen, if you can't get along with a kid like Kosta, then you're clueless," Greynolds said. "If you're making $2 million season and can't figure out how to use a 7-foot-1 kid, you're clueless. If you can't get along with a kid who comes early, stays late and gets good grades, you're clueless, and you've got the problem."
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The Matta-Koufos relationship wasn't a secret in NBA circles. Yannis Koutroupis, a writer for hoopsworld.com, knew about it.
"I really think it was to his benefit to play at Ohio State, but he and his family weren't on the same page with Thad Matta," Koutroupis said. "That's one of the reasons he decided to leave. ... Things weren't working out for him at Ohio State. I do think he could've dominated and become a top-five pick next year."
Koufos keeps saying he enjoyed his time at Ohio State, that he remains a Buckeye fan and that he's grateful for the opportunity Matta gave him.
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