It’s a somewhat predictable pattern: when there is friction between a big-time college coach and a big-time prospect, it usually doesn’t come to the surface until that player bolts for the professional ranks. Sometimes it comes through a surrogate. Kosta Koufos, now the first-round pick of the Utah Jazz, is now embroiled in a bit of this, as his high school coach is knocking his college coach for not using him well.
The CANTON REPOSITORY has GlenOak HS coach Jack Greynolds, Jr. calling Ohio State coach Thad Matta “clueless” because he believes Matta didn’t use Koufos properly on the offensive end.
“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.”
For their parts, Koufos and Matta are being nothing but complementary towards each other at this point. The Repository’s piece also notes the rumors that Matta was holding Koufos back offensively on purpose — to keep him from leaving like Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Jr., and Daequan Cook did after their freshman seasons last year.
Obviously, you can’t say if Matta actually did something like that, but could you blame him? Koufos’ early departure affects his program’s APR score, which could cost OSU in the scholarship department, and recruiting to replace the latest one-and-done center two years in a row has to get tiresome.
It would be another way the player gets screwed over in a system that probably shouldn’t be in place. It’s telling that Koufos had offers to go to his family’s native Greece and hoop it up for a year before coming back — the European option that incoming Arizona PG recruit Brandon Jennings is considering. The disagreements about how college coaches handle top prospects are a regular consequence of top athletic talent and families looking out for their kids, but it’s another part that the NBA’s age entry minimum is exacerbating.