Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Former Brandon star Evan Ravenel still chasing dream at OSU

BRANDON — Evan Ravenel always dreamed of playing in the Final Four with a shot at winning a National Championship.

But the former Brandon High School star envisioned himself under those bright lights wearing a Boston College uniform.

"It was the place I wanted to be," Ravenel said of Boston College. "Things just didn't work out."

Ravenel's departure from the Boston College program came on the heels of longtime Eagles head coach Al Skinner's firing in 2010.

Former Cornell coach Steve Donahue replaced Skinner, but Ravenel decided to ask for his release after playing two years at Boston College.

"I didn't think I would fit his (coaching) style," Ravenel said. "I didn't have anything against him as a person or as a coach, but the main thing for me was I didn't see myself playing his style."

At that point Ravenel, an all-county and honorable mention All-State player at Brandon, wasn't sure about his future. The 6-foot-8 post player even considered hanging up his basketball shoes.

"Honestly, I didn't think I wanted to play anymore," he said. "I thought about being done with it."

Enter Dave Dickerson.

Dickerson, who recruited Ravenel out of high school while coaching at Tulane, made a call to the former Eagle.

"It was kind of funny because at first I was like, 'No, I'm not looking to go to Tulane,' " Ravenel said. "But then he said he got an assistant job at (Ohio State). He said, 'How about coming to play here now?' "

After one trip to Columbus, Ravenel was sold. He had to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, but Ravenel said the time away from the court had its advantages.

"It had its ups and downs at first," he said. "But it also gave me a chance to get used to the city and campus. You can't beat the experience of getting situated in a new place."

Now a junior, Ravenel finds himself surrounded by talent, especially young talent.

The Buckeyes have a tremendous collection of sophomores, including Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and preseason All-American Jared Sullinger.

"I was shocked at how good these young guys are," Ravenel said. "I had a feeling this was going to be a special year for this team."

Ravenel has come off the bench and been a key contributor, backing up Sullinger and Thomas. When Sullinger went down with a back injury in early December, Ravenel got three consecutive starts.

"I just try to do whatever this team needs from me," Ravenel said.

OSU coach Thad Matta said Ravenel has adapted into his role for the 20-3 Buckeyes, currently ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25.

"Evan understands he has a role to fulfill on this team," Matta told the Columbus Dispatch. "And as long as he continues to embrace that role — get a couple easy buckets, get the rebounds, and even if he doesn't get it, he does a great job blocking out — that's big for us."

Ravenel got to play in one NCAA tournament game with Boston College before the Eagles were beaten in the opening round. But the Buckeyes could make a much make a deeper run this season, and Ravenel may get a shot at the Final Four he's aimed for — just in a OSU uniform.

"I'm very excited to get to March," he said. "It's something every player dreams about, and I like our chances. This team just keeps getting better and better."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
ESPN’s Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

ESPN’s Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

When ESPN's Rece Davis heard about the idea for boosting the college football insight into the NFL draft, he didn't need any convincing."My immediate reaction was, this is a no-brainer," Davis said.Davis will spearhead the network's overdue look at t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 8 hours ago
NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

Boring interviews have been a hallmark of sports for decades. The art of the non-answer was undoubtedly developed as a defense mechanism — and it was perfected by Derek Jeter during his tenure with the Yankees — but every now and again pl...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballMariners at White Sox2 p.m.MLBNationals at Giants (in progress)5 p.m.MLBTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCubs at Indians7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Dodgers7:30 p.m.FSFCollege baseballIndiana at Purdue7 p.m.ESP...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 9 hours ago
ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway's off-field struggles continue.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening that Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine.Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway -- who some cons...
Updated: 11 hours ago