Monday, October 5, 2015

Ohio The Latest To Offer Quick-Rising Culver

Ohio University is the latest program to offer 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard Rodney Culver a scholarship. The Class of 2016 prospect has seen an uptick in interest in the past two months.

Ohio has been recruiting Culver for a solid year and offered on Tuesday.

Culver, a multi-layered talent out of Columbus, Ohio, has offers from Coastal Carolina, Campbell, Hofstra, and IPFW.

"I know the coaching staff (at Ohio) and some of the players pretty well, as they've got a lot of local guys," said Culver.

"I'm familiar with the program. I actually didn't watch them growing up. Once I got a little older, once I got to high school and was recruited by them, I started paying more attention. I started taking closer note of them, watching games and really keeping up with them."

Fitting, as assistant coach Jason Kemp has been keeping up with Culver.

Buoyed by a rather workmanlike game for a guard, Culver's penchant for crashing the boards and blocking and manipulating shots separates him from others of his ilk.

The general consensus, the word around the local campfire is that Culver's an unheralded, unsung recruit which several in-state programs skipped out on.

His NCAA attention blew up as quick as he grew up.

"My body's changed a whole lot," said Culver.

"This time last year, I was a young 17-year-old. I got bigger, taller. My game's matured. I think I'm a smarter basketball player now. I've got a better IQ overall as opposed to last year, when I was playing off athleticism and physical ability."

The advantage Culver gives Elev8 is an ability to guard multiple positions.

This fall, he's displayed a defensive aggression and ability to sustain it for 40 minutes.

 Elev8 had its fair share of defensive lapses last season. Even in end-to-end drubbings, the defensive focus faltered during sequences.

Blessed with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Culver is adept at finishing at the rim.

 Similar to most scorers of his fabric, Culver has a unique feel for finishing with contact and not shying away from big rim-protectors or brutal hits in front of the rim. This enables him to induce fouls in the act of shooting.

Ditching the set shot is critical for Culver, who is in the process of tweaking his form and developing a quicker release.

"We're working on making my shot more fluid," Culver said. "I'm just making a little tweak in my form."

Bordered by Ja'Sean Tate (Ohio State) and Connor Kern (Arkansas State) at Pickerington Central as a junior, Culver registered his imprint as a long, skinny scoring threat who could put the ball on the deck and create for himself and others.

Last season, he did everything but hand out tickets and peddle french fries at halftime.

He's worked at packing muscle onto that lanky frame, following a new regimen that includes early bird workouts on the beach.

At Elev8, Culver will once again be flushed into the role of supplementary scorer while sustaining waves of energy and thorough defensive pressure in all components of his game.