2014 Rankings Report: Ohio State

Here is a look at where the Ohio State Buckeyes commitments come in, in the final 2014 rankings, and why they are ranked where they are.

Thad Matta and Ohio State just went through a season where scoring was at a premium, and the lack of shooters in Columbus was apparent. Matta however seems to have gone a long way to fixing that in the 2014 class, with a pair of five-star prospects.

Leading the way for the Buckeyes is five-star shooting guard D'Angelo Russell. Russell moved up from No. 16 to No. 13 in the final rankings, and did it with an exceptional senior season. At times throughout the season Russell had to play point guard, and showed he can be serviceable in that role, though he is clearly best off the ball where he can make plays as a scorer first and a facilitator second.

While not one of the truly elite shooters in the class, Russell is one of the best shooters in the country with range that extends well beyond the three point line. Also Russell is a capable passer and despite not being an elite athlete has the ability to defend fairly well. Overall it was a tremendous season for Russell, and in a class with a ton of talent at the top was able to jump his way into the top 15.

Keita Bates-Diop also remained as a five-star prospect in the top 25. Now Bates-Diop is No. 24 overall, and though he slid down the rankings a few places, nothing has changed in our opinion of him as a prospect. Bates-Diop was very good in multiple viewings this season, and proved to really become a very good outside shooter. That combined with his length and athleticism gives him a ton of long term potential.

The one critique that caused him to drop a few spots is that Bates-Diop needs to get tougher and use all of his physical gifts more. He too often shies away from really crashing the glass, and then also doesn't attack the rim and finish as much as he should in traffic. If added strength can fix those two things, the long term potential for Bates-Diop is through the roof.

Also coming in for the Buckeyes on the wing is Jae'sean Tate. Tate unfortunately suffered an injury so there wasn't much to go on during his senior year, and he remained virtually unchanged from a ranking's perspective at No. 55.

Tate is still a player who is a bit divisive in terms of where he should be ranked. Some see him as a role player who will struggle to produce given his size and lack of refined skill, others see him as a beast who breaks the mold and just finds a way to get as much done as any player in the country. Still he was kept in the same spot, and seen as a versatile wing with a lot of athleticism and toughness.

Rounding out the Buckeyes class is Dave Bell. The three-star center remained just that. Bell was seen multiple times during the high school season and what makes him intriguing, size and athleticism, is still there. But he remains quite raw on offense, and struggled with his hands all year long. Bell can block a shot, but he has a long way to go, and could be a redshirt candidate from day one.

Overall Ohio State filled a lot of their needs in this class. Russell and Bates-Diop provide a scoring punch while Tate brings a toughness on the wing that has been lacking at times. Any time two five-star prospects join a class that is very good, and it is why the Bucks have one of the top classes in the country.

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