Much like with football, in-state recruiting is always a focus for the basketball team at Ohio State as well. While the state of Ohio has a well-deserved reputation for producing top football talent, the reality is the Buckeye State always has produced a lot of great talent on the hardwood as well.
Ohio State already has one commitment in the 2018 class from Dane Goodwin, a local shooter from Upper Arlington who opened eyes at the Ohio State team camp, and with more names emerging and more evaluations being made, here is a look at who else from the 2018 and 2019 classes could find their way onto the OSU radar.
While on the surface the 2018 class doesn’t appear to be one of the best in the state, there are a few intriguing names besides Goodwin. Combo forward Darius Bazley out of Cincinnati, combo guard Dwayne Cohill out of Cleveland, and even big center E.J. Williams of Middletown is on the national radar.
The player putting up the biggest numbers this season is Bazley. About 6-foot-7 with long arms, high level athleticism, and a good skillset, Bazley is someone who has potential that is absolutely through the roof. Now he is a bit raw, and has a long way to go in terms of refining his game, but there is no doubt that the major powers in the region are going to take a long look.
As one would expect, Xavier and Cincinnati have both been in to see him this year, Purdue has had him on campus, and the Buckeyes definitely know about him. Like with most kids from the area it is going to be tough for Ohio State if both Cincinnati and Xavier offer, but this is definitely a could who could be the next in the class to get a Buckeye offer.
If the next in-state offer in the class isn’t to Bazley one would think Cohill is the logical candidate. Cohill is putting up huge numbers at Parma Holy Name, and has good size and skill for a point guard. He is a bit more of a scorer than distributor, but he has the ability to play on the ball at the college level.
Ohio State is already well aware of Cohill, and given his position being of need in that class and being a native of Cleveland, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Buckeyes really made a push for him after seeing him in the spring.
While those two are the most likely, still keep an eye on Williams and Dylan Swingle. Both Williams and Swingle are both in the range of 6-foot-9, and are true centers with a ton of size. With Ohio State bringing in Kaleb Wesson in 2017 a plotting center might not work in 2018, but none the less both are talents who already possess high-major offers.
Other names to watch in-state would include Dayton Dunbar wing Caleb McConnell, Pickerington North combo forward Jerome Hunter, Cleveland Heights point guard Yahel Hill, and dual sport star from Huber Heights Wayne L'Christian Smith.
In the 2019 class the list begins and in essence ends with one name, Jordan Mitchell. A product of Gahanna Lincoln, Mitchell has the look of an elite prospect going forward, and it would be an absolute shock if he doesn’t land a Buckeye offer soon.
Mitchell is around 6-foot-7 already, has high level skill, and is a good athlete. At the Flyin to the Hoop event he really showed off his ability, and now has to be considered one of the best prospects regardless of class in the Buckeye State.
Outside of Mitchell, combo guard Amari Davis of Trotwood-Madison has the look of a high level prospect, and Ohio State is already looking. The same can be said of Sidney guard Andre Gordon. Also keep an eye on Ohio State legacy Jeremiah Francis who is already a very phsyically developed guard who has interest from the Buckeyes.
More names will surely emerge as time goes on, but with Ohio State have a lot of scholarships to give starting in 2018, there is no doubt the staff is going to place a big emphasis on keeping the best in the Buckeye State home.