Hoops Recruiting: Is It Time to Hit the Panic Button in 2017?

By Zach Fleer on October 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta

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As it stands, Ohio State has the 61st best recruiting class in 2017 according to 247 Sports. With only one commit in Kaleb Wesson, the Buckeyes look to continue to round out its class, despite losing out on 3-star guard Thomas Allen, who committed to NC State on Monday. Is it time to hit the panic button in 2017? 

It has been 15 months since Ohio State last had a commitment in the 2017 class. With only Wesson in the fold, Ohio State isn't the only big-time program with a lone commit in the senior class, as schools like Kansas (No. 53), Duke (No. 55), and Maryland (No. 58) also have single-commit classes at this point. However, for Ohio State, the Buckeyes have an immediate need for guard depth and need to fill that void sooner than later.

With Allen's commitment to NC State on Monday, Ohio State had yet another 2017 guard prospect go elsewhere, as the Garner, North Carolina native is the second guard to choose the Wolfpack over Ohio State in the last several months, joining Cleveland native Markell Johnson. Three guard targets remain for Ohio State, as top-50 talents Troy Brown Jr and Nojel Eastern remain at the top of the Buckeyes' list.f

Brown is taking his final official visit this weekend to Georgetown, after Ohio State, Alabama, Kansas and Oregon all played host to the 6-foot-5 wing guard. Ranked among the nation's top 15 prospects, Brown could be a long shot for Ohio State, as west coast programs Cal, Arizona and Oregon remain among the top landing spots for the California native according to the 247 Sports Crystal Ball. 

For Eastern, Michigan State continues to lead the Crystal Ball, as all 11 predictions have the Evanston, Illinois native heading to East Lansing. One of the Buckeyes' top targets this past summer, Michigan State played host to Eastern for an official visit at the end of September, as the Buckeyes could be losing ground on the 6-foot-7 wing. 

In the front court, Ohio State flirted with the idea of pairing Wesson and Pickerington Central senior Sterling Manley in the post, but the Buckeyes never seemed to be overly serious with the 6-foot-11 post. Earning an offer from North Carolina last week, Manley, who cut his list to UNC, Xavier, West Virginia and Purdue, hosted Roy Williams for an in-home visit on Wednesday. It seems too late for Ohio State and Manley, as the lengthy big man is likely to commit to one of his top four before the start of the high school season. 

For now, adding a guard remains the top priority for Ohio State in 2017, as the Buckeyes will need additional depth in the backcourt, especially with the possibility of sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle going pro after this season. 

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