By now, you are most likely in the middle stages of a food coma after grabbing unnecessary seconds of those mashed potatoes that you really didn't need. Anyway, if you made it here by now, thank you for checking up on my weekly column. For this Thursday, and more importantly Thanksgiving, I am giving you five things to be thankful for today. Let's take a look.
What To Be Thankful For
- The 2016 class: The freshman class this season is showing some promise, most notably with Micah Potter starting at center. In a class that was thrown together very quickly at the end, 2016 has been pretty solid so far, as Potter has shown an ability to stretch the floor and give Ohio State an offensive weapon at the five that it is not used to. While a sophomore, CJ Jackson has been a surprise, leading the team with five assists per game, while only getting 17.5 minutes per night. Lastly, Andre Wesson had his first early breakout performance on Monday, playing 23 minutes and scoring five points to go along with six rebounds. Brought in to be a defensive specialist, Wesson has done just that, while any offense he can provide will be a boost for the Buckeyes. Thad Matta had high praise for Wesson after Monday's win over Western Carolina.
- Kaleb Wesson: The state's No. 1 center in the 2017 class, Kaleb Wesson has been an Ohio State commit longer than he has been a state champion. An incredibly skilled big who passes as well out of the post as any big man that I've covered in Central Ohio since Jared Sullinger, Wesson will bring an offensive tool for Ohio State upon his arrival next fall. With great size and width at 6-foot-10, Wesson has touch underneath, while also being a reliable free-throw shooter who can stretch the floor and hit outside jumpers. We think Wesson will be ready to contribute as a freshman, as his IQ and feel for the game should get him minutes.
- Braxton Beverly: The second and last member of the 2017 class, Braxton Beverly was an important signing for Ohio State. Beverly means guard depth for Ohio State, and another lead guard on the roster if JaQuan Lyle does not return next season. A big-time scorer at the prep level, Beverly can absolutely shoot it, while bringing a level of grit and toughness that the Buckeyes can really benefit from. Check out some highlights of Beverly from last week's National Prep Showcase.
- The 2018 class: Already being regarded as one of the best recruiting classes in 2018, Ohio State's junior class shows a lot of promise. With three very talented in-state commits in Darius Bazley, Dane Goodwin and Justin Ahrens, Ohio State is getting a much-needed offensive boost on the wing. Bazley has the highest upside of just about any prospect in Ohio's 2018 class, while Goodwin and Ahrens are two tough and athletic wing guards who can make shots. We see these three coming in with a chip on their shoulder, as Ohio State has the potential to put together a mega class with another commitment to go along with its already talented trio.
- The talent in the state of Ohio: One of the nation's hot beds for basketball talent, Ohio is not running low on high-level hoopers. After a deep 2016 class that sent dozens of players to the Division I ranks, the talent level is not going anywhere in Ohio. For Ohio State, that means in-state options who are more likely to find the Buckeyes attractive. A player in the 2020 class who the Buckeyes are already targeting? Dublin Coffman point guard Dominiq Penn. Yes, that's right. Scoonie's son is a freshman. One of the best freshman point guards that I have ever seen, Penn has already visited the Buckeyes, while assistant coach Greg Paulus has been out to see him this fall. Penn has the makings of a high-major talent in the backcourt, and could be a future commitment for Ohio State. Check out some highlights from Penn this past fall at my event, Coach Vic's Weekly Showcase, where he was often the only freshman playing against elite juniors and seniors. (Skip ahead to 1:38)