As we approach the Ohio high school state playoffs for basketball, one Buckeye commit has quite a bit of personal momentum going for him and his family.
Kaleb Wesson is expected to return from an ankle injury for Westerville South's first playoff game. The Wildcats open with Pataskala Licking Heights, Saturday, and are the No. 2 seed in the Columbus region. If seeding holds true, they'll join Pickerington Central, Columbus Northland and Gahanna Lincoln in the regional final four. One-seed Gahanna Lincoln appears to be the toughest out in the region, featuring Michigan State signee Nick Ward.
Westerville South finished the regular season as the tenth ranked team in the final state AP Poll, behind two other teams in their region. The Wildcats made the Division I state final last season before losing to Huber Heights Wayne.
They'll need a healthy Wesson if they want to reach the state finals again. Despite missing the last three weeks of the regular season with a sprained ankle and starting the season with a finger injury, he still put together a strong junior campaign. 270Hoops.com named Wesson Central Ohio's top junior of the year after he averaged 14.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.
More Wesson Family News
Kaleb's brother is a composite three-star recruit in the 2016 class and does not yet have an offer from the Buckeyes. As I wrote last week, the Ohio State staff did their due diligence on Andre well before the past eight days and increased its recruiting efforts recently. So, it wouldn't be a surprise if Matta offers and Andre accepts.
If that does occur, Andre would take the roster spot vacated by Austin Grandstaff's transfer and OSU would not have another open scholarship until 2018.
Via Zach Fleer, two more Columbus-area prospects were in attendance for the Michigan game.
Gahanna Lincoln's Jordan Mitchell and Westerville North's Jeremiah Keene joined Andre Wesson as unofficial visitors. Both Mitchell and Keene are freshmen who received Ohio State interest prior to their visits. Members of the staff attended one of Keene's games earlier this month and Greg Paulus watched Mitchell play in January.
Tough Road Outside Columbus
If the final regular season state AP poll is any indication, the Division I champion is unlikely to come out of Central Ohio.
Two undefeated teams top the poll – No. 1 is defending state champion Huber Heights Wayne. The Warriors are doing this without Ahmad Wagner, who graduated last year and is playing almost 10 minutes a game as a freshman for Iowa. Luckily, Dayton commit Trey Landers is there to pick up the slack. No. 2 Lima Senior is also undefeated and led by Michigan signee Xavier Simpson.
Huber Heights Wayne is a one seed in the Cincinnati region, which also features tough outs in Elder, La Salle, Moeller and Wilmington – featuring Cincinnati signee Jarron Cumberland. That appears to be the toughest region on paper.
Cleveland's top seeds are Garfield Heights – led by Missouri signee Willie Jackson and Louisville signee Frankie Hughes – as well as St. Edward, Warren G. Harding – with four-star forward Derek Culver – and Micah Potter's former school, Mentor. The Akron/Toledo region appears to be the weakest of the four, featuring Massillon Jackson, Brunswick, Lorain and the aforementioned Lima Senior.
As the district rounds tip off, we'll keep you updated on the Wesson brothers as well as 2018 commit Dane Goodwin, whose Upper Arlington squad is the sixth seed in the Columbus region.