Full Court Press: Alonzo Gaffney Drops in Rivals Recruiting Rankings, Buckeyes Offer 2019 Guard Brandon Newman

By James Grega on July 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Chris Holtmann

Welcome to the Full Court Press, your weekly destination for offseason Ohio State basketball recruiting updates.

Gaffney Drops Again In National Rankings

Ohio State's lone commit in the 2019 class, Alonzo Gaffney, has dropped in national recruiting rankings for the second time since pledging to Chris Holtmann's staff. 

In mid-May, Gaffney dropped 11 overall spots in the 247Sports rankings and on Tuesday, Rivals dropped the Cleveland native nine spots overall and removed his fifth star from its rankings. 

Gaffney was rated as the No. 21 overall player in the nation entering the week, but fell to No. 30 in the Rivals rankings on Tuesday. It is not unusual for committed players to drop in the rankings, as the intrigue is often lost in their recruitment. That does, however, bode well for Ohio State, as it likely means there is little to no chance of Gaffney flipping to another program. 

You can view the full Rivals rankings here

Hello Newman

Ohio State has seen a lot of its three-point shooting walk out the door since last season as Kam Williams and Keita Bates-Diop are on to the next level in their basketball careers. 

It appears as though the Buckeyes are looking to land their next premier deep threat, as Holtmann's staff offered three-star guard Brandon Newman out of Valparaiso, Ind., on Thursday evening. 

Newman is rated as the No. 140 overall prospect in the 2019 class, and is coming off of a solid summer in the Nike EYBL circuit that saw him shoot 39.6 percent from behind the arc in 16 games. He averaged 18.3 points per game, leading his team, Team Mean Streets, in scoring. 

A volume shooter from behind the arc, Newman has a proven ability to hit from well behind the three-point line both off the bounce and in catch-and-shoot scenarios. He appears limited athletically, but makes up for it with his consistent shooting stroke. At 6-foot-3, he will have a hard time shooting over longer defenders, but when left open, he is automatic. 

You can watch a portion of his Nike EYBL highlights below. 

Buckeyes Host 2020 Cleveland Native

Continuing its effort to try and keep in-state talent at home, Ohio State hosted 2020 prospect Grant Huffman from Cleveland St. Edward High School for an unofficial visit on June 30. 

Huffman currently holds three offers from Xavier, Duquesne and Miami (Ohio), but is starting to gain momentum after a solid sophomore campaign in which he bounced back from a broken foot to help lead the Eagles to a regional semifinal finish in the 2018 OHSAA State Tournament.

One of his biggest season highlights came in February, when he dropped 24 points against Cleveland Heights, a team that featured Ohio State football signee Tyreke Smith. 

It appears that eventually, Huffman will likely earn a Buckeye offer. For now, though, it looks as though the Ohio State coaching staff wants to see more of Huffman's game before an offer is made. A solid summer circuit might be just enough to do that. 

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