Ohio State's top target in the 2019 class released his list of top three schools on Sunday evening, and the Buckeyes were on the list that many other programs were cut from.
DJ Carton, a five-star point guard out of Bettendorf, Iowa, previously listed Ohio State as one of his top six schools on May 10. Less than two months later, Carton trimmed his list in half, with a trio of Big Ten schools remaining.
Final 3 pic.twitter.com/VwrRhkKgl1
— DJ Carton (@DJCarton) July 8, 2018
The Buckeyes are joined in the running for Carton by Indiana and Michigan, two schools who are arguably Ohio State's biggest rivals on the hardwood. The Hoosiers missed the NCAA Tournament in its first year under Archie Miller, while the Wolverines played for the national title, only to lose to Villanova. The Buckeyes compiled a 3-1 record against Indiana and Michigan last season.
Indiana has yet to land a commitment in the 2019 class, while Ohio State and Michigan each have a four-star small forward committed to their programs. The Buckeyes landed Garfield Heights (Ohio) product Alonzo Gaffney on April 10, while the Wolverines received a commitment from Jalen Wilson out of Denton, Texas on May 30.
According to 247Sports, Carton is the No. 24 overall prospect in the 2019 class and the No. 2 point guard. His announcement caught the attention of multiple players on Ohio State's current roster including Justin Ahrens and Joey Lane.
— Justin Ahrens (@ahrensjustin12) July 8, 2018
— Joey Lane (@JoeySmoke11) July 8, 2018
Carton has been Ohio State's top target in the 2019 class since landing Gaffney, and has had a few extra opportunities recently to interact with members of the Buckeye program. Both Carton and current Buckeye Musa Jallow participated in tryouts for the 2018 U17 USA Men's National Team, although both were ultimately cut. Chris Holtmann was also in attendance for those workouts.
It is unclear when Carton will make his final announcement, but if Ohio State lands Carton, the Buckeyes could end up being the favorites to contend for and possibly win a Big Ten title in 2019-20, as they will also welcome fellow guard CJ Walker to the court that season. Walker transferred to Ohio State during the offseason from Florida State and will sit out the coming season due to NCAA transfer regulations.