Full Court Press: Ohio State Hosts DJ Carton on Official Visit, Peach Jam Gets Underway

By James Grega on July 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Chris Holtmann

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

Courting Carton

Since Ohio State landed Alonzo Gaffney in April, point guard DJ Carton has been the top prospect on their board. On Wednesday, the Buckeyes welcomed Carton, a five-star prospect, to campus for his official visit. 

Carton was scheduled to stay three days and two nights on campus after announcing on Sunday that Ohio State had made his top three alongside Michigan and Indiana. 

The Buckeyes pulled out all the stops with Carton in town, bringing Gaffney down to Columbus from Cleveland to help recruit the premier prospect to putting on the scarlet and gray. 

Current players, who Carton undoubtedly met with on campus, took to social media as well to recruit the Iowa native, including Kaleb Wesson who promoted a photo-shopped picture of Carton donning a home No. 13 jersey. 

Perhaps the most passionate player on Ohio State's roster, former walk-on Joey Lane, has been in charge of showing recruits around campus in the past. When speaking with the media on Wednesday, Lane said the relationships built with potential future teammates are one of the most important things to pitch to a recruit on a visit.

"That has been one of the things that I have been called upon to do because of my passion for the school. People know me on campus so when I am walking with a recruit, people see a big shot basketball player and (the recruit) thinks, 'I can be him one day,'" Lane said. "Current players play a huge role. People make decisions based on who their teammates are going to be and how they are going to mesh with their teammates so all the current players play a huge role no matter who is coming on campus for an official or unofficial visit."

Carton's college decision is expected to come sooner rather than later, as he has moved quickly through the recruiting process this summer. Having already taken official visits to Michigan and Indiana, Ohio State appears to be Carton's final official before he makes a decision. He was in Ann Arbor on June 28 and Indiana just two days later before coming to Columbus this week. 

Michigan appears to be the favorite at this point to land Carton, but the Buckeyes will have the last chance to make an impression on the five-star prospect. 

Peach Jam Underway

One of the premier recruiting events in basketball tips off this week in Atlanta as some of the top recruits in the country play against each other in the Peach Jam, the final Nike EYBL circuit of the summer. 

A number of Ohio State targets are participating in the tournament, including four-star point guard Kyle Sturdivant and five-star power forward/center Trayce Jackson-Davis

Sturdivant, who many view as Ohio State's second option behind Carton for a point guard in the 2019 class, is second on his team in scoring through the first two games in Peach Jam, averaging 15 points and five rebounds per game for Nike Team Florida.

Playing for Team Indy Heat, Jackson-Davis is currently averaging 9.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in Peach Jam. Indiana remains a heavy favorite to land Jackson-Davis, but Ohio State remains in the hunt as a dark horse possibility.

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