Full Court Press: Buckeyes Court EJ Liddell With DJ Carton and Alonzo Gaffney On Hand

By Derrick Webb on September 3, 2018 at 10:10 am
Four-star recruit EJ Lidell was in Columbus this past weekend, making an official visit.

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

All-Out Effort

With EJ Liddell in Columbus this past weekend, Ohio State pulled out all the stops.

Liddell, a four-star power forward out of Belleville, Illinois, is the Buckeyes' top recruiting target after the program received commitments from DJ Carton and Alonzo Gaffney earlier this year. A commitment from Liddell would round out Ohio State's 2019 recruiting class.

While making his official visit to Columbus, Liddell didn't just get to see the Buckeyes dismantle Oregon State Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. He was also met by, possibly, many of his future teammates and head coach Chris Holtmann.

Oh yeah, and a certain former Buckeye turned Minnesota Timberwolf named Keita Bates-Diop was on hand as well.

What does it mean? Well, for starters, it means the Buckeyes are fully invested in getting Liddell to choose Ohio State over the other schools within his top five — Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas State.

The presence of Carton and Gaffney also shows the future Ohio State duo is committed to future success. Saturday evening, Carton posted a picture of the three on his personal Twitter page with the caption of, "Aye this look good huh?"

If Holtmann and the Buckeyes can indeed land Liddell, it would represent quite the trifecta for the program. All three are in the top 40 ranked players nationally and would fit well together in an on-court sense.

Carton, Holtmann's highest rated recruit since he arrived in Columbus, could potentially enter the NBA Draft after one season with the Buckeyes. He's a guard who knows how to drive to the bucket while making his teammates around him better.

Gaffney, a four-star wing from Brewster Academy, is listed at 6-foot-9. He's versatile, can shoot the basketball and will give Ohio State the ability to stretch the floor.

As for Liddell, who holds schools records for career points and points in a single season heading into his senior year, would bring a physical presence inside the paint with the ability to play on the perimeter.

Add that altogether and you get a lot of future victories for the Buckeyes. Ohio State will continue to flirt with Liddell until he makes a final decision. For what it's worth, 247Sports says there's an 83 percent chance Liddell ends up in Columbus, according to the site's crystal ball prediction.

In Case You Missed It

While Liddell's visit was the main topic of discussion over the weekend, Brandon Newman included the Buckeyes in his top four college choices alongside Purdue, Indiana and Xavier.

Newman, a four-star shooting guard out of Valparaiso, Indiana, has deep range and does most of his damage beyond the arc. If Liddell doesn't commit, Newman may be the next option for Ohio State.

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