As college basketball season inches ever closer to its beginning, Ohio State continues to lure top-level talent to campus in the attempt to keep it in Columbus for good.
Of course, the Buckeyes have already locked up Brewster Academy's Alonzo Gaffney. The 6-foot-9, four-star stretch forward was in Columbus last weekend alongside fellow 2019 commit DJ Carton and the program's top remaining recruiting target, EJ Liddell.
Gaffney spent his junior year at Garfield Heights after transferring from Villa Angela-St. Joseph — where he spent his freshman and sophomore seasons. While at Garfield Heights, Gaffney averaged 18.2 points per game and was a first-team All-Ohio selection and was coached by Sonny Johnson.
"He's a high-character kid," Johnson said of Gaffney. "He's got a great demeanor on and off the court. He's really polite and he's going to be somebody you can use in your community. He's someone who has an understanding personality."
Gaffney uses his length, which is very real, to his advantage. That's especially true on the defensive side of the ball, where his wingspan terrorizes opponents. Offensively, with his athleticism, he doesn't struggle getting to the hoop and finishing.
"He's special," Johnson said. "He can shoot it, he can put it on the floor, he's an explosive athlete. His only thing is getting stronger. The stronger he gets, the better he's going to be, which I know when he's at Ohio State, they'll put him on that weight program. He's going to be pretty special."
Gaffney made his verbal commitment to Ohio State on April 10. Johnson expects him to make an immediate impact as soon as he steps on campus.
"I think he's going to contribute immediately because he's the prototypical stretch forward," Johnson said. "Those are marquee positions in [Ohio State] coach [Chris] Holtmann's offense. He's going to fit in right away. You don't find too many kids as talented as he is, with the character that he has."
Carton, who many believe to be a one-and-done prospect, is the No. 21-ranked player in the nation, according to 247Sports. The 6-foot-1 point guard who's been ranted and raved about released a new highlight tape this week. Take a look.
In Case You Missed It
Loveday, a 7-foot versatile big man from Gallia Academy, is currently rated as the top player in Ohio's class of 2020 by 247Sports. Jackson is also an in-state recruit, playing at Maumee High School, and is Ohio's No. 2-ranked player for 2020. Leal is the No. 2-ranked player in Indiana, and has also made unofficial visits to Maryland, Indiana and Iowa.
On a similar wavelength, Brandon Newman will be making his official visit to Ohio State on Sept. 22 and 23. Newman is a four-star guard out of Valparaiso, Indiana.
Photo credit: Joseph Cress, Iowa City Press Citizen