Three-Star Power Forward Zed Key Commits To Ohio State

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 22, 2019 at 2:03 pm
Zed Key

Ohio State began the week without any prospects in its 2020 class, and it will end the week with a pair of commits.

Three-star power forward Zed Key announced his commitment to Ohio State on Sunday, joining four-star wing Eugene Brown as the team's second pledge of the week. Brown committed to play for the Buckeyes on Monday.

Key never publicly cut his list of potential schools down. He held offers from Florida, Providence, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Georgia, Illinois, Penn State, Notre Dame, Rutgers and St. John's, among many others. 

Soon after its entire coaching staff watched Key at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia, in June, Ohio State extended an offer, and Chris Holtmann's program wasn't alone. The following week, he heard from more than a dozen teams and earned seven scholarship offers.

The Key File

  • Class: 2020
  • Size: 6-foot-7, 230 pounds
  • Pos: PF
  • School: Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, New York)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★
  • Composite Rank: No. 158 overall

At the time, Key was barely ranked among the top 300 prospects in the class of 2020. By thriving at the camp in front of dozens of coaches, he shot up the rankings to where he now sits at No. 158 overall and No. 31 among power forwards. Key averaged 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks at the star-studded event in Charlottesville, and Corey Evans of Rivals called him "the camp's top rebounder and most efficient scorer."

Key took an official visit to Ohio State on Sept. 7. During the trip to Columbus, he spent time on the field at the Buckeyes' football game against Cincinnati and also got introduced to former Ohio State stars D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner.

The addition of Key could possibly complicate matters for Ohio State, which currently only has room for one 2020 prospect. With both Key and Brown committed, a player must either transfer out of the program or leave early for the NBA before the 2020-21 season in order for the team to remain at 13 scholarships. The addition of Key gives Ohio State additional depth in the frontcourt in case Kaleb Wesson, who tested the NBA draft waters this offseason, chooses to go pro after the 2019-20 season.

When asked a month ago, Chris Holtmann broached the possibility of "oversigning" during the Early Signing Period in mid-November. This is the first time Ohio State has oversigned in Holtmann's tenure.

Key doesn't possess crazy upside; he's viewed as a safe, multi-year big man who can score in the post. Though he's not as large and doesn't yet have 3-point range from beyond the college arc, Key has some similar attributes to Kaleb Wesson. He's a bit of a throwback, back-to-the-basket big man with a 7-foot wingspan.

“He's always been a terrific scorer,” NY Jayhawks executive director and Long Island Lutheran assistant coach Jay David told Eleven Warriors in June. “I think Zed is probably one of the best scoring power forwards in the entire country. There are very few people who have his patience and his footwork, high school 3-point line and in. He can still shoot that ball and kill you on the block a little bit. I think it's just people now understanding and seeing that.”

As a junior at Long Island Lutheran, he averaged 15.9 points per game. In college, he'll play power forward.

With Key committed, Ohio State's 2020 class is complete. Over the next year, the Buckeyes will be tasked with maneuvering the 13-scholarship limit. 

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