Skull Session: Ohio State's 2021 Class Rivals Alabama's, Bradley Beal Praises E.J. Liddell, and Duane Washington Has Crazy Numbers

By Kevin Harrish on February 23, 2021 at 4:59 am
Two Ohio State legends are talking in today's skull session.

It's getting to the point where I don't even blink when I see an absurd Jae'Sean Tate NBA highlight on my timeline because it's becoming so commonplace.

The dude is better as a rookie in the NBA than he ever was at Ohio State (and I don't mean that in the bad way). That is absolutely mind-numbing.

Word of the Day: Winnow.

 TALKING HIM UP. I've grown accustomed to star athletes talking up Buckeye football players, but NBA All-Stars hyping up current Ohio State basketball players is going to take some getting used to. I certainly ain't mad about it though.

Now, to be fair, this isn't totally random or anything – E.J. Liddell played for Bradley Beal's EYBL team in high school. But it's still a very fun and good Tweet to see float across the ole timeline.

 CRAZY NUMBERS. E.J. Liddell has all the hype, and for good reason, but Duane Washington Jr. has been on an absolute tear this season, and he's putting up numbers we haven't seen in the Big Ten in over a decade.

Aside from the fact that these are some hilariously arbitrary thresholds (2.9 assists? 88% from the line?), this is fun and good and it totally backs up the Jamar Butler player comp that I've been tossing around for the past few months.

The takeaway here is that Duane Washington Jr. isn't just a streaky volume shooter, he's a very solid all-around basketball player and I'm extremely glad he's on my team instead of the team that's two hours to the east of his hometown of Grand Rapids, if you catch my drift.

 BETTER THAN BAMA? Alabama pulled in the highest-rated recruiting class of all time this year, which is damn near impossible to compete with. But a few anonymous recruiting analysts told my pal Ari Wasserman that they think Ohio State's recruiting class could be even better.

Analyst 1: Ohio State is just a crazy class. It has so many No. 1 guys at their position, and I enjoyed seeing how it took shape because they had a chance at a lot of top-ranked running backs and zeroed in on the ones they wanted and got those guys. The same thing with the quarterback board with Kyle McCord, and that was the guy they wanted. Seeing it all play out was very, very interesting. It’s really hard not to love Ohio State’s class.


Analyst 5: Alabama is the easy answer. I would say Ohio State is probably the one that I like, a little bit more, just because, like Bama, they’re recruiting at such a high level that they’re almost to the point where they’re not recruiting, they’re just evaluating. I like Ohio State’s because they are so spread out. You got elite receivers, elite backs, solid quarterback, elite linemen. I mean, like Bama’s, it’s got needs filled at pretty much every spot, you need to have a spot field. So I’ll change it up a little bit and say the Buckeyes.

Alabama signed seven five-stars, 20 top-200 players, and 27 overall players. That's nuts, but let's not act like Ohio State is that far off.

Ohio State signed five five-stars (maybe six, if they land J.T. Tuimoloau), 17 top-200 players (maybe 18), and 21 overall players (maybe 22). Bama's average recruit rating is at a clean 95.00. If Ohio State lands Tuimoloau, the Buckeyes' average recruit ranking will be 94.75.

I'm totally fine saying Bama has the best class in the country – and of all time – but I'm glad to see the recruiting folks aren't letting Bama totally outshine this absurd Ohio State class, either. Because any other year, this would be the best class in the country (especially in terms of average recruit ranking) and it wouldn't really be all that close.

 GRAND RECORD DEAL. Hand up, I thought Austin Grandstaff was going to be a white James Harden when he signed with Ohio State. Turns out, Damian Lillard is probably the better comparison, but not for any of the on-court reasons.

See, Grandstaff isn't playing basketball these days and hasn't been for a bit. But he did sign a record deal.

I've got snark here – big ups to him. It takes a hell of a lot of confidence to even attempt to create music for other people to listen to, much less try to make a career out of it. Making a living in music ain't easy at all, so I've got nothing but props to him for making it work.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "No Problem" by Chance the Rapper.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. There’s a Boeing 737 for sale on Facebook for the price of a new Ferrari... There's a rare yellow penguin on South Georgia island, and biologists can't quite explain it... Cheese isn't actually bad for you... Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee — an enduring murder mystery after 50 years... North Korean defector Ji-Hyun disappeared without a trace, only to later reappear pledging allegiance to North Korea... How to have better arguments online... 

View 106 Comments