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Recruit Watch: 2016 4-Star Small Forward Seth Towns

Following in the footsteps of Jared Sullinger and Trey Burke, Seth Towns stock continues to rise as several Big Ten schools target the Ohio native.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Seth Towns is another talent from Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio. Jared Sullinger was a Northland grad in 2010, a National Freshman of the Year at Ohio State, and a current Boston Celtics forward. Trey Burke was a Northland grad in 2011, a Naismith Player of the Year at Michigan, and a current Utah Jazz guard. Both won a state championship together in 2009.

The 6' 7" smooth-stroking Towns is aware of the Vikings basketball tradition and is poised to leave another imprint on the program just like Sullinger and Burke. His primary focus is a state title and then let his recruitment take care of itself.

Northland has become a recent pipeline for college talent. Since 2006, 13 players have gone on to play Division I basketball. Towns will make 14 next year as his recruitment has exploded.

Towns has received 10 offers overall, including Big Ten schools Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan, and Iowa. Harvard, Xavier, Stanford, and UCLA are in the mix as well. Michigan was one of the first schools to offer last June, but backed off back in May to pursue point guard needs. And Ohio State has nine open offers, but no more scholarships available. So much for the "torn between two lovers" conspiracy with Ohio State and Michigan.

Get a closer look at Seth Towns and his overall play at the Nike City Series last summer.

A rising star as a freshman at Northland, Towns averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game. After his junior year, those totals have doubled. The Vikings won their eighth City League Title in nine years, defeating Walnut Ridge 73-61. Towns paved the way with a monster performance of 27 points and 13 rebounds.

Northland's tournament run ended in a regional final loss to Westerville South 70-63. The smooth operating Towns finished the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds as his team posted a 22-6 record. Along the way, Towns was named First Team All-Ohio.

Playing for Adidas AAU teams the past three years, which he dominated, Towns landed a spot on the prestigious King James squad of the Nike EYBL this Spring. The Shooting Stars are 13-4 overall and its roster includes Xavier Simpson, Derek Funderburk Jr, and Jarron Cumberland. Towns averages 16 minutes, 6.3 points, and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Recruiting services vary in their assessment of Towns, with 247 Sports as a 4-Star, 59th nationally, 11th at small forward, and sixth in Ohio; Rivals as a 3-Star ranked 125th nationally; ESPN as a 4-Star, 56th nationally, 13th at his position, and third in Ohio; and Scout as an 88th national ranking.

The skinny on Towns is clear cut. He is a versatile player with a nice skill-set in all phases of his game. He has athleticism, loves to play above the rim, and is notorious for his defensive rebounding. He is long and rangy, has great ball skills, can create for himself, and very elusive. He shoots well from 3-point range and mid-range jump shots. Like most kids his age, he needs to develop upper-body strength.

In a nutshell, the 17-year-old Towns has the potential to become a starter at the Big Ten level, but it will have to work hard. That doesn't mean he can't flourish or contribute immediately as a role player with valuable minutes. If a scholarship were to become available at Ohio State, Towns would be a welcome addition to a thin roster of wing players. His only competition would be Marc Loving, Keita Bates-Diop, and Mickey Mitchell. The Buckeyes could use consistent perimeter shooting and Towns fits the bill.

Another likely scenario would be Iowa. Coach Fran McCaffery has 17 open offers and three scholarships available. The only true small forward on the Hawkeyes roster is Nicholas Baer. Towns would have a great opportunity to start and contribute immediately.

The life-long Buckeye fan has a big decision to make the upcoming months. Whichever school Towns picks, it will be for academic reasons. His high school GPA is above a 4.0 and he excels in Math. If basketball doesn't pan out, his dream job is to work for Google. Ironically, Google has an office in Ann Arbor.