It looks like it could be a down year for basketball prospects coming out of the state of Ohio. With a lack of a consensus five star athlete and a less than impressive depth of basketball players the state of Ohio may not be the most ideal place for the Ohio State Buckeyes to focus all of their recruiting efforts. As a result, Thad Matta and the Buckeyes have turned to the state of Indiana for their latest 2017 offers.
AAU teammates Paul Scruggs and Kris Wilkes have most recently received scholarship offers from the Buckeyes.
Scruggs, a 6'4" point guard, is ranked as Indiana's fourth best player and the sixth best point guard in the nation. Anyone who watches his tape can tell he is a high motor player. Scruggs is not looking to pull up and hit a jumper. Instead, his game is attacking the basket and finishing at the rim. Averaging 19 points, 4.4 assists and an astounding 7.8 rebounds Scruggs is not afraid to sneak inside the paint and chase down missed shots.
While Ohio State has been recruiting Scruggs for a while he is also being heavily recruited by Indiana and Louisville. In May, the Buckeyes made his top eight schools list along with Big Ten schools Michigan State, Illinois and Indiana. Scruggs is scheduled to visit Columbus in August.
Wilkes would be a much needed addition to the Buckeyes. Standing at 6'7" his length along with athleticism would replenish the Buckeyes lineup. Weighing only 190 pounds Wilkes has a good frame to add weight to. His athleticism really is his strongest asset. Ball handling however is not, meaning he often needs open looks on the perimeter to convert jumpers. With the ball in his hands Wilkes in dangerous though, especially on the fast break.
Wilkes is widely regarded as one of the best wing players in America and is currently the second best player in Indiana according to 247Sports, Wilkes visited Columbus earlier in June and received the scholarship offer on site. His list of offers, which includes more than 14 schools, is a bit longer than that of Paul Scruggs. Recruiting may be on the back burner for Wilkes however, who was just named a finalist for the USA Basketball U-18 team.
As mentioned before, Wilkes and Scruggs are AAU teammates and are therefore likely friends. While there is no telling if ones decision to attend school will effect the other, we do know both have been on the Buckeyes radar for a while. The Buckeyes have offered a reported 13 players, nearly all of those being back court players. Moving forward the Buckeyes will need to continue to invade other states in recruiting to stay competitive in 2017.