It was an amazing year for the Ohio State Buckeyes that ended in a round of 32 exit from the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes went from a projected finish of 11th in the Big Ten to earning a five seed in the tournament and even winning a game. It was a stellar start for Chris Holtmann at Ohio State that got him a coach of the year in the Big Ten award and players like Kieta Bates-Diop, JaeSean Tate and Kaleb Wesson earned honors in the conference.
However, the season has ended and it is time to look ahead for the Buckeyes. They are losing JaeSean Tate, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich to graduation and they are losing star forward and Big Ten player of the year Kieta Bates-Diop to the NBA Draft, where he is likely to be a first round pick. The Buckeyes do have a good recruiting class coming into the program and they will need every player to contribute right away because this team is losing a lot of talent and leadership. Guys like CJ Jackson, Kaleb Wesson and Andre Wesson need to step up and become leaders. Let’s take a look at the recruiting for Ohio State going into the 2018-19 off season. The class has two 4-stars and two 3 stars and is 23rd in the nation. Not bad for a coach who did not have a lot of time coming into the season.
-Justin Ahrens- 6’5 181, Versailles High School
Ahrens was the first of this current class to commit, however he then decommitted after the resignation of Thad Matta along with Dane Goodwin. Unlike Goodwin though, Ahrens then reconfirmed his commitment to Holtmann and his new staff. He is one of the best players in the state of Ohio and will immediately provide a spark from behind the arc and defensively.
-Luther Muhammad- 6’3 185, Hudson Catholic High School
Muhammad is a four star recruit out of Jersey City who is sure to make an impact the minute he steps on campus. He is a shooting guard with shifty moves to the hoop and a good shot. They will need him to help out Musa Jallow with the loss of sharpshooting Senior Kam Williams. He is ranked 75th in the 2018 class by ESPN.
-Daune Washington- 6’3 180, Sierra Canyon High School
Washington is another guard that the Buckeyes signed after Holtmann took over and will likely help CJ Jackson and Musa Jallow as well. He is from the great high school program Sierra Canyon and the coaching staff is very high on his potential.
-Jaedon LeDee- 6’9 230, The Kinkaid School
Possibly the most talented recruit in the class, LeDee is also the only big man they have coming in. He is 6’9 and 230 and can expect to add some weight in muscle once he gets to Columbus. He will look to help fill the void left by the departures of Keita Bates-Diop and JaeSean Tate, even though that is a tall task. He is ranked 59th in the 2018 class by ESPN.
On Sunday, CJ Walker announced that he will be playing out his final year of eligibility at Ohio State. He was the starting point guard at Florida State this past year and averaged 8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He is a huge addition for the Buckeyes with them losing Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich.
They are still expected to add one more graduate transfer with their main targets being Joe Cremo from Albany, Ehab Amin from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Nick Norton from UAB. All of these players can make an immediate impact with Walker in the Buckeyes back court and help fill the void left by this years seniors.
If they can add two of these solid players and add them to a high potential recruiting class, you can expect the Buckeyes to have a solid campaign in 2018-19 and possibly be back in the contention mix for a Big Ten title.