Days after missing out on Luke Kennard, the Ohio State men's basketball program has a lot to look forward to. As Mickey Mitchell and AJ Harris appear in the newest update of the Rivals150 for the class of 2015, coach Thad Matta looks to build a strong class around the guard-forward duo. Let's take a look at where Mitchell and Harris stack up against the rest of the class, and see where several Buckeye targets and potential prospects check in.
No. 52 Mickey Mitchell (6'7 F, Plano West, TX):
While Mitchell is nowhere to be found in ESPN's Top 60 for the class of 2015, the Ohio State commit checks in at No. 52 in Rivals' latest update. Mitchell fits the mold of the ideal versatility forward that Matta has been known to bring into Columbus, and looks to make an instant impact once he dons the scarlet and gray. At 6'7 and 220 pounds, Mitchell is an athletic specimen and showcases great ball skills. More of an Evan Turner-type forward, Mitchell is one of the more undervalued players in the 2015 class, as a knee injury suffered during his sophomore year has knocked Mitchell far down recruiting boards. Despite the transfer of his brother, Mike, from the OSU program, Mickey remains committed to being a Buckeye and should make a major splash once he arrives in Columbus.
No. 100 AJ Harris (5'9 PG, Dayton Dunbar):
Committing to Ohio State in August, Harris checks in right around where other recruiting services have the Dunbar floor general. For Harris, the narrative has always been the same. While AJ is undersized, the point guard makes up for it with unbelievable athleticism and excellent floor vision that helps Harris race past defenders and find open teammates in a moment's flash. As Shannon Scott looks to be Ohio State's starting point guard for the 2014-15 season, look for Harris to step in and fill that role as a freshman, as Matta has put his trust in the Dunbar product. Many scouting experts have noted that if Harris ever got to 6' tall, he could be one of the top five point guards in the country. Regardless, Harris is an excellent get for Ohio State.
No. 2 Ivan Rabb (6'9 PF, Oakland Bishop O'Dowd)
No. 4 Stephen Zimmerman (7'0 C, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman)
No. 8 Cheick Diallo (6'9 PF, New York Our Savior New American)
No. 10 Carlton Bragg (6'10 SF, Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph)
No. 11 Jaylen Brown (6'7 SF, Marietta Wheeler, GA)
No. 16 Doral Moore (7'0 C, Locust Grove Luella, GA)
No. 18 Thomas Bryant (6'10 PF, Hungtington Prep, WV)
No. 19 Isaiah Briscoe (6'3 PG, Newark Roselle Catholic, NJ)
No. 26 Daniel Giddens (6'10 C, Marietta Wheeler, GA)
No. 30 Austin Grandstaff (6'5 SG, Rockwell, TX)
No. 31 Jalen Coleman (6'3 SG, La Porte La Lumiere, IN)
No. 33 Dwayne Bacon (6'6 SF, Fort Pierce Faith Baptist, FL)
No. 34 Eric Davis (6'2 SG, Saginaw Arthur Valley, MI)
No. 43 P.J. Dozier (6'4 SG, Columbia Spring Valley, SC)
No. 58 Franklin Howard (6'4 SG, Fairfax Paul VI, VA)
No. 97 Esa Ahmad (6'8 PF, Cleveland Shaker Heights):
Coming off a monster junior season in which many considered Ahmad to be a major candidate for Ohio's Mr. Basketball. One of the most consistent players that I've seen in the country, and had several dominant performances vs. top talent this past summer and into this season. Holds offers from Cincinnati, Clemson, Dayton, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Miami (FL), Rutgers, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Xavier, and others.
No. 129 Evan Bourdreaux (6'7 PF, Lake Forest, IL):
Similar in stature and play style to Ahmad, Bourdreaux is a budding junior forward receiving interest from several Big Ten programs including Iowa (offer), Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Bourdreaux is one of the better all-around combo-forwards that I've seen in the past year, as he is able to bully defenders inside, while having the ability to step out and be a perimeter threat. With offers from Boston College, DePaul, Iowa and Iowa State, Bourdreaux wouldn't be a bad look for an Ohio State program lacking size and skill in the front court.
No. 139 Kyle Ahrens (6'4 SG, Versailles, OH):
Kennard and Harris' teammate during the AAU season, Ahrens gets some much deserved respect with the top 150 ranking. At 6'4, Ahrens is a versatile combo-guard that makes plays in transition with great athleticism, in addition to being a reliable shooter from the perimeter. As Ohio State lost out on Kennard to Duke, look for the Buckeyes to take a closer look at Ahrens. The 6'4 Versailles swing man features offers from Boston College, Butler, Cincinnati, Dayton, Iowa, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, and Xavier, among many others.
NR Kipper Nichols (6'7 SF, Lakewood St. Edward, OH):
After leading Lakewood St. Edward to a state title on Saturday, Nichols is a notable snub from the top 150. At 6'7, Nichols is extremely versatile, and can score in a multitude of ways. Excelling with his mid-range shooting and slashing ability, Nichols is a high IQ player that has definite takeover ability. Scoring 26 points in the state championship win, after a 28-point performance in the state semifinals, Nichols will continue to play with a chip on his shoulder during the AAU season and into his senior year. The St. Ed's swing man would bring great leadership, work ethic, and versatility to Columbus if Ohio State was to offer. Nichols told me on Wednesday that he has offers from Dayton, Kent State, and Penn State, while receiving interest from Cincinnati, Clemson, Ohio State, San Francisco, Virginia Tech and Xavier.