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Ohio State hoops pursuing a 2018 Buckeye State talent

The Buckeye coaching staff is working hard to replace a recent decommitment, and they may have found one within Ohio's border.

Jerome Hunter
247sports

The Ohio State basketball program is in a weird place. The school is coming off one of the more disappointing seasons in recent history and the lackluster results are starting to effect the future of the program.

One of the key members of the Buckeyes 2018 recruiting class, Darius Bazley, decommitted from the program on April 26, and mentioned the uncertainty of the Ohio State basketball program’s future as one of the main reasons behind his decision.

Before Bazley’s change of mind, the Buckeyes’ 2018 recruiting class was looking promising—and he was the cornerstone of the class, currently ranked as the No. 53 player in the country. Now, the coaching staff is hard at work trying to replace the loss, and it seems they might have found their guy in a Columbus native, Jerome Hunter (Pickerington, OH / Pickerington North.)

Hunter is no stranger to Ohio State; he lives in the same city as the school and was offered by the program in August 2016. However, shortly after Hunter was offered, Bazley, a player of similar skill set, committed to the Buckeyes and communication with Hunter slowed down. But now that the Buckeyes find themselves with a second available scholarship and a need for a wing player, the school is looking to rekindle its relationship with Hunter.

Fortunately for Ohio State, Steve Helwagen of BuckNuts.com spoke with Hunter recently and confirmed that the four-star SF is still interested in the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes do have some competition for Hunter though, as he has received more than a dozen scholarship offers from schools like Michigan, Pittsburgh, Butler, Illinois, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Cincinnati, Xavier, Kentucky and Notre Dame.

Expect head coach Thad Matta and his assistants to increase their communication with Hunter in the coming year. He is currently seen as the fourth best recruit in the state of Ohio, but his recent play has some wondering if he is in fact the best.

Elite SG visits Ohio State

Continuing with its efforts to rebuild, the Ohio State basketball program hosted one of the country’s top prospects in the 2017 recruiting class this past weekend.

Four-star shooting guard M.J. Walker (Lithia Springs, GA / Jonesboro) officially visited the Ohio State campus last Saturday. Ranking as the No. 25 overall player in the country and fourth best at his position, according to 247sports, earning a commitment from the blue-ship prospect would be an enormous addition for the Bucks.

First reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Steve Helwagen was able to confirm the report early Monday morning. The visit is Walker’s third official visit, with previous visits to Virginia Tech and Florida State, but the competition for Walker is strong and continues to grow as he is one of the last elite recruits in the class to commit to a school.

Currently, Virginia Tech is seen as the leader in the McDonald’s All-American’s recruitment, but schools like Georgia Tech, UCLA, Kansas and Miami are among those increasing their efforts in recruiting him.

Earning a commitment from Walker would be a much-needed addition to the class. After Dave Bell decided to transfer out of the program and Trevor Thompson’s decision to head to the NBA, Ohio State has been looking to add more members to the team.

Walker has yet to comment on a favorite school but expect to see more updates in his recruitment in the coming weeks, as the late signing period for the 2017 class ends May 19.