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Ohio State basketball recruit headed elsewhere

Zeb Jackson chose Michigan over the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

Zeb Jackson
Twitter-Zeb Jackson

It hasn’t been a good start to the week for Ohio State sports. First, the football team was stomped by Purdue on Saturday night. That was followed up with Billy Davis continuing to have a job on Sunday, and on Tuesday, things got even worse. The negative news has spread from the football team to the basketball team, as the Buckeyes missed on one of their top 2020 targets yesterday evening.

Jackson, a 2020 four-star point guard, comes from Maumee, Ohio. While it’s always disappointing to lose an in-state recruit, this can be explained a bit with a little math. Maumee, for those who don’t know, is in Northwestern Ohio, near Toledo. It’s roughly two and a half hours from Columbus, and just 57 minutes from Ann Arbor.

Obviously location isn’t everything in recruiting, but to say this was Ohio State losing an in-state kid is a bit of a stretch. Jackson has always been a Michigan lean, and it would’ve taken quite a bit for the Buckeyes to land him.

However, this does open up a question. If not Jackson, who will be Ohio State’s 2020 point guard? Well, the easy answer, and likely the correct answer, is Dominiq Penn. The Dublin Coffman (OH) point guard is the 124th best player in the 2020 class, and, yes, the son of Ohio State legend Scoonie Penn, who now works for the program as the director of development. If Ohio State wants a point guard in 2020, it’ll probably be Penn.

With Penn as the likely guard, I’d be on the lookout for five-star shooting guard Brandon Boston, four-star small forward Che Evans, in-state center Zach Loveday, or a player we’ll talk about in more detail later in this article, Dawson Garcia, as possibilities to join him, though I’m not super confident in any of those players joining the class at this point.

Powell staying home

Much to the surprise of, well, no one, athlete Peyton Powell announced his commitment to Texas today.

Powell is likely a familiar name for Buckeye fans, as Ohio State nearly landed him back in July, before an Oklahoma offer, TCU visit, and the Zach Smith news/ Urban Meyer suspension made him take a step back to reassess his recruitment. He pushed his commitment date back, started looking closer at OSU, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas, took a visit to Texas on Oct. 13, and saw enough to convince him that was the school for him.

In Texas, Powell gets the chance to play offense (would’ve been a cornerback at Ohio State), while staying much closer to home—he’s from Permian, Texas, after all. Ohio State knew this was coming, and isn’t all that distraught about it. The Buckeyes will likely look to finish out their cornerback class with one or two recruits out of the group of Kaiir Elam, Renardo Green, and Julian Bennett. My guess is that the Buckeyes flip Green, and are happy with him and maybe Ronnie Hickman or Craig Young.

Looking for a new big man in 2020?

Ohio State basketball is going to be in need of some more big players sooner rather than later. After being in desperate need for guards for each of the past three season, Ohio State has finally caught up there. Unfortunately, the focus on guards has opened a new problems in the front court, as Ohio State has just two centers right now in Micah Potter and Kaleb Wesson. Potter graduates next season, and Wesson follows in 2020.

That meas Ohio State needs some young reinforcements, and while Jaedon LeDee and EJ Liddell are solid, they’re power forwards, not true bigs. Enter Dawson Garcia. Garcia, a 6-foot-10 forward from Minnesota, who is rated as the 29th best player in the 2020 class. He already has offers from Minnesota, Texas, Xavier and Butler, among others, and looks to be one of the best big men in the entire class. On Monday night, Ohio State joined that offer group.

Now, how likely is it that Ohio State actually lands Garcia? Right now, not very. I think he’s probably Minnesota or Xavier bound at this point, but if Ohio State really goes after him and gets him on campus, anything can happen. By the time he gets to campus, Kaleb Wesson would be the only center on the roster, and set to graduate after Garcia’s first year. The chance at early playing time, as well as a possibility to form a backcourt duo with Ohio 2020 five-star center Zac Loveday may be enough to get Garcia to give Ohio State a serious look.