As I’m sure you’re well aware, the Ohio State news-cycle has been full of false and/or questionable reports pertaining to the Big Ten and the college football season. No one knows who or what to trust anymore. Someone named after a boat claims to have sources. Donald Trump got involved. It’s been quite a week to say the least.
However, one report that has in fact turned out to be true is that college basketball could be back as early as Nov. 25.
Source: The Men's and Women's Basketball Oversight Committee will propose a start date of November 25th to the Division 1 Council for the 20-21 college basketball season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 1, 2020
The committee will be voting on the decision on Sept. 16, and the Ohio State basketball team is “ecstatic” about the possibility.
A “potential” late Nov start in College Basketball sounds great. Mentioned it to our guys and they were ecstatic.— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) September 2, 2020
Hope and purpose are powerful forces.
Can’t wait for the soon and safe return of college sports for Football and all fall/winter athletes.
The odds of this happening are pretty high, especially considering the NCAA quite literally can’t afford to cancel another tournament.
In the meantime however, let’s check in on the future of the program, as all three of Ohio State’s commitments have remained four-star prospects in the new 247Sports 2021 basketball recruiting top-150 rankings.
Meechie Johnson — Jumped 53 spots to No. 72
The No. 2 prospect in Ohio and the No. 14 point guard in his class, Johnson had to miss his junior year of high school due to an ACL tear. During the summer however, not only did he look better than ever on the court, he grew to 6-foot-1.
“The added weight only helped Johnson get faster and finish through contact in the paint,” writes 247Sports’ Brian Snow. “Add in that Johnson showed some signs of improving his shot, and it was a good summer for the future Buckeye.”
Snow also notes that Johnson has improved on his skills and his physical presence, and if he can keep making strides and improve on his decision making, he’ll bump even higher in the rankings when all is said and done.
Malaki Branham— Dropped one spot to No. 28
A combo guard from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Branham remains Ohio State’s top prospect. He is the No. 4 shooting guard in the country and the top prospect in Ohio.
Snow writes that Branham’s drop had “absolutely nothing to do with him, and was simply some movement around him from prospects.”
This is what, Jerry Meyer, 247Sports’ director of basketball scouting had to say about the future 6-foot-4, 175-pound Buckeye:
Good size for a shooting guard with secondary ball handler capabilities. Solid athlete. Specialty is getting to the rim with his slashing style. Improving outside shooter who can keep the defense honest. Quality ball handler and who can pass on the move. Versatile defender who rebounds at a high level.
Kalen Etzler— Outside of the top-150 overall prospects (was No. 106)
Standing at 6-foot-8, 195-pounds, Etzler is the No. 22 power forward in the nation and No. 3 prospect in Ohio. According to Snow, Etzler struggled this summer, as he “is someone who has to be a very good shooter in order to be a weapon on the court, but his shot was off all summer.”
If he gets his shooting stroke back, Etzler could find his way back into the top 150.
Branham, Johnson and Etzler are all ranked among the nation’s top 100 recruits in 247Sports composite rankings.
Beyond this trio, Ohio State does hope to add a fourth commitment to the class, which will likely come in the form of a big man. Efton Reid — ranked No. 24— and Charles Bediako— No. 27 in the class — are the most likely candidates.