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You’re Nuts: Should Ohio State pursue 2023 four-star guard Bronny James?

LeBron’s son is a high school junior and a top-50 recruit. Feel old yet?

2021 Hoophall West - Perry v Sierra Canyon Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We stand before you this week, full of sorrow and angst after the Ohio State vs. Kentucky game was cancelled due to multiple (two, it sounds like) positive COVID-19 cases among the Buckeyes. Chris Holtmann’s squad had a whole week in between games, so we’ve really been scratching for some type of content. Now we have to wait at least three more days for some action. Pain.

With no Ohio State hoops going on this week, our “Nuts” topic will shift to recruiting. Specifically, recruiting the son of one of the best basketball players of all time, Bronny James. LeBron’s son is the No. 38 recruit in the class of 2023, and reportedly is interested in playing for the Buckeyes in two years. More on that shortly.

Last week, Connor and Justin debated how many NCAA Tournament bids the Big Ten would receive, and who they would be. Connor said nine teams, while Justin said the same nine plus Northwestern — so 10. Surprisingly, we had our second tie of the season, which means Justin once again will not be cutting into Connor’s lead.

After 30 weeks:

Connor- 15
Justin- 9
Other- 4
(There have been two ties)

As stated earlier, we’re talking about the King today. Or err....the king’s son, so the prince. A junior at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles (the same school Duane Washington Jr. finished his high school career at), James stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 190 pounds, already big enough to step onto a college court and compete with the big kids. He’s the No. 38 recruit in the class of 2023 according to 247Sports, and the fifth-best player in the state of California.

A four-star recruit, James would not be the highest recruit of the Chris Holtmann era at Ohio State — that honor still lies with DJ Carton, who was the No. 34 player in the 2019 class. He would, however, be a big grab for the Buckeyes, and he has some interest in playing for Ohio State according to Eric Bossi of 247Sports.

What say you? Should Ohio State go after LeBron James Jr.? Here are our takes.

Today’s Question/Prompt: Should Ohio State pursue Bronny James?


Connor: No

2021 Hoophall West - Perry v Sierra Canyon Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Bronny James seems like a good kid and is obviously growing up under more pressure than any of us probably did when we were 16. Imagine your dad being one of the greatest basketball players of all time — are you even allowed to be anything other than the very best when that’s the case? He’s also pretty freaking big for a 16-year old, already pushing 200 pounds and standing 6-foot-3. If he plays college basketball he’ll probably be pretty good!

My first reason for not pursuing James is that Ohio State already has one combo guard in the class of 2023 in George Washington III. Washington is the No. 50 player in the class of 2023, and the No. 9 combo guard (James is No. 6). Additionally, the Buckeyes could have as many as five other guards on the roster in 2023 not counting Washington (Meechie Johnson, Malaki Branham, Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, and Bowen Hardman). Adding James seems like overkill as far as the backcourt goes. The roster spot would be better used on a post player.

Second, I’m not sure if Holtmann and Ohio State want all the pressure and publicity that comes with coaching LeBron James’ son. Games will sell out with James on the team, sure. But that also means ticket prices are going to skyrocket with increased demand, and people already complain about ticket prices today.

And the elephant in the room — how involved would the elder James be with the team? LeBron once had an honorary locker in the Schott locker room, and he didn’t go to Ohio State — he didn’t even go to college. He has, however, donated a ton of money to the basketball program. So between his wallet and his son being on the team, would the coaching staff want LeBron giving them his — suggestions — from time to time?

Maybe LBJ would keep his nose out of it completely, and try to mostly stay invisible when he’s at Bronny’s games... who knows. I’m just not sure it’s worth the headaches that could accompany LeBron and Bronny’s presence.


Justin: Yes

Chipotle Clash Of Champions - Sierra Canyon v Minnehana Academy Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Connor makes a lot of great points and while I am falling on yes for now, it will inevitably come down to where he ends up on the recruiting boards. He is in a little bit of a weird space because while he is incredibly talented and that is already apparent, he is on one of the top teams in the country and has to share the spotlight with some other really, really talented guys.

I don't think LeBron being in the stands or a “bother” would be much of an issue simply because I think he will still be playing in the league. Bronny will be in college in two years and with the way LeBron has played this season, he hasn’t really shown any signs of slowing down.

Of course, that could change by the time that he would have to travel to Columbus for games, but as of right now I see no reason to think he won’t still be playing.

In terms of roster, it is hard to judge what it may look like with the transfer portal and early NBA entrees and what not, so I will just stay away from that for the time being. Plus, I am a big proponent of bringing in the top guys no matter who is on the roster or what the roster looks like. So if Bronny does end up being a top guy in the class or a five-star, you have to go get that guy.

It is hard to say for sure what they should do since his status could change vastly over the next couple of years, but this is where I will end my argument and I will keep it very simple: If Bronny is a top recruit and fits the team, go get him. If not, don’t go get him and don’t let his last name make the decision for you. Make the decision based off of the player that he becomes.


Poll

Should Ohio State try to recruit Bronny James?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Yes! (Justin)
    (313 votes)
  • 18%
    No! (Connor)
    (73 votes)
386 votes total Vote Now