Chris Holtmann has taken the Ohio State basketball program to a level that has been unseen in Columbus since the peak of the Thad Matta era.
Coming into the week, the Buckeyes received praise for their recent win over Big Ten juggernaut Iowa. This resulted in the team landing at No. 4 in the new AP Top 25 poll. This is the first time Ohio State has been ranked in the top five since Dec. 30, 2019.
The program’s success is not just showing on the court though. Ohio State holds the No. 43 recruiting class in 2021 right now. While the ranking appears low at first glance, the Buckeyes hold just two commitments right now, and the two they have are some of the best in the nation. Both four-star shooting guard Malaki Branham and three-star power forward Kalent Etzler are top 150 players in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, with Branham checking in at No. 29.
Those rankings may increase as the year continues because both have been playing top level basketball lately.
The crown jewel of the class, Branham, has always been viewed as a potential star. He is also the top player in the state of Ohio. He showed why once again this weekend with an impressive showing in a game versus Archbishop Hogan. Branham compiled 35 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Check out some of his highlights below.
Branham isn’t alone in tearing up the court lately though. Fellow classmate Etzler continues to show he is an underrated forward. Etzler showed out last weekend against Wayne Trace, scoring 29 points in a victory.
Ohio State has so much talent coming in over the next few recruiting cycles. Let’s talk about Kalen Etzler. You talk about underrated, the lengthy and skilled PF prospect committed to Chris Holtmann in 2019.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) February 6, 2021
Finished with 29 points last night.
Ohio State’s 2021 class looks impressive and the future is bright in Columbus. The Buckeyes are also not finished on the recruiting trail. The program would love to secure a commitment from a center, and is in good shape with a pair of five-stars. Both Chet Holmgren and Charles Bediako have Ohio State listed as one of their final schools. Earning a commitment from either of these two would be the perfect finish to this year’s class.
The Buckeyes 2022 recruiting class is also off to a fantastic start. The team currently sits at No. 1 with three blue-chip commitments. The class is also showing out on the court as well. You can read more about next year’s class’ recent performances from our State Secret’s column from last week.
- Ohio State football 2022 verbal commit Dasan McCullough is a crucial member of the class. McCullough projects as an outside linebacker at the next level and is one of a trio of linebackers that highlight the junior recruiting class for the Buckeyes. McCullough’s commitment will the subject of rumors in the coming days, following Indiana hiring his father as an assistant coach. It needs to be noted, McCullough has said nothing to speculate that a de-commitment is in the cards.
Indiana just announced its hiring Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough to the same position as well as associate head coach.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) February 8, 2021
McCullough's son, Dasan, is the No. 69 ranked recruit in the 2022 class and currently committed to Ohio State.
- Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke with Rivals.com on how the program’s back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoffs will play into the team’s efforts on the recruiting trail. Check out his comments below:
After making it to the playoff in back-to-back years, what has Ohio State Ryan Day learned that he will take onto the recruiting trail?— Rivals (@Rivals) February 8, 2021
He spoke with @Rivalsmike about that and much more.
Watch their full conversation here: https://t.co/0qRcXu74ug pic.twitter.com/c0NN1LAsYI