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Basketball Buckeyes still targeting pair of four-star centers

The Ohio State basketball Buckeyes are sill targeting two of the nation’s top centers in the 2022 class.

2022 four-star Center Dereck Lively II via 247Sports

Congratulations, you made it through Monday. Just in case you had a busy start to the week, Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered in all things Ohio State recruiting.

Ohio State still in the mix for pair of 2022 centers

Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State basketball Buckeyes have increased their recruiting efforts as we head into the summer months, and the success continues to pay off. The Buckeyes have been hard at work offering top players across the country, and as these prospects start narrowing down their final schools lists, Ohio State is making the cut more often than not.

If you were to ask Buckeye Nation what the main position of priority the team should be targeting in recruiting, the center spot would likely be the most popular. This is not lost on Holtmann and Ohio State, as the team has been speaking with multiple top talents at the position. The program is now likely hoping this increase in attention will lead to visits now that the recruiting dead period will be coming to an end.

One of the names that could soon announce a visit to Columbus is four-star center Dereck Lively II. The blue-chip prospect hailing out of Bellfonte, Pennsylvania has been in contact with Ohio State for the majority of his recruitment. The Buckeyes offered him an official scholarship in May of last year and have kept in contact with him. While he has not yet put out a finals schools list, he did recently list the Bucks as one of the teams most involved.

Andrew Slater of Pro Insight spoke with Lively, and the center not only listed the schools most active in his recruitment, he also revealed he is beginning to schedule official visits.

As of now, we know both North Carolina and Duke are set to receive visits, thank to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com. This leaves multiple other school vying for one of the remaining three allocated visits, including Ohio State.

One would have to assume Penn State will also receive a visit, as him mom attended the University as a student athlete and they are the hometown school. The other two spots are completely up in the air right now, but USC, Michigan, Ohio State and Kentucky would all look to have even odds at one of those spots.

Lively is one of the top prospects in the entire 2022 recruiting class, and with the position being one of need for the Buckeyes, the chance at early playing time may be enough to earn them one of those five visits. Lively is the No. 35 overall prospect in his class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He is also No. 4 at his position and is the No. 1 prospect in the talent-rich state of Pennsylvania.

Lively is not the only blue-chip center Ohio State is targeting. The Buckeyes have also been working in securing a commitment from fellow four-star center Shawn Phillips.

Slater also posted an update on Phillips recruitment Monday. Phillips had previously announced a top seven schools list and Ohio State was one of them. Alongside the Buckeyes were Florida, West Virginia, NC State, Dayton, Cincinnati and Indiana.

However, like Slater mentioned, Phillips has seen increased activity in his recruitment and is beginning to hear from new schools such as Kansas, Villanova and Baylor. While he has not said his top schools has changed, he has stated on multiple occasions his recruitment is still 100 percent open.

Phillips has yet to schedule any visits, but similarly to Lively, Ohio State will be hoping to be selected to play host when he does.

Phillips is the No. 83 overall prospect in the 2022 class. He is also the No. 12 center and is the No. 4 player from Michigan.

Official visit announcements for both of these guys could be coming sooner than later. Make sure to follow Land-Grant Holy Land for future updates on all things Ohio State recruiting.

Quick Hits

  • Columbus, Ohio 2023 outside linebacker prospect Jaden Yates announced via Twitter on Monday that he will be attending a workout and an unofficial visit with Ohio State on June 16. Yates has yet to receive a star ranking from 247Sports, but likely will be in the near future. The Buckeyes have yet to officially offer Yates, but one could follow when his visit wraps up next month.
  • Six of the nation’s top high school basketball programs have joined together to create a powerhouse of a national league that is set to begin in the 2021-2022 season, with two more teams set to also join. The National Interscholastic Basketball Conference will be made up of Oak Hill, Montverde, IMG Academy, La Lumiere School, Sunrise Christian Academy and Wasatch Academy, along with the two other unnamed schools.