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Ohio State hoops four-star guard de-commits

George Washington III de-committed from Ohio State Monday. What does this mean for Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes?

2023 four-star combo guard Taison Chatmon via @tchat04 on Twitter

The Ohio State football team had a more than successful weekend. The team defeated top-5 Notre Dame in the season opener. The win combined with the electric crowd in “The Shoe” created the ultimate recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes. However, it was not just the football team that had a crucial weekend, as the men’s basketball team also had a critical weekend.

If you missed Ohio State making the national recruiting headlines over the Labor Day holiday, Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered.

George Washington III de-commits from Ohio State

The biggest news for Ohio State’s men’s basketball program is the recent de-commitment from 2023 four-star combo guard, George Washington III of Dayton, Ohio (Chaminade Julienne). Washington was the first commitment of Ohio State’s 2023 class.

Prior to Washington leaving the program, the Buckeyes had four verbal commitments in Scotty Middleton, Devin Royal, Austin Parks and Washington, which was good for the No. 5 class in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Following his departure, the Buckeyes remain in the top-10, but the class fell to No. 9.

The news of Washington’s departure certainly appeared as a shock at first. However, looking deeper into the men’s basketball program’s most recent actions, Holtmann and the Ohio State coaching staff were not as surprised.

While Washington was committed, the Buckeyes had extended all of their allocated scholarship offers. Yet, the program continued to recruit top-level guards including both four-star guards Taison Chatman and Bronny James, who visited with the program this past weekend as the football team played host to Notre Dame.

Ohio State has long been recruiting both Chatman and James, but until recently, neither seemed to be a realistic possibility. Chatman was someone the team viewed as a great fit, but Ohio State was out of scholarship offers following the commitment of Middleton, and it was thought the other top schools in his recruitment like Kansas, Xavier and Minnesota had better odds at landing him.

Jump forward to Monday, and Chatman’s recruitment looks much different. Following his official visit to Ohio State, rumblings have occurred that he will be ready to make his commitment in the coming week or two, and Ohio State may now be looked at as the favorites to land him.

It needs to be noted that Chatman himself has not stated he is ready to commit, let alone announce a commitment date. But if he is to commit soon, the timing of the Ohio State visit spells good news for the Buckeyes. Chatman has officially visited with both Xavier and Kansas, and those visits went as well as possible. But the Buckeyes certainly sit in a good spot for him.

The other recruit Ohio State hosted on a visit this weekend was the aforementioned James, who visited Ohio State this weekend with his dad — whom you might know.

James recruitment is the exception to the rule. Incredibly little is known about James recruitment, and college was not always the expected route for him (It still may not be). If he does decide to continue his basketball career by going to college, Ohio State has always been a school thought to have a shot, as the Ohio State athletic program and LeBron James have a long-standing relationship. Other schools thought to be actively recruiting him are Oregon, USC, UCLA and Michigan.

So where does this leave the Ohio State men’s basketball program?

Following Washington’s departure, the Buckeyes now have an available scholarship offer. The most-likely scenario, and also probably the best-case scenario, for the Buckeyes would be for that to go to Chatman. This would mean the Buckeyes scholarship count is full and the team would not have one to offer James. However, this does not eliminate the Buckeyes completely in the sweepstakes for James. His father is not the average father, and if James decides to pay tuition and not take a scholarship offer, he would be able to join Chatman and the rest of Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class in Columbus.

Chatman is the No. 8 CG in the nation and is the No. 31 overall prospect. He is also the No. 1 recruit from Minnesota. James is No. 10 CG in the nation and is the No. 41 overall prospect. He is also the No. 10 recruit from the talent-rich state of California.

Quick Hits

  • Key Ohio State 2024 four-star safety target Peyton Woodyard visited campus Saturday as the Buckeyes played host to Notre Dame, who has been viewed as the favorite to land the blue-chip prospect. Woodyard said his visit to Ohio State was great, and is already talking to Ohio State’s loan 2024 commit, and five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, on Twitter.
  • Important five-star defensive end target for Ohio State, Keon Keeley, visited the Buckeyes Saturday and was “wow-ed” by the atmosphere in Ohio Stadium. His visit also appeared to go as well as possible.