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Four-star recruit Ava Watson commits to Ohio State women’s basketball

The guard is the second 2024 commitment announced in the last week for the Buckeyes

Ava Watson on Twitter | @Ava_Watson2024

It’s been a busy recruiting week for the Ohio State women’s basketball team. After locking in a four-star forward in Ella Hobbs, the Buckeyes shore up the 2024 class even more with the addition of guard Ava Watson.

Watson is a 5-foot-7 guard out of Buford High School in Buford, Georgia. ESPN ranked the guard 47th in the 2024 class, giving Ohio State a second straight commit from the list, with Hobbs coming ranked No. 83.

For Buford, as a junior, Watson was an offensive force. To make it into the playoffs, Watson scored 40 points in the regional championship, earning Buford the win.

During the playoffs, Watson led Buford with 31 points in Buford’s 72-52 victory. Part of that 31 points was five made three-point shots and hitting all four shots from the foul line, showing that even with guard Jacy Sheldon leaving after the 23/24 season, another offensive force will come into the Buckeyes’ program for the 24/25 season.

In the state championship tournament, Watson also put up 25 points in Buford’s state semifinal, in a 58-46 defeat.

Following a season where Watson averaged 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.3 steals for the Buford Wolves, MaxPreps named Watson to its end of season All-American team as an honorable mention.

On the court, Watson is a shooting guard who won’t only hit from deep but attack the basket. Watson uses ball handling to break through defenders and sends in a more unconventional shot, going with one hand on midrange shots.

In May, Watson narrowed her school search down to five schools. Ohio State was Watson’s selection over Texas A&M, Florida State University, University of Louisville and University of Georgia.

The Buckeyes have a strong group of guards this season, but mostly in the form of seniors and graduate seniors. Watson will join 2023 freshman Diana Collins, sophomore Kaia Henderson and incoming sophomore transfer Kennedy Cambridge.

Also, Watson’s Buford High School and Collin’s Brookwood High School have played against each other in the past few years, in the regular season. That puts two former opponents on the same scarlet and gray side in 2024.

Looking at the big picture, Watson and Hobbs’ move to the scarlet and gray shows that the Buckeyes are back to competing for higher caliber athletes in the recruiting game.

The 2021 class didn’t include anyone in the top 100 recruiting class. That could be in part due to the dip in form for the Buckeyes as it faced sanctions not allowing any postseason basketball.

Since then, the Buckeyes added top recruits in forward Cotie McMahon, Collins, Hobbs and Watson in three years of recruiting.

Head coach Kevin McGuff’s side has bounced back in a big way. A share of the conference title in 2022 and Ohio State beating UConn on the national stage have been boosts for the Big Ten side in recruiting and beyond.

With the transfer portal, Ohio State’s added National Defensive Player of the Year candidate Celeste Taylor from Duke University, Taiyier Parks from Michigan State and Cambridge from University of Kentucky.

Ohio State’s 2024 incoming group of freshman is now three, with Watson joining Hobbs and guard/small forward Seini Hicks.