Roster building. In videogames, it’s easy. But in real life — in the year of our Lord, 2023, putting together a college basketball roster is like pulling teeth while getting allergy tested right after stubbing your toe on a bedframe.
Name, image, and likeness compensation looms large — how much dos a player value the program vs how much money do they know they can get at a certain school? Roster and fit matter — is there a clear path for them to play right away? And if they don’t play right away, the one-time immediate transfer rule means a core player that you were expecting to help mold your program for four years could move on just like that.
This week, we’re looking at the 2024 class for Ohio State that currently has two commits. Should they seek out a third or fourth? We’ll talk about it.
Last week, the guys talked about charges. They’re annoying as heck, and are called incorrectly more often than not. But should we just get rid of them? Connor said no, Justin said yes. 67% of the readers sided with Connor.
After 117 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
This week, we’re crunching the numbers and trying to decide if Ohio State should take another player in their 2024 class. The 2025 and 2026 classes are looking more talented than 2024, so should they leave roster spots for those classes?
Today’s Question: Should Ohio State men’s basketball take another player in the 2024 class?
The roster is getting crowded with freshmen and sophomores. I can do the math. Including 2024 commits Juni Mobley and Colin White, there are 13 players with eligibility that could return next season for Ohio State. For those who weren’t aware, that is a full roster.
Which means that if Ohio State was to take one additional 2024 commit, they would be putting themselves over the scholarship for next season. But the thing is, that’s not how it’s going to play out. Chris Holtmann even told us himself a few weeks ago — you always have to prepare assuming there will be at least one or two departures. For this roster in particular, Bowen Hardman and Kalen Etzler stand out as guys who could potentially be on the move next spring if they don’t crack the rotation this season.
Etzler is going into his third season, and Hardman his second. Each of them have only seen a handful of game minutes to this point in their careers. And with the younger guys rolling in year after year after year, it is getting tougher and tougher to see where these two guys fit in long-term with the program.
Now I’m not trying to boot those players, they’re just the two most obvious candidates. It also wouldn’t shock me if one of Ohio State’s centers — Felix Okpara, Zed Key, and Austin Parks — transferred after this season. We know for a fact that Key and Okpara both believe they should be in the starting lineup. Parks has some work to do, but if he knew he’d be stuck behind Okpara for the forseeable future, maybe it’s different.
The point is even if there isn’t obvious space right this second, there will be come spring time. That means Ohio State can try to add some size and strength in Jayden Quaintance (2024 No. 9) or Chris Nwuli (2024 No. 29). Either of these recruits would become one of the best, if not the best, recruit of the Chris Holtmann era at Ohio State. Quaintance is a 6-foot-9, athletic center who would have an immediate impact and would likely be a one-and-done type of talent. Nwuli is listed at 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds. The Buckeyes are losing a large presence with their forwards when Jamison Battle moves on. Nwuli also makes sense, roster-wise.
All of this is just to say that there are still some elite talents left in the 2024, and two of them have a particularly close eye on the Buckeyes. If Holtmann has the chance to get Quaintance or Nwuli, he should do it, and allow the roster changes to fix themsleves in the spring.
Plus, with nearly a half dozen guys on the team who could potentially put their name in the 2024 NBA Draft, I have very little doubt that there wouldn’t be safe space for another 2024 recruit come June next year. Stacking strong classes is the same of the game, and Chris Holtmann has the opportunity to do just that.
I think this one is pretty simple. If you can get Jayden Quaintance, you obviously do it. That opportunity does not come along often to add a five-star center to a class, and they would jump at that opportunity, no doubt.
However, it is looking unlikely that they will be able to add Quaintance when looking at the schools he is visiting and the way his recruitment has been talked about. But, his official visit apparently went very well last Saturday, so anything is possible.
What you have to do if you are Ohio State, though, is look at the future. The 2025 and 2026 recruiting classes are looking like two of the best Ohio classes in a while, and the Buckeyes need to make sure they will have room to add some of those guys.
After the 2023-24 season, it is only guaranteed that they will lose two guys due to eligibility — Dale Bonner and Jamison Battle — and even though it is likely they will lose one or two more to the transfer portal with the way, it is not a guarantee.
In the 2025 class, Darryn Peterson, the No. 2 recruit in the country, plus Dorian Jones and Jerry Easter, are top 50 guards in the country. In 2026, Marcus Johnson and Niko Bundalo are top 20 recruits in the country, according to ESPN 25. These guys are game changers. If you get Quaintance in the 2024 class, he is a game-changer as well, but you can’t just add a player to add a player with the two classes you have coming up. Plus, in the 2022 and 2023 classes total, they added nine players.
It is okay if you only have a two-person class, especially with two solid players.
Should Ohio State men’s basketball take another player in the 2024 class?
This poll is closed