Basketball Recruiting Update: Top 2021 Targets for Ohio State
The Ohio State men’s basketball program still maintains a pair of in-state commits for the class of 2021 thus far, coming in the form of combo guard Meechie Johnson (Garfield Heights) and power forward Kalen Etzler (Convoy Crestview).
Head Coach Chris Holtmann, priming for his fourth season at the helm, and staff are still looking to add more firepower to the class. As the summer recruiting trail rolls on, albeit in some modified fashions due to the pandemic, we take a look at our top-20 targets for the Buckeyes.
HIGH PRIORITY (9, by position):
C - Chet Holmgren (Minneapolis, Minn.)
C – Efton Reid (Richmond, Va.)
C – Charles Bediako (St. Catharines, Ontario)
PF – Mason Miller (Germantown, Tenn.)
SF – Kendall Brown (Wichita, Kan.)
SF – Malaki Branham (Akron, Ohio)
SG – Trevor Keels (Fairfax, Va.)
SG – Dallan Coleman (Callahan, Fla.)
SG - Blake Wesley (South Bend, Ind.)
AT A GLANCE: Holmgren is one of the top few players in the country, if not the absolute best... Brown, Keels, Reid and Branham are all considered around top-30 players nationally... Bediako recently played at Andrews Osborne Academy in Ohio, but he and Reid have both since transferred to IMG Academy in Florida ...
It would be nice to secure Branham (St. Vincent-St. Mary) and control your own backyard, but nearly all in this group would be program changing… Brown and Branham sat front row at a game with current commits Johnson and Etzler during a campus visit in late February.
ALSO IMPORTANT (11, by position):
C – Frank Kepnang (Norristown, Pa.)
C – Micawber Etienne (Wolfeboro, N.H.)
C – Trey James (Inez, Ky.)
C – Elijah Hutchins-Everett (Putnam, Conn.)
PF – Paolo Banchero (Seattle, Wash.)
PF – Jalin Billingsley (Cleveland, Ohio)
PF – David Joplin (Brookfield, Wisc.)
SF – Lucas Taylor (Wake Forest, N.C.)
CG – Jaden Hardy (Henderson, Nev.)
PG – Bensley Joseph (Putnam, Conn.)
PG – Dominiq Penn (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
AT A GLANCE: Banchero and Hardy are top-10 players nationally and will have their pick of any school in the country... Kepnang is also in that top-25 range with Bediako (above)… Keeping the 6-7 Billingsley at home in Ohio would be a positive while Joseph and Hutchins-Everett provide a unique dynamic as high school teammates at Putnam Science Academy.
OUTLOOK MOVING FORWARD: Holtmann certainly needs to add 1-2 more in the class. Branham appears to be the most likely at the moment while the fourth could end up being a big man or, quite possibly, another guard/wing. Holmgren is a longshot but fellow centers Bediako and Reid are not as far-fetched.