Ohio State may be striving to remain near the top of the 2021 basketball recruiting rankings, but fellow Big Ten rival Michigan State is certainly right there now while also taking firm hold of the ensuing 2022 class.
The Spartans have admirably corralled a trio of standout recruits in the last month, beginning with top prospect Emoni Bates (Ypsilanti, Mich.) back in late June. A 6-foot-8 small forward, Bates is arguably the highest-touted prospect since LeBron James and won Gatorade National Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.
Tom Izzo and company then kickstarted July by securing top-15 player Max Christie (Rolling Meadows, Ill.), regarded as the top shooting guard in the entire 2021 recruiting cycle. MSU also has a commitment from another SG, in-state product Pierre Brooks from Detroit, in the same class.
The Spartans racked up even more firepower Tuesday afternoon with another bang, this time grabbing standout 2022 center Enoch Boakye (Ontario, Canada) from north of the border. The 6-foot-10 big man currently plays for George Harris Prep in Mississauga, averaging 13 points and 14 rebounds per game last season.
Izzo reportedly made his first trip to Canada in 20 years for Boakye, who clearly took notice and felt wanted. Michigan State had also been courting Bates for a long time, and some have suggested the phenom could end up reclassifying to the 2021 class.
Landing each of these top targets makes a huge statement and develops strong reputations, but what are the chances that any of them even step foot on the hardwood in East Lansing? Some prized recruits are already entertaining/accepting the NBA G-League Professional Path and lucrative one-year contracts.
Bates, for example, only had a small handful of scholarship offers due to most schools believing he will never actually enroll anywhere. It will be interesting to see how the process plays out for these highly-touted MSU commits.
Although the list of current Ohio State commits may not be listed as high atop national player rankings, it’s at least more likely that all will arrive in Columbus to play. Recent commit Malaki Branham (27) is the only prospect currently rated inside the top 85.
The Buckeyes also have one commit in the 2022 class via shooting guard Bowen Hardman (Cincinnati/Princeton). Stay tuned to BuckeyesNow and all of our social media outlets (@BuckeyesNowSI) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for continued coverage!