In-State Stars For Ohio State Basketball To Target: Ben Roderick, Dominiq Penn & More
When Ohio State brought in Chris Holtmann, he made sure to proclaim that Ohio recruiting was his main focus. In fact, he said he wants to “close the borders and dominate the state of Ohio in recruiting.”
It must have worked, because Ryan Day copied it when Ohio State made him their head football coach.
Now, two years later Holtmann’s recruiting classes are under inspection. Two of the seven prospects his Buckeyes have signed come from Ohio. Justin Ahrens played for Versailles and Alonzo Gaffney played for Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Garfield Heights before heading out of the state and to the East Coast for his senior year.
With Ohio State garnering interest as a basketball program, Holtmann and his staff can target players that couldn’t have dreamed of before. However, Ohio is producing some strong talent. Here are some of the rising stars that the school should target if they want to have homegrown talent win championships:
Ben Roderick is a senior at Olentangy Liberty. Though he tore his ACL in his sophomore year, he was able to recover and win Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. No major conference team has offered him a scholarship and with decision day looming it’s likely that he attends a mid-major in his home state.
Dominiq Penn is an interesting prospect. His father, Scoonie, works as Ohio State’s director of player development and his son could follow in his footsteps. Penn has gone to visit other Big Ten schools but Ohio State is still the only school from a major conference to give him an offer. He averaged 19 points per game as a junior at Dublin Coffman. Though OSU has gone out of its way to target wings and centers, a guard like Penn has drawn attention for a reason.
After rising on the national scene, forward Keon Ambrose-Hylton has drawn attention from Tennessee, Dayton, Tulane, Florida, Vanderbilt, and Illinois. He’s also taken multiple visits to Ohio State this past year, including a trip to Columbus for a football game. While he’s originally from Canada, the 6-foot-8 forward plays at the International Sports Academy at Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby. As a long and mobile forward, he’s the type of player that Holtmann is looking for.
If Holtmann is serious about recruiting in Ohio, these players will very likely anchor the Buckeyes squad for years to come. The competition for some seems heavy but to turn a school into a perennial contender has never been a quick fix.