In an effort to make up for lost time since getting the job in June, Ohio State men's basketball coach Chris Holtmann has had to offer scholarships to more recruits than he’s normally accustomed.
At or near the top of that list for 2018 is Elijah Weaver, a four-star point guard out of Oldsmar (Florida) Christian School who, according to his coach, didn’t have to wait long for a phone call from Holtmann after he was hired. Along with a handful of prospects from Ohio who got offers on the same day, Weaver was an immediate priority.
“He was the first person that they offered when switching (schools), so that just showed all of us how serious they are about him,” coach John Bianchi told The Dispatch. “Those guys are amazing, especially coach (Mike) Schrage. We talk pretty much every day, but the relationship started when they were at Butler.”
The relationship has led to Weaver scheduling an official visit to Ohio State. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Weaver will visit the Buckeyes on Sept. 8, the same weekend as two other four-star prospects: small forward Jaedon LeDee from Houston The Kinkaid School and shooting guard Luther Muhammad from Jersey City (New Jersey) Hudson Catholic.
The visit will come after Weaver checks out Southern California (Sept. 2) and before scheduled visits to Florida (Sept. 16) and Oklahoma State (Sept. 22). Sunday afternoon, Weaver announced on Twitter that he will cut his list to his final four schools Wednesday.
“Our relationship is great,” Weaver said of the Ohio State coaches. “Coach Holtmann and coach Schrage text and call if not every day, every other day, and I think that’s what made me decide to do an official (visit). They seem to be very serious in the plan they have for me and I’m just anxious to get on campus and see how I feel there, which will ultimately be the deciding factor in the whole recruiting process — where I feel at home.”
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Weaver is ranked by ESPN as the No. 42 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 10 point guard. Bianchi describes him as a natural point guard who is most concerned with getting his teammates involved.
“Some may call me a scoring point guard because I’ve been known to go off and have big numbers in the scoring column, but I think I’m a true point guard,” Weaver said. “I like to get my teammates involved and I think my scoring will come from that.”
Last year, he helped the Eagles win a state championship. Bianchi said this year’s team will go as far as Weaver will lead them, and the senior said he’s prepared to shoulder that load.
“I feel no pressure at all, honestly,” he said. “Being the leader of this team, I can only get my teammates prepared and lead them the best way I know how, being that I’ve already won a state championship before.”
Depth at the guard positions remains a point of emphasis for the Buckeyes, who have no verbal commitments for the class of 2018 after they mutually decided to part ways with four-star shooting guard prospect Torrence Watson from St. Louis Whitfield School late last week. Assuming converted walk-on Joey Lane remains on scholarship for his senior season, Holtmann has five scholarships available for the class.
Weaver said the hope is to pick a school on his birthday, Dec. 30.
“He’s a great example of a leader off and on the court,” said Bianchi, who hosts Weaver while he’s in school. “He lives with me, so I know how he conducts himself outside of basketball and everything like a professional would. He’s always ready on time and does the little things like makes his bed, makes sure he has everything for the day, stuff like that.
“He stands out the most because he does it the most and he does little things the most like that.”
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