The Ohio State men's basketball team continues to work on future recruiting classes with a scholarship offer to four-star center Shawn Phillips Jr., entering his sophomore season at Dayton Belmont.
Roughly a month had passed since Ohio State appeared on Shawn Phillips Jr.’s radar.
After playing in the Nike Peach Jam during the summer evaluation period, the 6-foot-10 center from Dayton Belmont started hearing from the Buckeyes. They invited him to campus for an unofficial visit, one that saw him tour the campus.
Then came a second unofficial visit last weekend and it culminated with a scholarship offer for the four-star prospect in the class of 2022.
“The trip was great,” Phillips told The Dispatch. “Everything felt like home. There’s a great vibe and a great environment.”Get the news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our BuckeyeXtra newsletter
While on campus, Phillips said he got to take in a practice that gave him tips on how to keep his own practice at a high-energy level this season. He made the trip with his dad, his brother, his coach and his coach’s son.
Later that evening came the football game. By then, Phillips had landed his offer while in a meeting with coach Chris Holtmann and assistant coach Ryan Pedon.
“I was with coach Pedon and the head coach in the conference room and he was asking me if I still worked hard,” Phillips said. “He was telling me how good of a post player I am, how good I am at rebounding and blocking shots and as a defender. Then he was talking about school and saying for me to stay on top of my grades. Then he made this statement: ‘At Ohio State we like to make a relationship with our players before we offer them, and I would like to offer you a full ride scholarship to The Ohio State University.’ ”
It’s the fifth scholarship offer for Phillips, who also has been offered by Auburn, DePaul, Ohio and Xavier.
“It just feels like there’s a target on my back,” he said of the recruiting attention. “I have much more to work on, so one day I can get the opportunities to play at that college level.”
Pedon has been his primary recruiter.
“I love coach Pedon,” Phillips said. “He’s a great guy. He has a great personality and I love coach Pedon.”
Phillips is the No. 39 national recruit according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings and the No. 6 center. OHHoops.com ranks him as the No. 4 Ohioan in his class, just behind Cincinnati Princeton guard Bowen Hardman, who also landed a scholarship offer during the weekend. The Buckeyes hosted a half-dozen recruits during the weekend including Malaki Branham, a four-star guard from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary who was on an official visit.
For now, no more visits are on the calendar for Phillips. The focus is on preparing for his sophomore season at Belmont.
“I’m very excited because I know compared to last season I’m way better,” he said. “I know this season is going to be one to remember. Last year I had everything that I needed, I just needed to focus on stuff like getting stronger and faster and getting more athletic. I accomplished all those things this summer and I’m still working.”