Ohio State men's basketball recruiting | E.J. Liddell, Zeb Jackson, Zach Loveday and others visit

Adam Jardy
Ohio State men's basketball recruits DJ Carton (Ohio State shirt, black lanyard), Alonzo Gaffney (holding water bottle) and E.J. Liddell (to Gaffney's left) take in the football team's season-opening game against Oregon State. [Kyle Robertson photo]

The start of the college football season has brought with it increased recruiting activity for the Ohio State men’s basketball team. As the Buckeyes have opened at Ohio Stadium against Oregon State and Rutgers, men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his staff have brought in multiple players for official and unofficial visits.

Here’s a list of recruits known to have been at games so far. All recruiting rankings are according to the composite.


DJ Carton

It wasn’t an official visit, but Carton made the trip to Columbus on his own dime to see the other member of Ohio State’s class of 2019 in Alonzo Gaffney as well as key recruiting target E.J. Liddell.

Carton has mostly kept mum publicly since his pledge to the Buckeyes, but that’s more to do with his personality than his commitment to Ohio State. He’s ticketed for Columbus next year. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound point guard from Bettendorf, Iowa, he is a five-star prospect, the No. 21 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 2 point guard in the country.

Alonzo Gaffney

The top 2019 prospect from Ohio and the first commitment for Ohio State’s class, Gaffney took his official visit during the weekend. Since his junior year, he has since transferred from Garfield Heights, Ohio, to Wolfeboro (New Hampshire) Brewster Academy for his senior season but the move has not affected his commitment to the Buckeyes.

The 6-foot-9, 190-pound Gaffney is the No. 29 overall prospect and No. 7 small forward in the nation.

E.J. Liddell

This has possibly been the most-important visitor the Buckeyes have brought in so far. The four-star power forward in the class of 2019 who hails from Belleville (Illinois) West took his first official visit to see the Buckeyes during the weekend.

Through his coach, Joe Muniz, Liddell has declined interview requests after his official visits. The plan, at least as of last week, was for Liddell to take all five official visits allowed. This weekend, he has been at Missouri, and he is scheduled to follow that with trips to Kansas State on Sept. 28, Wisconsin on Oct. 5 and Illinois on Oct. 12.

The Buckeyes have widely been viewed the possible leader for the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Liddell, but they are facing stiff competition from schools closer to home. He’s the No. 40 prospect in the nation, the No. 1 prospect from Illinois and the No. 8 power forward.

The whole Ohio State team was there for the occasion.


— Joey Lane (@JoeySmoke14) September 1, 2018

Ethan Morton

A four-star prospect in the class of 2020, Morton’s busy fall included an unofficial visit to Ohio State for the game. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound point guard was scheduled to visit Pitt this weekend and will take official visits to Purdue on Sept. 14 and Indiana on Sept. 21 and then unofficial visits to Marquette and Northwestern during the weekend of Oct. 12, Michigan on Oct. 19 and an official visit to Stanford on Oct. 26.

He’s the No. 47 overall prospect in his class and play multiple positions.


D.J. Hughes

With two commitments for 2019, Ohio State has been able to start putting effort into subsequent classes. That includes Hughes, a power forward prospect from Indianapolis Lawrence North in the class of 2021 who took in the Rutgers game on an unofficial visit.

Rankings for the 2021 class are hard to come by, but the Indianapolis Star named the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Hughes the No. 3 in-state prospect for his class.

Zeb Jackson

A four-star point guard in the class of 2020 and one of Ohio State’s top targets in the class, Jackson took an unofficial visit one weekend after a similar trip to Michigan State led to the Spartans offering him a scholarship.

The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Jackson plays for Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day School. He’s the No. 57 overall prospect in his class and the No. 2 prospect from Ohio. His told me in August that he's still "wide open" in his recruitment.

Anthony Leal

The 6-foot-4, 170-pound Leal hails from the same school that produced Ohio State sophomore Musa Jallow – Bloomington (Indiana) South. A four-star shooting guard prospect, Leal took in the game.

He’s a four-star prospect, the No. 2 recruit from Indiana and No. 103 recruit in the nation.

Zach Loveday

An athletic 7-foot center from Gallipolis (Ohio) Gallia Academy, the top overall prospect from Ohio in the class of 2020 was on hand for the game. Like Jackson, his high school team camped with the Buckeyes during the summer.

He’s the No. 59 overall prospect in his class.


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