Ohio State men's basketball spotlight: Jaedon LeDee
Ohio State will open its 2018-19 men's basketball season by playing its first game at Cincinnati in 98 years. The Buckeyes and Bearcats will meet at the newly renovated Fifth Third Arena on Nov. 7, marking only the 11th time the in-state programs have met and the first time they’ve played each other within state lines since 1921. In preparation for the game, The Dispatch is counting down the final 14 days with power rankings for each of the members of the Ohio State roster. The series continues with the fifth player in our rankings.
No. 10: Jaedon LeDee
Height/weight: 6 feet 9 / 230 pounds
Jersey number: 23
Background: A four-star prospect from The Kinkaid School in Houston, LeDee was the first member of the class of 2018 to commit to the Buckeyes. His pledge set off a whirlwind that saw all four members of the class issue commitments within six days. LeDee took official visits to Ohio State and Texas A&M before picking the Buckeyes in September 2017. A point guard when he arrived in high school, LeDee kept growing and now will provide size and skill to the frontcourt. ESPN ranked LeDee as the nation’s No. 61 overall recruit, the No. 16 power forward in the nation and the top commitment in Ohio State’s class.
2017-18 stats: As a senior, LeDee averaged 27 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks per game. He shot 64 percent from two and 40 percent from three.
Career stats: LeDee was a four-time all-state, all-conference and all-conference tournament selection. As a junior, he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Need to know: As an eighth-grader, LeDee played on the same AAU team as fellow Houston native Carsen Edwards, the preseason pick for Big Ten player of the year and now a junior at Purdue. He’s spent extensive time in high school practicing against Rashard Lewis and the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron. He spends the team portions of Ohio State’s practice working with assistant coach Terry Johnson, who oversees the big men, but does his individual skill workouts with Ryan Pedon, who works more with the guards.
2017-18 recap: LeDee’s team was besieged by injuries, forcing him to carry much of the load while also bringing along a younger roster. His numbers reflect his ability, but Kinkaid didn’t make as deep a tournament run as hoped. Asked during the spring about his season, LeDee said his goal every night was to be the best player on the court and that, “I can’t think of any game where I didn’t dominate.”
2018-19 outlook: LeDee presents an interesting situation for the Buckeyes. A highly rated recruit who already looks physically ready to compete in the Big Ten, LeDee has been described as being more raw than some of the other members of his class. At Big Ten media day in mid-October, coach Chris Holtmann said post players often have bigger learning curves than other positions in adapting to college, and that’s been the case for LeDee. Last week, Johnson said, “What translated for him from high school to college is his ability to rebound the basketball. He’s been doing that at a high level in practice, and he can shoot the ball as well. Inside 15 feet he’s good and he’s stretched it out a little bit and can make some threes as well.” LeDee will provide depth in the frontcourt and compete for significant playing time, presuming he can stay out of foul trouble and make strides with his overall athleticism. He’s seen time at power forward and center during the preseason.