Ohio State recruiting: Chris Holtmann, Buckeyes offer new scholarships in 2023 class

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Gabe Cupps averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game while leading Centerville to a state championship last season.

The busiest recruiting month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Ohio State men’s basketball program extend a number of new scholarship offers.

This month, the Buckeyes have hosted at least one recruit per day as the NCAA has again allowed in-person recruiting, and of those, roughly a dozen were official visits. Meanwhile, an almost equal number of unofficial visitors have left campus with scholarship offers from Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann.

Subscribers only:As in-person recruiting resumes, which big men are the Ohio State Buckeyes pursuing?

Here’s an alphabetical list of 11 players known to have earned offers from the Buckeyes since June 3, all of whom are in the 2023 recruiting class.

Xavier Booker

Ohio State offered the 6-10, 205-pound center from Indianapolis Cathedral on June 14 after an unofficial visit, bolstering a month that has also seen Booker add offers from Purdue, Iowa, Louisville and TCU. Earlier in the month, he participated in the Pangos All-American Camp, where he was selected for the Top 60 Cream Of The Crop game.

He's currently unranked in the 247Sports.com database.

Gabe Cupps

After leading Centerville to an Ohio state championship last year, the 6-2, 165-pound Cupps landed his offer while on a June 16 visit. As a sophomore, Cupps averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game as the Elks went 26-3. He is the fourth Ohioan in the 2023 class to be offered by the Buckeyes.

A point guard, he also holds offers from Xavier and Miami (Ohio). He's currently unranked in the 247Sports.com database, which lists just one Ohioan: Cincinnati Taft shooting guard Rayvon Griffith, the first player in his class from Ohio to land an offer from the Buckeyes.

PrepHoops.com ranks Cupps as the No. 5 prospect in Ohio.

Christ Wilson Essandoko

A native of Paris, France, the 6-11, 260-pound Essandoko plays for Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Prep. Ohio State offered him June 10, one day before West Virginia also did so. Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers and others have offered, and the center has recently taken unofficial visits to North Carolina State and Wake Forest.

Essandoko is unranked in the 247Sports.com database.

Owen Freeman

Ohio State offered the 6-9, 220-pound power forward from Bradley (Illinois) Bradley-Bourbonnais while on a June 9 unofficial visit. He’s currently unranked in the 247Sports.com database.

Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa, Butler and Marquette have all also offered this month.

Maki Johnson

A three-star prospect in the 247Sports.com rankings, Johnson added an Ohio State offer on June 9.

Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State and Louisville have all offered the 6-3, 180-pound combo guard. 247Sports.com ranks him as the No. 72 national recruit.

Jahnathan Lamothe

Lamothe is a four-star combo guard in the 247Sports.com rankings. He hails from Baltimore St. Frances Academy and is listed at 6-4, 180 pounds. Ohio State offered him June 15, the same day as Maryland. Georgetown and Penn State, among others, have also offered.

Mackenzie Mgbako

The nation’s No. 10 overall prospect, Mgbako is a 6-7, 185-pound small forward from Gladstone (New Jersey) Gill St. Bernard’s School who is a five-star recruit according to the 247Sports.com composite database. He’s listed as the No. 3 prospect from his state and the No. 3 player at his position.

Ohio State offered him June 15. He also holds offers from Xavier, UConn, LSU and Duke, which offered Monday.

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Austin Parks

A 6-9, 240-pound center from St. Marys, Ohio, Parks was offered while on a June 10 unofficial visit, making him the third Ohioan in his class to earn an Ohio State offer. He averaged nearly 16 points per game as a sophomore.

Toledo and Ohio have also offered, and by the end of the month, he’s scheduled to have visited Indiana, Michigan State and Cincinnati as well. PrepHoops.com ranks him as the No. 2 prospect in Ohio.

Lawrent Rice

Ohio State offered Rice on June 7, after a standout sophomore season at Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne, where he earned first-team all-conference honors as a result of having averaged 13.8 points and a league-best 5.1 assists per game. The No. 3 prospect in his class from Ohio, the 6-3, 170-pound Rice projects as a point guard in college.

Basketball recruiting:Ohio State offers scholarship to 2023 guard Ohioan Lawrent Rice

He's also earned offers from Penn State, Dayton, Xavier, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Marquette and West Virginia this month.

George Washington III

Ohio State was the first school to offer the 6-2, 165-pound combo guard from Louisville (Kentucky) Christian Academy of Louisville. A three-star prospect in the 247Sports.com rankings, Washington landed an offer from the Buckeyes on June 15. It was immediately followed by offers from Louisville and Auburn in short order.

Simeon Wilcher

Another national top-10 prospect, the 6-4, 165-pound combo guard from Roselle (New Jersey) Catholic was offered by Ohio State on Monday. He also holds offers from Maryland, Memphis and Creighton.

The 247Sports.com composite database ranks him as the No. 8 national prospect, the No. 2 combo guard in the nation and his state’s No. 2 overall prospect.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy