Monday, Jul 16, 2018
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Ohio's top basketball prospect chooses Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State landed its highest-rated recruit in the Chris Holtmann era Tuesday, as five-star forward Alonzo Gaffney pledged to the Buckeyes.

The Garfield Heights, Ohio, prospect is the state’s highest-rated player in the class of 2019 and the No. 18 player overall, according to 247Sports.com.

Gaffney chose Ohio State against offers from Michigan State, Kansas, Louisville, Georgetown, and Florida, among others.

He previously has called North Carolina his “dream school,” but the Tar Heels have not formally offered a scholarship despite showing interest in Gaffney.

If Gaffney signs a national letter of intent with Ohio State later this year, he would become the program’s highest-rated signee since D’Angelo Russell.

Ohio State offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-9, 190 forward in July, 2017, one month after it hired Holtmann to lead the basketball program. He is the first member of Ohio State’s class of 2019.

Gaffney is the highest-rated recruit to commit in Holtmann’s career, which includes head coaching stops at Gardner-Webb and Butler.

Ohio State also picked up an addition Sunday, when Florida State transfer C.J. Walker announced his plans to join Holtmann’s team. The 6-foot-1 guard from Indianapolis played two seasons at Florida State, averaging 8.0 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds in starting all but one game this past season for the Seminoles, who made the Elite Eight.

Walker will have to sit out one season per NCAA transfer rules.

Contact Nicholas Piotrowicz at: npiotrowicz@theblade.com, 419-724-6110, or on Twitter @NickPiotrowicz

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