Ohio State men’s basketball landed a commitment from 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo on Sunday, per a report from 247Sports.com.
[Update: Here is a tweet from Diallo announcing the news himself.]
After months of careful consideration I have decided to commit to Ohio State University @OhioStateHoops I want to thank all the coaches who have recruited me during the recruitment process. My Family and I are excited about the next chapter in my life. ?️ pic.twitter.com/IWmZhpWHsi
— ibrahimadiallo (@ibrahimaa24) April 14, 2019
Diallo is from Napa, California and took an official visit to Ohio State last month. Soon after, he was down to two programs — Ohio State and Pitt.
Ranked the No. 41 center in the nation per 247Sports and the No. 194 player overall, the 3-star center adds even more size to Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class.
Seen as a raw prospect offensively but a difference-maker on defense, Diallo provides some necessary size for OSU head coach Chris Holtmann. This is especially true following the pending transfer of Buckeye big man Jaedon Ledee.
“I picked Ohio State because I have a good connection with coach Holtmann,” Diallo told 247Sports. “I have a connection with the coach, and I trust him. He’s a good coach. He knows what he’s doing and he’s got a good program.”
Prior to the commitment, the Buckeyes had two scholarship slots available. Holtmann said that he would likely not use both. A graduate transfer center was perhaps the preference, but the market maybe wasn’t as agreeable.
The situation is also clouded a bit by sophomore center Kaleb Wesson putting his name into the NBA Draft, even though he will maintain his eligibility and weigh his options.
Diallo would give the Buckeyes a shotblocker that they have not had in years.
He now joins a class that is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 9 in the nation.
The first three members of the class were DJ Carton — the No. 4 point guard in the nation, EJ Liddell — the No. 8 power forward in the nation, and Alonzo Gaffney, the No. 10 small forward in the nation.
All three are expected to make an impact next season for the Buckeyes.
Can Diallo make an impact as well? If Wesson ends up leaving, then he’s going to have to.
?Highlights of Ohio State’s newest 2019 commit, Ibrahima Diallo!
— Ohio State Hoops Insider (@OSUHoopsInsider) April 14, 2019
[Ibrahima Diallo photo courtesy 247Sports.com.]
I see no downside here. We desperately need a back-up big man. Kyle Young and Andre Wesson had to play this role last year and they were both undersized for that job. With Greg Oden on staff, we should bring Diallo up to speed quicker than you might think.
Good luck to the kid. Not many big men can play tough. Hope he’s the exception.
Difficult to imagine a 7 foot 200 pound kid playing physical. We are more likely to be dumbfounded at how thin he is.
A 7 footer with a 7’9″ wingspan, quick feet, and a good motor. I can’t wait to see what coach Holtmann is able to do with this kid. The teams that made deep runs in the tournament all had quick long and active rim protectors like this.
A 7 footer with a 7’9″ wingspan, quick feet, and a good motor. I can’t wait to see what coach Holtmann is able to do with this kid. The teams that made deep runs in the tournament all had quick long and active rim protectors like this. Hopefully, he can develop like Ken Johnson did at OSU and be a dominant force inside.
OSU lack of big men cost them tremendously this past year. His on court presence is far more beneficial than his recruiting rankings. This is just what the Dr. ordered.
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