Men's Basketball Recruiting

Chris Holtmann Inks Five for Top-10 Rated Class

Ohio State Buckeyes Basketball Chris Holtmann Press Conference

Ohio State Head Basketball Coach Chris Holtmann signed five players to letters of intent for a class that is ranked by 24/7 im the top-ten nationally. The Department of Athletics issued the following statement.

Holtmann Inks One of the Top Classes in the CountryOhio State’s five-player 2022 signing class is ranked in the Top 10 nationally

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann has announced the signing of one of the top recruiting classes in country. The five-player class is ranked in the Top 10 by every major recruiting outlet.

The class includes four-star point guard Bruce Thornton, 6-6 four-star forward Brice Sensabaugh, four-star guard Roddy Gayle Jr., 6-11 four-star center Felix Okpara and one of the top guards in Ohio in Bowen Hardman.

“We are excited to officially welcome Roddy, Bruce, Bowen, Felix and Brice to our Basketball family,” said Holtmann. “Not only will this group have a big impact on the court, but the collective character of these five fit our program and the University community perfectly. The future is bright for this class and it will serve as a foundational piece for the coming years of our program.”

Roddy Gayle Jr.Guard6-4, 195Niagara Falls, N.Y.Lewiston-Porter / Wasatch Academy

  • Joined Wasatch Academy midway through its season in 2020-21 and helped the team to arguably its best season in school history as it earned a No. 5 seed in the GEICO National Tournament
  • Averaged over 10 points per game for Wasatch last season
  • Was a two-time first team All-Western New York honoree as well as a two-time All-State selection while at Lewiston-Porter
  • Averaged 25.8 points, nine rebounds, three assists and 2.3 steals as a sophomore
  • As a freshman, he averaged 22 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists while leading Lewiston-Porter to its first Section VI basketball title in 31 years

Holtmann on Gayle Jr.: “We want to officially welcome the Gayle family to Ohio State. Roddy fell in love with Ohio State after a visit to the Schottenstein Center against TTUN, and we have enjoyed getting to know him and his family since that day. Roddy is a gifted athlete with two-way potential that provides positional size and versatility on the perimeter. His heart for helping others though will be equally impactful in our community as it will be on the court! We’re looking forward to getting him to Columbus.”

[Gale is rated the no. 6 shooting guard in the class and the 63rd-best player overall by 24/7]

Bowen HardmanGuard6-3, 175Cincinnati, OhioPrinceton

  • Three-star recruit according to 247sports.com
  • Averaged over 15 points and three rebounds per game as a junior at Princeton
  • Shot over 40 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Was an 82 percent free throw shooter last year as a junior
  • Earned honorable mention All-Ohio honors last season

Holtmann on Hardman: “We are excited to officially welcome Bowen and his family to The Ohio State University and our basketball family. His ability to shoot the ball and create space on the floor make him a perfect fit in our system. He has the potential to really grow as a player as his strength improves each year. I know he can’t wait to put on an Ohio State uniform and begin to achieve his dreams of being a Buckeye.”

[Hardman is rated the 48th-best shooting guard in the class and the 303rd-best player overall by 24/7.

Felix OkparaCenter6-11, 215Lagos, NigeriaLink Academy

  • A consensus four-star recruit and a Top-50 ranked prospect according to 247sports.com
  • Averaged over 11 points, nearly eight rebounds and over two blocks per game as a junior at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy
  • Tied for second in blocks per game in the EYBL at 1.9
  • Had 11 blocks in a game vs. Oak Hill Academy in Dec. of 2020
  • A native of Nigeria, he moved to the states in 2018 and began playing basketball
  • Played soccer growing up in Nigeria

Holtmann on Okpara: “Felix is another tremendous addition to our program. From the day we met Felix and his family, it was obvious that they are a tight knit group and we are thrilled to welcome them to our family. Felix provides length and athleticism like we haven’t had before at his position. His ability to impact the game on the defensive end of the floor is special, and we know his skill is continuing to improve because he is an elite worker. Buckeye Nation is going to love his personality and passion, and we can’t wait for him to put on the Scarlet and Gray.”

[Okpara is rated the 11th-best center in the class and the 50th-best player overall by 24/7.

Brice SensabaughForward6-6, 235Orlando, Fla.Lake Highland Prep

  • A four-star recruit and Top-75 prospect in the 2022 class
  • Did not play in 2020-21 as a junior due to an injury
  • Was Top-10 in scoring at 17.9 ppg in the EYBL this summer

Holtmann on Sensabaugh: “Brice is a great addition to our Basketball family. Ohio State holds a special place in he and his family’s hearts, which was made obvious on their visit to Columbus. Brice is one of the best scorers in his class and his combination of size and skill make him a perfect fit for the Big Ten Conference. We are excited for the impact he will make on our program and we know that he is going to represent Buckeye Nation with great pride and passion.”

[Sensabaugh is rated the 27th-best small forward and 101st-best player overall by 24/7.

Bruce ThorntonGuard6-2, 205Alpharetta, Ga.Milton

  • A consensus four-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports
  • Led Milton to the Class 7A state title last season and a final national ranking of No. 7, earning the school’s first trip to the GEICO National Tournament
  • Second in assists per game at 5.7 apg in the EYBL
  • One of five juniors to earn All-America honors in 2020-21
  • Was named first team All-State for the second-consecutive season by the GHSA after averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists per game as a junior
  • Shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc and 80 percent from the free throw line
  • Was the 7A Player of the Year
  • Earned MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honors in 2020 after averaging 23 points and more than seven rebounds and six assists per game

Holtmann on Thornton: “We are really excited to add Bruce to our program. During the recruiting process, we had a front row seat to his work ethic and his ability to impact winning at the highest level. Combine that with who he is as a person and the support around him, there is no doubt that he fits perfectly in the Scarlet and Gray. Bruce exemplifies the toughness, skill, and leadership combination that we look for in our guards and Buckeye Nation is going to love watching him.”

[Thorton is rated  the 6th-best point guard in the class and the 41st-best player overall by 24/7.

Here are the rankings for the top classes according to 24/7.

1. Duke
2. Arkansas
3. Alabama
4. Kansas
5. USC
6. Ohio State
7. Michigan
8. Kentucky
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia

In the Big Ten, Indiana was rated 16th nationally, Penn State 22nd, Purdue 28th, Michigan State 32nd and Nebraska  34th.

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