We are still years away from the 2023 class singing their letters of intent but early on the state of Ohio looks the basketball crop is rather deep when it comes to incoming juniors. These six players are prospects inside the state of Ohio that Ohio State has began tracking in 2023 and names to know from Buckeye basketball fans going forward.
Lawrent Rice, 6-foot-3, Wayne
When it comes to 2023 Ohio prospects the Buckeyes are interested in, Lawrent Rice is fairly high up on that list. Assistant coach Ryan Pedon and the Ohio State staff have been keeping a close eye on him for a while and it would not be surprising if he got an Ohio State offer this offseason. He is a lengthy lead guard who is a great athlete and can put the ball in the basket at a high clip. Rice’s size and skill combination at guard are as good as any in Ohio for 2023 and the Buckeyes have taken notice of that.
Gabe Cupps, 6-foot-1, Centerville
On the most minute level, Gabe Cupps is just a winner. This past winter he led the Elks to their first basketball state championship in school history, knocking off defending state champs Cincinnati Moeller in the process. Keep in mind too that Centerville graduated 6-foot-9 big man Mo Njie in 2020, and his 6-foot-8 brother Kebba transferred to La Lumiere in the fall. Nonetheless, Cupps just went on to average 15 points, five assists, and just shy of two steals per game as a junior. His height is no doubt a question going forward but he shoots the ball well, plays hard, and plays winning basketball. Ohio State has been in contact and the interest is mutual.
Rayvon Griffith, 6-foot-4, Taft
Rayvon Griffith is the lone 2023 prospect in Ohio that already holds an offer from the Buckeyes, and for good reason. He is a very special athlete and plays as hard as any player in the state of Ohio. With all that said, Griffith is also a bit of a projection player at the moment seeing as his ball-handling needs tightened up. He has always been one of the biggest and most athletic players on the court, so he is very skilled in the post but is also only 6-foot-4. Ohio State does however think that his ball-handling and shooting stroke is improving, which then makes this a no-brainer offer for Ohio State. He is already at the top of the priority list target for the Buckeyes.
Dailyn Swain, 6-foot-6, Africentric
In terms of upside, Dailyn Swain may have more than anyone on this list because he has so much length and athleticism. He also has a lot of skill to go along with those traits. When it comes to a shooting stroke, Swain may be second to only Cupps on this list. Swain also uses his length and effort well on the defensive end to shut down opponents. All in all, there is a ton to like about Swain long term and not much to nitpick other than his ball-handling, which will get better. Ohio State has reached out to Swain and they are evaluating the Central Ohio prospect, but what is next between the two remains to be seen.
Marlon Barnes Jr., 6-foot-6, Yspi Prep Academy (MI)
A bit of an honorable mention here as Marlon Barnes Jr. last played high school basketball at Yspi Prep in Michigan. Nevertheless, Barnes Jr. is an Ohio native from the Cleveland area and still has plenty of ties to the area. Before Barnes Jr. moved to Michigan, the Buckeyes had shown some interest in him and there is still plenty of interest between the two. As a player, Barnes Jr. is a very gifted scorer with plenty of upside long term. Other than Rice, Barnes Jr. could be one of the next Ohioans to pick up a Buckeye offer in 2023.
Austin Parks, 6-foot-10, St. Marys Memorial
Rayvon Griffith already has an Ohio State offer, Lawrence Rice could be next, and it would not be surprising if Austin Parks is the third Ohioan to get an offer from the Buckeyes in 2023. First and foremost, Parks is a huge human at 6-foot-10, which fits in the Big Ten. Additionally, he is constantly improving when it comes to skill in the post, whether it is offensively or defensively. Parks still has plenty of growing and maturing to do on the hardwood but his upside is fairly high. The Ohio State coaching staff has shown a fair amount of interest in Parks and he is a name to know once the Buckeyes can see him live.