Coach Chris Holtmann will have to wait a while to get a direct benefit of the verbal commitments of Justice Sueing and Kalen Etzler, but their announcements provide even more momentum for Holtmann heading into his third year as head coach of the Buckeyes.
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Sueing announced last Friday night he intends to transfer to Ohio State after two seasons at California.
Sueing, a three-star power forward prospect at storied Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., two years ago, led the Bears in scoring (14.3 points per game) and rebounding (6.0) last season.
“I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity,” he wrote on Twitter. “I also want to think my family, friends and coaches that have supported me throughout this journey as well.
“After a long thoughtful process and many prayers I’m excited to announce I’ll be continuing my career and education at THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (sic). #GOBUCKEYES.”
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Sueing is expected to sit out this season but will be able to practice with the team in anticipation of joining the Buckeyes on the floor with two years of eligibility left in the fall of 2020.
Etzler is scheduled to arrive a year after that.
He is a four-star power forward prospect who will be a junior at Convoy Crestivew, a Division IV school about 80 miles northeast of Columbus.
He scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Knights beat Berlin Highland in the state championship game at Value City Arena in March.
“All throughout my life I’ve dreamed of playing Division I basketball, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to pursue those dreams,” Etzler wrote on a Twitter. “After some time talking to my family, coaches and friends, I am proud to announced that I will be staying in my home state and continuing my academic and basketball career at The Ohio State University.”
The 6-foot-8 Etzler is the No. 51 prospect in the country according to 247Sports.com.
He is No. 2 in Ohio, trailing Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary guard Malaki Branham.
Etzler is the nephew of Doug Etzler, a former Ohio State player who was named Crestview coach last week.
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The younger Etzler is the first 2021 commit for the Holtmann, who currently has three more scholarships available for that year.
Adding Sueing leaves just one spot available for 2020, although that could change if anyone transfers or sophomore big man Kaleb Wesson chooses to stay in the NBA Draft pool.