Shot-block­ing cen­ter com­mits for 2018

The Columbus Dispatch - - Sports Report High School Football Tennis Golf Soc - By An­drew Erick­son aer­ick­son@dispatch.com @AErick­sonCD

The Ohio State women’s bas­ket­ball team got the first mem­ber of its 2018 re­cruit­ing class Thurs­day, land­ing a ver­bal com­mit­ment from post player Aaliyah Patty of Mon­tini Catholic in Illi­nois.

Patty, a 6-foot-3 cen­ter, is ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz as the No. 18 post player in the class of 2018. She chose Ohio State over fi­nal­ists Mis­souri, Penn State and Wis­con­sin.

Patty is con­sid­ered a solid shot-blocker and played a key role in help­ing Mon­tini to a 33-2 record as a ju­nior. She scored 12 points and added 10 re­bounds and five blocks in a state quar­ter­fi­nal game in Fe­bru­ary to help Mon­tini reach the Illi­nois Class 4A girls bas­ket­ball semi­fi­nals.

The com­mit­ment comes nearly 23 months af­ter the Buck­eyes landed five-star for­ward Tori McCoy to round out their three-player class of 2016.

With much of its core re­turn­ing from the 2016-17 sea­son — the Buck­eyes lost McCoy and guard Kiara Lewis via trans­fer and for­ward Shayla Cooper to grad­u­a­tion but brought back the rest of their ro­ta­tion — Ohio State didn’t land a com­mit in the class of 2017.

High-vol­ume classes in 2018 and 2019 will be crit­i­cal for the Buck­eyes, who en­ter the 2017-18 sea­son with red­shirt ju­niors, se­niors and red­shirt se­niors ac­count­ing for eight of their 11 play­ers. Less than a month away from the start of the early sign­ing pe­riod, Ohio State re­mains in the run­ning for sev­eral ranked in the top 100 of 2018 re­cruits.

The Buck­eyes will face Ash­land in an Oct. 29 ex­hi­bi­tion and Ur­bana in a Nov. 5 ex­hi­bi­tion be­fore open­ing the 2017-18 sea­son on Nov. 10 against Stan­ford at St. John Arena.

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