4-Star Jallow Joins OSU Rebuild

By Jeff Rapp, July 9th, 2017

Chris Holtmann’s first month on the job didn’t seem to stop the flow of bad news surrounding the troubled Ohio State men’s basketball program.

Even though Holtmann convinced Butler signee Kyle Young to follow him to OSU, he ended up dismissing forward Derek Funderburk from the team for various shortcomings, watched enrollee Braxton Beverly leave school and create a major void at guard and then had local prep star Dane Goodwin slip through the cracks by decommitting and soon after pledging to join forces at Notre Dame.

That run of woe ended on Friday when Bloomington (Ind.) North wing Musa Jallow, a four-star recruit, committed to Holtmann and the Buckeyes. Jallow was set to enter his senior season at North but was in the rare position to be able to reclassify, which means he can enroll this year and jump into the world of college hoops.

The 6-5, 200-pound Jallow, who projects as both a two-guard and shooting forward on the next level, is expected to enroll at OSU for the start of the fall semester on Aug. 22.

With both he and Young now promised to the program, Ohio State’s roster suddenly looks a little sturdier. Former walk-on Joey Lane has been awarded a scholarship and likely will back up C.J. Jackson at point guard. The wing spots could be a strength with seniors Kam Williams and Jae’Sean Tate likely starting there with sophomore Andre Wesson and Jallow at the ready.

Young and Keita Bates-Diop, who is returning from an injury, will be listed as combo forwards while the center spot will feature veteran Micah Potter and incoming freshman Kaleb Wesson, who won “Mr. Basketball” honors as a senior at Westerville South in March.

Jallow was entertaining offers from hometown school Indiana and hinted at being willing to move out of that comfort zone, listing schools such as Vanderbilt, Virginia, Stanford and Virginia Tech. But he also was giving real consideration to Butler while Holtmann was there.

Buckeye fans who follow recruiting consider Jallow a fairly well-proven commodity. He often performs well at AAU tournaments and camps, and his size and athleticism make him a rather promising prospect.

According to the 247Sports Composite, he ranks as the nation’s No. 120 prospect overall, the No. 31 small forward nationally and Indiana’s No. 8 prospect.

Jallow is not yet a polished shooter but possesses a high ceiling and has a knack for making key plays. He’s considered a solid rebounder and capable passer for his size and could be molded into an elite defender. Some scouting reports on Jallow read similarly to the ones on former Buckeye David Lighty when he was a Cleveland-area standout.

His all-around prowess also is reflected in his statistics: 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a junior. That was good enough for him to be named the Bloomington Herald-Times area player of the year.

Jallow plays for The Blaze Select AAU program. He is expected to play in at least one or two events with that team during the July observation period before enrolling at OSU.

Interestingly, one of his better games at the prestigious Spiece Run ‘N Slam in Fort Wayne, Ind., saw him score 23 points against Goodwin and eventual tournament champion All-Ohio Red.