Zed Key, a 6'7 215 pound power forward from Glen Head New York committed to Ohio State on September 22. Key, who attends Long Island Lutheran High School, is the 2nd commitment for the 2020 class for head coach Chris Holtmann. Key is considered the 185th best player overall and the 37th best power forward in the class of 2020 by 247 sports. Key chose the Buckeyes over Florida, Cincinnati, and Illinois among others. Key's commitment did not come as a huge surprise as Ohio State was the only school Zed traveled to for an official visit. Prior to his commitment Zed had unofficially visited Florida, St. John's, Virginia Tech and several other east coast schools.
Zed Key and the NBA Top 100 Camp
Key played this summer on the Adidas Circuit with the New York Jayhawks averaging 13 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game while shooting an impressive 62.4% from the field. Key does not have a 3 point shot as he attempted just 4 over the 13 games played (making 1), but he does show a nice touch from the free throw line for a big man making 28 of his 38 attempts (73.7%). It was his performance at the NBA top 100 camp in June that reportedly really got the Buckeyes attention. In a small sample size of 4 games, Zed scoring stayed about the same (13.5 points), but he upped his rebounding (6.5 rebounds) and especially his blocks (2.5 per game). While you have to again not the small sample size that ability to be a force on the defensive end in addition to his efficient scoring had to make Key that much more of an attractive target for Coach Holtmann.
Keys Official Visit to Ohio State
The Buckeyes have told Zed that they envision him playing the 4 and the 5 when he takes the floor in Columbus next fall. The Buckeyes view Key as a physical post presence, but also let him know that playing the 3 (small forward) is a possibility if his outside shot improves. I think that is unlikely as most big men coming to school want to play on the perimeter, so this is probably a case of telling a recruit something they want to hear in addition to what they need to hear. Expect Key to play exclusively at the 4 and 5 during his tenure at Ohio State and for most of his offense to come within 15 feet of the basket. The coaching staff and the basketball facilities stood out as major positives for Zed during his visit to Columbus and were major factors in his decision to become a Buckeye. Zed's parents were impressed with the family atmosphere around the Buckeye program which added to their comfort in having their son commit to a school further from home than many of his other options.
Ohio States 2020 Basketball Class
Zed Key is the second commitment for the 2020 class for the Buckeyes joining Decatur, Georgia shooting guard Eugene Brown. Interestingly the Buckeyes have just one scholarship open for the 2020 class but NCAA rules allow the team to over-sign by one which the Buckeyes are believed to be doing as a hedge against junior forward Kaleb Wesson turning professional at the end of the season. Wesson tested the NBA draft waters after his sophomore season but decided to come back for his junior year. If it is Wesson who ends up leaving the Buckeyes at the end of the season adding a player with Key's skill set to replace him seems like a natural fit. While Key won't be able to match the physicality of the 6'9, 269 pound Wesson he does show a willingness to crash the boards and run the floor that the Buckeyes will need from the 4 and 5 positions. It is tough to find good big men especially ones who are willing to bang in the post and not float on the perimeter and Key is not the type to shy away from the physical inside work. With the commitments of Key and Brown, the Buckeyes 2020 class is currently rated 6th in the Big Ten and 29th nationally by 247 sports. The duo will join the heralded 2019 class of the Buckeyes which ranked 1st in the Big Ten and 14th nationally by 247 sports to give Coach Holtmann and his staff a talented nucleus for years to come.
Top 100 Camp 6/11-6/16/19