Huber Heights Wayne sophomore Lawrent Rice developing relationship with OSU
Ohio State extended their first offer to a 2023 basketball prospect a couple weeks back when they offered in-state phenom wing Rayvon Griffith out of Cincinnati Taft.
Griffith, who received an offer from Cincinnati about a week ago, was a no-brainer for the Buckeyes first offer in that class as he is one of the top 2023 prospects in the country and resides just about two hours from campus.
While the Buckeyes have not offered any other prospects in that class in the couple of weeks because they still are heavily occupied with 2021 and 2022 needs, they’ve been staying active with another in-state prospect, something that Chris Holtmann and company have been doing early on with big time prospects from the Buckeye state.
Lawrent Rice, a 6-foot-3 guard who lives not too far from Griffith in Dayton (Ohio,) has seen a real climb in his recruitment over the past few months, including some heavy interest from the Buckeyes.
Rice, who attends Huber Heights Wayne, enjoyed a very good freshman season, but similarly to Griffith and guys like Chris Livingston, he also had an offer before playing a single high school game.
Former Buckeyes assistant Jeff Boals and his staff at Ohio offered Rice way back on August 4th, 2019. While he didn’t receive any offers for an entire year span after this, his next one was a big one as Big Ten powerhouse Purdue extended an offer to the incoming sophomore last month on August 12th.
Central Michigan became Rice’s third offer on August 17th and despite not receiving any other offers since then, he has been in contact with a plethora of programs.
“The schools that I’ve been in contact with other than the ones that have offered me are Louisville, Indiana, Cincinnati, Virginia, Baylor, Syracuse, Georgetown, Michigan State, Miami (FL), Missouri, Dayton, Michigan State, Kansas State, West Virginia, NC State, Notre Dame, Murray State, George Washington, Valparaiso, and Ohio State,” Rice told BuckeyeGrove.
Clearly it’s only a matter of time and opportunities to play in front of more coaches for Rice to receive more offers as he didn’t have many exposure opportunities this summer yet still received a Purdue offer and has plenty of power five programs showing interest.
He told me that there are a few schools who he has developed a specifically strong relationship with, saying, “The schools that I have the strongest relationships with are Louisville, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Dayton, Virginia and Purdue.”
This led me to ask Rice about his relationship with the Buckeyes and how that’s been developing and it brought about some very good answers.
“My relationship with Ohio State is very strong. I talk to them probably every other week or so. They know a lot more than any other school about my family. I also had a zoom call with them and some of my family and it was great. They enlightened us a lot with how their university is and how family oriented they are. They really have everything a kid could want and need in a school,” said Rice.
“An offer from Ohio State would mean a lot to me. It would give me a chance to not only have a better life after basketball with what I could accomplish academically but also give me a shot to fulfill my dream of making it to the NBA. It would really be like my second home.”
He also mentioned Cincinnati and Purdue as programs who consistently reach out and show love.
“I also talk to coach Gee from Cincinnati and coach (Micah) Shrewsberry from Purdue every week. With both of them we usually talk about everything from the NBA to college basketball to life and school. Really just like a check in to see how each other is doing,” Rice told me.
Rice isn’t stressing out about his recruitment process at this point in time and rightfully so as he is just a sophomore and if he continues to improve and produce, the offers will take care of themselves.
Rice told me he is simply working and preparing for the upcoming season. At just 6-foot-3, the sophomore is an athletic freak with elite length who can handle it and hit shots from all three levels.
“I’ve been working on expanding my shooting range, making tougher shots with the defense on me, and finishing with contact at the rim,” said Rice. “I’ve also been adding weight and muscle as a big part of what I did this summer.”
Huber Heights is poised to be a big time threat in the Dayton area next season and as just a sophomore, Rice has the potential to help lead his team to a district title and possibly more. He knows that he will have to take a step up compared to his freshman season role and told me that he is prepared for that.
“Coach told me that this season I’ll definitely have the ball in my hands more so I’ve just been building my confidence and focusing on leading the team more so I can put us in positions to win games,” said Rice.
While he isn’t a top priority at this point in time, keep an eye on Rice in the years coming, as he is a special talent and an offer from Ohio State could really change his recruitment.