The second offer that went out over the weekend from Greg Gard and the Wisconsin staff was to 2023 4-star SF/PF Devin Royal (Pickerington, Ohio) out of Pickerington Central High School. Royal has nearly 20 offers currently and has already taken official visits to Iowa State, Marquette and Penn State. Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Rutgers are the other Big Ten schools that have offered him so far.
Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing around 210 pounds, Royal is listed as a power forward by On3 Sports and a small forward by Rivals and 247 Sports. Each site has him rated a bit differently, so I’ll just list them all here and let you, dear reader, choose which one to use mentally.
- 247 Sports: 3-star; No. 123 nationally; No. 27 SF; No. 6 in Ohio
- Rivals: 4-star; No. 102 nationally
- On3 Sports: 4-star; No. 55 nationally, No. 7 PF; No. 2 in Ohio
That’s kind of a wide range of rankings, but overall you can safely assume that Royal is a pretty good player! In fact, Royal had a game-high 20 points in the Ohio Division I boys basketball state championship game back in March, leading Pickerington Central to their second ever state title.
According to 270hoops.com, a great site for all of your central Ohio high school basketball needs) Royal averaged 13.1 points per game over his three years in high school (55 games) and averaged a career high 19.2 points per game (22 games) last year as a junior. According to 247 Sports, he averaged 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a junior as well.
In the first highlight video above, from the summer of 2021, you can see that Royal has a solid post game and a pretty smooth turnaround jumper. He can definitely step out and hit the three, but he appears to be more comfortable closer to the basket. In the second highlight video, from this past season, Royal has greatly improved his athleticism and has more of an above the rim game than in the first video.
While watching the first I was thinking that he would need to improve his athleticism and “bounce” and it really appears that he did that. Obviously being a year older probably helped, but you don’t get more athletic without working in the weight room too. He is finishing over and through people and the type of contact that would throw off a less strong player doesn’t phase him.
His confidence shooting jumpers appears improved too and he has a developing mid-range game which would make him a nice three level scorer. There weren’t many, if any, clips of him being a playmaker, which is fine. Not every player on the court has to be Chris Paul, but it will be interesting to see what kind of passer he is. While he isn’t tall enough to be a “traditional” power forward in the Big Ten, he is a smart rebounder that exerts maximum effort to get the ball.
During NIKE’s EYBL Orlando event earlier in April, Royal was named to the all-tournament second team. If you can’t read the embedded tweet, he averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game over four games that weekend. Wisconsin targets 2023 big man Gus Yalden (has a scholarship) was named to the third team while Milan Momcilovic (no offer yet) was named Offensive MVP of the whole tournament and also to the first team.
During this past weekend’s event in Indianapolis, Royal had a pair of monster games, going for 28 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals in their opening win and then dropping 22 points and seven boards in their second win of the weekend. His team, All Ohio Red, finished the weekend 2-2, but Royal really showed out and earned a couple of offers based on his performance.
Having already taken a trio of official visits, it would seem that Royal has an early list of schools he’s heavily considering. However, as his recruitment grows he may change his mind on some things. Getting him on campus for an official visit will be paramount in Wisconsin getting into the mix here, so we’ll see how that goes.