Big Ten Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

Season Preview: Ohio State

Last Season: 17-15

Key Losses: Jaquan Lyle

Key Additions: Kaleb Wesson, Kyle Young, Musa Jallow

What an eventful offseason it was in Columbus, following yet another disappointing seasons for this Buckeye basketball program. Due to health concerns and declining performance, Thad Matta was fired in June. In what were weird circumstances, Ohio State then hired Chris Holtmann from Butler to replace Matta – Leaving Holtmann at a disadvantage in terms of getting to know his team and on the recruiting trail. However, he was able to make up some ground quickly, bringing over Butler commit Kyle Young and securing a commitment from Musa Jallow of Bloomington, IN. Although, this was followed by JaQuan Lyle leaving the program. It will be an interesting first year for Holtmann in Columbus, hoping to just build some positive momentum for the program.

The Buckeyes don’t have the most talented roster in the Big Ten. They do, however, return a solid core of Jae’Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop, and Kam Williams. These are three guys who are proven contributors on past Buckeye squads. More than likely these three will produce a good chunk of the scoring and will likely be involved all over the floor. One guy who impressed last year was Micah Potter, who is returning as a Sophomore. He showed flashes of what should be a solid four year player for the Bucks. Another interesting pickup was grad transfer Andrew Dakich from rival Michigan. Not sure how much playing time (I would imagine a good amount) Holtmann plans for him, but he should be a great locker room presence for a program looking for a new identity. Forming a tandem in the post with Potter, 6’9” 270 pound Freshman Kaleb Wesson should create some weight mismatches in the post. He is still developing but I think he could surprise some people come Big Ten play. From Holtmann’s past Butler teams, we know he preaches fundamental offense and tough nosed defense. Not particularly crazy about the Bucks this year, but moving forward I would expect Ohio State basketball to get back on the map.

Of the returning players on this roster, I would have to say the most essential player is Jae’Sean Tate. He averaged 14 ppg and 6 rpg last season, very solid numbers. It may take some time for this team to find an offensive identity, but I expect it to start with Jae’Sean. He is pretty much the second coming of Roosevelt Jones. Plays very physical, not much of a jumper, but is very crafty with his game. Almost similar to that unconventional “old man YMCA” type game. Expect him to lead the Buckeyes in scoring this year.

 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Kam Williams

SG: CJ Jackson

SF: Keita Bates-Diop

PF: Jae’Sean Tate

C: Micah Potter

Ryan Dahlkamp
Sophomore at Indiana University. College Basketball is the greatest sport in the world don't @ me.