As a vacation doubling as a bonding experience in the Bahamas comes to an end, the Ohio State basketball team dismantled the Providence Storm, 115-63, Friday night in Nassau.
Sophomore forward Marc Loving led the way with 19 points and freshman forward Keita Bates-Diop had 18. Senior forward Sam Thompson added 17.
Final box score for Ohio State vs. the Providence Storm: pic.twitter.com/4DqyVh1ldG— Patrick Maks (@maksimuspatrick) August 9, 2014
The Buckeyes shot 58 percent from the floor and out-rebounded their overmatched adversary, 53-26. The game was out of reach, and then some, by halftime:
at the half, Ohio State 62-20 after Scott drives length of the floor for a layup with under 3 seconds to play— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) August 8, 2014
While the exhibition game, which like last night's blowout win against the Bahamas All-Stars, means nothing for coach Thad Matta and Co. in respect to their upcoming season, it does provide a brief, premature glimpse of a team that says last year was "unacceptable."
Ohio State finished 25-10 after bowing out against Dayton in the first round of the NCAA tournament in March – its earliest exit from the Big Dance since 2009.
The goal, of course, is to go further next season. But the Buckeyes will need to find a way to replace leading scorer LaQuinton Ross and program stalwarts in Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Aaron Craft.
The early candidates to lead that charge are Thompson, senior guard Shannon Scott, sophomore forward Marc Loving, redshirt freshman guard Kam Williams and center Amir Williams. This was the team's starting lineup Friday night, according to team spokesman Dan Wallenberg:
Ohio State starters: Scott, Thompson, Loving, Amir Williams, Trey McDonald.— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) August 8, 2014
Ohio State also added Anthony Lee, a senior transfer from Temple, and Trevor Thompson, a sophomore transfer from Virginia Tech, to help its efforts under the rim. A freshman class that's been touted as one of the nation's best with Bates-Diop, D'Angelo Russell, Jae'Sean Tate and David Bell will should give the Buckeyes depth, too.
Russell, who some have pegged to contribute immediately, did not play Friday:
D'Angelo Russell is not feeling well, unlikely to play.— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) August 8, 2014
Ohio State outscored the Storm, 60-36, in points in the paint and connected on 7-of-15 tries from 3-point range. The Buckeyes turned the ball over 17 times, though.
The team will return to Columbus this weekend. Kam Williams thanks your for your fandom:
As the team exits the arena to head back to the hotel, Kam Williams says thanks for the support. #GoBucks.— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) August 9, 201