With college basketball beginning games on Tuesday and Ohio State opening its season on Wednesday, the Naismith Trophy dropped its watch list on Monday, and it included a Buckeye.
Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson is one of eight Big Ten players on the 50-player preseason watch list. The other Big Ten players on the list include Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois), Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland), Jalen Smith (Maryland), Zavier Simpson (Michigan), Xavier Tillman (Michigan State), Cassius Winston (Michigan State) and Lamar Stevens (Penn State).
A few weeks ago, Wesson was also placed on the preseason watch list for the Karl Malone Award, which is given to the nation's top power forward. Since he plays center for the Buckeyes, it's likely that he eventually becomes a candidate for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, which honors the best center in the country.
As a sophomore, Wesson averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.9 minutes per game.
During the offseason, Wesson dropped from 289 pounds to 255 pounds, hoping to both improve his game and increase his NBA draft stock. He impressed in an exhibition win against Cedarville with 23 points and seven rebounds, and he also led the team in scoring in a closed-door scrimmage versus Louisville.
The Buckeyes will take on Cincinnati to open the season at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Schottenstein Center.