With the addition of Seth Towns, the Buckeyes are currently at their limit of 13 scholarship players. But if Kaleb decides to leave and/or another transfer happens, there will obviously be a spot or two open. If that happens, I whole heartedly believe they should use that scholly for a 'sit one, play multiple years' transfer at pg or bank it for a 2021 PG recruit in addition to combo guard Meechie Johnson.
With plenty of time on my hands, I decided to do a deep dive on the stats of the Buckeyes' trio of veteran guards, the schedule difference with DJ Carton and without, the injury history of the trio of guards, and the overall roster make up next year.
1. The Schedule - The biggest thing I noticed was that the 9-0 start that vaulted the Buckeyes to #2 in the country was a bit overrated: they beat 3 ncaa tourney teams. But the 8-3 finish to the season may have been underrated: won 6 games against ncaa tourney teams and a 7th win against a bubble team (Purdue). But here is the breakdown of the first 20 games with DJ versus the last 11 without him.
11 games against KenPom Top 50 teams
4 games against KenPom Top 25 teams
Though WVU would have had the #1 def (kenpom def efficiency) in the Big 10, here is how the other non conference opponents would have been ranked in the Big 10 by def efficiency: Nova (10th), Kentucky/Cincy/UNC (all 11th), and all 6 mid majors would have been dead last. Yes, worse than Northwestern and Nebraska.
10 of 11 games were against kenpom Top 50 teams.
7 of 11 games were against kenpom Top 25 teams.
9 of 11 games were against teams with a Top 40 kenpom defense.
2. The Stats
CJ Walker (w/ DJ Carton)
7.0 ppg, 44% FG, 72% FT, 1.70 assist/turnover ratio
(w/o DJ Carton)
11.1 ppg, 40% FG, 90% FT, 2.56 assist/turnover ratio
Duane Washington (w/ DJ Carton)
11.1 ppg, 42% FG, 82% FT, 1.11 assist/TO
(w/o DJ Carton)
11.9 ppg, 39% FG, 83% FT, 1.05 assist/TO
Luther Muhammad (w/ DJ Carton)
6.3 ppg, 36% FG, 79% FT, 1.3 assist/TO ratio
(w/o DJ Carton)
8.1 ppg, 42% FG, 96% FT, 1.18 assist/TO
The improvement of CJ and Luther is obvious. And though Duane's numbers remained generally the same, keep in mind two things: (1) he got thrown into the backup PG spot unexpectedly mid season (2) his numbers stayed the same despite playing a much higher pct of top defenses. The 6 worst defenses and 11 of the worst 12 were in the first 20 games w/ DJ.
3. Health Risk of the Trio of Guards
CJ Walker has played in 98 of 101 (97%) career games.
Duane Washington has played in 63 of 66 (95%) career games.
Luther Muhammad has played in 64 of 66 (97%) of career games.
* the 1 game suspensions of Duane and Luther are factored into those percentages
4. Roster Make Up Next Year
Though the odds are strong that those trio of guards remain relatively healthy during the season, injuries are a tough thing to predict. Although my scenario would not have a grad transfer pg has a safety net, this team will have two wings that are comfortable with the ball in their hands in Towns and Sueing. What that does is allow Holtmann to play a couple of guys that are more natural as SFs at the SG spot if need be: Musa Jallow and Justin Ahrens. This was not a luxury they were really afforded the last two years because their main wing (Andre) was mainly a '3 and d' type of player. They also may have a wildcard to play a little point forward (much like Ja'Sean Tate his senior year) in Justice Sueing.
If you made it through this whole post, first of all, congrats for all the reading. Secondly, if you still think they need a 'true' pg via grad transfer, that's fine. Maybe at least you won't be so freaked out if they don't add one.