What We Learned From Ohio State's 88-63 Win Over Wooster

By Jimmy Longo on November 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm
Keita Bates-Diop

Ohio State played a lesser team with black and yellow uniforms and did what they were supposed to.

Behind a near double-double — 17 points, 9 rebounds — from Keita Bates-Diop and 16 points and seven rebounds from freshman Kaleb Wesson, the Ohio State men's basketball team defeated Wooster 88-63.

Here's a look at some of what we learned following the team's performance and the first game under Chris Holtmann.

Keita Bates-Diop is healthy and very good

After a stress fracture ended his junior season in early January 2017, the first in-game action for Keita Bates-Diop since went really well.

The forward was paramount in the success of the Ohio State offense. 10 points and six rebounds in the first half helped the Buckeyes get a little breathing room against Wooster. Seven more points in the second half helped lay it on for the Buckeyes.

Though it's early and the team hasn't played a regular season game yet, Bates-Diop looks to be back and better. Ohio State's season is contingent on the scoring and presence of Bates-Diop.

buckeye fans, say hello to Kaleb Wesson

Prior to coming to Columbus, Kaleb Wesson transformed his body and lost around 40 pounds to get in better shape for his freshman season. Early indications showed Sunday afternoon how much it paid off, with Wesson scoring 16 and making a fair share of effort plays.

After 10 first-half points for the younger Wesson, he got into foul trouble in the second. Though it didn't dismay him too much on the offensive end. Wesson was the second-leading scorer for the Buckeyes.

Of the other young Bucks, Kyle Young and Musa Jallow played 16 and 21 minutes, respectively. Young and Jallow each had six points. 

Whether or not Wesson comes off the bench or starts for the Buckeyes remains to be seen, but regardless, fans should be excited. Though he didn't show as much mid-range touch as someone with a comparable body type like Jared Sullinger, Buckeye fans should feel very excited with Wesson's performance before the regular season starts Nov. 10 against Robert Morris. 

the buckeyes were lethal on the defensive end

The Buckeyes really got after it on the defensive side of the ball. Every shot seemed to be contested, Wooster shot just 20-63 and committed 16 first half turnovers, with 24 overall. 11 of those came off of Ohio State steals.

The Buckeyes had 21 points off of turnovers.

An area of improvement for the Buckeyes can definitely be noted in rebounding. Ohio State was narrowly ahead 46-44.

Ohio State's Starting five

Starting the game for the Buckeyes was C.J. Jackson, Jae'Sean Tate, Kam Williams, Keita Bates-Diop and Micah Potter at center.

Subtract guard JaQuan Lyle and center Trevor Thompson and this lineup is vey similar to last year. All five started at some point. We'll see as the first couple games go along, but this is the first look at what will likely be the starting five as the season starts.

At this point, the only differences in the lineup I could see happening is the insertion of Wesson at center if the team wants to go big. Though with only 10 real expectant contributors, the minutes will be aplenty for starters and those coming off the bench.

The Schott Was Comparably Full to Last year

Early in the first half it was apparent that many fans were interested in what this team was all about. In comparison to last season, I'd definitely bet some money that there were just as many or even more fans at the Schottenstein Center for the exhibition than an average Big Ten game.

Granted, Wooster having a large contingent of traveling fans watching their team play in a big arena helped the number, a majority of the lower bowl was filled.

Now, are we saying the arena will be filled for a Thursday night game versus Texas Southern in a couple weeks? Absolutely not.

But all things considered — under Holtmann, the Buckeyes played hard, ran the floor, won the rebound battle and held Wooster to just 37.1% shooting, and the fans noticed.

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