C.J. Walker, Keyshawn Woods Making Positive Early Impressions on Ohio State's Veterans

By James Grega on June 13, 2018 at 6:01 pm
CJ Walker, Keyshawn Woods

Left – Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports, Right – Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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Chris Holtmann's first full offseason as Ohio State's head coach has been one full of intrigue, as he has seen major roster turnover after his first campaign. 

The Buckeyes are set to welcome in six fresh faces to the program in 2018-19 after losing the likes of Keita Bates-Diop, Jae'Sean Tate, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich to graduation. 

While the four members of the 2018 recruiting class won't arrive on campus until later in the year, two of the newcomers are already participating in open gyms and making an impression on their new teammates. 

Wake Forest grad transfer Keyshawn Woods and Florida State transfer C.J. Walker have already been in the gym with their veteran Ohio State teammates this summer and the Buckeyes are excited about what they are seeing. 

Woods, who will be eligible to play right away as a grad transfer, brings shotmaking ability along with an unselfish attitude, according to junior center Micah Potter. 

"Keyshawn does everything right. He could have a contested shot, and he will make the extra pass. He could drive the lane, help-side defense will come over, and he will kick the ball out," Potter said June 6. "I don't know if I have played with a guy that is that unselfish. (But) if it's an open shot he is going to take it, which he should."

When he takes the open shot, it has a tendency of going in. 

Woods is a career 42.5 percent three-point shooter and a solid 47.4 percent from the floor as a guard. His new backcourt mate C.J. Jackson said Wednesday that Woods' playmaking ability is something that can make Ohio State more versatile in 2018-19. Jackson should know, as they played each other multiple times in high school, with their schools separated by just a 20 minute car ride in the Charlotte, N.C. area. 

"He is a player that just knows how to play the game. There's not too many people like that, and I knew that from before," Jackson said. "He can defend multiple positions, so that will help us this year." 

Even though Walker won't be eligible to play in 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules, his influence is likely to be felt this year in the practice gym at Ohio State. Jackson described Walker as a hard-nosed type of player, which fits the personality of the Buckeyes' head coach. 

"He is talented and he brings toughness. He is one of those Coach Holt, tough guards," Jackson said. "(Walker will) kind of get in your face. He is not a back down kind of person. He will fit right in with us. He will be a tough person to guard every day in practice and seeing that every day will be good for us."

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