Chris Holtmann: Kaleb Wesson Taking Offseason Conditioning Seriously As He Prepares for Expanded Role in 2018-19

By James Grega on July 17, 2018 at 8:35 am
Kaleb Wesson

Kaleb Wesson committed to Ohio State when Thad Matta was still the head coach, and before he arrived on campus, there were plenty of questions surrounding his game.

The main one, however, was the concern of his weight. 

Wesson shed around 60 pounds in between his junior year of high school and freshman year at Ohio State, and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team last year, averaging 10.2 points and 4.9 points per game. Still, as he enters his sophomore season, the biggest concern with the big man doesn't seem to be with his game, but rather keeping in shape for the 2018-19 season. 

"He is still trying to cut down his weight and watch what he is eating," Kaleb's older brother and teammate Andre Wesson said June 27. "That is probably the biggest thing. I am really excited to see what he does this year. He needs to work on his weight, but if he gets that down, he can be very special."

Andre, who is a year older than Kaleb, said the most difficult thing for Kaleb to cut out is fast food. However, as the two brothers are nearly inseparable, Andre said he is doing his best to keep Kaleb on the right path. 

"I definitely help him out, trying to get him to eat healthier and everything and work out more," Andre said. "We are working on it. We are going to get him right."

With the likes of Keita Bates-Diop, Jae'Sean Tate and Kam Williams gone, Kaleb is now the second-leading returning scorer for Ohio State. He will likely be asked to do much more this season on both sides of the floor and so far this offseason, has done all the right things in preparation for that. 

Speaking with Eleven Warriors on Monday, Chris Holtmann said the Buckeye big man has taken the offseason workout and conditioning programs seriously, adding he has been pleased with Kaleb's work ethic in that area. 

"He has been good with it. I think he understands how important it is. It will always be something that is important for him. He is a big guy, and that is something that a lot of big guys have to manage," Holtmann said. "I think his approach has been really good. We are going to need more from him in pretty much every area this year, as expected when you lose what we lost and he returns as one of our leading scorers."

Last season, Kaleb averaged 20.7 minutes per game, the least amount for any starter for Ohio State. This season, the Buckeyes have added depth with the addition of Jaedon LeDee, but Kaleb will still likely be asked to contribute more, making his conditioning that much more important. 

That said, Holtmann doesn't seem too concerned with Kaleb's progress in that area, adding that the coaching staff is finding other ways to challenge the sophomore before the 2018-19 season gets underway.

"I think he really has taken that stuff seriously," Holtmann said. "There are things that we can continue to challenge him with, where he can take that next step for sure, but that is just a continual process. I am pleased with the growth he has had in that area." 

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