Kaleb Wesson Withdraws From NBA Draft, Will Return To Ohio State

By Colin Hass-Hill on May 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm
Kaleb Wesson

Kaleb Wesson isn't leaving Columbus quite yet.

After going through the NBA pre-draft process, Wesson opted to withdraw his name from draft consideration and return to Ohio State for his junior year.

He participated in workouts with the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics earlier this month, but eventually decided to retain his collegiate eligibility and hold off on beginning his career as a professional. 

“We really look forward to coaching Kaleb for his junior season,” Chris Holtmann said in a statement. “Kaleb received valuable information in this process. He and his family really went about this process in great way. We stayed in regular communication and I know he and his family appreciated the feedback they received from the NBA advisory committee as well as NBA organizations. As we begin the work ahead for the 2019-20 season I know Kaleb understands the work ahead and I know he is anxious to join his teammates.”

For the third season in a row, Wesson will start at center in 2019-20, manning the interior for Ohio State. He averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.9 minutes per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. He was awarded honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after last season, and he made the Big Ten All-Freshman team the prior year.

With one other true center – freshman Ibrahima Diallo – on the roster this season, Wesson will once again take up an important role. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man has a chance to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding for the second straight season.

Wesson's return to school puts the Buckeyes at their maximum of 13 scholarship players for the 2019-20 season.

  • Point guard: redshirt junior CJ Walker, freshman DJ Carton
  • Shooting guard: sophomore Luther Muhammad, sophomore Duane Washington Jr., 
  • Small forward: senior Andre Wesson, junior Musa Jallow, junior Justice Sueing (sitting out after transferring from Cal), sophomore Justin Ahrens, freshman Alonzo Gaffney
  • Power forward: junior Kyle Young, freshman E.J. Liddell
  • Center: junior Kaleb Wesson, freshman Ibrahima Diallo

Wesson's decision to remain in school did not come as a surprise. Neither ESPN nor The Athletic ranked him among the top 100 prospects for the 2019 NBA draft.

In order to improve his draft stock, Wesson must improve his finishing at the rim, continue to work on his shooting ability, gain more explosiveness and improve his defensive ability. Few NBA players have his body type, so he'll work to overcome some natural obstacles to improve his standing as a prospect.

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