Jamison Battle's 3-Point Shooting Will Provide New Wrinkle in Chris Holtmann's Offense

By Josh Poloha on April 8, 2023 at 10:10 am
Jamison Battle
Matt Krohn – USA TODAY Sports

Chris Holtmann's teams, both at Ohio State and in his career, aren't used to having a player that shoots a bunch of 3-pointers.

It seems as though that will likely change next season.

The addition of Jamison Battle – the No. 25 overall player in the transfer portal – will provide immediate scoring, veteran leadership, depth and 3-point shooting to the 2022-23 Buckeyes on the hardwood. The latter might be the biggest area Battle could help Ohio State next season.

In four college seasons, including the last two at Minnesota, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward has averaged 7.1 3-point attempts per game. Throughout his four-year career, Battle has shot 35% from beyond the arc, including a career-best 36.6% in 2021-22 and a career-low 31.1% this past season. His seven 3-point attempts per game tied for the 70th-most in Division I in 2022-23.

Even in his worst season as a 3-point shooter this past season, Battle's 2.2 made 3-pointers per game would have been by far the best number for the Buckeyes. Ohio State was led by Brice Sensabaugh (1.8 3-pointers per game) and had just three players – Sensabaugh, Sean McNeil (1.7) and Bruce Thornton (1.2) – average more than one 3-pointer per game this past season.

Jamison Battle's Career 3-Point Shooting
Season 3PA/G (3P%)
2019-20 7.6 (36.6%)
2020-21 6.4 (35.4%)
2021-22 7.1 (36.6%)
2022-23 7.0 (31.1%)
Career 7.1 (35%)

His ability to knock down 3-pointers at a reasonable clip is something for Buckeye fans to be excited about, but the number of long-distance shots that Battle takes sticks out. Ohio State fans haven't seen that much over the last 21 years, let alone in the Chris Holtmann era. Anything over 5.5 3-point attempts per game by a player has been a rarity over the last six years. Seven attempts are almost unheard of, not only during Holtmann's time leading the Buckeyes but in his career as a head coach.

3-Point Attempt Leaders on Chris Holtmann Teams
Team (Season) Player  3PA/G (3P%)
Gardner-Webb (2010-11) Jonathan Moore 6.1 (33.5%)
Gardner-Webb (2011-12) Max Landis 5.4 (33.5%)
Gardner Webb (2012-13) Max Landis 4.9 (28.6%)
Butler (2014-15) Kellen Dunham 5.5 (41%)
Butler (2015-16) Kellen Dunham 6.2 (42.9%)
Butler (2016-17) Kelan Martin 5.4 (34.8%)
Ohio State (2017-18) Keita Bates-Diop 5.4 (35.9%)
Ohio State (2018-19) C.J. Jackson 4.9 (36.9%)
Ohio State (2019-20) Duane Washington Jr. 5.0 (39.3%)
Ohio State (2020-21) Duane Washington Jr. 7.7 (37.4%)
Ohio State (2021-22) Justin Ahrens 4.0 (35.4%)
Ohio State (2022-23) Sean McNeil 4.6 (36.9%)

Since Holtmann arrived in Columbus in 2017, Ohio State had its fair share of success and failure. While the Buckeyes have had plenty of talent across the board throughout the last six years, one thing they've never been really keen on is 3-point shooting, at least in terms of attempts. Their 3-point efficiency has been just fine, which is why Ohio State needed to shoot more from beyond the arc to take advantage of its efficiency. It's something that I discussed on Jan. 5, the morning of the Purdue game and the start of a losing skid that included 14 losses in 15 games.

Ohio State's 3-Point Shooting in the Chris Holtmann Era
Season 3PA/G 3P%
2017-18 19.9 (253rd) 35.3% (161st)
2018-19 22.1 (190th) 34.1% (199th)
2019-20 22.6 (134th) 37.3% (23rd)
2020-21 22.6 (132nd) 36% (72nd)
2021-22 21.5 (187th) 36.5% (48th)
2022-23 18.6 (306th) 36.8% (47th)
2022-23 B1G Play 17.3 (Last) 35% (6th)

Battle's ability to shoot so many 3-pointers will add a new wrinkle to Ohio State's offense next season, something that the Holtmann-led Buckeyes should take advantage of. It will be a part of the game that the head coach isn't used to having in one specific player, but one he and the rest of the coaching staff can use both as a decoy and to free up Battle's teammates, whether it's in the post or somewhere else beyond the arc.

If the left-hander shoots seven-plus 3-pointers per game next season, it will be just the sixth time since 1992 that a Buckeye has attempted that many shots from beyond the arc in a single season.

Ohio State Players Who Have Averaged Seven 3-Pointers Per Game Since 1992
Player (Season) 3PA
Duane Washington Jr. (2020-21) 7.7
Jon Diebler (2009-10) 7.5
Jamar Butler (2007-08) 7.3
Jon Diebler (2008-09) 7.0
Tony Stockman (2003-04) 7.0

With Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr., Zed Key, Felix Okpara and the No. 8-ranked recruiting class – Taison Chatman, Scotty Middleton, Devin Royal and Austin Parks – in the fold for next season, Battle's veteran leadership and ability to be an impact scorer to go along with his 3-point shooting will be key for Ohio State's success next season.

It will be up to Holtmann and his coaching staff to maximize each of the player's strengths and use rotations that will get the best out of each lineup. But Battle's addition gives Ohio State another player who can score and play multiple positions, which the Buckeyes needed with the likely departure of Sensabaugh along with the departures of McNeil and Justice Sueing.

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