Real Pod Wednesdays: Looking Ahead to Next Season After Ohio State’s 2022-23 Basketball Season Ends

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on March 15, 2023 at 11:55 am
Bruce Thornton vs. Wisconsin
Kamil Krzaczynski – USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State’s men’s basketball season came to an end last week, but not before the Buckeyes offered some hope for the future.

Ohio State’s run to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals couldn’t save the Buckeyes from missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years and finishing with a losing record for the first time in 19 years, but it did give Ohio State some much-needed positive energy entering the offseason and gave Buckeye fans reason to be excited about Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr. and Felix Okpara going into their sophomore seasons.

As such, we spend a little bit of time talking about the season that just ended but most of our time looking ahead to next season as we focus primarily on Ohio State men’s basketball on this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.

With the NCAA Tournament set to begin without Ohio State on Thursday, we also make our predictions for who will make this year’s Final Four and the biggest upsets we expect to see in the first weekend of March Madness. We also preview the first weekend of NCAA Tournament action for Ohio State women’s basketball and Ohio State women’s hockey’s trip to the Frozen Four. Finally, we discuss what we heard from Ohio State’s wide receivers and linebackers during the most recent spring football interviews.

The full rundown for this week’s show:

  • 0:34: Ohio State had a bad year, but Big Ten Tournament run gives them something to feel good about
  • 3:32: Freshman class growth is the biggest reason why Chris Holtmann will be back for another year
  • 5:37: Bruce Thornton will be Ohio State’s most important player entering next season
  • 7:46: Roddy Gayle Jr. and Felix Okpara needed time to grow, but their talent is clear to see now
  • 13:00: Justice Sueing and Sean McNeil stepped up their game to finish their collegiate careers strong
  • 15:30: Ohio State must bottle up what it did the last few weeks and play like that all season next year
  • 19:50: Is just making the NCAA Tournament next season enough for Chris Holtmann to keep his job?
  • 24:25: Making the Sweet 16 and contending for a Big Ten title should still be expectations
  • 25:45: Sueing, McNeil and Isaac Likekele weren’t superstars, but they’re still notable departures
  • 26:36: It doesn’t seem likely Brice Sensabaugh will be back for another year
  • 29:28: Assuming Sensabaugh leaves, Ohio State will need new scorers to emerge outside sophomores
  • 31:30: Will a lineup with both Felix Okpara and Zed Key work? We’re skeptical
  • 34:47: Who replaces Sensabaugh and Sueing: Tanner Holden? Eugene Brown? Freshmen? Transfers?
  • 36:59: Devin Royal’s physicality as a scorer should enable him to make an impact quickly
  • 37:49: Taison Chatman is the top incoming freshman offensively, but will need to get stronger
  • 38:39: Scotty Middleton should make an immediate impact defensively, but has to develop offensively
  • 40:06: Louisville’s Kamari Lands, Towson’s Nick Timberlake among early transfer targets
  • 43:50: Much like this season, Ohio State will need its freshmen to make an immediate impact next year
  • 45:49: Our Final Four predictions
  • 47:41: Our upset picks for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament
  • 51:04: A look at Ohio State women’s basketball’s NCAA Tournament draw
  • 54:39: Women’s hockey can defend its national title this weekend, but challenging matchups await
  • 58:26: You can breathe a sigh of relief if you were worried about Marvin Harrison Jr. returning punts
  • 59:00: Xavier Johnson is already showing why he could be one of Ohio State’s top leaders this year
  • 1:00:48: Ryan Day is still spending most of his time with the offense
  • 1:02:45: James Laurinaitis is already making a big impression on Ohio State’s linebackers
  • 1:03:40: Reid Carrico, C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers are committed to Ohio State despite unclear roles

Subscribe to Real Pod Wednesdays on your podcast streaming platform of choice (Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogle Podcasts) or listen to this week’s episode in the audio player at the top of the page.

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