Good work, Wigmon. Hard to argue with those rankings. Also difficult for me to see those 1-8 guys not all getting consistent mins. I think all 8 have a strong potential to start, though the only likely locks to start are the Wesson brothers.
Where it really gets interesting is 9-12. I could see a 9-10 man rotation with this team, but that would still leave 2-3 guys on the outside looking in.
My guess is Diallo will play 5-15 mins a game most nights. Just seems like they would have brought in a grad transfer if they thought he couldn't play some somewhat consistent mins as the back-up center. But it also would not completely shock me if he played minimal mins and/or redshirted. Hard to predict a raw, 3 star Freshmen's mins even given the fact there is only one other true center on the team.
Ahrens/Jallow- would not surprise me if it plays out similar to last year, where both players had games and stretches of the season when they played big mins, but both had plenty of games when they did not get off the bench. Gaffney's arrival brings up the possibility of even more inconsistent mins for that duo.
Gaffney- The biggest wildcard on the team in my humble opinion. He has one of the highest ceilings on the team, but how ready will he be ready to play his first year? It's definitely possible he is better than expected and plays 15-20 mins a game, making Ahrens and/or Jallow potential transfer candidates. Or I could see him struggling to get off the bench and becoming a transfer candidate himself. Probably be somewhere in between and have an up and down season like Ahrens and Jallow had last year, but who knows? It will certainly be interesting.
I don't really agree with you on the shooting front for Muhammad. As bad as he was the last 15 games or so of the season, he was pretty damn good for the first 20. He still ended up 2nd on the team with a 37.5 % from 3pt range. It's not crazy to think that the high #of mins Muhammad received through January, led to Luther slamming into a Freshmen wall and struggling mightily in February and March. I don't think he will ever be a great outside shooter, but I think between 35-40% from deep would be more than fine, given everything else he brings to the table. Hopefully, the late season slump was a one year thing.
I do think he needs to take the ball all the way to the rim way more often. He has a pretty good first step/cross-over move, but he almost always pulls up for a mid range jumper after he does that. Unless you can make that at a crazy good rate (i.e. Grant Williams from Tennessee), it is not a smart shot to take on a regular basis.
Any word on Sully and/or Buford? I love this squad, but even with the additions of Deshaun and Lenzelle, I don't see them winning more than 2 games without Sully.
Ahrens had offers from Purdue, Michigan, Iowa State, Xavier, Dayton, and others. He had an up and down year (as most non 5 star Frosh do), but he scored 29 in a Big 10 game.
I think he would have more options than MAC schools if he decides to transfer after next season.
Top end, you probably are right with Ja'Sean and Keita, but from 3-12, it's not even close.
The team 2 years ago, actually had 11 scholarship players: 1 was Joey Lane (love the guy, but not a factor in the rotation), 1 was Andrew Dakich (he was fantastic given his talent ceiling, but still was a walk on for 3 years), and Musa Jallow (a 3 star recruit that should have been a senior in high school).
Holtmann may not have a Big POY like Keita or a veteran as conistent as Tate, but he also has never had this kind of quality depth. Not even close.
I agree. If Ahrens puts up 29 pts a game, we should be in good shape.
Grad transfer from Temple that played one season for the Buckeyes a few years ago. Definitely was a major bust, partly because of injuries, partly because his solid stats from Temple did not translate to the Big 10.
I attended the games last year as well. And I agree they could use some youth and athleticism and I think they gain a little bit of the latter with the addition of Lenzelle.
But I completely disagree with your assessment that they can't go very far, as long as Sully is on the team. It was just 2 years ago they lost 88-83 in 2OT in the Final 4. If Sully and Buford join the 8 players they announced yesterday, it will be the same exact team as 2017, except replace minor contributors Dallas Lauderdale and Nate Miller with Courtney Pigram (played last year), Lenzelle Smith, and Deshaun Thomas.
Has their athleticism dropped off so much in 2 years that they couldn't make it to the Final 4 again? Also keep in mind, that 2017 team won every game by double digits before falling in 2OT in the semis.
This same team lost by 2pts in OT in the semis to the eventual champ (and the only team that has ever won this tourney): Overseas Elite. It also would have been nice if we had a 100% Jared Sullinger against Fredette's team last year. Not saying they definitely would have won, but you could tell Sully was a shell of himself after getting married and having a huge reception in another city the night before.
The core of this team played on multiple teams during the 2nd best 4 year period in OSU basketball history (early 1960s is the best). In those 4 seasons the Buckeyes won 123 games (average of 30.75 a season), 3 Big 10 regular season titles, 3 Big 10 tourney titles, 2 Sweet 16s, 1 Elite 8, and 1 Final 4.
I don't remember many complaints about those teams not being able 'to get buckets when needed.'
They no doubt need Sully to go really far in this tourney and possibly win the whole thing. But Craft, Diebler, Lighty, DT, etc were some damn good college players and they have been very successful overseas for a reason.
Oden is playing in the Big3 (3 on 3 league started by Ice Cube) this summer.
But I agree on Sully. They have no chance of winning it all without him.
I think Lenzelle (assuming he is still in good shape) helps a little in the athleticism department. Thomas may not help much in the athleticism department, but he automatically becomes their the #2 scoring option behind Sully (assuming Jared plays again). Lighty and Diebler are much better a #3 and #4 scoring options, versus having to be the #2 guy behind Sully.
The other spot they could really use an upgrade is at the combo guard spot, a player to play along Craft that can score, but can also back him up at PG. Taylor Battle (PSU) was on the roster last year and played great the 1st game. Scoonie hardly played him the 2nd game and he did not play in the 3rd and 4th games because he was getting married that weekend. Not sure if he will return, but if he doesn't, they need someone like him.
As much as I respect Leon Rogers, dude is over 40 and can still ball, I would love to see him replaced by Sam Thompson. Sam would prolly offer less scoring than Leon, but would add some much needed athleticism. And what Buckeye would not want to see a few more Slam Thompson dunks in person?
Umm....Deshaun Thomas is a new addition as well. Many of us fans have been hoping the last couple of years he would join the squad.
He watched the games in person last year in person at Capital, but he has never played. Huge addition, but it gets cancelled out and then some if Sully and Buford don't play.
Anyone have word on the Scoonie Penn coached team (formerly Scarlet and Gray)?
I know The Basketball Tournament is supposed to name all the teams on June 11th, but we usually know the Buckeye alumni roster by now.
It will be interesting to see who they add this year, especially after the BJ Mullens fallout last year. I would love to see Deshaun Thomas take the place of Leon Rogers at the PF spot. Leon is a heck of a player, but he is at least 40 years old, and the squad could use another dynamic scorer to go along with Sully.
I love the way the schedule looks for next year. Three marquee home games before Christmas (cincy, nova, and a Big 10 opponent), home games against Big 10 opponents that are the biggest fan draws (IU and UM), and Holtmann will most likely schedule another home game at St.John Arena.
The one thing that does slightly annoy me are the comments that put Izzo and MSU on a pedestal for their non-conference schedules. No doubt Izzo schedules tougher than most, and certainly tougher than Matta. But let's not act like Sparty does not have its fair share of cupcake home games, just like every other high major team.
Sparty's murderer's row last season: Northern Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, Louisiana Monroe, Tenn Tech, Green Bay, Oakland, Northern Illinois
2017-18: Ferris State, Hillsdale, North Florida, Stony Brook, Southern Utah, Oakland, Houston Baptist, Long Beach State, Cleveland State, Savannah State
Based on your post, I am guessing you watched some of the Oden-Conley team, some of the following season, and then you decided not to watch osu basketball ever again and pegged them as equivalent to Northwestern football.
I'll catch you up. That team following the Oden squad actually won the NIT. And after that Matta led the next 5 Buckeye teams to NCAA tourney 1st round, Sweet 16, Sweet 16, Final 4, and Elite 8, with multiple Big 10 regular season and tourney titles along the way, before the program started to go downhill for the next 3-4 years coinciding with Matta's poor health.
Holtmann took over a team expected to finish 10th-13th in the Big 10 and led them to a 2nd place finish and a 2nd round appearance in the NCAA tourney. He followed it up with another NCAA tourney appearance and an upset win over Iowa State.
You missed a National POY (Evan Turner), a two time All American (Jared Sullinger), and a Big 10 POY (Keita Bates-Diop). You missed multiple Top 5 nba draft picks (Turner and D'Angello Russell). You missed one of the best perimeter defenders in Big 10 history (Aaron Craft) and the Big 10's all time leader in 3 pointers (Jon Diebler). You also missed many other All Big 10 players: William Buford, David Lighty, Deshaun Thomas, and Ja'Sean Tate.
This season might not be a bad time to jump back on the bandwagon. They bring back a solid nucleus (the Wesson bros, Kyle Young, Luther Muhammad, Duane Washington, etc.) and add the #12 recruiting class in the country plus a solid transfer in CJ Walker. Plenty of room, go ahead and hop aboard.
Despite how successful Bo Ryan was, I have zero jealousy as a Buckeye fan. I just hated the style of play by Wisky, and still do today (not any different under Greg Gard).
I equate Bo Ryan to Jim Tressel in their approach. Both were highly successful and very consistent, but mainly boring as hell on the offensive end. But they both had a couple teams that were so loaded (Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr, etc for Tressel; Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, etc for Bo Ryan), they could not hold those teams back from being explosive on offense and actually consistently fun to watch.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that topic. Even with only 13 spots, I think it is pretty much inevitable that osu will lose 1-2 players with eligibility remaining every year.
'That's not the case with basketball.'
4 seasons ago: Austin Grandstaff, Daniel Giddens, AJ Harris, Mickey Mitchell- all transferred
3 seasons ago: David Bell (transfer), Jaquan Lyle (kicked off or quit, still not sure), Braxton Beverly (transfer), Derek Funderburk (kicked off the team)
2 seasons ago: Keita Bates-Diop (early entry), Micah Potter (transfer)
This past season: Jaedon Ledee (transfer), still a possibility, though unlikely, Kaleb or another player does not return
Obviously, the situation 4 seasons ago was not normal. And 3 seasons ago involved a coaching change.
But I would imagine 1-2 players leaving the team via transfer, early entry, discipline reasons, etc should be expected by every Division 1 team. How many years in a row have there been at least 700 D1 transfers in college basketball? I believe it has been at least 3 years.
That's why I think it is smart that Holtmann is planning on having a sit one season transfer every year.
I don't follow football recruiting that closely, but doesn't that happen all the time with football? I feel like the last few years, the Buckeyes have been over the 85 scholarship limit but it ends up working out that they get the number down by the opening game.
I get the sense that Holtmann expects at least one player to depart after next season in addition to Andre Wesson. My guess is they will have 2 others leave: Kaleb Wesson and one other who will transfer.
I think they will lose the Wesson bros and one other and sign two 2020 recruits (a big man and a sg or sf). They would be at 12 eligible players (where they stand now for this upcoming season) if it plays out that way.
I agree with some of the things you are saying, but I think your last point is probably why Holtmann went after Sueing.
With or without Kaleb Wesson as a senior, the 2020-21 could be pretty special given the guard situation. With no transfers or early entrees out of those spots, the Buckeyes could have a senior pg, a Top 40 recruit as a soph pg, and two Juniors that showed some nice flashes as Freshmen. Sueing is not the shooter of Ahrens, does not have the athleticism of Jallow, the ceiling of Gaffney, but he is a proven double digit scorer and solid rebounder, albeit in a weak league.
The one thing I noticed when comparing the Buckeyes with nearly every team that did well in the tournament is the top scorers/players for other teams were almost all guards and wings.
The Buckeyes have the potential to have one of the best backcourts in the nation in 2020-21. Sueing could elevate the wing position to a pretty strong level as well. If those spots are stacked enough, even if the Bucks have a raw sophomore and a true frosh at the 5 position, I think they can be a legit Final 4 contender.
They may be mortgaging their future a little by getting Sueing, but if that helps them become a Big 10 title contender/Final 4 threat, I am all for it.
Got ya. And I agree.
You do realize Sueing won't be playing next season, right?
Sueing is not eligible to play next season.
I like the fact that he is a lefty. If Carton, Walker, and Ahrens all return for the 2020-21 season, the Buckeyes could have 4 lefties in their 8-10 man rotation.
Seems weird that this story broke 24 hours ago and no else that covers osu basketball (11 Warriors, Columbus Dispatch, The Athletic, etc.) is confirming a likely transfer.
Not saying it won't happen, but kinda feels like Ohio State is throwing cold water on this story.