Ohio State Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten (23-10, 11-7)


Ohio State started off the year hot, thanks mostly to a cupcake schedule. The Buckeyes entered conference play 11-2, but those two losses came against OSU’s only two ranked opponents. It was an up-and-down regular season in the Big Ten for this team after that, with road losses mounting at a furious clip. Through the struggles though, one shining star emerged, capable of taking Ohio State to the promised land.

Big Wins: 1/25 Indiana (82-70), 1/29 Maryland (80-56), 3/1 Purdue (65-61)
Bad Losses: 1/10 at Indiana (66-69), 2/4 at Purdue (58-60), 2/22 at Michigan (57-64)
Coach: Thad Matta

Why They Can Surprise:
Anywhere this team goes, it will be on the back of freshman point guard sensation D’Angelo Russell. Russell was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school, but was overshadowed by some of the other players. ESPN had him as a five-star player and the number one shooting guard in the country but just the 13th-rated overall prospect. Nevertheless, within weeks of the season commencing, two things were obvious. One, Russell has point-guard skills for days and doesn’t have to be a shooting guard. Two, there are not 12 better players than him in the country of any age, let alone 12 freshmen. He shoots it well from three and the foul line; he can score from anywhere on the court. His rebounding is immaculate for his position. Combined with senior Shannon Scott and a lot of young depth, Ohio State has some of the most productive guards in the nation as far as creating havoc on the defensive end, while also sharing the basketball so effortlessly on offense. For a team that lost so much leadership and firepower from a season ago, OSU retooled the roster almost overnight thanks to its freshmen.

Why They Can Disappoint:
If this team gets bounced early, it will be because the rest of the Buckeyes roster outside of D’Angelo Russell is not D’Angelo Russell. But in all seriousness, Ohio State has struggled to find consistent second options. Russell leads the team in scoring by a very healthy margin. Outside of him, Thad Matta’s club rotates in a lot of bodies but is mediocre at putting the ball in the hoop, although they do so efficiently. Without a strong inside presence (Amir Williams often can’t stay on the floor because of foul trouble), the load continually falls back on the backcourt. The lack of quality wins, especially out-of-conference, could also foreshadow this team’s undoing. The Buckeyes’ best win against a non-Big Ten team might have been blowing out High Point at home in mid-December.

Probable Starters:
D’Angelo Russell, Freshman, Guard, 19.3 ppg, 5.1 apg, 56. rpg, 1.6 spg
Shannon Scott, Senior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 spg
Sam Thompson, Senior, Forward, 10.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Marc Loving, Sophomore, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Amir Williams, Senior, Center, 6.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jae’Sean Tate, Freshman, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Kam Williams, Freshman, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Keita Bates-Diop, Freshman, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Anthony Lee, Senior, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Trey McDonald, Senior, Center, 2.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.0 (23rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.5 (54, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.8 (8, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (59, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (115, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.6 (59, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.3 (242, 11)
Rebound Margin: 2.9 (85, 5)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (27, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (47, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round loss to Dayton
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Iona
2013    NCAA    Third Round win over Iowa State
2013    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Arizona
2013    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Wichita State
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Loyola Maryland
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over Gonzaga
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Cincinnati
2012    NCAA    Regional Final win over Syracuse
2012    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Kansas
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Texas-San Antonio
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over George Mason
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Kentucky
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over UC-Santa Barbara
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Georgia Tech
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Tennessee
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Siena
2008    NIT    First Round win over UNC-Asheville
2008    NIT    Second Round win over California
2008    NIT    Quarterfinal win over Dayton
2008    NIT    Semifinal win over Mississippi
2008    NIT    Final win over Massachusetts
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Central Connecticut State
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Xavier
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Tennessee
2007    NCAA    Regional Final win over Memphis
2007    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Georgetown
2007    NCAA    National Final loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules