#12 Ohio State Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten
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Ohio State snuck into the NCAA Tournament last season, but the expectations are much, much higher than a mere 11 seed this time around. Coach Chris Holtmann has brought in the Big Ten’s top recruiting class and returns six of his top eight scorers from last season. This is still a young team, with just one senior on the roster, but there is experience and that will help get the Buckeyes close to the top of the Big Ten.
2018-19 Record: 20-15, 8-12
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Chris Holtmann
Coach Record: 45-24 at Ohio State, 159-109 overall
Key Departed Players:
C.J. Jackson, Guard, 12.0 ppg
Keyshawn Woods, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Jaedon LeDee, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Kaleb Wesson, Junior, Forward, 14.6 ppg
Andre Wesson, Senior, Forward, 8.6 ppg
Luther Muhammad, Sophomore, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Duane Washington Jr, Sophomore, Guard, 7.0 ppg
Kyle Young, Junior, Forward, 6.0 ppg
Justin Ahrens, Sophomore, Forward, 3.2 ppg
Musa Jallow, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Alonzo Gaffney, Freshman, Forward
D.J. Carton, Freshman, Guard
CJ Walker, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Florida State
Ibrahima Diallo, Freshman, Center
E.J. Liddell, Freshman, Forward
Justice Sueing. Junior, Forward, Transfer from Cal, not eligible
Kaleb Wesson and Andre Wesson are back to man the frontcourt. Kaleb led the team with 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds last season and will be in for a big junior campaign. Kaleb does his best work in the paint, but he can stretch out the defense by making an occasional three-pointer. Andre, the lone senior on the team, added 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. Kyle Young will once again add some quality depth in the paint. The addition of 6-6 forward E.J. Liddell will provide another dimension to the frontcourt. Liddell is undersized, but he is a tough freshman who can do a bit of everything. Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington both had productive freshmen campaigns. Muhammad averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 37.5 percent from long range. Washington played far fewer minutes, but took more shots than Muhammad. He could emerge as a prolific scorer with more efficiency. Florida transfer CJ Walker and incoming freshman D.J. Carton will take over the point guard duties from the departed C.J. Jackson. Walker averaged 8.0 points and 2.4 assists in 2017-2018 with the Seminoles. Carton will make some highlight videos, but Ohio State will need him to be consistent and take care of the basketball too. Once the freshmen come around, this will be an Ohio State team that can compete with Michigan State atop the Big Ten pecking order.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.1 (270th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.2 (47, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.4 (227, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (87, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (198, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (198, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.4 (85, 5)
Rebound Margin: 1.3 (136, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (116, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (139, 10)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#31 D.J. Carton
#38 E.J. Liddell
#43 Alonzo Gaffney