We kick-off the position previews by looking at the point guards. The buckeyes return both point guards from last year’s team. Thad Matta will lean heavily on his two point guards to overcome the loss of Jared Sullinger and William Buford, two of the top three scorers from last year. Consistency at the point guard position should be a stabilizing factor as Thad Matta develops his new rotation. Without further adieu, let’s introduce you to the two stabilizing forces.
Aaron Craft is a 6’2″ Jr. from Findlay, OH. Craft is the unquestioned emotional leader of this team. He embodies what you think of a prototypical point guard. He is a vocal leader, but more impressively his effort on the court speaks for itself. The team will feed off his defensive intensity. Craft was named the Big Ten Conference defensive player of the year last year. The key will be can Craft continue to improve his offensive production and maintain his stellar defensive play. The buckeyes are losing 32 points per game. I look for Craft to fill some of that void. I was (pleasantly) surprised to see that Craft averaged 44% from beyond the arc in conference games last year, but that only translated to 35% for the season. I am looking for Craft to be more consistent shooting from outside which will help his ability to get to the basket for easy buckets or find open shooters on the wing.
Shannon Scott is a 6’1″ So. from Alpharetta, Ga. Shannon comes from NBA blood lines; his father is former North Carolina Tarheel and NBA player, Charlie Scott. Shannon is one player that should see his role significantly increase this year. Scott only averaged 10.5 min/game last season. Similar to Craft I am interested to see if Shannon has improved his outside shot. Granted the sample size is limited, but Scott shot an abysmal 28% from the field, including 6% from 3-point range, last year. If the exhibition game is any indication, Craft and Scott will be on the court simultaneously this year. Scott has to be a threat from the outside in order for that lineup to be effective. The jury is still out on Scott’s ability/potential. This year should answer some questions. He will have to play in Craft’s shadow the entire season. I will be interested to see if he can step out of that shadow and make a name for himself.