Its that time of the year again! Basketball season is officially here(technically the season doesn’t start til Sunday.) Nonetheless its here and its a cause for celebration. But before I get ahead of myself, I know we’re coming down the home stretch of the football season and the Buckeyes are right in the meat of the schedule, but please bear with me because its B-Ball season baby!
The Buckeyes, coming off of an overall decent yet lack luster season, are looking to make some huge improvements from last year’s team. OSU finished with a 24-11 record in Thad Matta’s 11th year. Thats not a bad record, but when you play in the Big Ten, which is arguably the best conference in basketball, that kind of record only lands you in 6th place. But bouncing back may be easier said than done, sense the Bucks lost their top two scorers per game, NBA lottery pick D’Angelo Russell and Slam Thompson. Russell averaged 19 points per game, while Thompson’s average was just over 10. However, Ohio State seems to be loaded with talent on this year’s team. Sophomore, Jae’sean Tate has a motor that doesn’t quit and is the leading returning scorer from last year’s squad. His role, as the new leader of this team, will bring an energy and a fire to the court, that we haven’t seen in the past few years. Not to mention, Keita Bates-Diop, the Sophomore Small Forward, will get much more playing time this season. Bates-Diop showed signs of tremendous talent last year, but he will have a greater opportunity to prove how he earned that four star rating, coming out of high school. Thad Matta and company also brought in the number one recruiting class in the Big Ten, which consists of five, four star commits:
C Daniel Giddens
SG Austin Grandstaff
SG Jaquan Lyle
SF Mickey Mitchell
PG AJ Harris
Ohio State is in a prime position, with the amount of talent they have on the roster, to make a run for a championship this season. Whether their lack of experience will hinder the Buckeyes has yet to be seen.
Around the country, there are always Freshman that jump right into the game and make a huge impact; Dick Vitale calls them “diaper dandies.” For example, Ben Simmons at LSU is a guy that everyone seems to be fascinated with. Some more names you should be on the look out for are from your typical blue chip programs such as UK and Duke.
Kentucky will play the #10 overall player coming out of high school last season, SF Jamal Murray; as well as the #2 overall and #12 overall players, PF Skal Labissiere and guard Isaiah Briscoe.
Coach K has brought in PG Derryck Thornton and SG Luke Kennard for his backcourt. They are the number #14 overall and #21 overall players respectively. Duke also signed the #3 overall player, SF Brandon Ingram.
Its looks like it will be anothet great year of college basketball and I can’t wait. If you want to check the Men’s Basketball team, Ohio State kicks off its season on Sunday against Mt. St Mary’s; but the kickoff marathon starts on Tuesday.
3 Kentucky and 6 Duke will play at 7:30.
Georgetown and 1 Maryland will start at 9PM, and 5 Kansas and 19 Michigan will tip-off at 10 o’clock. Enjoy the season basketball fans!