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17-18 Season
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Scarlet & Gray Win 81-56 to advance to TBT Final Four
July 23, 2017

Tell me you have all been following the TBT championship brackets!  You know, the summer tournament where the winner gets $2 million and the top 100 fans of the winning team takes home a share of the money. Still don't have your interest peaked?  What if I told you that a team of former OSU players just made it to the Final Four!  David Lighty with 23 points and William Bufford with 21 points lead the team to an 81-56 win over a group of former Marquette players. 

What is the TBT? TBT stands for The Basketball Tournament  which is a 5-on-5 single elimination tournament.  This year 64 teams entered the field of play. Team "Scarlet & Gray" includes former stars like, Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Dallas Lauderdale, Evan Ravenel, Jon Diebler and the previously mentioned Lighty and Bufford.

Our Buckeyes will next play on August 1st against a team of former Syracuse Players for the right to play for the championship.

-Gregg Watson​
2017-18 Schedule Released
August 16, 2017

The 2017-18 OSU Basketball schedule was released today. The Buckeyes will play an exhibition game against the College of Wooster November 5th before the season-opener against Robert Morris on the 10th. Ohio State opens its Big Ten schedule at Wisconsin December 2nd and hosts Michigan December 4th before resuming conference play at Iowa January 4th. With the Big Ten Tournament moving to New York, the conference tournament will be played Feb. 28-March 4 at Madison Square Garden. 

For the compete, schedule check out the OSU Basketball page.  

-Gregg Watson​
Holtmann Lands 2018 Commit
September 19, 2017

Jaedon LeDee, a 6’8”, 218 lb small forward and #59 in the ESPN top 100 from Kincaid School in Houston, Texas has verbally committed to coach Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State men’s basketball program today. LeDee took official visits to Oklahoma and Texas A&M and unofficials to Houston, Cal and UCLA before committing to the Buckeyes. This is a huge get for Holtmann and company after losing 3 commits after Thad Matta was let go and losing Torrence Watson, a recent commit, who changed his mind due to personal concerns. This is a big first step for the coaching staff as they attempt to make a splash in the 2018 recruiting class after pulling in the #1 class in the Big Ten this year.

- Jason Harris​
Bucks Land Another 2018 Commit 
September 20, 2017

Chris Holtmann and his staff have added their second commitment in as many days for the 2018 class as 3 star point guard Duane Washington from Chatsworth, CA pledged his allegiance to the Buckeyes. Washington held over 30 scholarship offers but chose Ohio State over the likes of UCLA and Michigan among others. Washington, originally of Grand Rapids, MI, is the son of former NBA player Duane Washington, Sr. and the nephew of former NBA star Derek Fisher. The 6’3” 180 lb Washington is ranked as the 8th best player in California and among the top 300 players in all of high school basketball. Look for Ohio State to add at least 2 more players and potentially 3 to add to next year’s class with plenty of high level prospects considering the Buckeyes as a finalist in their prospective college decisions.  

- Jason Harris​
Basketball Bucks Add a Third Commit for 2018 
September 22, 2017

Coach Holtmann has started gaining some momentum on the recruiting trail as he and his staff gained their 3rd commitment in less than a week.  Luther Muhammad, a 6’4” 185 lb shooting guard from Jersey City, New Jersey has let it be known his intention to play for the Buckeyes next season. Muhammad, a 4 star prospect, is a consensus top 100 player in the country, ranked the number 71 overall player by 247Sports. He visited Ohio State the weekend of September 9 when the football team took on Oklahoma and was also considering West Virginia, St. Johns and Xavier. He will join Jaedon LeDee and Duane Washington as 2018 verbals, who committed earlier this week.  

- Jason Harris​
Holtmann Gains 4th Commit This Week 
September 24, 2017

Coach Holtmann and the Ohio State men's basketball program have had quite the week and it ended even higher as 3 star Small Forward Justin Ahrens from Versailles, Ohio announced his interest.

If the name sounds familiar to you it is because Ahrens had originally committed to Thad Matta and his staff. When the coaching changes occurred earlier this year, he put his commitment on hold. Fortunately, Ohio State's interest in Ahrens never waned, even with new coach Chris Holtmann and his staff taking over. Ohio State still has one more spot available for the class of 2018.

 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Stomp Colonials as Holtmann Era Begins 
November 10, 2017

The Chris Holtmann era of Ohio State basketball began as the Buckeyes rolled to a 95-64 win over Robert Morris on Friday night. The game also marked the return of Keita Bates-Diop, who missed the majority of last season with a leg injury. He returned in style, posting a double double, leading the Buckeyes with 19 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes.  Kam Williams added 16 and in their freshman debuts, Kaleb Wesson and Musa Jallow added 13 and 11 each. Robert Morris jumped out early with a pair of 3’s to a 6-2 advantage but Ohio State scored the next 7 and never trailed again, getting the lead to 46-26 after the first 20 minutes. Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 13 in the first half and Kaleb Wesson added 8.. On the night, Ohio State out-rebounded the smaller Colonials by a whopping margin of 51-23, while shooting 59% from the floor. The concerning number that jumps out is the 19 turnovers. Fortunately, they kept Robert Morris from capitalizing for the most part, as the Colonials were only able to muster 13 points off the turnovers.  

Ohio State played all 13 available players in this game and put 10 in the scoring column. Other Buckeyes making their debut, Kyle Young from Mansfield scored 4 points on a pair of thundering dunks and added three boards and Andrew Dakich who played significant minutes at point guard failed to score but did contribute with three rebounds and five assists.  

It was certainly a successful debut for Chris Holtmann and a game that a coach absolutely loves. They were able to win comfortably, he was able to get all his guys meaningful minutes and there is plenty to work on moving forward. There will certainly be ups and downs through the course of this season but you have to like what you see from this group. They play hard, they play aggressive and play a very up-tempo style and put an emphasis on maximizing the number of possessions in a game as evidenced by the 95 points. As we move forward, they will have to do a better job of decision-making and valuing the basketball but for today, it was a successful beginning.

The Buckeyes suit up again in the Schott on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when they play host to play Radford.

 ​- Jason Harris​
Ohio State Cruises Past Radford 
November 12, 2017

Ohio State moved to 2-0 on the season Sunday, cruising to an 82-72 win over Radford in the Schottenstein Center.  Keita Bates-Diop led all scorers with 22 points and completed his second straight double double, adding 10 rebounds.  Jae’Sean Tate also added a double double, dropping 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds of his own.  C.J. Jackson had a big game for the Buckeyes, scoring a career high 19 points and adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists as the Chris Holtmann era begins with back-to-back wins. Ohio State led after the first 20 minutes 44-34 in a half that saw the Buckeyes and Highlanders combine for 19 turnovers. With Ohio State up just 11-10 and struggling to get anything going offensively, CJ Jackson led Ohio State on a 16-2 run, hitting a pair of triples during the stretch that allowed the Buckeyes to gain some separation and enter the break with the lead. The second half saw Ohio State ratchet up the defense, holding Radford without a field goal for the first 7 minutes, going on a 17-1 run to put the game on ice. The Buckeyes coasted to the finish and led by as many as 25 before Radford ended the game on a 13-2 run to complete the scoring. Kam Williams dropped in 11 for the game to put four Buckeyes in double figures on the afternoon.

The same issues arose again for Ohio State as they struggled for the second straight game to take care of the basketball. The lack of a true point guard could hamper this team all season. Radford exposed the Buckeyes at times with backcourt pressure, creating turnovers and easy buckets. Unfortunately, for Coach Holtmann and his staff, Mike Conley Jr. is not walking through the Value City Arena door, so they must continue to work with what they have and that is a combination of C.J. Jackson, Andrew Dakich and Jae’Sean Tate running the point. They also must do a better job on perimeter defense as Radford was able to knock down 11 triples. Overall, a nice win for the young Buckeye squad who despite having some pronounced deficiencies do not lack in effort and hustle.  

Ohio State returns to the floor next Thursday when they host Texas Southern at 7 pm. 

 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Tame the Tigers, Move to 3-0 
November 16, 2017

The Ohio State basketball Buckeyes improved to 3-0 on the young season, surviving a late surge by Texas Southern and defeating the Tigers 82-64. Despite playing without Freshman Kaleb Wesson, who was suspended by Chris Holtmann one game for being late to a couple team functions, the Buckeyes cruised to their third straight win to open the season.  Keita Bates-Diop recorded his third straight double double, scoring 17 points and ripping down 12 boards to lead the Buckeyes. Chris Holtmann made a starting lineup change for this game, electing to bring 5th year senior guard Kam Williams off the bench and in his stead was young Freshman Musa Jallow and the move paid off. Jallow led the Buckeyes in the first half with 10 points and five rebounds, helping his teammates go into the locker room with a 42-29 lead after the first 20 minutes.  

The Buckeyes jumped on Texas Southern early in the second half, extending the lead to as many as 18 early before they seemed to relax a bit and after an 8-0 Tiger run, the lead was just nine heading into the under 12 minute media timeout.. The Buckeyes seemed out of sorts all of sudden on offense as the Tigers extended pressure to midcourt and got Ohio State, who looked very good most of the night carving up the zone defense, out of sync. After Bates-Diop drilled a three to get the lead back to 12, the Tigers once again responded. This time it was a 12-2 run cutting the lead to just two with a little over five minutes to play. That’s when the Buckeyes settled down and collected themselves and finally regained control of the basketball game.  Micah Potter who scored seven of the 13 during the run led a 13-0 run over the next 2+ minutes and the game essentially was over. For the game, Potter scored 17 points and pulled down four boards while going 9-10 from the stripe and possibly playing his best game as a Buckeye. Jae’Sean Tate added 17 points as well to go along with 7 rips. Musa Jallow added 13 and 6 for the winning Buckeyes.  C.J. Jackson, who had a dismal night shooting the basketball, hitting on just two of 13 from the floor including 1-9 from deep, did contribute nine assists to the winning cause. Texas Southern was playing without leading scorer Demontrae Jefferson was led on the night by Donte Clark who scored 17 points in the loss.  

The Buckeyes certainly showed improvement against a team that will win its share of games this season. They moved the basketball quick and fluidly and got to the open spots in the zone. The key to beating a zone defense is quick passing and ball reversals and I thought the Buckeyes were superb at that tonight. Also a big step forward in the development of young freshman Musa Jallow, who not only adds athleticism on the floor, he adds length on the perimeter on the defensive end and provides the Buckeyes an explosiveness that they don’t get from Kam Williams. So now, there is one more tune-up prior to heading west to play in the PK80 tournament in Oregon where the level of competition rises significantly. So far, I like the progression of this young group led by Tate and Bates-Diop. If they can continue to have Potter and Jallow play like they did tonight and get Kaleb Wesson back, they have a chance to compete on most nights. If anything, they play a fun brand of basketball to watch and it will be interesting to watch them grow and mature as a basketball team.

Ohio State plays again on Sunday when they host Northeastern at the Schott. Game time set for 2:00 pm.  
  
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Dominate Northeastern 
November 19, 2017

The Ohio State basketball Buckeyes never trailed and won their fourth straight to open the Chris Holtmann era, this time rolling past Northeastern 80-55. The Buckeyes, led by Jae’Sean Tate, jumped out to a quick 15-2 lead to start the game and never looked back, controlling the Huskies in all aspects and cruising to the win. Tate led the Buckeyes with 24 points, a career high, on 10 of 10 shooting from the floor, which was a school record for most made shots without a miss. The Huskies, meanwhile struggled on both ends as the Buckeyes controlled the paint early, out rebounding Northeastern by a dominant 23-9 margin. The Buckeyes’ length on the perimeter really seemed to affect the Huskies, who shot just 36% for the game, including 22% in the first half and by the time they got a little offense generated, the outcome was not in doubt.  

The Buckeyes were led on the offensive end by not only Tate, but also by Keita Bates Diop who added 19 points and 7 rebounds.  Kaleb Wesson, back after serving a one game suspension, added 12 and 5 and C.J. Jackson chipped in with 10 for the victorious Buckeyes.  

Ohio State's play down low was sparked in part by a return to action from freshman forward Kaleb Wesson, who missed an 82-64 win over Texas Southern due to suspension. In his first game back, Wesson repeatedly got inside against the Huskies and scored 12 points while collecting five boards off the bench. With the good things that were accomplished in this game, the downer was center Micah Potter limping off the floor midway through the second half with a sprained ankle and his status for the tournament next week in Portland is up in the air.  

Now the Buckeyes have finished the early season portion of the schedule and came through it unscathed, however, now comes a stretch of games that will test this young Buckeye team. A trip to Portland lies ahead for the PK80 Invitational, where Gonzaga awaits them first and following that will be a matchup with either Florida or Stanford followed by one more game in Portland. Following that tournament, the Buckeyes return home to host Clemson in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge before opening the Big Ten conference with games at Wisconsin and home against Michigan. We will know a lot more about this group after that long and challenging stretch of games. Until then, let’s enjoy a 4-0 start with a lot to be excited about for the future of the program.

Next up, Ohio State will fly to the west coast and play in the PK 80 Invitational in Oregon, where they will play Gonzaga at 12 midnight on Thanksgiving night.  
  
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Fall to #17 Zags 
November 24, 2017

The Ohio State basketball Buckeyes lost their first game of the Chris Holtmann era, falling to the 17th ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the early morning hours 86-59. The game, the first of 3 that the Buckeyes will play in Portland, Oregon in the PK80 Invitational tournament, didn’t tip until after 12:30 am eastern but the Buckeyes came out to play early. The Buckeyes went toe to toe with the Zags, a participant in last year’s final four, due to some hot shooting from Musa Jallow and C.J. Jackson who found their stroke early. However, they got out of sorts offensively late in the half as the Bulldogs scored the last 12 of the half to lead by 13 at the break. The Buckeyes failed to score in the last 7:48 of the half and the Zags took full advantage heading into the locker room with a comfortable lead. Jackson led the Buckeyes in the first 20 minutes with 10 and Jallow added 8. However, due to an ankle injury, center Micah Potter was forced to sit out of this game and the lack of depth was felt as freshman Kaleb Wesson had to shoulder the load in the post. It came back to haunt the Buckeyes, as late in the half Wesson picked up a 3rd foul as Kyle Young was waiting at the scorer’s table to replace him so an already thin front line got much thinner.

The second half was more of the same as the Zags bumped the lead quickly to 19 with a pair of 3’s and Chris Holtmann was forced to call a quick timeout as the Buckeyes looked defeated. Following the timeout, the Buckeyes scored 5 quick points, all by senior forward Jae’Sean Tate and went into the under 16 with a little momentum. But, Gonzaga, who shot the ball well all night, went back to work and extended the lead to 22 and the game was for all intents and purposes over. The Buckeyes, after starting the game 5 of 7 from 3, went ice cold, hitting only 1 of their next 13 and with a clear depth issue in the paint, they had to shoot much better to compete in this game and unfortunately, they did not. On the flip side, the Zags hit 12 of 25 from long range and looked comfortable for the majority of the game. Tate and Jackson led Ohio State with 12 apiece and Kaleb Wesson added 10.  Keita Bates-Diop chipped in 7 to go along with 10 rebounds for the losing Buckeyes.

It was most definitely a good experience for the young Buckeye group. They fell into some old habits at times of settling for long jumpers, but a lot of that was due to the Zags stellar defense on the interior forcing the smallish Buckeyes outside the paint.  

The Buckeyes are certainly not elite for now and they are a long way from it, but they didn’t quit. They just ran into a better team that shot the ball extremely well. There will be better days in the future and hopefully they will learn from this one and come out in game 2 ready to go and bounce back. 
 

Ohio State plays again in Portland later tonight against the Stanford Cardinal. Tip time for that one is approximately 9 pm Eastern.  
  
 ​- Jason Harris​
Bucks Bounce Back, Defeat Stanford 
November 24, 2017

Less than 24 hours after struggling through a beat down at the hands of Gonzaga, Ohio State rebounded to knock off Stanford in the consolation round of the PK80 Invitational in Portland, Oregon by a final score of 79-71. After getting off to a slow start, a run late in the first half and early in the 2nd propelled the Buckeyes to a solid victory. Down 10 with less than 3 minutes remaining in the first half, Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes on an 11-1 run to finish the half and tie the game. During the run, Bates-Diop drilled 3 big triples, part of his first half team high 12, to give the Buckeyes momentum heading to the locker room. Prior to that run, Ohio State had scored just 49 points in the previous 55:15 of game time dating back to midway through the first half of the Gonzaga game when they trailed 33-31. Although the offense struggled against the length of the Cardinal zone other than the late push, the Buckeyes were able to convert 9 Stanford turnovers into 12 points which enabled them to stay in the game. On the flip side, the Cardinal had 0 points off just 5 Buckeye turnovers in the first half.  

The Buckeyes (5-1) carried the momentum into the second half where they were able to take control of the game and grab a lead they would never relinquish. During the first 6 minutes of the second half, Ohio State outscored Stanford 16-6, taking a 10-point lead and forcing Stanford to call a timeout with just under 14 minutes to play.  C.J. Jackson and Jae’Sean Tate took over the game offensively in the 2nd 20 minutes. Tate scored 10 of his 14 and Jackson dropped in 16 of his game and career high 23 as the Buckeyes found a rhythm offensively. Ohio State began to get their offense going from the inside out, which created open looks on the perimeter for Jackson, and he converted, connecting on 4 of his 6 attempts from deep. With Tate penetrating and getting to the rim, it collapsed the defense and allowed some good looks, and to their credit, they took advantage. Both Bates-Diop and Tate finished with double-doubles, with Bates-Diop grabbing 11 boards and 18 points and Tate adding 10 rips to go along with the aforementioned 14 points.  Kaleb Wesson added 10 big points while battling foul trouble all game long and ultimately fouling out.  

Overall a solid win for the Buckeyes, who showed that not only could they bounce back from adversity in the loss to Gonzaga, but that they could find a way to grind out a win when things weren’t going their way offensively early. This team has a chance to compete on most nights when Bates-Diop is engaged offensively and looking to score and if Kaleb Wesson can understand how to play a little more in control and avoid silly fouls, he could be a big presence in the paint, which is something Ohio State hasn’t had since Jared Sullinger.  

With the win, Ohio State will play its final game in the PK80 against Chris Holtmann’s former team in the Butler Bulldogs. That game will tip at either 3 or 3:30 on Sunday afternoon.  
  
 ​- Jason Harris​
Big Comeback Propels Buckeyes to 2-0 Big Ten Start 
December 4, 2017

Ohio State, less than 48 hours removed from a big road win at Wisconsin, dug out of a huge first half hole, rallying to defeat Michigan 71-62 to move to 2-0 in Big Ten play and 7-3 overall. It was a game of big runs on both sides as Michigan could do no wrong early turning a 6 point lead at the 8 minute mark into a 16 point advantage just 5 minutes later, utilizing their quickness and hot shooting from deep to build a big lead. That lead quickly stretched to 20 and it looked like it would be a tough night for Ohio State. Just when you thought they were out of it and mentally exhausted from the quick turnaround, a Keita Bates-Diop 3, combined with a foul in the post put Kaleb Wesson to the stripe and he buried both and the Buckeyes in one possession cut the lead to 15. A thunderous slam from Jae’Sean Tate from the right baseline capped off a 7-0 run that left Ohio State with momentum but still trailing 43-30 as both teams went to the locker room.  

The momentum carried over into the second half as a quick 5-0 run cut the Michigan lead to just 8, forcing coach John Beilein to take a timeout with just under 18 minutes remaining to try an stem the tide. That didn’t happen. Keyed by suffocating defense, Ohio State kept the foot on the gas and heading into the under 16 timeout, the lead was cut to just 5. When Michigan finally did hit a 3 from the left corner, it ended a 16-0 run spanning both halves and had cut the lead to just 4. The Buckeyes finally took their first lead of the game at the 12:29 mark on Bates-Diop’s two free throws and that lead was stretched to 5 with 9 minutes to go, forcing Michigan to call another timeout. Each team traded baskets before Michigan went on a 9-0 run of their own, turning the Buckeye 5 point lead into a 4 point deficit. That lead would be short lived as Ohio State clamped down on defense again and after a Tate runner in the lane got the Buckeyes within two, a Kam Williams jumper with just under 4 minutes to go tied the game and the Buckeyes would not trail again. The rest of the damage by Ohio State came at the free throw line, burying 11 of their final 12 attempts and playing lock down defense to secure the win. Bates-Diop led Ohio State with 18 points and 9 rebounds and C.J. Jackson, who once again came off the bench, added 17 and Tate chipped in 14 for the winners. Michigan, who was led by Moritz Wagner’s 14 shot just 17% from the floor in the second half as Ohio State ramped up the intensity, not only guarding better on the perimeter, but frustrating Michigan with active hands in the post as well. Ohio State also did a much better job taking care of the ball in the second half, turning it over just 3 times compared to 7 in the opening 20 minutes.  

I’ll take a show of hands from those of you who thought Ohio State would be sitting at 2-0 and tied for first in the Big Ten going into January. I bet even the most die-hard Buckeye fans wearing scarlet and gray glasses wouldn’t have expected this, but that’s exactly what we have. This is a fun basketball team to watch. They play with tremendous energy and have no quit in them. It’s a refreshing style of basketball after the last few years of having some complacency in the program. There will be some ups and downs with this team because it is a young group but enjoy what they have done and will continue to do as the season progresses. For now, enjoy first place Buckeye nation, it may not last all season but it’s fun being back on top again, if only for a few more weeks.

The Buckeyes head back out of conference for the rest of December, hosting the William and Mary Tribe on Saturday in the Schott. Tip for that game is high noon.
   
 ​- Jason Harris​
Ohio State Drops Second Straight 
November 29, 2017

Ohio State fell to 5-3 on the young season, dropping their second straight and third in four games, this time to Clemson in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge by a final score of 79-65. For the second straight game, the Buckeyes blew a double-digit lead in the second half. Early, it looked like it might be Ohio State’s night as they rushed out to a 22-11 lead entering the under 12 timeout. After the Buckeyes stretched the lead to 13, Clemson went on a 10-0 run before the Buckeyes stretched it out again and when Kaleb Wesson drained a 3 from the top of the key, the Buckeyes went into the break with a 37-30 lead and all was well.  

The Buckeyes were able to stretch the lead to 11 early and forced Clemson to take a timeout with 17:35 to go in the game. The Tigers came out of the timeout roaring, cutting the lead to just 3 at the 14 minute mark. The Buckeyes clung to a 2 point advantage with a 11:49 to go as the teams went to the benches for the under 12 timeout. From there it was all Clemson, taking their first lead since 3-0 at the 11:05 mark and never trailed again, outscoring the Buckeyes 42 to 18 the rest of the way, as the Buckeyes looked lethargic on both ends of the floor. Some of that could be due to the recent travel schedule, as they seemed to run out of gas.  Keita Bates-Diop led Ohio State with 21 and Kaleb Wesson added 15 for the losing Buckeyes. 

Ohio State has a lot of work to do. That much is obvious. They struggle handling the basketball. They have little movement on offense and if they aren’t hitting shots, they struggle to put the ball in the basket. Couple that with the poor free throw shooting and it’s a recipe for disaster. Tonight was a microcosm of their struggles thus far this season. They must do a better job of getting the ball in the paint and working the offense from the inside out. The second half the Buckeyes were clearly worn down, turning the ball over 9 times, hitting just 7 of 15 from the stripe and 1 of 6 from deep. Chris Holtmann and company better figure it out quick because it doesn’t get any easier from here as conference play begins Saturday.  

It gets real for the Buckeyes as they start Big Ten play, travelling to Wisconsin to play the Badgers at 5PM on Saturday, a few hours before the Buckeyes and Badgers get after it on the gridiron in Indianapolis.
   
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Win Big Ten Opener 
December 2, 2017

The Basketball Buckeyes kicked off an all Buckeye and Badger Saturday by rolling past the basketball Badgers, dominating from start to finish in an 83-58 win to open the Big Ten season. With the Buckeyes struggling to take care of the basketball in blowing leads in their last two games against Clemson and Butler, coach Chris Holtmann changed his starting lineup, inserting Kam Williams at the 2 and moving Jae’Sean Tate to the point and electing to bring C.J. Jackson off the bench. That change worked in spades as Tate and his teammates scorched the nets early, shooting nearly 80% from the floor in the first half, and hitting 7 for 7 from long range and 18 of 23 overall in route to a 23 point first half lead. The first half was all Buckeyes on both ends holding the badgers to just 5 made field goals. 

Early in the second half it was more dominance as the Buckeyes turned to the post, feeding big man Kaleb Wesson and a 12-2 run early built the lead as large as 35 and the rout was on. Wesson led the Buckeyes with 19 and the double-double machine, Keita Bates-Diop finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Buckeyes gave the Badgers their worst loss at Kohl Center since 1998. Tate added 16 and Jackson 10 as Ohio State opened the Big Ten season with a big road win.  

So, Ohio State now sits at 6-3 and will play one more conference game in December, hosting Michigan on Monday. This team clearly has talent and after blowing leads in their last two losses, they clearly could be even better record wise. They have a chance with a home game next, to get the conference slate started with momentum. The Buckeyes lack depth but they have the ability as seen today, and can make some noise in an average conference and a road win at one of the more difficult venues proves that. When they are making shots like they were tonight, they are dangerous, but they showed in the second half how they can be especially good when they are starting the offense by going inside to Wesson who has a chance to be very special. The lineup change paid dividends today but long term bringing Jackson off the bench can be beneficial to him and the team by allowing him to understand how teams are defending and can come in a provide a spark. The future is certainly bright and days like this only excites me more because of the potential of how good this team can be. They won’t always shoot as well as they did in the first half, but the proved in the second half that they aren’t just one dimensional.  

The Buckeyes continue the early season Big Ten play as they host the team up north on Monday evening at 6:30 PM in the Schott.
   
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Return To Non-Conference Schedule With Another Win 
December 9, 2017

The Ohio State Basketball Buckeyes played a couple of bigs down but it didn’t matter as Ohio State rolled past William and Mary 97-62. Playing without Micah Potter and Kyle Young. The depth of Ohio State was challenged and despite looking a little sleepy early on the defensive end, they woke up and ran past the Tribe, locking down their defense and getting whatever they wanted in the paint against a combination man and zone defense employed by William and Mary. With both bigs out, the lone post player was Kaleb Wesson so Keita Bates-Diop was forced to play both the 4 and 5 and although he struggled at times defensively, broke out with a career high 27 points, hitting 11 of his 16 attempts, with many of them coming from the middle of the zone.  

The Buckeyes knew they’d have to stretch the floor defensively due to the Tribe’s propensity to shoot the 3 ball and early they were exposed with dribble drive penetration. Once they shored that up, they blew the game open late in the first half. After trading buckets early and trailing by a point with just over 12 minutes left in the first half, the Buckeyes went on a 27-4 run that sealed the win, going into the locker room with a 16 point lead. For the game, they held the Tribe to just 5 of 16 from long range, well below their season average of 47%. The second half was more of the same as the Bucks hit 10 of their first 11 shot attempts and built the lead to 40 before finishing with the 35-point win. Bates-Diop led all scorers with 27 while Kaleb Wesson, who was very effective early, finished with 17 and C.J. Jackson, who was re-inserted into the starting lineup finished with 16 and Kam Williams added 13 for the Buckeyes who moved to 8-3 on the season.

Now the Buckeyes take a bit of a break to complete final exams, but riding a bit of a high, winning 3 in a row, including the 2 conference wins. This was a game that was challenging on paper due to the Tribe’s ability to shoot the basketball but to their credit, after the sluggish start, they rose to the challenge and will feel pretty confident about themselves going into the week off. They have demonstrated an ability to hit from deep, while the offense certainly flows best coming from the interior with Wesson and the length of Bates-Diop and strength of Jae’Sean Tate. They have a couple of tune-ups prior to the showdown in New Orleans with the defending national champion North Carolina Tarheels.

Next up is a home tilt with the Appalachian State Mountaineers next Saturday evening. Tip time for that game is 6pm. 
   
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Lose By a Point in Overtime 
November 27, 2017

The Buckeyes appeared to be in control in regulation, with a 16 point lead in the second half. Yet Butler came back to close within 59-54 on Kelan Martin's 3-pointer with 1:31 left in regulation. Nate Fowler added a pair of free throws for the Bulldogs to get even closer. Kamar Baldwin's 3-pointer with 16 seconds left tied it at 59. Then Martin hit a layup with 3.8 seconds left and Butler edged Ohio State 67-66 in overtime on Sunday for the final day of the Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
 
Buckeyes Battle But Fall to Tarheels 
December 23, 2017

The Ohio State basketball Buckeyes showed they belonged but fell short of the upset, falling to the hot shooting 5th ranked North Carolina Tarheels by a final score of 86-72. Carolina struggled to get anything going inside but the perimeter was a different story, scorching the nets for 13 three’s. The long range shooting, combined with a late first half run was the difference in the Tarheel victory. The Buckeyes creeped as close as 9 and had the ball with under 6 minutes remaining, but a couple turnovers and runouts from the Tarheels ballooned the lead to 19 with under 4 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes didn’t quit, cutting the lead to 12 after Keita Bates-Diop completed an old fashioned three point play with just under 2 minutes to go, and then to 9 after a Bates-Diop triple with a minute remaining, but they just had too big a hole to climb out of against a team as talented as the defending national champions. Ohio State was led in scoring by Bates-Diop who dropped in 26 and C.J. Jackson added 19.  Kaleb Wesson chipped in 12, all in the second half for the Buckeye attack. Jae’Sean Tate added 9 points and 9 rebounds as the Buckeyes fell to 10-4 with one more game in December. 

The first half went back and forth early but thanks to some poor officiating, 9 triples from the Heels and foul trouble to the two Buckeye leaders, Bates-Diop and Tate, the Tarheels went to the locker room with a 14-point cushion. Bates-Diop, playing several minutes with 2 fouls, hit a free throw, completing a 3 point play and tying the game at 23, then exiting for the half. Following his exit, the Tarheels finished the half on an 18-4 run and all but killing Ohio State’s hopes of an upset. Jackson, who scored Ohio State’s first 11 of the game, led the Buckeyes with 15 in the first half, while Bates-Diop in limited minutes, added 7.

A win in a game like this certainly would’ve helped the resume, but a loss doesn’t necessarily hurt it. There are plenty of positives to take from this game as well as some things they will need to shore up to win a game of this magnitude. They were most definitely hurt by some poor officiating and key players in foul trouble but it wasn’t necessarily the reason they came up short. Overall, this is looking more and more like a team that will belong in the dance in March but they will need to come up with some big wins in the conference to solidify their stance. Fortunately, this is an improving team and there are several opportunities for a signature win or two.

Ohio State will finish 2017, hosting the Miami Redhawks in the Schott, next Saturday. Tip time is high noon.

 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Down Mountaineers 
December 16, 2017

Ohio State coming off a week layoff didn’t miss a beat, rolling to their 4th straight victory, defeating Appalachian State 80-67, moving to 9-3 on the season. The Buckeyes opened up a somewhat close game early, going on a 6-0 run late in the half, capped off by a great hustle play by Keita Bates-Diop. He dove on the floor near the midcourt stripe, scooping the loose ball and having the presence of mind to pitch it to Andrew Dakich, who drove to the rim, spun and found a streaking Jae’Sean Tate for the slam, stretching the lead to 10 and ultimately to a 13-point Buckeye lead at the break.  

Ohio State exploded out of the gate in the second 20 minutes, stretching the lead to 17 before App State converted an and one opportunity, cutting the lead to 15 before alarms began sounding throughout the Schottenstein center causing both teams to leave the floor and ending up emptying the arena. The delay lasted approximately 15 minutes when fans came back out and play resumed on the floor. Apparently, a smoke alarm was tripped in a concession area causing a bizarre turn of events within the Schottenstein Center.  

Following the delay, the Mountaineers went on a bit of a run of their own, cutting the Buckeye lead to just 9, which was the closest they would get as the Buckeyes stretched the lead to as many as 20 before settling with a 13 point win. Utilizing a strong inside game, and length defensively on the perimeter, the Buckeyes were able to impose their will on the Mountaineers. Tate led the Buckeyes with 19 and Bates-Diop added 18 and 8 rips while Kaleb Wesson continued to be a force in the paint for Ohio State, scoring 16 and pulling down 9 boards.  Kam Williams also chipped in 11 for the winning Ohio State attack.  

The Buckeyes showed little rust after their week long break of games for final exams beating an athletic group of Appalachian State Mountaineers who despite their poor record, will most likely prove to be a solid win at year end. The schedule will now get back to normal, playing a couple games per week to finish December before jumping back into conference play in January.  

The Buckeyes next host The Citadel on Tuesday night at the Schott with tip coming for that one at 7pm. 
   
 ​- Jason Harris​
Buckeyes Run Away From The Citadel 
December 19, 2017

In a final tune-up prior to the big showdown in New Orleans with defending national champion, #5 North Carolina, the Ohio State men’s basketball team dispatched The Citadel Bulldogs in short order by a final score of 94-65. The Buckeyes led from wire to wire, taking a 22-point lead into the locker room at in large part due to a 15-0 run late in the half. It was a game where Coach Chris Holtmann was able to get a lot of time for his bench with no player playing more than 18 minutes and 11 of the 13 players reaching the scoring column.  

The Buckeyes as a team assisted on a season high 27 of 37 made field goals and outscored the Bulldogs 22-0 in fast break points. The Citadel plays and up and down style of basketball and the Buckeyes to their credit did a great job in their transition defense, which limited the Bulldogs’ opportunities. The Citadel, one of 7 Division 1 schools without a senior on the roster and struggling with limited size in the post, settled for long jumpers all evening, attempting a season high 42 threes, making just 13.  Keita Bates-Diop and Kam Williams led Ohio State in scoring with 17 apiece, while C.J. Jackson added 13 and 7 assists and Andrew Dakich chipped in a career high 10 to go along with 5 dimes.  

After playing limited minutes in recent games of late, both Kyle Young and Micah Potter saw significant minutes and both pulled down 8 rebounds in the win. For the game, Ohio State shot 50% from the floor and hitting 13 of 35 3-point attempts with a handful of those attempts coming in the waning minutes from the walk-ons looking to get in the scorebook. 

The Buckeyes run of cupcakes ends with promotion to the adults table on Saturday and they will go in with a lot of confidence. They have done a much better job of taking care of the basketball and lead all of college basketball in field goal percentage since the calendar turned to December. They will be challenged in the post but if they can stay fundamental, not try to make the big play, but make the smart play, they will have a chance to compete against Carolina. Either way, it is a no lose situation for the Buckeyes. If they lose, they were supposed to, but if they can pull the upset, then they will have the biggest win on their resume in several years which will go a long way in determining their fate in March.  


Next up, Ohio State heads to New Orleans, where they will take on the 5th ranked North Carolina Tarheels in the CBS Sports Classic. Tip time on CBS is scheduled for 1:30pm. 

 ​- Jason Harris​
Ohio State Finishes 2017 Slate With a Win 
December 30, 2017

Ohio State, who hadn’t played since the loss to North Carolina a week ago, came out flat, but mustered enough energy to pull out a 72-59 win over a pesky Miami Redhawk squad. The Buckeyes controlled most of the first half and on several occasions looked like they were going to pull away but Miami answered with some big shots that kept the Buckeyes within arms length. Neither team shot the ball particularly well early and despite hitting just 3 of their first 16, Ohio State began to pull away, doubling Miami up at 18-9 forcing the Redhawks to call a timeout with just under 9 minutes remaining in the first half. Miami would answer, closing to within a hoop, but Ohio State closed the half with a run of their own and after a Redhawk buzzer beater from mid court rimmed just out, the teams went into the locker room with the Buckeyes leading just 35-28.  CJ Jackson and Keita Bates-Diop led Ohio State in the first 20 minutes with 8 apiece. 

The second half went back and forth early until a 12-2 run gave the Buckeyes their largest lead of 17 and it looked like Ohio State would run away with it, but Miami once again answered, going on a 13-1 run to cut the lead to 5 at the midway point of the second half. Ohio State would pull away a little again, stretching the lead to 9 at the under 8 timeout, but Miami would fight and claw and would not go away and behind some timely 3 balls, they closed to within 3 with 6 minutes remaining. That would be as close as they would get as Ohio State cranked up the pressure on the defensive end and finished the game on a 15-5 run to complete their 11th win on the season. Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 19 points and 9 boards and Jackson added 16 and 6 assists.  Kam Williams also hit some timely shots down the stretch and finished with 15 while Jae’Sean Tate added 11 for the victorious Buckeyes.  

That will complete the non-conference portion of the schedule for the 2017-18 Buckeyes and sitting at 11-4 is probably the best even the most optimistic of Buckeye fan could’ve hoped for. The unusual mix of a pair of conference games early, means the Buckeyes will head into January not only 11-4 overall, but 2-0 in Big Ten play and playing with some confidence. If I had to assign a letter grade to the so called ‘1st season’, I would give them a B+. They have played about as well as I expected but at the same time, there are some areas that need cleaning heading into conference play. They are improving at taking care of the basketball but there are times when they try to make the perfect play or pass instead of just making the smart play. They also must do a better job on the glass. They are allowing teams way too many opportunities on the offensive end and Big Ten teams will make them pay. Having said that, this team has the capability and potential to finish in the top half of the conference and threaten to gain a bid into the NCAA tournament in March. The return of Keita Bates-Diop from injury has been a big boost for this team both offensively and his ability to defend with his length and the emergence of C.J. Jackson as a scorer has been a big boost for this basketball team in its attempt to find that 3rd and 4th scoring option. Stay tuned for a wild ride throughout January and February in Big Ten play. It all starts next week and it should be a lot of fun. 

Ohio State will resume Big Ten play next Thursday in a winnable road game at Iowa. Tip for that one is set for 7 p.m.  

 ​- Jason Harris​