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2017-18
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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​