The 11th ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team took on Walsh University yesterday in an exhibition game at Value City Arena. With the regular season right around the corner, the Buckeyes controlled the game from the tip and looked impressive in a 93-63 victory. Ohio State showed off a balanced attack with five players scoring in double digits for the Buckeyes, led by Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross who had 15 points each. As Buckeye fans have come to expect, Aaron Craft also had a solid game and finished the day with 14 points and 5 assists.
The Buckeyes are returning a talented and experienced backcourt, but post play will continue to be the big question mark this season. Amir Williams came to Ohio State as a highly touted recruit, but has yet to quite live up to that billing. He has shown flashes of good play but has been inconsistent in his career so far. Williams looked stronger and improved yesterday and finished the game with 8 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks. His backup Trey McDonald saw action as well and finished with 2 points and 2 blocks. A solidified post presence will be a vital part of the Buckeye’s success this season, so keep an eye on these two moving forward.
Freshman forward Marc Loving from Toledo made his Buckeye debut yesterday and finished with 5 points and 9 rebounds. Loving was a big time recruit in the past recruiting cycle for Thad Matta and has drawn great reviews from his teammates and coaches thus far. He seems to have a knack for the game and has made a relatively smooth transition into the college game. Yesterday, Loving looked solid in his first appearance and could be an important player off of the bench this season for coach Matta.
Overall, the Buckeyes looked good in their exhibition victory and had the chance to experiment with different lineups and player combinations. Ohio State is expected to be a contender in the Big Ten this season and has the potential to be a contender on the national stage as well. It will be very intriguing to see how things come together for this team over the next few months and which players step into expanded roles.
Up next: Ohio State hosts Morgan State in the season opener this Saturday (November 9) at noon.
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