The Ohio State basketball team opened up their 2023-24 season against Oakland in the Schott. It was supposed to be a fairly easy game for the Buckeyes to win to start the year. Instead, it was a dog fight that Ohio State was lucky to win after being down most of the first half.
In fact, the Buckeyes were down one at halftime. They shot just 20% from three, which was the main reason why they were trailing. In the end, Roddy Gayle picked up where he left off in the Big Ten Tournament from last year and helped lead the Buckeyes to the 79-73 victory.
Gayle showed that his offensive outburst in the Big Ten Tourney last year wasn’t a fluke. He had 17 points and was a starter. Despite not hitting any of his threes, he was 6/11 from the field. He may have shown that he is ready to take more of an offensive role this season.
Zed Key was the other Ohio State basketball player who provided a lot of scoring. He had 17 points off the bench because Feliz Okpara started at center. Okpara picked up his fourth foul with over 12 minutes still left in the game so Key played a lot down the stretch.
Having to scratch and claw to beat Oakland is not a good sign for Chris Holtmann and his squad. The Golden Grizzlies are not a good team. Yet, they allowed them to rain threes down on them at home. 14 of them to be exact. Oakland shot 40% from behind the arc.
Conversely, Ohio State still can’t shoot from deep. I told you how poorly they shot it in the first half. They finished the game at 28%, so they shot it a bit better in the second half. Bruce Thornton shot just 3/11 from the field but ended up with 17 points as well.
I did like freshman Scotty Middleton in this one. He had 13 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Other than he and Gayle, I didn’t really like what I saw. Ohio State basketball fans might be in for another long season.