ohio state buckeyes at a glance
Last season: 25-9 (15-3 Big Ten Conference).
Who’s gone: F Keita Bates-Diop, F Jae’Sean Tate, G Kam Williams, G Andrew Dakich.
Who’s back: F Kaleb Wesson. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore averaged 10.2 points and will be counted on to do more this season. ... F Andre Wesson. Kaleb’s older brother is a small forward who will have to provide some leadership to the young team. ... C Micah Potter. Hampered by injuries, the huge junior hasn’t been able to realize his potential. ... G C.J. Jackson. Senior will be counted on as one of the primary ball-handlers. ... G Musa Jallow and F Kyle Young. Expected to play bigger roles after seeing limited playing time as freshmen last year.
Who’s new: G Luther Muhammad. Highly touted freshman shooting guard could work his way into a starting role. ... G Duane Washington Jr. Elite shooter from California is expected to find a role as a freshman. ... F Justin Ahrens. Well-rounded freshman de-committed after former coach Thad Matta was fired, but Holtmann got him back on board. ... F Jaedon LeDee. The 6-foot-9 freshman has the size and versatility to play at any of the frontcourt spots. ... G Keyshawn Woods. Graduate transfer from Wake Forest adds depth.
The Skinny: Holtmann cleaned up a program that had fallen into disarray, leading the Buckeyes to a 25-9 finish and earning himself Big Ten coach of the year honors. Now he has to maintain the standard after losing his two star players and welcoming a lot of new ones. The Wesson brothers, Jackson and Potter will have to play to expectations, with some immediate help from freshmen for depth. Jallow and Young have the potential to be key contributors.
Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers have Ohio State as a long shot to win the NCAA Tournament at 85-1, on par with North Carolina State and Cincinnati, while well behind Michigan, the highest ranked Big Ten team at 35-1.