2022 Record: 16-19 (5-15)

Head Coach: Chris Holtmann (Career Record 237-160) (Ohio State Record 123-75)

Projected Rotation:

PG: Bruce Thornton (10.6 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 2.6 Ast)

SG: Roddy Gayle Jr (4.6 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.9 Ast)

SF: Scotty Middleton

PF: Jamison Battle (Minnesota 12.4 Pts, 3.8 Reb, 1.7 Ast)

C: Zed Key (10.8 Pts, 7.5 Reb, 0.8 Ast)

6: C Felix Okpara (4.0 Pts, 3.6 Reb, 0.3 Ast)

7: PG Dale Bonner (Baylor 4.7 Pts, 1.2 Reb, 2.7 Ast)

8: PF Devin Royal

9: SG Taison Chatman

10: SF Evan Mahaffey (Penn State 2.8 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

11: PF Kalen Etzler (0.8 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 0.1 Ast)

12: C Austin Parks

13: SG Bowen Hardman (1.7 Pts, 0.0 Reb, 0.0 Ast)

Ohio State returns the backcourt duo of Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr. Thornton started all 35 games in his freshman season and outperformed expectations showing that he can be a starting point guard in the Big 10 even as a freshman. Thornton averaged over 10PPG while also chipping in nearly 3 assists per game. He also took care of the ball very well seldomly turning it over. Going into his sophomore season, he should be even more confident and truly take command of the offense putting up numbers that were even better than his freshman season. Gayle played in all 35 games while starting 11 during his freshman season last year. He showed some promise on the offensive end of the floor proving that he can be a scorer on all three levels. He will have a much larger role on the team this season and could easily be one of the breakout players in the league. Also returning to the Buckeyes next season are PF Kalen Etzler and SG Bowen Hardman. Both played sparingly in their freshman seasons.

The Buckeyes also return the big man duo of Felix Okpara and Zed Key. Okpara showed a lot of promise during his freshman season last year. In only an average of 15MPG, Okpara averaged over a block per game and shot 60% from the floor. Like Gayle, Okpara has proven in his freshman season play that he can be a candidate for a tremendous breakout going into his sophomore season. Zed Key is going into his 4th season with the Buckeyes and is an elite player on the interior. He rebounds at a very high level and also finishes very well around the rim. As one of the older player on a team with many freshman and sophomores, Key will need to take on a leadership role on and off the court.

Ohio State also added Big 10 transfer forwards with Evan Mahaffey from Penn State and Jamison Battle from Minnesota. Mahaffey played in a off the bench role with Penn State last season where he averaged 3PPG and shot 57% from the floor. He will be a decent depth piece for the Buckeyes going into next season. Mahaffey is also a valuable asset on the defensive side of the ball. Jamison Battle comes into Ohio State with a ton of experience going into his 5th season of CBB. He struggled a bit shooting the ball last season based on his past numbers, but he still averaged over 12PPG. Battle averaged nearly 18PPG with Minnesota in the 2021-22 season so he has the chance to be a high volume scorer like that with the Buckeyes while keeping his shooting splits above water.

Dale Bonner from Baylor was the final transfer that the Buckeyes brought in this offseason. Bonner projects to be in the backup PG role with the Buckeyes this season and gives them some much needed depth at the guard position. Bonner is going into his 6th season of CBB after spending 3 years at D2 Fairmont State and 2 years at Baylor. While at Fairmont State, Bonner was an elite scoring guard averaging 21PPG while shooting 46% from the floor and 44% from three. He also averaged over 5 assists per game at Fairmont State. Ohio State rounded out the roster by adding 4 freshman to the fold. SF Scotty Middleton is a player that could start and make a huge impact as early as his freshman season. Middleton was ranked #50 in the 247sports prospect rankings. PF Devin Royal ranked as the #49 player in the country and could also make a huge impact as a potential starter. Taison Chatman ranked #39 in the country will also be a major factor in the rotation next season. 3 star center Austin Parks ranked #180 was the final freshman the Buckeyes signed.

Ohio State had a very rough season last year finishing with a losing record after having high expectations coming into the season. The Buckeyes did lose some key players to the draft, eligibility, and the portal. However, they retained enough of their talent and added some more with their highly ranked freshman class and transfer portal additions. Ohio State should be in the 5th-8th range in a very talented Big 10 conference this season. I’m expecting them to fix some of the issues they suffered from last year and return to the tournament again. 10 of their 13 scholarship players are freshman or sophomores so they will keep building as the years progress.