Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Keita Bates-Diop Be A Buckeye Next Year?

Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Keita Bates-Diop Be A Buckeye Next Year?

Basketball

Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Keita Bates-Diop Be A Buckeye Next Year?


Here we go again with our Buckeye Battle Cry, where the staff try to solve the world’s problems one at a time. Okay, so we’re not that deep, but we do like to debate a little in these roundtables. In this edition, we debate whether Keita Bates-Diop will come back for his senior season, or go to the NBA.


 

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Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Keita Bates-Diop Be A Buckeye Next Year?

Just when you thought it was a foregone conclusion that the Big Ten Player of the Year would declare for the NBA, there is reason for pause. Based on reports and dialogue straight from Ketia Bates-Diop himself, he is still on the fence on coming back for his senior year.

Is it sincere, or is it just an emotional reaction to a difficult loss? We debate on whether Bates-Diop will be wearing Scarlet and Gray next year.

We’ll let Terry kick this one off …

Contact/Follow Terry Johnson

I think he’ll play in the NBA next season.

Don’t get me wrong: I would love to see him back in a Buckeye uniform next year. However, after a strong 2017-18 campaign in which he averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, there’s a good chance that someone will take him in the first round. That would mean a salary of $1 million or more. It would be hard for anyone to turn down that type of money. I know I wouldn’t.

As much as it pains me to say it, Bates-Diop would be doing the right thing by turning pro. After all, there’s no guarantee that his draft stock would improve next year. Why would he risk his future when there’s nothing more him to prove at the collegiate level?

Just to re-iterate: I hope that he returns to lead the Buckeyes to an NCAA championship in 2019. But, as someone who makes data-driven decisions, I think he needs to enter the draft.

Contact/Follow Mark Russell

Ditto. I’ve heard many pro athletes come back to their beloved universities and tell the current crop to stay in college as long as you can. Once you make it to “The League” it’s just not as fun.

In my heart, I want to say that the Big Ten Player of the Year will return, but my head tells me otherwise.

Maybe I’ve been burned too many times thinking that a star player will bleed so much Scarlet and Gray, there’s no way they would leave… only to be heartbroken.

I’ve learned to wish them well and be thankful for the time I had to cheer a great player on for The Ohio State University.

Alas, with a potential of millions in the balance, I believe the call of the NBA will be too strong and KBD will bid a tearful good-bye to Buckeye Nation.

Contact/Follow Phil Harrison

I’ve got to agree on all accounts. Frankly, the only reason for Bates-Diop to come back to Ohio State is for sentimental reasons. That’s not to say it hasn’t been done before (see Jared Sullinger), but it’s not the safe bet at this point.

It’s clear that Chris Holtmann had a fairly good indication that the Big Ten Player of the Year was likely headed to the NBA because he was recognized for Senior Day — and rightfully so.

I also believe that Bates-Diop is sincere in his approach to really look hard at a decision with at least part of him wanting to come back for another year. But how much of that is based on the emotion of going home from the NCAA tournament before he wanted to, and the finality of the feelings of being with his teammates after a special season.

Heck, he already has a degree, his stock is likely as high as it’s going to be because of some overhauls that will be done to the roster next year, and there’s really nothing else to prove.

I believe once he gets the sensible counsel of those around him, he’ll make the choice with his head and not his heart. That means we’ve probably seen the last of No. 33 in a Buckeye jersey.

But yeah, his heart will still be in Columbus.

 

Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for continuing coverage of Ohio State football and basketball.

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