First Annual Buckeye Wire Ohio State Basketball Awards

First Annual Buckeye Wire Ohio State Basketball Awards

BuckeyeWire

First Annual Buckeye Wire Ohio State Basketball Awards


The Ohio State men’s basketball team, in many ways, had a season to remember. Here at Buckeye Wire, it’s time to hand out some season awards in our own style.


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First Annual Buckeye Wire Ohio State Basketball Awards

Most Valuable Player

It really can’t be anyone than Keita Bates-Diop right? The redshirt junior showed everyone what the team was missing last year by making a splash almost immediately as he came back from an injury that took him off the court for almost the entire 206-17 season.

He was first on the team in points and rebounds per game, and finished a whisker from the Big Ten scoring title. Now about that last year of eligibility …

Most Inspirational Player

The program is really going to miss Jae-Sean Tate. He gave the program everything including blood, sweat and tears for four years. He put the oar in the water and began rowing, and the rest of the team followed.

His stats are fine enough, but he was much more valuable than the numbers suggest. The kid loves Ohio State, and it loves him back.

Best Traitor

To be fair, can anyone really be considered a traitor by being air-lifted out of Ann Arbor? Andrew Dakich may have been a part of the Michigan program in 2016-17, but he’s all Buckeye now.

He wasn’t expected to do much more than add a cameo appearance here or there in spelling some of the other ball handlers, but he showed he was much more valuable than that. He played with heart and made some big plays with an expanded role on this team.

Most Entertaining Spectator

Everyone remembers Club Trillion, but we now also now know about Joey Lane. He may have sat on the end of the bench and only got mop up time at best, but he’s quite the social media follow if you are into these sorts of things.

He’s brash, humorous and an entertaining guy that can make light of almost anything. Oh, and pushing aside his desire to make himself eligible for the NBA draft by coming back for his senior season.

Best Moment

We give the nod here to the rebound putback by Keita Bates-Diop with the sands of the hourglass running out against Purdue.

The score with just 2.8 seconds left sealed the win on the road in West Lafayette and put Ohio State in the driver’s seat for a shot at a Big Ten title. OSU ultimately finished in a tie for second, but it was the pinnacle of the season, and a defining moment.

Best Comeback

Going down by twenty points to Michigan would normally be lights out — especially against a team so adept at filling up the hoop. But not on December 4.

Ohio State shook off a bad first half and reeled the Wolverines all the way back in, got control and held on for a 71-62 win. All in all, the Buckeyes outscored Darth Vader 41-19 in the second half.

Most Improved

Former head coach Thad Matta kept swearing to the media that the light was going to go on for guard C.J. Jackson, but it never really materialized last year.

But boy did it in 2017-18. The coaching staff really needed Jackson to step up, ball handle and shoot the ball from the outside because of a lack of depth at the guard position. He did just that, and finally, Matta was proven right, but he wasn’t there to see it.

Best Newcomer

There was already one Wesson on the team, but another found his way into the starting lineup this year. Kaleb Wesson was Mr. Basketball in Ohio last year, and made an immediate impact.

He’s not ultimately where the coaching staff wants his game, but he displays a soft touch, good footwork, and the ability to use his big body down in the blocks. He should be a good one going forward and maybe the main offensive threat next year.

Best Play

Remember when Ohio State had faltered down the stretch and looked destined for third place in the league?

It looked as close to a done deal when the Buckeyes traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on senior day. Ohio State controlled much of the game, but Indiana was able to make a game of it and wrestle the lead away with just 7.4 second remaining.

Undaunted, C. J. Jackson took matters into his own hands when he dribbled the length of the court, stepped up and hit a three from well beyond NBA range. The shot gave Ohio State the 80-78 victory in what would ultimately be the shot that sealed the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament.

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

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