Ohio State Basketball: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Point Guards

Ohio State Basketball: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Point Guards

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Ohio State Basketball: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Point Guards


We’ve already taken a look at our Mount Rushmore series based on every Ohio State position group in football, and since it was so much fun — well, we’re turning it around and doing the same with basketball. First up is the point guard position.


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Ohio State Basketball: The Buckeyes’ Mount Rushmore of Point Guards

Okay, here’s the deal. Stop referring to Ohio State as a football school. Sure OSU has a pigskin pedigree second to none, but many programs would love to have the lofty history of the Scarlet and Gray in basketball. If it weren’t for football, the Buckeyes might be known as a basketball school. Just ask Illinois (whoops did I say that out loud?).

In its illustrious history, OSU has had plenty of good ball-handlers setting up the offense and making game-changing decisions. This list does get a little tricky because of the label of point guard and how it has evolved over history, but we’ll do our best to sort that out.

Here’s a list of the top four point guards in Ohio State history that we’d put on the Buckeye version of Mount Rushmore for point guards.

Kelvin Ransey (1976-1980)

Ransey is one of the most talented Buckeye basketball players of all time. He currently sits at No. 4 on the all-time scoring list for Ohio State and was an All-Big Ten performer each of his last three years. He was also named team MVP for the 1977-78 and 1979-80 seasons.

He averaged 17.3 points per game during his career and was named as a first-team All-American in his senior year. No guard has scored more points at Ohio State, and maybe none will for a long time to come.

Scoonie Penn (1998-2000)

Truth be known, Scoonie Penn was never supposed to be a Buckeye, and in fact would have never even given Columbus a look if it weren’t for former athletic director Andy Geiger hiring Jim O’Brien away from Boston College.

When O’Brien agreed to accept the job, Penn was convinced to join him, even though transfer rules dictated him sitting out a year.

But once he got out of the penalty box, boy did he make an impression. Penn was the rare distributor and scorer that could create in the lane as well as hit from beyond the arc. He also helped take OSU to the Final Four in 1999, but of course that has since been vacated because of some naughty-time by Jim O’Brien.

During his two years in Columbus, Penn averaged 15.8 points per game and was recognized as a first-team All-Big selection for both seasons. He was a second-team All-American his senior season and is a member of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Aaron Craft (2010-2014)

Some point guards are coaches on the floor that distribute to others to score, some carry a big load of the scoring, and others just play with their hair on fire.

You can consider Aaron Craft a part of the last group. His offensive numbers are no where near the top of anyone else on this list, but his defense and ability to get others involved is what set him apart.

He is the all-time leader in steals, assist — and unofficially — floor-burns at Ohio State. He gave extreme effort and is an all-time favorite in Columbus, but hated by other teams because of his tenacity and perceived dirty play.

If you corner any of those fans and coaches though, they would have given their Buck-eye teeth to have him as one of their own.

Robin Freeman (1954-1956)

Not many reading this are old enough to have seen Freeman play, but you can get a feel for all you need to know by looking through the all-time OSU stats.

Though not technically labeled a point guard in the 1950’s, he brought the ball up the court more often than not and was responsible for starting the offense — and that certainly qualifies in our book.

The fact that the offense often started and stopped with him is no coincidence either. The kid could fill it up at a rate not seen before or since at Ohio State. His 28.0 points per game for his career is still tops in Buckeye history, and he was a first-team All-American in both his junior and senior seasons.

He averaged over 30 points in his last two years, all without the benefit of bombing away from deep with the three point shot since it wasn’t even a conceptual thought then.

He’s an all-timer of a Buckeye that likely deserves more recognition than given.

 

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