It’s time for the writers of Buckeye Wire to sling mud at one another again, or at least have a somewhat civil discussion. It’s the weekly Buckeye Battle Cry, and this week we’re asking the question: Where Will Ohio State Basketball Finish In 2018-19?
Buckeye Battle Cry: Where Will Ohio State Basketball Finish In 2018-19?
It was always the impression that Chris Holtmann would have a rough couple of years, but suddenly, with the Buckeyes doing the improbable this year those expectations may have been raised just a bit.
But the roster is facing a huge turnover with the loss of thee seniors, and of course Keita Bates-Diop.
With that in mind, how good can we expect Ohio State to be next year? Will the Buckeyes finish in the upper-division of the Big Ten, and do they have a legitimate shot at making the NCAA tournament.
Terry, you’re up first …
Contact/Follow Terry Johnson
They’ll win the Big Ten.
I realize that this seems like a “homer” response. However, the fact of the matter is that with Chris Holtmann at the helm, the Buckeyes will finish near the top of the B1G every year.
That’s not an overreaction to one big season: it’s an evaluation of Holtmann’s coaching career. In his first head-coaching gig at Gardner-Webb, he transformed an 8-21 squad into a perennial contender in the Big South conference (the school hasn’t had a losing record in conference play since he left). He did the same thing at Butler, inheriting a 14-17 squad, and molding it into one of the better teams in the basketball-crazy Big East.
This trend continued at Ohio State, as Holtmann won 25 games in his first season.
Given that OSU is one of the top coaching jobs in the country, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll leave Columbus anytime soon. Considering what he’s accomplished throughout his career, I can’t wait to see the Buckeyes on the court next season.
Just remember when they cut that nets down next spring that you heard me call it in April of 2018.
Contact/Follow Phil Harrison
I love it Terry, and who am I to say any different based on what we saw this year. But I just don’t see it. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t believe OSU will be somewhere around nine or ten like I’ve seen some experts predict already, but there’s a lot of firepower that was lost to graduation.
Now, I do believe guys like Musa Jallow and Kyle Young are going to develop and be much, much better than the average observer thinks — and Kaleb Wesson should be a beast next year. And don’t forget about incoming freshman Luther Muhammad. He’s got the talent and confidence to have an immediate impact.
I can see the Buckeyes being around fourth or fifth in the league but getting much better at the tale end of the year. They’ll be a bubble NCAA team and one you won’t want to play.
I think there’s more in the oven here than anyone can see because of all the departures, and those left behind will rise up a bit. But these sort of things take time to bake.
Contact/Follow Mark Russell
I see eye-to-eye with Phil a bit. To be honest, I’m not getting my hopes up too high. It’s a little easier that way. If they end up having a great season, it’s icing on the cake — kind of like this year.
Losing the reigning Big Ten player of the year will hurt big time, but maybe just as big a loss will be Jae’sean Tate. Tate was the heart and soul of this team. An emotional leader who did all the little things to help a team win.
I do like C.J. Jackson and Kaleb Wesson and it will be interesting to see what four star recruits Luther Muhammad and Jaedon LeDee bring to the table.
My prediction for the 2018-2019 Buckeye basketball season: Fourth place in the Big Ten with a 22-10 record. Ohio State will squeak into the NCAA tournament with a seven seed and bow out in the round of 32.
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