Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Ohio State Make The NCAA Tournament In 2018-19?

Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Ohio State Make The NCAA Tournament In 2018-19?

Basketball

Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Ohio State Make The NCAA Tournament In 2018-19?


The good folks at Ohio State just released the completed non-conference schedule, and it’s a daunting one. With that in consideration, we asked our writers if the Buckeyes have what it takes to make it into the Big Dance in 2018-19 in the latest Buckeye Battle Cry.


Buckeye Battle Cry: Will Ohio State Make The NCAA Tournament In 2018-19?

If there’s one thing that’s become increasingly evident within the short time that we’ve witnessed what direction head coach Chris Holtmann wants to take this Buckeye program, it’s that he wants to play a more challenging non-conference schedule.

To that end, Ohio State released the complete non-conference schedule for the upcoming season and there are pitfalls a plenty. Holtmann steer the Buckeye ship back into open NCAA waters again, or will it run aground with youth attempting to navigate a tough schedule in year two?

Contact/Follow Terry Johnson

While the Buckeyes face a very tough non-conference slate, they’ll have no trouble making it back to the NCAA tournament.

Why’s that, you ask?

Two words: Chris Holtmann.

Let’s be honest folks: Holtmann is one of the best coaches in the land. He took a struggling Gardner-Webb program and helped mold it into a mainstay in the Big South conference.

He did the same thing at Butler, inheriting a 14-18 team and transforming it into an NCAA tournament team in his first season. Not surprisingly, he worked the same magic at Ohio State last year, helping the Buckeyes improve from 7-11 to 15-3 in Big Ten play.

Even the most optimistic fan didn’t see that one coming. Yet, we should have, based on Holtmann’s stellar coaching career.

That, my friends, is why I don’t ever worry about the Buckeyes making it back to NCAA Tournament. As long as Holtmann is leading the team, OSU will hear its name called when the brackets are unveiled.

Contact/Follow Phil Harrison

While many people are painting a doom and gloom picture because of the loss of Bates-Diop, Tate and Dakich, I think it may be a little overblown.

I really believe there’s still enough talent on the roster — albeit unproven — to make another run at the NCAA Tournament. Remember C.J. Jackson is back to run the point, Kaleb Wesson will be that much better down in the post, and guys like Musa Jallow, Micha Potter and Kyle Young will be better with the chance to really make an impression with more playing time.

And yeah, Chris Holtmann will figure out the pieces and get them in the right place and playing the right way. That has to count for something.

But let’s not forget guys like Luther Muhammad and grad transfer Keyshawn Woods coming in either. They both could get significant minutes right away and make a huge difference.

I don’t know that next season’s team will compete for a Big Ten title, but just like Terry, I do believe it’ll do enough to finish in at least the middle of the pack in the league and get an invite to the Big Dance again in Holtmann’s sophomore campaign.

 

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