Replacing William Buford is going to be a team effort, which is why one of these pressing issues was more consistency from Smith Jr.
However, much of the burden will be lifted from Smith’s shoulders if LaQuinton Ross and/or Sam Thompson live up to their potential.
Each will be entering their sophomore campaigns, but Ross was the more hyped of the two coming out of high school. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Ross ran into some academic trouble and spent the majority of the season riding the bench.
Thompson, on the other hand, performed fairly well as a freshman. He was a solid defensive presence and provided athleticism to help match up with quicker teams. He also had the ability to bring the fans to their feet at a moment’s notice with his high-flying dunks.
Despite the differences in their freshman production, Ross is the player with the higher ceiling. Matta is going to need him to provide the three-point shooting he was recruited for and play a large role in Ohio State’s offense.
If all four of these pressing issues are answered favorably, the Buckeyes could be in for another successful season.