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Losing the Big Ten’s leading scorer in Deshaun Thomas is difficult to overcome on offense, regardless of any hypothetical jumps the current players on the roster are expected to make.
Ohio State will certainly look to run more in 2013-14 with a guard-oriented lineup that will create plenty of turnovers and fast-break opportunities, but there will be the inevitable grind-it-out games in the Big Ten that there are every season. The Buckeyes will be much better off if they can consistently hit three-point shots in their half-court sets.
This is such a huge wildcard, because, on paper, the Buckeyes are loaded with players who should be able to hit from behind the arc. LaQuinton Ross, Sam Thompson, Lenzelle Smith Jr., Kameron Williams and even point guards Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott have the potential to be threats from downtown.
Nevertheless, there hasn’t been a level of consistency from any of these players (outside of Williams, who hasn’t had a chance yet), which is why Ohio State shot just 36 percent as a team last year from three-point range.
If the Buckeyes can improve on that, they will be much better positioned to contend in the Big Ten.
Follow and interact with Ohio State basketball writer Scott Polacek on Twitter @ScottPolacek.