Without Evan Turner, Ohio State Buckeyes' Big Men Are Key to Success

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IApril 27, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 23: Jared Sullinger of Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio poses with his trophy for the Boy's 'Naismith High School Player of the Year' at the Atlanta Tipoff Club Naismith Award Banquet at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on March 23, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Paul Abell/Getty Images for Naismith Award)
Paul Abell/Getty Images

The Ohio State men's basketball team's identity will have changed drastically from last season to this upcoming season. Last season they spent the majority of the time in a four-guard set with Kyle Madsen and Dallas Lauderdale rotating at the center position. Evan Turner was the star of the show, and the Buckeyes lived and died by jump shots.

The Buckeyes go into next season with some depth at the post position, something they haven’t had since Greg Oden strolled the Ohio State campus. Dallas Lauderdale will begin his senior season as the leader in the post, but with Jared Sullinger and DeShaun Thomas coming in, he will have to fight to keep his playing time.

J.D. Weatherspoon, the teammate of Sullinger, follows him to Ohio State and will try and force head coach Thad Matta for some playing time himself. Nikola Kecman and Zisis Sarikopoulos also look to steal some minutes this season and finally get off the bench. Unfortunately, this wealth of post players was missing last season and would have helped the Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament this past March.

In the backcourt, William Buford, David Lighty, and Jon Diebler will all have a large impact on next season, but they will be pushed for time by incoming freshman Jordan Siebert and Aaron Craft. Craft is a true point guard and will allow Matta to play more than one of his big men at a time, but still have a perimeter threat on the court.

The Buckeyes have been ranked as high as No. 2 in some of the early preseason polls, but, right now with all the unproven talent, they have holes to fill. I think they should be around No. 12 to 15. This will be a good team in the upcoming season, but do not expect this team to look the same as those led by Evan Turner.