Ohio State BasketballDownload App

William Buford Gets New Role Next Season As He Steps Out Of Big Shadow

ST. LOUIS - MARCH 26:  William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes walks off the court after the loss to the Tennessee Volunteers during the midwest regional semifinal of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Tennessee defeated Ohio State 76-73. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Drew GatewoodAnalyst INovember 7, 2016

William Buford has big shoes to fill next season. Evan Turner is poised to be a top three pick is this year’s NBA Draft after winning every possible player of the year honors including the Naismith.  Turner finishes his career as the only Naismith Award winner in Ohio State history, something Buford is well aware of.

Filling the shoes of Evan Turner will not be easy, but Ohio State’s young scoring guard is up to the task. He finished this season scoring 14.4 points and 5.6 rebounds a game playing in Turner’s shadow for most of the season. These stats came while he was not even close to being the focal point of the Buckeye offense last season.

Evan Turner went down with a back injury in the middle of last season, giving Buford time to shine, at least for a few games. During Turner’s absence Buford averaged 15.3 points and 7.1 rebounds a game. He had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds during that stretch along with a 20 point performance as well.

The addition of top prospect Jared Sullinger will help take some pressure off of Buford to carry the team on offense, along with the senior leadership of David Lighty, Jon Deibler, and Dallas Lauderdale.

Buford will be expected to take the game winning shots next season by head coach Thad Matta, much like Turner did last season.  He can hit mid-range jumpers, drain threes, or drive the lane. His expansive offensive ability opens up the Buckeyes offense much the same as Turner.

Buford’s offense mimics much of what Turner did last season, giving Ohio State the ability to maintain the same offensive sets. Add this with the fact it has greatly improved its post depth and the Buckeyes should be in good shape next season.

Much of that success will directly correlate to the production on both sides of the court by Buford. Buford will have an added pressure of being the leader of next year’s team, much like Turner did. His ability to adjust to this new role will go a long way in determining how good the Buckeyes will be next season.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices