Ohio State is getting upperclassmen production out of its freshman class so far this season. The new Buckeyes have accepted their new roles and each of them are showing little growing pains so far this season.
Deshaun Thomas has made his presence felt this season when he’s on the court. The 6’6’’ forward is averaging 14.3 points per game while only playing about a half in each contest. He provides another solid rebounding power for the Buckeyes, something that will pay dividends in conference play.
Aaron Craft is the first real point guard for Ohio State since Jamar Butler back in the 2008 season. Evan Turner wore down during stretches of games as he absorbed this role along with many others the past two seasons. Craft’s unexpected leadership here opens up the offense, and it starts with his passing. He averages five assists so far this season with only one turnover per contest. His progression at the helm will play a large role in Ohio state success this season.
Jordan Sibert has the potential to step right into William Buford’s shoes if he chooses to bolt to the NBA next season. He can score from multiple areas on the court and will only get better with more experience. His growth before conference play will be key in determining his role for the rest of the season and especially the NCAA Tournament. He has the ability to be that spark off the bench that the Buckeyes will need come March.
Jared Sullinger came to Ohio State with a lot of hype surrounding him, and as Evan Turner stepped out—he stepped right in as the Buckeye leader. The 6’9’ 280 pound freshman seemed a little undersized to play center, but once on the court he proved he’ll go toe to toe with anyone on the court. So far this season he’s averaging 18.7 points per game along with 10.7 rebounds, and has been a huge success. Sullinger has the defensive prowess of Lauderdale, plus the added scoring ability that’s been lack in OSU big men since Greg Oden.
As the youth movement continues for Ohio State, David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale, and William Buford all perfect their roles as they still maintain the majority of the minutes.
The combination of experience, depth, and skilled youth have Ohio State looking good going into conference play and eventually the NCAA Tournament this season.