In the weeks leading up to the 2017-18 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing its preview series breaking down each Big Ten team. These will come in a set of series previewing the overall team, the team’s backcourt, wings, and big men, and the team’s schedule. Each post will take a look at its top in-depth and give predictions on the upcoming season.
Today's edition of the 'BTPowerhouse Preview Series' we will take a look at the frontcourt for Ohio State. The attrition felt among the Buckeye big men will test new coach Chris Holtmann’s strategy and put an emphasis on player development.
'BTPowerhouse Preview'- Ohio State Frontcourt
- 2016-'17 All-Big Ten Qualifiers: Trevor Thompson (Honorable Mention)
- Departures: Trevor Thompson
- Additions: Kaleb Wesson
- Top Player: Kaleb Wesson
Losing Trevor Thompson, with a year of eligibility left, hurts the already shallow depth the Buckeyes have in their frontcourt. However, bringing aboard the reigning number one recruit in the state of Ohio, will help band aid over the wounds of losing an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honoree.
That number one Ohio recruit is the Westerville native, Kaleb Wesson. Wesson also received the distinction of being Ohio’s Mr. Basketball on top of being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the Buckeye State. That resume coupled with the lack of a returning, reliable big man is why Wesson should get see the starting lineup the moment he steps onto campus.
Wesson averaged 21.3 points per game along with 11.3 rebounds per game his senior year of high school while converting two-thirds of his field goal attempts. At 6-9 and 270 pounds the freshman will look to whet his physical appetite from the get go.
Wesson’s older brother, Andre, is also on the roster and the Wesson patriarch, Keith, suited up for the Buckeyes from 1983-87. The scarlet and gray runs deep within the Wesson family.
The highly touted freshman cannot do everything for the Buckeyes, unfortunately. The lack of depth is going to challenge the level of conditioning that the big guys possess. Sophomore Micah Potter will have to be responsible for providing the lone meaningful bench minutes for the frontcourt.
As a freshman, Potter played in 30 games and found his name in the starting lineup 12 times. Only one of those starts came in Big Ten play, however. He averaged 4.1 points per game and added in three rebounds per game during his inaugural season in Columbus.
The number zero clad Potter will have to increase his production as the short frontcourt bench got even shorter this season. The Mentor, Ohio native figures to see his 14 minutes per game average shoot up which will provide valuable on the job experience for the years to come.
Luckily for the Buckeyes, they have talented wings that can help shoulder the load as the young big guys settle into their roles of increased responsibility. Freshman Kaleb Wesson has an eye on an All-Big Ten Freshman team selection and using his frame to muscle up with fellow Big Ten big boys and solidify himself as the next great Ohio State forward.