Ohio State Buckeyes 2014-15 team preview

Monday November 3rd, 2014

The Buckeyes know they won’t be the same team defensively after the graduation of pit bull point guard Aaron Craft. More important, they know they can’t be the same offensively. The ball rarely rotated last season, and when it did, players often stood around waiting for someone else to shoot. The result was the nation’s 128th most-efficient attack. “One guy would have the ball on one side of the floor for 10, 15, 20 seconds,” forward Sam Thompson says. “It’s hard to have a fluid offense like that.”

In off-season workouts coaches emphasized movement, spacing and playmaking. In the “pin-down” drill, for example, a big man dropped from the free throw line to set a screen for a guard or a wing. The player who received the pass was instructed to immediately shoot, dribble or feed the ball into the post. “Everyone catches the ball, looks to the rim and makes something happen right away,” guard Shannon Scott says.

Still, no returning player averaged more than 7.9 points last year. So expect the moving ball to find its way to 6' 5" McDonald’s All-American D’Angelo Russell, a high-volume scorer who’s also an excellent passer. “He has such a good feel for the game, wherever he is on the floor,” Thompson says. The rest of the Buckeyes need to follow his lead in order to be both different and better.

Read all of SI.com's 2014-15 college basketball preview content

Projected top seven scorers

name

pos

class

ppg

rpg

apg

o-rating

D'Angelo Russell

2

Fr

13.3

4.5

2.1

109.4

Shannon Scott

1

Sr

10.0

3.7

5.1

110.8

Marc Loving

4

So

9.8

4.3

0.6

110.6

Sam Thompson

3

Sr

9.4

3.0

1.2

116.0

Anthony Lee

4

Sr

7.6

5.8

0.5

109.9

Amir Williams

4

Sr

7.3

5.4

0.3

116.6

Keita Bates-Diop

4

Fr

6.7

3.3

1.0

108.5

Projected Big Ten standings

rank

team

projected conf. record

2013-14 conf. record

1

Wisconsin

15-3

 

2

Ohio State

12-6

 

3

Iowa

11-7

 

4

Michigan State

10-8

 

5

Michigan

10-8

 

6

Maryland

10-8

 

7

Nebraska

9-9

 

8

Illinois

9-9

 

9

Minnesota

9-9

 

10

Indiana

8-10

 

11

Penn State

7-11

 

12

Purdue

6-12

 

13

Northwestern

6-12

 

14

Rutgers

4-14

 

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