Kaleb Wesson dropped 34 pounds from his beefy frame during the off-season, but he still has the three-point shooting touch that made him a difficult cover for opposing centers.
A slimmer, more mobile Wesson scored 23 points, including 3-of-4 shooting on three-point attempts, in No. 18 Ohio State's 95-52 win over Division II Cedarville University in an exhibition game Monday at Value City Arena.
The 6-10 Wesson missed only two of his 11 field goal attempts and seemed unbothered by the new three-point arc, which matches the international distance 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches, approximately 16 inches farther than last season.
Freshman D.J. Carton had 15 points in his collegiate debut for OSU, which opens its regular season Wednesday at home against the University of Cincinnati.
"He has an extra gear," Holtmann said of Carton, a 6-2 point guard who was the high school player-of-the-year in Iowa. "He played with really good poise. He's quick enough and fast enough he doesn't have to play faster than what he is already....He changed the pace of the game when he came in."
Carton had five assists and only one turnover to help OSU, which used a 19-4 rally to erase a 26-25 Cedarville lead midway through the first half.
Junior transfer C.J. Walker and Kyle Young each had 10 points for the Buckeyes, who have reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in each of Holtmann's first two seasons.
"I thought we responded fairly well toward the end of the first half when their stretch of making some shots," Holtmann said. "We contributed to some of that with some inattention to detail defensively. That was good to see. It was good to see us face some of that.
"We were active with our hands. We were able to get some deflections and some steals. We also took some better shots and were able to play through Kaleb a few times."
Cincinnati will return three starters from the team OSU defeated, 64-56, in the 2018-19 season opener at UC.
The Bearcats, however, do not return head coach Mick Cronin. He left after 13 seasons to take over at UCLA.
John Brannen is now the head coach at UC after four seasons at Northern Kentucky University, which he led to NCAA Tournament berths two of the last three years."
"We're playing a team in Cincinnati that will considerably better offensively as a group than what we played last year," Holtmann said. "It's as challenging an opener as I've ever played.
"In a lot of ways, more challenging, because it's a different system. We kind of knew what we were getting last year. We'll need to really improve in a lot of areas and we have a few days to do that."
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