Going into this 2017-18 Ohio State Buckeyes basketball season, my optimism was mild. The new coaching hire was solid, the recruiting class showed promise, and the fans were slightly encouraged. When I looked at the non-conference schedule, which included a couple of conference games, I felt I would have a solid gauge of this team once it was over. Like a lot of things I do in this world, I am going to give a premature finish to the analysis of the non-conference schedule.
There are only 4 games left. Along with the North Carolina Tar Heels game, which Ohio State will likely lose, they have Appy State, Miami, and the Citadel, which the Buckeyes should win. That will put OSU at 11-4 on the season. Or 9-4 in the actual non-conference. Not bad. Maybe the Buckeyes will pull off the huge upset, maybe they will get upset, none of that will really change my current impression of the team.
Currently, Ohio State is ranked 64 in the RPI, which is sort of the exact number of teams invited to the NCAA tournament at the end of the year. The Buckeyes are currently a bubble team with low-brow analytics. That’s a step up.
There are some things I like about this team, like 10 players getting 10 minutes or more per game. There are some things I don’t like about this team, like some “main” players still missing way too many shots.
It’s really early in the Chris Holtmann era at Ohio State, and even though they are 2-0 in the Big Ten with wins against Michigan and Wisconsin, I am tempering my expectations. However, I do think this team has the potential to make the NCAA tournament. With wins over Michigan and Wisconsin, Ohio State has shown they can compete in the BigTen. Maybe not for the title, but finishing over .500 isn’t a huge reach. If they do that, the Bucks probably could go dancing.
That’s my early assessment of the Buckeyes season. What about you?
Just how good are the basketball Buckeyes going to be this season?
This poll is closed
Slightly less terrible
A solid NIT team
An NCAA bubble team