2012 Season Stats:
13 GP, 38 Min, 2 pts (total), .167 FG%, 6 REB, 1 AST, 4 TO
A Look Back:
Here are some highlights of Mr. McDonald during his senior year:
For those of you less familiar with McDonald, he along with Amir Williams arrived in Columbus from Michigan last year as touted big men. McDonald was a three-star recruit by most sites and was rated 14th in the country at his position by ESPN.com's scouting service. As a junior at Battle Creek Central High School he led his team with 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, and as a senior was an all-city and all-conference performer.
Last season, McDonald received limited playing time. He made his debut in the season opener against Wright State, got his first two rebounds late in the game against Jackson State last November 18th, picked up his first career assist against Iowa on January 7th of this year, and scored his first career points against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament semifinal on March 10th. However, with Jared Sullinger, Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams ahead of him in the rotation, he saw limited run as a true freshman.
Outlook for 2012-2013:
McDonald may have trouble cracking Thad Matta's typically short rotation again (in spite of what matter says) in 2012-2013. There were rumors that he'd transfer which were quickly squashed, but his development has been slower than that of fellow big man Amir Williams. It looks like best case scenario for McDonald is as the second big man off the bench to give Williams or Ravenel a breather. McDonald is big and talented with a nice jump hook, but at the moment he is still developing as a college player. If he is to receive extended minutes it will be during the non-conference schedule. These are the main minutes to watch out for - if he produces, he has a chance to earn himself a lot more playing time than last year due to graduation along the front line for the Buckeyes.
Best Case Scenario:
McDonald impresses at practice and earns some more minutes than he did last season to give the veteran Ravenel and future defensive star Williams a break. He takes advantage of his opportunities and grabs some strong rebounds, increasing Thad Matta's trust in the sophomore. Barring injury, it looks like his best situation is going to be as a front line depth guy who eats up minutes and fouls for Williams and Ravenel.
Worst Case Scenario:
McDonald looks lost in the garbage time he does receive against the cupcakes on Ohio State's schedule. He fails to box out and misses more of the few shot opportunities that he receives - blowing layups will really hurt his cause. If he does not take advantage of the minutes that are given to him (and make no mistake, there will be more than last year but still very few) he could find himself riding pine again the whole season next to some of the younger players, new recruits and walk-ons on the squad.
I believe McDonald has a good shot this year to contribute as a big man who can provide depth, but little else. This is still Amir Williams' and Evan Ravenel's frontcourt.