Ohio State basketball 2013 exit interviews: The deep bench

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over, we can take some time to look back at how individuals players did, how they matched up with our expectations, and what they might do in the future. Today we take a look at two players deep on the bench, Amedeo Della Valle and Trey McDonald.

Trey McDonald and everyone's favorite purveyor of floppy headed mayhem, Amedeo Della Valle, weren't expected by many to play significant roles for the Buckeyes during the 2012-2013 season, and by and large, they didn't. That doesn't mean that their seasons were devoid of accomplishment or growth though. Let's take a look at how they did, and what we can learn.

Amedeo Della Valle

Season Stats: 2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 7.2 Minutes, .385% 3P%

Best Game: In only 13 minutes against Chicago State, Amedeo drained a trio of three pointers en route to a season-high 11 point night, while also grabbing 3 boards. He didn't get a lot of minutes during B1G play, but he did knock down two triples in a 71-45 blowout over Minnesota.

Worst Game: It's hard to castigate a guy that didn't really play. From January 8th to February 14th, ADV recorded less than two full minutes of playing time (although he did manage to grab a board during that time). You don't have to be Jay Billas to understand that coach Matta wasn't particularly confident in Amedeo at that point, so let's be thankful that he wasn't seeing major minutes then, which probably would have led to some tire fire boxscores.

The Skinny: That would be a pretty apt description of Amedeo actually. He *is* skinny. The guy basically admitted that bro, he *doesn't* really lift, or at least, didn't before he got to Ohio State, leaving him physically unready to handle the vigors and physicality of high level D1 basketball. While he has good height (6-5) for a guard, you could tell that he really struggled to fight through screens and find awareness defensively, making it hard to justify longer stays on the court.

Fans love the guy for a reason though, and not just because of his outstanding Twitter feed and Anderson Varejao-like hair. The guy CLEARLY *gives a crap*, which was especially evident during the Madtown Massacure, where he lead the team in blocks and assists, missing the memo that it was okay to stop trying. While he basically only shot during garbage time, ADV does bring legitimate 3 point range to the table, something that was lacking on the team, and could be very important next season.

The Prognosis: The good news is that a lot of what ADV struggled with is correctable. A season (or more) in the weight room will help him pack on the size he needs to compete. A year's worth of experience will help him adjust quicker to the speed and strength of conference play, and help him understand his defensive footwork more. His total athleticism is still lacking, and with everybody, plus Kameron Williams, coming back in what could be a crowded backcourt, major minutes may be hard to find for Amedeo, even if he drastically improves. A promotion from "human victory cigar" to "situational shooter" may be the most likely scenario, but even that would be an improvement.

Trey McDonald

Season Stats: 1.3 PPG 1.2 RPG 0.1 APG 0.2BPG 7.6 Minutes .556 FG%

Best Game: McDonald played very sparingly during the season. He added 4 points and 4 boards in 15 minutes of play against Long Beach State, and grabbed 6 rebounds (aaaaand 4 fouls) in 17 minutes during the Madtown Massacre. His season high in points was 5, which he picked up in 8 minutes against Iona in the NCAA round of 64.

Worst Game: Despite only playing 7 minutes, McDonald managed to pick 4 fouls AND 3 turnovers in a 71-45 win over Minnesota.

The Skinny: McDonald didn't see a whole lot of time this year, even with the consistent struggling of Amir Williams, which goes to show how much faith the coaching staff had in him. He played at least 10 minutes only five times during the entire year, which didn't give enough time to either really endear him to Buckeye fans, or earn their wrath. McDonald can run the floor and only takes good shots, but he's propensity to foul was a big concern.

The Prognosis: McDonald has never been a significant scorer at any level and Buckeye fans probably shouldn't expect that to change. In limited playing time, he has shown some flashes of rebounding ability, and can certainly flush home a tip-in, but needs to improve his consistency, awareness, hands and fouling. With Ravenel leaving, Deshaun Thomas most likely eaving and no immediate transfer in sight, McDonald will likely be counted on to provide more minutes next season, along with Amir Williams and newcomer Marc Loving. If he can stay on the court and rebound effectively, he'd go a long way towards helping the Bucks next season, but significant gains probably aren't in the cards.

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