With but eleven days to go before the Ohio State basketball Buckeyes open the 2012-2013 drive for Atlanta (albeit in an exhibition capacity), it's only appropriate we begin to introduce as well as re-acclimate ourselves with the individuals who will define how far this iteration of Buckeyes can go. We begin with newcomer Amedeo Della Valle.
Findlay Prep High School Stats: 12.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, 54% 3FG
2012 FIBA European Championship Stats: 23.9 MPG, 15.1 PPG, 3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 50% 3FG
A Look Back:
Before we recap his 2011, let's start with the obvious question: you pronounce Amedeo Della Valle's named with A-ma-day-oh Del-la Val-lay. Not so hard now was it?
Della Valle wrapped up a whirlwind 2011-2012 having globe hopped somewhat extensively as well as having made the decision where he was going to spend the next three to five years of his life. After a lengthy process which saw a later than ordinary decision being made between the likes of Arizona and the Bucks (and before that Gonzaga and even some team you may have heard of called Michigan), Della Valle elected to head to Columbus to become a Buckeye.
Before that he had a pretty boring year of playing basketball that included helping his high school Findlay Prep (in Henderson, Nevada) to third in ESPN's National High School Invitational Championship. The Alba, Italy product was also the leading scorer for Italy's under-18 national team in the 2012 FIBA European Championships, shooting 50% from 3 and 54.2% overall from the field en route to putting 15.1 points per game on average.
A year in one place (well, likely with visits back home to Italy during the offseason) might seem anticlimactic in comparison for the 6'4" marksman.
Outlook for 2012-2013:
This is where it gets dicey. In spite of Thad Matta's repeated declaration that Ohio State's increased depth could see the Buckeyes play as many as 10 this season, Della Valle potentially falls just outside that threshold. It's important to remember that the June enrollee doesn't exactly have his sea legs at the collegiate level yet and might not be physically mature enough to handle the rigors of major conference college basketball.
For all the early (extremely premature) comparisons to Jon Diebler, Diebler himself had a rocky road transitioning from the state of Ohio's all-time leading scorer to capable college basketball three point specialist. He'll see action during the non-conference slate but it seems unlikely he'll be much of an impact player for the Buckeyes (who could hypothetically use the consistent stroke given the plethora of questions about a viable long range option).
Best Case Scenario:
This probably involves an unforeseen injury to someone so I wouldn't go as far as to call it a "best case", but perhaps Della Valle takes advantage of an unexpected opportunity and hits a couple of timely threes in the second half of a non-conference game. As he continues to earn the staff's confidence and demonstrates growth in his game, he becomes such a trusted specialist for the Buckeyes that the team can work him into the rotation to relieve their core 6-8 guys and potentially hit open threes when the defensive attention is focused on Ohio State's more household name options.
This is probably still somewhat a pipe dream at best.
Worst Case Scenario:
He sees the floor even less than Trey McDonald and LaQuinton Ross did in 2011-2012. This is probably alas the realist's vantage on how Della Valle contributes as he'll probably have to do his best work during the season at hand from a practice/weight room capacity.