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Entering his sophomore season, Ohio State’s Musa Jallow hopes to find consistency

After getting limited minutes in his freshman year with the Buckeyes, Musa Jallow is looking for a bigger role this season.

NCAA Basketball: Robert Morris at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Definitely this year I want to be more consistent. I want to be able to produce on a consistent basis and have something I can hang my hat on for every single game.”

-Ohio State guard Musa Jallow via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

After getting his feet wet at Ohio State by starting 10 games in his freshman year, Musa Jallow is looking for more consistency in his sophomore season. Jallow saw at least 19 minutes in each of his first nine games with the Buckeyes, but saw his minutes dwindle as the Buckeyes moved into Big Ten play. The best performance from Jallow came in the upset win over Purdue, where he hit three three-pointers, and finished with 10 points.

A big reason for increased optimism for Jallow heading into his sophomore season is because he was picked to participate in the United States’ U18 team camp earlier this month. Jallow was the only college player in the camp, and while he didn’t make the squad, he did earn positive reviews while he was in camp.

The year of college experience did help Jallow during camp, and the coaches told Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann how prepared Jallow was and how quick he was able to adapt to their teachings. Kansas head coach Bill Self is the coach of the U18 team, and the pace of the practices that Self ran was something Jallow was accustomed to, where some of the players still in high school weren’t as familiar with.

Even though he didn’t make the U18 squad, Jallow hopes the time he spent in camp will help to prepare him even more for his sophomore season. With the losses of veterans like Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop, plenty of minutes are up for grabs on the Ohio State roster, and Jallow is hoping to earn more this season and make an impact for the Buckeyes.

“They’ll start [fall camp] at Mike. I love the competition. All the positions are in such a strong battle, it’s so healthy. They’re all drive, they’re all helping each other.”

-Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis on linebackers Baron Browning and Justin Hilliard via Tony Gerdeman, The-Ozone

One of the biggest questions for Ohio State heading into the 2018 season is what is going to happen at the linebacker position. While Dante Booker is returning, the Buckeyes still have to figure out who is going to replace Chris Worley and Jerome Baker.

Tuf Borland was a prime candidate to fill one of those spots, but an Achilles injury that caused him to miss spring camp is giving other linebackers and opportunity to state their case. Baron Browning saw some time at middle linebacker last year to help him learn the defense better and ease the transition for an eventual move to one of the outside linebacker positions. Justin Hilliard is another linebacker who shared time in the middle during spring practices.

While Borland could be back for the start of the season, giving Browning and Hilliard some time at MLB gives Ohio State some added versatility in their linebacking corps, which could help the Buckeyes if any more injuries pop up. The depth at middle linebacker grew even more when Ohio State was able to bring in freshman Teradja Mitchell, who was the No. 2 inside linebacker recruit in the country.

What linebackers coach Bill Davis likes most about his group, is the competition he is seeing at all the position. The fight for playing time is bringing out the best of the young linebackers, and helping them to improve. If the growth of these linebackers continue, the group will recover from the losses of Baker and Worley quicker than many were expecting.

“The ball never stops bouncing. You can play basketball all year. That’s something I would like to do is play basketball all year round, stay in shape. But there’s also a time where you have to work on your body, recover.”

-Former Ohio State forward Marc Loving via Steve Slivka, WTVG-TV

As Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate are hoping to hear their named called in tonight’s NBA Draft, former Ohio State Buckeye Marc Loving is just hoping for a shot. Loving wasn’t drafted in last year’s NBA Draft, and spent last season with the Delaware 87ers in the NBA G-League.

Despite having opportunities to play basketball overseas, Loving is hoping to latch on with an NBA Summer League team and draw the interest of an NBA team so he can continue to play basketball in the United States. Last year Loving appeared in 29 games for the 87ers, averaging 6.1 points per game. Despite only seeing 17.6 minutes per game, he was able to play with former NBA players Emeka Okafor and Shannon Brown, and take in some of the lessons from the veterans.

As Loving works on what is the next step in his career, he recently was able to work with kids at a basketball camp at his St. John’s Jesuit, his alma mater in Toledo. One of the things he did impart on the youngsters is to put in time and effort in what you want to be good at, whether that be basketball or anything else. Loving is putting in the effort to try and kickstart his career, and hopefully it pays off for the former Buckeye soon.