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Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson makes Andy Katz’s Top 25 Players in 2019-20

The Ohio State junior checks in at 15th on Andy Katz’s list of Top 25 NCAA men’s basketball players in 2019-20.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Houston vs Ohio State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

All signs are pointing to Kaleb Wesson having a monster year for Ohio State this year. The junior forward was ranked 15th in Andy Katz’s Top 25 players heading into this season. After having to shoulder much of the load for the Buckeyes last season, Wesson will see some of the pressure be lifted as Ohio State has a number of talented freshmen joining the team.

Last year Wesson averaged 14.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes, leading Ohio State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The key for Wesson this year will be staying on the floor more. Last year the big man was plagued at times with foul trouble, allowing him to average just 25.9 points per game.

Wesson showed just what he can do in the NCAA Tournament when he is able to stay on the floor. In the upset win over Iowa State, Wesson played 31 minutes and finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. If Wesson is able to mirror that production this season, there’s no doubt he’ll be in consideration for one of the coveted spots on the All-America team.

“Zo’s a super kid. He has tremendous upside and potential. We utilized him basically as a hybrid forward. Really, really skilled for his size. Shot the ball extremely well in the fall. Great length. High, high level athlete.”

Jason Smith, head coach of Ohio State forward Alonzo Gaffney at Brewster Academy via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

Alonzo Gaffney is part of Ohio State basketball’s outstanding incoming recruiting class, and the Cleveland native figures to make some noise for the Buckeyes at forward. When Gaffney suits up for Ohio State in the fall, he’ll be realizing the dream of playing for his childhood favorite team.

Even though Gaffney was one of the top recruits in Ohio, the road to Columbus hasn’t been the easiest. Following his junior season, Gaffney was considered one of the leading candidates for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award in his senior season, but the forward had other plans. Gaffney decided it would be best for his preparation for Ohio State to transfer to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

Not only did the move help Gaffney’s development but he also would be playing with college rules. Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith thinks the time management Gaffney learned in his senior season will give him a leg-up over the other incoming freshman at Ohio State. Even though Gaffney averaged just 10 points per game at Brewster Academy, the team saw eight players average between 8-15 points. The collection of talent led Brewster Academy to their sixth national title in school history.

There’s no question that Gaffney has the tools to succeed at Ohio State, now it is time for the forward to realize his dreams. Gaffney played a lot of hybrid forward last year and expect that to continue in Columbus. Gaffney comes to Ohio State with similar measurables to former Buckeye star Keita Bates-Diop, and the Cleveland native has been putting in work in the weight room to add to his frame. If Gaffney can play anything like Bates-Diop did in Columbus, Ohio State fans are in for a treat.

For the second straight year, Ohio State’s men’s basketball team has earned the NABC’s Team Excellence Award. For the past seven years, the NABC has been recognizing teams with a cumulative 3.0 or better grade-point average. Ohio State is just one of two Big Ten teams to be awarded the NABC’s Team Excellence Award, with the other being Northwestern.

Ohio State was led by Joey Lane, who was honored earlier this week as a Big Ten 2018-19 Distinguished Scholar, which is awarded to student-athletes with a grade-point average of 3.7 or better the previous academic year. Overall, Ohio State had 131 student-athletes recognized as Distinguished Scholars during the 2018-19 academic year.

“University of New Mexico head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker will head to Ohio State. She will fill the role left by Jordan Wolfrum, who became the head coach at UCLA.”

Torrey Hart, SwimSwam

After associate head coach Jordan Wolfrum took a position as UCLA’s head coach, Ohio State had a hole to fill in their coaching staff. It looks as if the Buckeyes have found Wolfrum’s replacement in New Mexico head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker. No official announcement has been made yet on what her exact title at Ohio State will be.

Tierney-Walker just finished up her third season as head coach of New Mexico’s women-only program. Last year the Lobos finished fourth at the Mountain West Championships, which was their highest finish in program history. Before her time at New Mexico, Tierney-Walker was head coach of Arizona State’s combined gender program from 2009-15, and before that co-head women’s coach at Auburn for four years.

Ohio State’s swimming program finished third in both the men’s and women’s meets at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. This coming season looks bright for the Buckeyes, as the women have the most returning points in the Big Ten from last season returning.