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You’re Nuts: Two brazenly bold predictions for Ohio State men’s basketball

Buckle up, because we’ve got some predictions that are way out there.

Syndication: LafayetteLA SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network, USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

All this week, LGHL writers will be bring you articles focusing on their biggest and boldest predictions. Check out all of our “Bold Predictions” articles throughout the week HERE. Whether you disagree, let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter @Landgrant33.

Happy bold predictions week! We normally get pretty weird with our basketball “Nuts” articles, but this week we’re going to go straight off the rails with our boldest basketball predictions for this season.

Last week, Connor and Justin debated which Ohio State men’s basketball record is least likely to be broken. Justin chose Robin Freeman’s career scoring average of 28 points per game, and Connor chose Dennis Hopson’s single-season record of 215 made free throws in 1986. With 50% of the vote, Justin/Freeman won. Connor and his free throw record garnered 38% of the vote, and 12% of you chose violence by clicking the “other” option, which we specifically told you not to click.

After 12 weeks

Connor- 6
Justin- 3
Other- 2
(Six weeks ago there was a tie)

After roughly three months of debating, Connor holds a 6-3 lead over Justin, who is just beating out the “other” option.

This week we’re giving our hottest, sauciest, boldest predictions as part of LGHL’s “Bold Predictions” week. There’s been a lot of coverage of this on the gridiron side, but not as much on the hardwood. There are no stipulations to this prompt. The prediction can involve players, coaches, or whatever you want. There are no rules.

As always, if you agree with one of us, let us know in the comments below, or respond on Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in particular, or anything Ohio State-hoops related!

Today’s Question: What is your boldest Ohio State basketball prediction for this season?

Connor: One player gets in trouble for an NIL-related issue

Full disclaimer: I think Chris Holtmann and his staff have — for the most part — recruited great players who also seem to be very humble, responsible, and understanding of the kind of weight they carry in the community as an Ohio State athlete. The class of 2015, Thad Matta’s last “great” class, was pretty much a full class of players who thought the show was all about them, and we saw how that worked out.

Part of the reason the Ohio State fanbase has been drawn to Holtmann’s teams so far is because they seem to be made up of good kids who are not taking their experience for granted and all really love each other. Just a ton of likable, funny guys. I’m only making this clear because my bold prediction here has nothing to do with what I think of the current team — it has everything to do with NIL being the wild, wild, west right now. There are going to be a few hiccups.

When the state of Ohio passed NIL last month, Ohio State quickly put together a document outlining what players can and cannot do with their name, image, and likeness. You can read the entire memo here, if you wish.

But if you don’t want to read through it all, here are a few bits of the memo that could potentially cause a snag for athletes this season if they don’t carefully read the rules:

  • Athletes must submit their proposed verbal or written NIL agreement to Ohio State through Opendorse in advance. Ohio State will review the proposed agreement to determine if there is a conflict with any Ohio State contract.
  • Athletes may not participate in an NIL Activity while required to be present for practice, scrimmage, or competition.
  • Athletes may not participate in any NIL Activities during required team activities, on- or off-campus. This includes, among others, during media, team travel, photo sessions, community service, and team building activities.
  • During NIL Activities, athletes may not use any Ohio State trademarks, service marks, logos, symbols or other intellectual property of Ohio State without prior written permission from Ohio State’s Office of Trademark and Licensing Services.
  • Athletes may not use photos or videos containing Ohio State trademarks, logos, service marks, symbols, or other intellectual property in your NIL Activities without prior written approval from Ohio State Trademark & Licensing Services, regardless of how they obtained the photo or video.
  • Athletes may not sell their team-issued equipment and apparel until their eligibility is exhausted.
  • Athletes may not enter into an NIL agreement with any of the following industries:

= Distilled spirits (i.e., hard liquor)

= Tobacco products


= Marijuana (including legalized or medical) products

= Any business engaged in the sale, rental, or exhibition for any form of consideration of adult entertainment that is characterized by an emphasis on the exposure or display of sexual activity

So, there’s a lot of “except this” in the NIL rules, which will eventually cause some athletes to violate NIL rules without even knowing they did so. Most athletes will run things by the university first (as they should), but we’re bound to see an accidental slip up along the way. What if Meechie Johnson skips a team meal to do a photo shoot for Crest White Strips? What if Justin Ahrens mistakenly wears an Ohio State hat in a commercial for a local restaurant? Innocent enough on the surface, but there’s like, a dozen stipulations to Ohio State’s NIL policy.

This year will be a trial run for name, image, and likeness. It is way overdue, and I’m excited players can finally get a cut of the pie that they’ve been cooking up and handing straight to the university for over a century. But you’re silly if you think everything will go off without a hitch, and this won’t change college sports. It will, and this season is going to be the guinea pig for these changes.

Justin: Cedric Russell will average 20 or more points per game

I had a good feeling about last week. Did I vote for myself 25 times? Maybe. But you are only as good as the next week, so let’s move forward. Just three weeks until I catch Connor. And this week is easy.

What is better than some bold predictions? Well, a lot of things honestly but who cares. Right now, nothing is better than some bold predictions. So, let’s start the iron off hot.

My bold prediction is that Ohio State transfer guard Cedric Russell will average 20 or more points per game this season.

Hey, you said bold. So I am going to go bold.

There are a couple reasons why I believe this so I will break it down for everyone.

First of all, he almost did this last season. Russell averaged 17.2 points per game his senior season at Louisiana. He was a volume scorer and shooter and all of his marks went up from his junior season. He showed spurts of high level scoring, specifically scoring 26 points in the season opener against eventual national champion Baylor. That shows he can not only score against an elite team, but an elite defense and elite guards in Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler. He also scored 30 and 26 points against Arkansas State, 26 points against Texas-Arlington and 25 points against Louisiana Tech.

Russell is also an elite three-point shooter, knocking down 40 percent of his attempts this season. He will be similar to Duane Washington will his streakiness, but Russell is slightly more consistent than Washington from behind the arc.

I recognize this is no easy task in the Big Ten and that Cedric isn’t in Kansas anymore (yes, I know he went to Louisiana, it’s a Wizard of Oz reference people).

Only two guys averaged over 20 points per game in the Big Ten last season. Iowa’s Luka Garza averaged 24.1 points per game and Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois averaged 20.1 points per game. Minnesota’s Marcus Carr was close, averaging 19.4 points per game. All of these players were nationally recognized scorers so Russell will have to make his name a household one to achieve this feat.

Another reason is he is pretty much taking he role of Duane Washington Jr and I predicted Washington would average over 20 points per game if he came back to Columbus, so I am just staying consistent.

Russell is not a guy who is going to get you five or six assists per game. In his four years at Louisiana, he averaged 0.7, 1.5, 2.1 and 1.2 assists per game. That is not a guy who is distributing the ball around. And that isn’t a bad thing. When you have a scorer like that, you give him the green light and let him loose. You have plenty of guys who can move the ball around. Let. Cedric. Russell. Cook.

The main question will be how much of a green light does he get early from Chris Holtmann and his staff? And is he going to be a starter at the two off the jump? I believe he will be, but that will remain to be seen as the season gets underway. Holtmann might elect to go with Jimmy Sotos or someone that he knows a little better.

But if he does go with Russell and let him loose early, I expect a couple huge performances early in the season from the transfer guard.


Which bold prediction is more likely to come true?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    One player gets in trouble for an NIL-related violation (Connor)
    (51 votes)
  • 48%
    Cedric Russell will average 20 or more points this season (Justin)
    (64 votes)
  • 13%
    These are simply not bold enough for me. I need something juicier.
    (18 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now