As the basketball offseason continues and we move into the fall, Land-Grant Holy Land will put out our basketball player and team previews. There will be two previews per week leading all the way into the start of the season, starting with player previews.
We have made it to the end of the player previews. With the retirement of Seth Towns, redshirt senior Justice Sueing will end our lookahead at this year’s Ohio State roster.
Name: Justice Sueing
Weight: 210 pounds
High School: Mater Dei High School (California)
Class: Redshirt Senior
2021-22 stats: N/A (Only played in two games due to injury)
This is the guy everyone wants to see. With the departures of Duane Washington Jr. and E.J. Liddell to the NBA, guys like Justin Ahrens and Musa Jallow entering the transfer portal and losing Kyle Young to graduation, Sueing is the only guy left on the team that saw meaningful minutes from the 2020-21 season that earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was upset by Oral Roberts in the first round (Zed Key played six minutes in that game).
Sueing came into last season with high hopes of being one of the top guys on the team along with E.J. Liddell and Kyle Young, but a lingering injury from the end of the 2020-21 season prevented him from playing throughout the season. Sueing only played in the Buckeyes’ first two games and missed the rest of the season. He also very much looked injured in the first two games.
“It’s definitely been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever faced in my life,” Sueing said at Ohio State media day. “There was a lot of personal things going on in my life as well as that injury, and what got me through it a lot was me and my (Christian) faith, pretty much. It was very mentally draining because it wasn’t a lack of work that I was putting in or resources, it was just getting right up to where I wanted it to be and then some type of setback would occur and just having to constantly deal with that.”
Sueing had a groin injury that proved to be much more of an issue than anyone originally thought, including him.
“As I came to learn, it’s a complex region of the body,” Sueing said. “As much research and as much as we know about it, we don’t know that much to do. It’s not like a clean-cut injury like you broke your arm or something. It’s complicated in that area, but I’m just very glad that that part of the rehab is over and now I’m just finally able to play freely.
“It was the same one, the one I was dealing with at the end of the year (before),” Sueing added. “It got better, and then there was a lot of fluctuating with that injury. Finally found out what was wrong, and we fixed it so I’m all good and I feel better than ever.”
Sueing has been adamant that he is better than ever and ready to prove it to the world. If he is healthy, his talent and production has no reason to be questioned.
“Man, you’re going to see a healthy Justice and hopefully I can bring a lot of wins to this program this year as well as me playing my game, being the best overall player I can be,” he said.
At California, before he transferred to Ohio State, he averaged 13.8 points and 14.3 points per game in his first two collegiate seasons. In his only season with the Buckeyes thus far, he averaged 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
At California, Sueing proved he can score the ball at a high level. In his one season with the Buckeyes, Sueing has proved that he can rebound at a high level, play multiple positions, and defend multiple positions, as well. Combine that with his talent and the role he will have this season as the top guy, and that is a recipe for success.
He can be a guy that gives you 18-20 points and 5-6 rebounds per game at his best. Plus, he has played heavy minutes in all three of his healthy seasons, so he is familiar in that role as well. All Buckeye fans should be excited to see what Sueing can do for Ohio State this season.
IF he is healthy (and yes, it is a big if until we see him play in a game situation), Sueing is THE guy on this team. The addition of Wright State transfer Tanner Holden and freshman Brice Sensabaugh will help take some of the load off. But if he is healthy, he is the best player on the team, and they will need him to be the main scorer.
In our bold prediction theme, I predicted Sueing will be a first team All-Big Ten performer. The main reasons are his talent, his role and the fact that most of the top guys in the conference last season left. Those roles need to be filled, and Sueing should be the one to fill that void. I am standing by that until further notice.