Looking ahead and attempting to predict the future for things like unpopular opinions and bold predictions are really fun, but ‘what ifs’ are even better because you cant be wrong. You are simply saying, “What if this happens?”
Since I am part of the wrecking crew that is the Land-Grant Holy Land basketball beat, I decided to go with a basketball proposition for this one. What of Justice Sueing and Seth Towns are fully healthy heading into next season? I can see the Facebook comments already.
Now, there is an obvious clarification that needs to be made right off the bat. Seth Towns is older now and has been through multiple surgeries and injuries, and will never be the guy who won Ivy League Player of the Year again. That is simply not how time works. But let’s be honest, time sucks. However, if Towns can be healthy for his current state and give the Buckeyes quality minutes, that will go miles for the Buckeyes’ depth and their growth.
Let’s take a look at these two and what they can bring.
Towns averaged 16 points and 5.7 rebounds per game during his sophomore season at Harvard, after averaging 12.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game during his first season.
Towns has never been the most athletic or relied on athleticism to help him get his points. He is a great shooter who can play all three levels and plays with an incredibly high IQ, helping him know where to attack defenses and how to get to his spots.
As long as he is healthy enough to be out there, he can make a difference for the Buckeyes. And realistically, anything that they get from him is bonus at this point.
Now, and I genuinely believe this, if Justice Sueing can recover fully and stay healthy, he can be a top 10 player in the Big Ten.
First of all, the Big Ten lost a lot of star talent and there is going to be a lot of chances for guys to take their places. Secondly, Sueing has been described by multiple people as the teams “Swiss Army Knife” and he will likely play 30-35 minutes a game at different positions — again, as long as he is healthy.
Sueing is a guy who can realistically get you 15-5-5 a game while being the best on-ball defender on the court. If he can give the Buckeyes just that, he will be a force in the conference this season.
The Buckeyes are going to have a very interesting roster outlook. They only return 12 percent of their offense from last season (mainly due to the loss of E.J. Liddell and Malaki Branham), but there is an argument to be made that they are one of the more talented teams in the conference.
They went out in the transfer portal and got Sean McNeil, Tanner Holden and Isaac Likekele — all guys who will either start or be first off the bench. They also are bringing in the sixth best recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports. At least four of their five freshman coming in will also be playing minutes off the bench. Plus, there are returning starters and rotation players like Zed Key, Eugene Brown and Kalen Etzler, who redshirted last season but looks ready to go now.
However, no matter all of that, Sueing’s role is still expected to be huge and Towns is expected to make some sort of contribution to the team, mainly on offense. If they can stay healthy, and at this point it is a big if, these two guys are the X-factors for the Buckeyes. Sweet 16 you say?