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.
Last time we highlighted Bruce Thornton. This time around, we are taking a look at fellow freshman, Brice Sensabaugh.
Name: Brice Sensabaugh
Weight: 240 pounds
High School: Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Florida
2021-22 stats: N/A
Sensabaugh comes in as a guy who can pretty much do anything. He is listed at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, but he probably walks around stronger and bigger than that. He can score at all three levels and defends multiple positions.
Sensabaugh shot up the recruiting rankings over the past year, finishing as the No. 65 player in the 2022 class nationally, the 19th-ranked small forward and the No. 12 player in Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite. He was a late addition to the Buckeyes class, but maybe save the best for last?
He also won Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Florida, becoming the second player in the Buckeyes’ 2022 class to win the award in their respective states (Bruce Thornton – Georgia).
Sensabaugh is also making it his priority to improve each and every day.
“The coaches are telling me to keep listening,” he told Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch. “Listening is a skill and I take pride in my ability to listen and build off that, so whatever I did well, build off that and listen to what I did wrong and keep trying to grow as fast as possible so I can contribute when the season comes.”
“The coaching staff just tells me, take my rhythm shots, slow down when I get the ball,” the freshman said. “If I’m wide open, take it. If I’m not, I’m playing the 4 right now so I have a bigger, slower guy on me so drive that and touch the paint and find a kick-out. We’re just trying to make the right play and wherever the ball ends that’s who’s taking the shot late in the clock.”
After the Kingdom League, Ohio high school legend and Michigan basketball legend Trey Burke had high praise for the young Buckeye.
“Honestly, before the game, I haven’t really followed college basketball, so I was hearing about him, but I hadn’t seen him play. But I’m impressed, very impressed,” Burke told Eleven Warriors after the Kingdom League. “The kids not scared, very competitive, didn’t back down from a challenge, very athletic. I like his game. I think the sky’s the limit for him. I told him after the game, ‘What I saw tonight, I want to see this year.’ So, I’m expecting big things from him.”
Burke went onto add that he thinks Sensabaugh not only has the physical tools, but the mental tools.
“I think (it takes) a high sense of self-confidence. Guys that come in right away and produce at a high level, they know who they are,” Burke also said over the summer. “Nobody has to tell them who they are, they just know who they are. It doesn’t take two or three missed shots to turn them off. Two or three missed shots might turn them off. Other guys might shy away from the challenge after that. But I seen a competitor in him tonight and I think Ohio State has a gem in him.”
Not a bad compliment from an NBA player.
Sensabaugh has the most expectations set on him out of all of the freshmen coming into the program this season based on how he finished his high school career and how he performed at the Kingdom League. There has even been talk that he could be a one-and-done, similar to Malaki Branham, but that is obviously remains to be seen.
It will be interesting to see because he will not have the role Branham had on the 2021 team. Branham turned into the No. 2 scoring option on that team, and because of the depth on the 2022 squad, it is hard to imagine Sensabaugh becomes that heavily relied upon on. However, he is emerging as maybe the second-best shooter on the team behind Sean McNeil, which is great to see.
At this point, especially after what he did over the summer in the Kingdom League, it is safe to say that Sensabaugh is going to be a sticking point in the rotation this season. I don’t think he will play the most minutes of any freshman, just because Bruce Thornton will play a lot out of necessity. However, Sensabaugh reportedly played some point guard in the Kingdom League, so he might be another one that could help take the burden off of Thornton at that position.
Sensabaugh should play 20-25 minutes a game, and he could very well average in the double-digits. He will be one of the most talked about freshmen in the conference.