Okay folks. We are back. Bucketheads take on “You’re Nuts”. We are getting closer and closer to hoops season, and we here at Land-Grant Holy Land, like always, have you covered. So stay tuned with us and be sure to check out the “Bucketheads” podcast for all your Ohio State hoops content.
Last week, we discussed our favorite venues in college hoops that we want to visit. Connor said the home of the Boilermakers in Mackey Arena, and Justin said Taylor University, specifically their “Silent Night” tradition during Christmas time.
Justin won with 60% of the vote, and he moves closer to Connor in the overall vote total.
Here are the updated standings:
After 68 weeks:
(There have been three ties)
This week, we are taking a crack at predicting the starting lineup (for now) for the basketball Buckeyes, and simultaneously, saying who we are most excited to see come off the bench. Our favorite sixth man, you might say.
Let’s get into it.
Today’s question: Who will be the most important player to come off the Buckeyes’ bench this season?
Connor: Isaac Likekele
Welcome to Buckeye Nation Ice‼️— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) May 16, 2022
Isaac Likekele officially joins Ohio State after spending the last 4 years at Oklahoma State where he became the only player in program history to accumulate 1,000+ points, 600+ rebounds, and 400+ assists. pic.twitter.com/mesTJkyKla
For starters, I think the starting lineup will look like this against Robert Morris:
G - Bruce Thornton
G - Sean McNeil
F - Brice Sensabaugh
F - Justice Sueing
F - Zed Key
Chris Holtmann apparently has a lot of confidence in Thornton, despite his not having ever played in a college game before. He talks very highly of him, and I think he’ll be the first true freshman to start at point guard for the Buckeyes in a long, long time. Sean McNeil isn’t a world-beater or anything, but he’s a solid player who will contribute his fair share on the offensive end.
Brice Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes in scoring during both of their scrimmages in the Bahamas, and Holtmann has talked about how he’s, “A born scorer and ready to score at this level right now.” Sueing clearly will start as long as he remains healthy, as well as Key.
Which leaves several fun, intriguing players on the bench. Yes, Ohio State men’s basketball is going to be fun! There are going to be some frustrating nights, but this team — the freshmen especially — are going to be worth watching.
The player who will almost certainly be the first man off the bench is Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele (pronounced “likely”). He is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard who was a 1,000-point scorer at Oklahoma State as well as finishing third in program history in assists. He’s a very well-rounded player who will defend at a high level as well as accumulate every stat imaginable in the box score.
There will be at least one game this season where Likekele leads Ohio State in scoring. There will be another game this season where Likekele leads Ohio State in rebounding. There will be several games this season where Likekele leads Ohio State in assists.
“Ice” as he likes to go by, probably won’t accumulate the counting stats needed to be an All-League type of player in the Big Ten conference. He will probably wind up averaging somewhere around 9 points, 4-5 rebounds, and 3-4 assists per game. He’s a starting-caliber player, but having him come off the bench as part of the “second wave” along with Tanner Holden and Roddy Gayle will wear opposing teams out.
Justin: Justice Sueing
Apparently this is where Connor and I differ. We haven’t talked about it yet, but our starting lineups are a little bit different. Here is mine:
PG - Bruce Thornton
SG - Isaac Likekele
SF - Brice Sensabaugh
PF - Tanner Holden
C - Zed Key
Now lets be honest. I might change my mind about this by Sunday. There are about 10 different combinations the Buckeyes can go with. Maybe they won’t start the freshman and maybe Eugene Brown is a starter at least to begin the season. Honestly, who knows? So this is my best guess.
The one thing I actually do feel pretty good about is that Justice Sueing will at least begin the season coming off the bench. Yes, I know Sueing is all good to go and cleared to do everything now. Here’s proof.
I just think they will play it extra safe with him since he hasn't played a competitive game in a year. This will be the definition of, “It isn’t about who starts, it’s about who finishes”. I think Sueing will come off the bench but still play 20-25 minutes and be in during the minutes that matter.
Also, it was just last month that Sueing was “somewhat limited” in practice, and he didn’t play in the Buckeyes’ two exhibition games.
“We have everybody practicing right now in some capacity,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said at the time. “We have Justice and Seth who are practicing, but they’re somewhat limited in what they can do.
“Justice and Seth will not play in the two games in the Bahamas,” Holtmann clarified. “They won’t be fully cleared. We do expect them to be fully cleared by September. Don’t anticipate any issue there.”
So eve though he is cleared now, I do think Sueing will need a little more time in practice to truly be a full go. I do agree with Connor that when he gets back in the starting lineup, he will play the four.
Who will be the most important player to come off the Buckeyes’ bench this season?
This poll is closed
Connor: Isaac Likekele
Justin: Justice Sueing
Other: Comment below