After an overwhelmingly successful season that saw him lead Ohio State in scoring and set multiple freshman program records, Brice Sensabaugh has officially entered his name into the 2023 NBA Draft.
March 25, 2023
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward from Orlando, Florida averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes over 33 games. He shot 48% overall and 40.5% from three-point range, and was Ohio State’s leading scorer in 18 of the 33 games he played in. The 13-game streak from December 17 against North Carolina to February 2 against Wisconsin was the longest stretch of consecutive games where a freshman has led Ohio State in scoring in the history of the program.
Sensabaugh was a four-star recruit in last year’s 2022 class, joining Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Felix Okpara, and Bowen Hardman. He was not a top-50 recruit in that class, but turned in one of the best freshman seasons in all of college basketball last season. He ranked behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller (19.6) and Lamar’s Nate Calmese (17.6) in points per game among freshmen. Sensabaugh was named Third Team All-Big Ten this past season as well as being named to the All-Freshman team in the conference.
Sensabaugh’s greatest assets are his ability to create a shot for himself off the dribble as well as his ability to finish at the rim in traffic. His three-point shot is above average, but fell considerably at the tail end of the season hitting just six of his final 24 attempts down the stretch (25%). He’s a more than capable free throw shooter at 83%, and rebounds well for his size when he chooses to put in the effort on the glass. All in all, he looks like someone who could step into the league and become a consistent double-digit scorer pretty quickly.
Brice Sensabaugh. Stud. pic.twitter.com/PvEjyBB6wH— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 17, 2022
The holes in Sensabaugh’s game mostly lie on the defensive side of the ball, which, luckily for him, is not the side of the game NBA scouts are as concerned with. He struggled mightily guarding the perimeter this season, lacking the foot speed to keep up with guards and shooters. He was also vulnerable below the basket, but at 6-foot-6 won’t be expected to play a ton in the paint, anyway.
Obvious — but not easy — fixes for his defensive woes are to lose a bit of weight and improve his lateral quickness. Teams would target Sensabaugh on defense this season because of his inability to adjust and move with the man he was guarding, often bailing himself out by fouling or simply letting someone blow past him. If Sensabaugh was able to slim down a bit, it may help in that area. He also sustained a knee injury during the Big Ten Tournament, although early reports are that it is not a serious or long-term injury.
The burly freshman wasn’t much of a distributor this past season, either, averaging 1.2 assists per game to two turnovers. He dribbled out of control at times and the ball would disappear with him on offense, dribbling himself into a pickle or forcing a pass at the last second after he’d realized he didn’t have any other options.
With that said, his ability to create his own shot off the dribble and knock down catch-and-shoot jumpers is top-tier, and NBA scouts are intrigued by his potential. The range of where he could land varies depending where you look.
Tankathon predicts Sensabagh to go in the late lottery — tenth overall to the Toronto Raptors.
Bleacher Report has Sensabaugh going in the middle of the first round — 17th overall to the Atlanta Hawks.
NBADraft Net has Sensabaugh being taken as the first pick in the second round by the New York Knicks.
If Sensabaugh chose to return to college, he would have to make that decision and inform the league before June 12.