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You’re Nuts: Should Roddy Gayle be guaranteed a starting spot next season?

The now-sophomore had an uneven freshman season but finished strong at the Big Ten Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Semifinals Purdue vs. Ohio State David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially in transfer portal season, and the Buckeyes have already stirred up some action. To this point, Ohio State junior forward Eugene Brown entered the portal, and Minnesota forward Jamison Battle has committed to the Buckeyes.

With the moving and shuffling of rosters, it is inevitable for the projected starting lineup takes, tweets and articles to start popping up — so we will indulge.

Last week, we finished up our rankings of the positions from last season with the center group. Connor gave the group a B and Justin gave the group a C.

Here was the final poll. Justin won with 52 percent of the votes.

And here are the updated standings.

After 95 weeks:

Justin- 42
Connor- 38
Other- 11

(There have been four ties)

And now it is onto this week with this week’s question.

Today’s Question: Should Roddy Gayle be guaranteed a starting spot next season?

Connor: Yes

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Michigan State vs Ohio State Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

If Gayle isn’t starting for Ohio State in November, then what are we really doing here? Time and time again last season — a season where Ohio State slogged to a sub-.500 record — we were told that despite the losses, the young players were getting better. We were told (and the players agreed) that the Buckeyes were taking their lumps, but that over time, the experience would pay dividends.

And wouldn’t you know it, by the end of the season it appeared that statement was finally starting to ring true. Bruce Thornton was impressive for most of his freshman season, scoring 10 or more points 19 different times. Gayle saw his minutes fluctuate, however, and didn’t truly take off until the Big Ten Tournament.

But once he did, my goodness was it impressive.

Roddy found the ball in his hands often in the Big Ten Tournament. He knocked down a crucial shot and hit two clutch free throws to win the first game against Wisconsin. He averaged 14.7 points in the Iowa, Michigan State, and Purdue games that followed, including knocking down nine of his 10 three-pointers.

Despite not being a featured cog of the offense much this season, Chris Holtmann trusted Gayle to make the correct decisions throughout the Big Ten Tournament. And pretty much every time he was forced to take a shot or make a decision in crunch time, he passed the test.

Gayle was an asset on the defensive end all season long, even when the minutes and opportunities were few and far between. The Buckeyes graded out as a putrid defensive team last year, ranking No. 106 in KenPom’s defensive metrics. But with Gayle on the floor in the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State held Wisconsin and Michigan State below 60 points, and a high-powered Iowa offense that was the fourth-best in the nation below 70.

It’s likely that Ohio State will add a guard via the transfer portal before next season begins, and Gayle may have to compete with him to earn the starting spot. The truth is that 25% of Gayle’s points on the season came in the final three games. Is that torrid level of production sustainable for him over the course of a full 35-40 game season? Probably not, but I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Gayle suddenly started scoring when a) he was given more minutes and b) Brice Sensabaugh was out of the lineup, freeing up shots. Coincidentally, both of those prerequisites will (probably) be in play next season, too.

Three games could be a sign of things to come, or it could be a fluke! But Holtmann didn’t start Gayle for the final 10 games of his freshman season just to relegate him to the bench as a sophomore. If we don’t pull the training wheels off this fall, then what was the point of grinding through that brutal season on the backs of him and the other freshmen?

Justin: No

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

First of all, I have to comment on last week’s results. Ohio State has two centers on the roster. One was honorable mention All-Big Ten while playing through an injury, and the other was a freshman who looked really good towards the end of the season, and 80 percent of the votes were C or worse. I just feel we are setting the bar a little high.

Anywho, onto Roddy Gayle.

I voted No, but I want to clarify it with two things. First of all, I think Roddy Gayle Jr. will start, and second of all I hope he does start. However, I am taking the word ’definite’ very literally and that is why we are going with a no to this answer.

I am almost positive that Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle are the backcourt of the Buckeyes future. But being in the starting lineup is not the end all be all. Mainly because guys care way more about being in at the end of the game than the beginning. So, you don’t necessarily have to start him, you just have to make sure he is playing meaningful minutes.

Also, while he did finish the season on an incredible note, there were many times this season that he struggled. This is obviously understandable for a freshman in the Big Ten, but next season he will still only be a sophomore and if they do bring in a veteran guard from the portal or even if Tanner Holden stays, it may make more sense to start Thornton and a vet at the two and bring Gayle off the bench.

For what it is worth, I do think Gayle could start at the three possibly.


You’re Nuts: Should Roddy Gayle be guaranteed a starting spot next season?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Connor: Yes
    (23 votes)
  • 43%
    Justin: No
    (18 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now