As the season predictions have rolled in, Ohio State assistant coach Ryan Pedon has plastered them on his wall as motivation for his players. They’ve had a common theme: nobody is expecting the Buckeyes to accomplish much during what can be classified as a rebuilding year.
What he will do with a lofty prediction – or what anyone will do with one – now remains to be seen. Tuesday, ESPN released a list of 26 personalities making their predictions for the upcoming college basketball season. And within that list, the Buckeyes landed one lofty prediction: Dan Dakich predicts a Final Four consisting of Michigan State, Duke, Arizona and Ohio State.
Of course, Dakich has a reason close to his heart to pick the Buckeyes: his son, Andrew, is a graduate transfer on the roster this year. And in conversations with him, Dakich said his son has convinced him that this team has the pieces to play on the final weekend of the season.
When presented with that prediction Wednesday, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann had a quick explanation.
“I’m reminded that his son plays on our team,” Holtmann said. “I love Dan. On lunch break (while at Butler), I’d slide out and grab a sandwich real quick and I’d turn him on (the radio) and sometimes it would be straight comedy relief. He’s entertaining for sure and I think he does a fantastic job in radio and on TV.”
Dakich has told me that his son has argued on behalf of his new team to the point where he believes him. On Twitter, Dakich replied to my tweet, saying that his son told him last preseason that Michigan’s D.J. Wilson would be a first-round NBA draft pick. He was taken 17th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
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On his weekly ESPN podcast alongside fellow former coach Seth Greenberg, Dakich said his son specifically mentioned sophomore Micah Potter and that he’d have the center playing at the optimum level by the end of the year.
It turns out that the two are roommates.
“I was like, ‘So, I mean, did you see what your dad said?’ ” Potter said. “He was like, ‘Man, yeah, he just loves that.’ That’s just who he is. Andrew said that if things fall into place we progressively get better each day we have a very good chance to surprise a lot of people. Dan just took that and ran with it. That’s about all I know about the situation.”
Wednesday, I asked Potter about their relationship.
“We’re cool,” he said. “We have our common area. We just chill out there. We’ve been watching Stranger Things. Great show, especially season two. Just chilling, hanging out, getting to know each other better. That’s huge, building relationships off the court.”