Ohio State is projected to finish eighth in the Big Ten and play in the NIT according to the 2018-19 season college basketball season preview issue produced by Athlon Sports.
The magazine, which features Buckeyes senior guard C.J. Jackson on the regional cover alongside Xavier’s Quentin Goodin and Cincinnati’s Jarron Cumberland, concludes that Ohio State has too tough of an early-season schedule and too little experience to expect a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
“This team needs to develop scoring off the bench and find some capable 3-point shooters, and the big men need to play defense without fouling,” it reads. “Still, recent history has shown that it’s not a good idea to count out the Buckeyes.”
No Ohio State players are listed among the nation’s top 100 players, nor among the top 10 shooters, perimeter defenders, rim protectors or dunkers. In addition, no Ohio State players are projected to earn first-, second- or third-team all-conference honors. Sophomore center Kaleb Wesson is rated as the No. 7 offensive rebounder, though, and Keyshawn Woods as one of 16 grad transfers to watch.
The team’s recruiting class of 2018 is ranked sixth in the league according to the 247Sports.com rankings.
“Expectations are high for four-star Luther Muhammad to have a big impact as the top recruit in the Buckeyes’ class,” it reads.
Three Big Ten teams are in the preseason top 25, and five are projected to make the NCAA Tournament and all to win at least one game: Michigan State, Michigan, Nebraska, Indiana and Purdue.