Ohio State is projected to be one of seven Big Ten teams to reach the NCAA Tournament this season in the annual Lindy’s season preview issue.
The magazine, which features senior guard C.J. Jackson on the regional cover alongside Cincinnati’s Jarron Cumberland and Xavier’s Quentin Goodin, has the Buckeyes finishing sixth in the conference, just ahead of Wisconsin and just behind Nebraska.
“Chris Holtmann righted the program with ridiculous speed and high expectations are back,” the magazine reads. “Keita Bates-Diop’s and Jae’Sean Tate’s production and leadership must be replaced. If Kaleb Wesson is the force that everyone anticipates, it’s back to the NCAAs.”
Wesson is the only Ohio State player ranked among the top 150 in the nation and he comes in at No. 147.
“Will develop into an immovable low-post force before long,” it says.
Lindy’s has four Big Ten teams in its preseason top 25: Michigan State (10), Purdue (17), Michigan (21) and Indiana (25). Just outside of that, Nebraska is No. 34 in a list that reaches to 40. The Big Ten is rated as the No. 4 conference, behind the Sec, ACC and Big 12.
For the Buckeyes, it's an improvement on what Athlon Sports predicted for Holtmann's second season.
“We don’t have enough proven guys, which is what everyone looks at,” Holtmann is quoted as saying. “There’s no question we lost a lot, but I’m excited about seeing what we can be.”
No Buckeyes appear among the three all-conference teams, but the Buckeyes are lauded as having the best recruiting class in the conference for its four-man class of Justin Ahrens, Jaedon LeDee, Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. Of the group, Muhammad is named the top newcomer for “the intangibles he brings. The coaches cite his competitiveness and toughness as reasons he’ll see the floor early.”
You can pick up the full issue on newsstands everywhere.