Ohio State will open its 2019-20 men's basketball season by hosting Cincinnati for the first time in nearly 98 years. The Buckeyes and Bearcats will meet Nov. 6 in Value City Arena, marking only the 12th time the in-state programs have met and the second time in as many years that they’ve played each other within state lines after having not done so since 1921. In preparation for the start of the season, The Dispatch is counting down with power rankings for each member of the Ohio State roster.

These rankings are an educated guess at which players will have the most significant on-court impact during the course of the season.

No. 13: Justice Sueing

Position: Forward

Class: Redshirt junior

Height/weight: 6 feet 6 / 210 pounds

Jersey number: 14

Background: Hailing from Honolulu, Sueing attended high school at Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei and averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior. He signed with California and played two seasons before entering the transfer portal and signing with Ohio State in May. He will sit out the season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules and will have two remaining years of eligibility. As a freshman, Sueing averaged 13.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

2018-19 stats: On a team that went 8-23 overall and finished No. 241 nationally in the KenPom.com national rankings, Sueing led the Golden Bears in scoring average (14.3) and rebounding average (6.0) He averaged 34.5 minutes per game, shot 43.2 percent from the floor and 30.2 percent from three.

Need to know: Sueing is the first player in Ohio State history to hail from Hawaii. He is fourth in California history in steals as a freshman (48) and points scored (442). ESPN ranked Sueing as the 13th best “sit-one” transfer option on the market. He chose the Buckeyes rather than San Diego State as he weighed whether to stay out West or start a new chapter somewhere else. “It gets pretty cold up here (in Berkley), but from what I’ve heard, Ohio is a different kind (of cold),” he told The Dispatch upon committing. “I’m definitely looking forward to new experiences. I’m all for it.”

2018-19 recap: Sueing scored at least 20 points in five games, topping out with 27 points in an 87-65 home loss to Arizona on Jan. 12. He turned in an all-around performance with 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks in a 76-73 win against Washington on Feb. 28, helping end a 16-game losing streak. His first career double-double came when he had 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in an 82-73 road loss to USC. When coach Wyking Jones was fired after the year, Sueing opted to transfer.

2019-20 outlook: Sueing presents a different profile from any other player on the Ohio State roster in that he is both capable and willing to drive to the rim, initiate contact and finish. He attempted 165 free throws a season ago while just one Buckeye (Kaleb Wesson, 177) attempted more than 95. If available, Sueing would assume a significant role on this team and could possibly start. Instead, he will battle against Ohio State’s stable of young wings and possibly teach them a few things about dealing with contact. And next year, pencil him in as a starter, replacing Andre Wesson’s vacated position.

“We felt like we needed a guy who had the ability to get to the paint, create free-throw opportunities and be a physical presence,” Holtmann said during the spring. “He’s been able to do that. It was right there at the end in terms of did he want to say on the west coast, because (staying at) Cal was an option, or come east and we’re excited to have him.”

Additional reading:

Connection with Chris Holtmann brought Justice Sueing to Ohio State

Justice Sueing officially a Buckeye

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy