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. 12: Musa Jallow
Height/weight: 6 feet 5 / 200 pounds
Jersey number: 2
Background: A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Jallow attended Bloomington North High School, which is less than three miles from Indiana’s Assembly Hall. In three seasons, he scored 1,027 points and shot 52 percent from the floor and capped his career by averaging 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a junior. That summer, Jallow was offered a scholarship by newly hired Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, and he opted to reclassify, forego his senior season by graduating early and join the Buckeyes. He was a three-star prospect and the No. 149 national recruit in the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
2018-19 stats: Jallow played in all 35 games, making 13 starts for the Buckeyes, and averaged 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game. He shot 42.2 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from three-point range.
Need to know: In an anonymous poll conducted by The Dispatch, Jallow finished third in the voting for the best dunker on the team and second for best dresser. He was selected to participate in a Team USA U18 camp following his freshman season. Jallow earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2019. Jallow goes by the nickname “Moose.” He remains one of the youngest players on the roster and is actually six days younger than freshman Alonzo Gaffney.
2018-19 recap: After struggling to find minutes early, Jallow played his way into a starting role near midseason and started eight straight games. That stretch began when he played 23 minutes and had five points and four rebounds in a win at Nebraska that snapped a five-game losing streak. However, he played only five minutes in that final start and would total only 26 minutes of playing time in Ohio State’s next four games before again, he rebounded in a big way. Jallow was a key component to a 26-point comeback against Wisconsin on senior day that forced overtime, a performance that earned him a spot back in the starting lineup for the final four games of the year. In the postseason, which included two games in both the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, Jallow averaged 6.5 points in 25.0 minutes per game.
2019-20 outlook: Jallow’s place in this year’s rankings factors in heavily the fact that he’s missed significant time due to an ankle injury that has wiped out his entire preseason and has his season status in doubt. Friday, Jallow underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle and his timetable for returning to action is unknown. Versatile and athletic, Jallow can assume a number of roles in Holtmann’s system and has proven himself to be an above-average defender with upside on the offensive end. He nearly doubled his rebounding average from his freshman to his sophomore season and improved his shooting efficiency, all of which figured to have him in the running for significant playing time. Instead, the ankle injury has held him back and altered what should reasonably be expected for Jallow, who could now be a candidate for a medical redshirt. When healthy, he remains the team’s best all-around athlete.
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