OSU's Andre Wesson prefers to lead by action
Andre Wesson lets his game speak for itself.
The Ohio State men’s basketball player and Westerville native has grown since arriving on campus in 2016, transitioning from a role player as a freshman to one of the team’s most reliable scorers as a junior last season.
But in the 2019-20 season, Wesson will face a new challenge as Ohio State’s only senior. And despite his quiet demeanor, Wesson feels he is up to the task.
“My role is showing you, not telling you,” Wesson said Thursday. “I’m more of a laid-back guy and showing guys how to work — that’s the best way I know how to lead.”
A 6-foot-6 forward, Wesson has displayed a relentless work ethic in his three seasons with the Buckeyes, but his progress became the most evident last season, when he appeared in all 35 games, starting 34. He had only six starts before last season.
He took quick advantage of his increased minutes, raising his scoring average from 2.9 per game as a sophomore to 8.6 last year, more than doubling his rebounding average, to 4.1 and improving his field-goal accuracy to 43%, up from 37.9% the season before.
“It was definitely a big jump,” Wesson said. “I think I handled it well. I could have handled it better but that’s what I’m trying to focus on now — trying to increase my role and focus on getting better.”
Among the aspects of his game he’s working to improve, he said, is outside shooting. Wesson shot 28.6% from three-point range as a sophomore and 33.6% last year.
“My three-point percentage, I’m trying to raise that,” he said. “(I’d like to) get that to the upper-30s, 40s range. That’s the main thing that I’ve been working on.”
Wesson is expected to be a main cog for the Buckeyes, who also return Wesson’s brother, Kaleb, a 6-9 center who considered entering the NBA draft before returning to Ohio State. Kaleb was OSU’s leading scorer (14.6 points) and rebounder (6.9) last season.
The Buckeyes also return five other contributors from last season, including guards Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington, transfer guard CJ Walker from Florida State and a recruiting class ranked tops in the Big Ten, led by guard DJ Carton.
“We obviously have a lot of pieces returning and a good recruiting class coming in,” Andre Wesson said. “We’re going to put our heads down day 1, from when they get here, and we’re going to work. Wherever that work leads us is where it leads us.”
There is one place in particular where the senior hopes it takes the Buckeyes — to a championship.
“I don’t have a ring, and that’s something that I really want, whether that’s Big Ten regular season, tournament,” he said. “That’s definitely been in the back of my mind.”