Andre Wesson regains shooting touch in Ohio State men's basketball win
Lying on his back, Andre Wesson saw his defender looming over him near the Ohio State bench.
It was nearing the midpoint of the second half in a home game Friday against Morgan State, and the Buckeyes' senior forward had just released his fourth three-point attempt of the game when a little post-shot contact knocked him to the floor. From this vantage point, Wesson saw the shot hit the net and had a thought rush through his head before picking himself back up.
“I mean, I was just hot,” he said afterward.
He wasn't kidding. Wesson finished with 19 points on a perfect shooting night to help lead the No. 10 Buckeyes past the Bears 90-57, setting up a showdown Wednesday at North Carolina (6-1).
It was a welcome sight for the player that coach Chris Holtmann had said was the team's most consistent perimeter shooter. A career 32.5 percent three-point shooter entering his senior season, Wesson entered the game having hit on only 4 of 15 attempts (26.7 percent).
Against the Bears (3-6), Wesson put in the most effective game of his career. He made all four of his three-point attempts and all seven of his free-throw attempts.
“We've seen him get into those kind of rhythms in the preseason,” Holtmann said. “He's really worked on his shooting. Really worked at it. That's why I was so happy to see him knock a couple down, because he's really worked at it.”
As a junior, Wesson shot a career-best 33.6 percent from three-point range. This season, Holtmann said it's realistic that he could approach 39 percent, a figure that would add some needed punch to the team's wing position.
First, though, he has to get back to the form showcased during a long offseason of work on his shot. Friday was a welcome sight for Wesson.
“It felt good,” he said. “I needed a few shots to drop, especially since lately they haven't been. To have a game like this was special, and to have my teammates happy for me and finding me meant a lot too.”
For the last two seasons, Morgan State coach Kevin Broadus had been an assistant at Maryland, helping the Terrapins sweep last year's season series against the Buckeyes. In those losses, Wesson made 4 of 10 three-pointers.
To Broadus, this looked like a different type of player.
“The good part is Andre knows his role, and every night's not going to be like that for Andre and he gets it,” Broadus said. “You can tell he has bought in. You need guys like that and guys you have that know their roles. The way he shot it tonight, if he does that the rest of the year …”
He didn't finish his thought. He didn't need to. On this night, Wesson's play did enough talking.