Best shooter? Dunker? Dresser? Buckeyes share their votes for 2021-22 team

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Meechie Johnson Jr. (0) celebrates with Ohio State Buckeyes forward Justin Ahrens (10) and Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kyle Young (25) after making a three-point basket during the first half of Wednesday's NCAA Division I basketball game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Value City Arena in Columbus, Oh., on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

You probably have opinions about the 2021-22 Ohio State men’s basketball team. With 15 players on the roster, and a host of questions to be answered on a team expected to contend near the top of the Big Ten, there’s a lot to debate when it comes to the Buckeyes this year.

With the team’s lone exhibition game set for Monday against Division II foe Indianapolis, Ohio State is less than one week from starting to provide some answers. From there, the Buckeyes will have eight more days before Akron comes to Value City Arena for the official season opener.

Before the preseason started, Ohio State made its entire roster available for open interviews during media day inside its practice gym. As is tradition, The Dispatch promised anonymity to the players in exchange for their votes in three categories.

What follows is a breakdown of the voting for Ohio State’s best shooter, best dunker and, yes, best dresser. Players were allowed to split their votes, and final totals might not add to 100% due to rounding.

Justin Ahrens is a career 41.2% 3-point shooter.

Best shooter: Justin Ahrens

This one probably isn’t too much of a surprise. A career 41.2% 3-point shooter, Ahrens went 54 for 127 (42.5%) last season to rank 102nd nationally and seventh in the Big Ten. He was tops among Buckeyes who attempted more than 30 3s. His percentage was the eighth-best single-season shooting performance in Ohio State history.

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He’s twice made six 3s in a game, most recently in a blowout win against Nebraska on Dec. 30, 2020. He had 16 games with multiple made threes last season.

Here’s how the voting broke down:

1. Justin Ahrens – 58.3%

2. (tie) Gene Brown III – 11.1%

E.J. Liddell

Jamari Wheeler

5. (tie) Malaki Branham – 2.8%

Cedric Russell

Jimmy Sotos

At 6 feet 8, 225 pounds, Kyle Young has proven himself a fan favorite for his hustle, energy and high-motor style of play.

Best dunker: Kyle Young

He’s worked to expand his game to the 3-point line, but fifth-year graduate forward Kyle Young was the runaway favorite among his teammates for the best dunker on the team. At 6 feet 8, 225 pounds, Young has proven himself a fan favorite for his hustle, energy and high-motor style of play.

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He's also earned the nod from his teammates as the team’s best dunker, winning this category by the widest margin. For his career, Young is a 62.3% shooter from two-point range.

Here’s how the voting broke down:

1. Kyle Young – 66.7%

2. E.J. Liddell – 27.8%

3. Zed Key – 11.1%

4. Gene Brown – 2.8%

Harrison Hookfin interviews teammate Jimmy Sotos (1) during media day on Sept. 28.

Best dressed: Jimmy Sotos

Clearly the most subjective of the categories, this one also elicited the most debate among the Buckeyes. One player, when asked for a vote, said, “Depends on if I’m wearing my cowboy boots.”

Interpret that as you will, but graduate student Jimmy Sotos edged out fifth-year senior Justice Sueing for the honor.

Here’s how the voting broke down:

1. Jimmy Sotos – 47.8%

2. Justice Sueing – 25.6%

3. Gene Brown – 14.4%

4. (tie) Malaki Branham – 11.1%

Meechie Johnson Jr.



Coverage of Ohio State's exhibition game Monday night against Indianapolis, on