Ohio State's Brice Sensabaugh listening to gut, hearing first-round NBA draft status

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State freshman Brice Sensabaugh averaged a team-high 16.3 points per game last season.

It will be a gut feeling that decides Brice Sensabaugh’s future, but the potential one-and-done Ohio State forward will also be doing a fair amount of listening to NBA feedback on his draft status.

And what he’s hearing so far indicates that the leading scorer from the 2022-23 season is going to be taken somewhere in the second half of the first round of the NBA draft.

“That’s what I’m hearing, yeah,” Sensabaugh said Thursday night while attending THE Foundation’s Spring Festival at Value City Arena. “I think it’s going to be tough (to decide), but at the end of the day I think I’ll have that gut feeling. I’ve gotten some good feedback so far. Just keep riding that out and keep working and see where it takes me.”

Where it will immediately take him is Los Angeles. Sensabaugh was heading to California on Friday to continue the training he has been doing locally, and the plan is to remain out there until the NBA Draft Combine gets underway on May 16. Afterward, Sensabaugh said he’ll likely return to Columbus for a pro day and continue to meet with teams while also trying to decide if he wants to remain in the draft process or return for a second season at Ohio State.

Asked if he has a timeframe for when he’d like to make a final decision, Sensabaugh said, “Not right now. I think I’ll get out to L.A. and just keep working. Different scenery but same work. Just put in that work and keep talking to my team and my parents and go from there.”

A four-star prospect from Orlando Lake Highland Prep, the 6-6, 235-pound forward played his way into Ohio State’s starting lineup and finished the season averaging a team-high 16.3 points per game while climbing onto the NBA radar. He hit 40.5% of his 3-point attempts, the highest mark for any Buckeye to attempt 50 or more, and shot 48.2% overall while attempting a team-high 409 shots.

His season ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury in the second of the Big Ten Tournament at Chicago’s United Center that would cost him the final two games. Prior to a March 11 loss to Purdue that marked the final game of the year, Ohio State announced that Sensabaugh would not return to action this season even if the Buckeyes would have qualified for the postseason.

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“I’m getting better,” Sensabaugh said when asked about the knee. “Obviously still putting in work, just trying to get myself better than how I left the season.”

The opportunity to play in the NBA is something Sensabaugh said is a dream come true, and the thought that it could be looming on the calendar hasn’t fully registered with him yet.

“It’s definitely surreal,” he said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I think it’s hit my parents more than me, to be honest. They’ve stressed how proud they are of me and talked me up to it and made me feel it a little bit. As of right now I’m just working hard and doing everything I can to put myself in the best position moving forward.”

Most national media outlets project that Sensabaugh will not return for his second season and, as a result, have the Buckeyes outside of “way-too-early” preseason top 25 rankings. Should he return, Ohio State would be in contention to open the season as a ranked team despite going 16-19 last year and missing the postseason for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

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Sensabaugh said he has reflected on what the year meant to him.

“The Ohio State brand has done so much for me this year,” he said. “I’m so incredibly grateful for everybody, from the top of the staff to the bottom. Anybody who’s ever helped me in this program is much appreciated by me. I’m super proud to have played as a Buckeye and worn it on my chest.

“Wherever I go or wherever the future holds for me, I’m always grateful and I think I learned some important stuff this year and I matured. It was cool.”


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