2011 CBB Predictions & Gambling Preview: Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten)
Ohio State is the nation’s preseason 3rd ranked team and the main reason is that F Jared Sullinger, who led the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding last season, decided to forgo the NBA draft and come back.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
NCAA Basketball Season Preview: Ohio State (Big 10 Conference)
Odds to win National Title: +725
Odds to win Big 10: -115
He and SG William Buford are the big guns for the Buckeyes this season and will be counted on to carry the team far, as there are big expectations of them.
Last season the Buckeyes were 34-3, but were upset in the Big Dance losing in the Sweet 16. The Buckeyes really relied on the 3-point shot last season and that is the reason they lost in the Sweet 16 because they had a cold-shooting night.
The Buckeyes need to pound the ball inside more and attack the hoop this season since their main long-range gunner is now in the NBA.
The Buckeyes won the Big 10 last season and are favored to do so again, but no matter how they do in conference play if Ohio State does not make it to the Final 4 the season may be a disappointment.
The Buckeyes had a solid recruiting class led by 6’10″ C Amir Williams, who can run the floor and score. He will get minutes this season and he and Sullinger will give Ohio State a formidable frontcourt.
The one big loss is Jon Diebler, who shot over 50% from beyond the 3-point line and his long-range gunning, as well as his defense, will really be missed. David Lighty was a defensive stud and a solid slasher and was the guy that held the team together and a player needs to step and take the reigns as the leader of the team.
Obviously, Sullinger is the key and he and Buford will be counted on to carry the team. Buford and the backcourt have to drain the 3, so it will open up the lane for Sullinger and the other frontcourt players.
Surprising Stat: Last season the Buckeyes ranked in the top 25 in points per game, assists per game, and team FG%, but only ranked 195th in the nation in rebounding.
Strengths: There are a lot of them starting with Sullinger, who is a great rebounder and if he came up with some post-moves in the off-season he will be hard to stop and is a legit 20-10 guy this season.
There are a lot of scorers on the Buckeyes and they have a great inside-outside game.
Weaknesses: Sullinger needs help on the boards this season and with the loss of Diebler and Lighty some veteran leadership is needed on the team. Also, 3-point shooting may not be as good as last season with these guys gone, so that is a concern, albeit a minor one.
Post Season: Final 4 easy, but they need to rebound the ball when the Big Dance comes around.
Projected wins: 30
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