COMPLETE SEASON-IN-REVIEW (PDF)
The 2022-23 season was an interesting one for Ohio State, and not always a good interesting. However, the final takeaway from the season will be a good one, following a fun run in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Ohio State finished the year 16-19 overall and was 5-15 in Big Ten play. But the Buckeyes finished the year 52 in the NET rankings and had the 19th-most efficient offense according to Kenpom.
- For what it’s worth, the Buckeyes were also the third-most “unluckiest” team of the 363 DI teams this season according to Kenpom. There is a complicated formula for this but basically, things happened throughout the season that were opposite of all common predictions.
- All that to be said, a number of good things happened in a year that also featured a stretch of 14 losses in 15 games.
- The Buckeyes went to the Maui Invitational for the first time since 2006 and went 2-1 in the three games. Justice Sueing showed-out in the finale, scoring a career-high 33 points against Texas Tech in front of friends and family in his home state.
- The Buckeyes won all six home non-conference games to run their home win-streak over non-conference teams to 26 games, which is the longest current streak in the Big Ten.
- Ohio State entered the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 13 seed and opened play on Wednesday evening. The Buckeyes won three games and became the highest-seeded team, and the first team to start play on Wednesday, to reach the semifinals.
- Brice Sensabaugh had one of the best offensive seasons of any Ohio State freshman in program history. He was the first freshman since D’Angelo Russell in 2015 to lead the team in scoring and he ended up third in the country in scoring among freshmen. His 537 points (16.3 ppg) were fourth-most by a freshman in program history and his 60 three-pointers were second-most behind Russell. In the last 20 years, only seven freshmen have averaged 15 points per game and be an above averaging shooter (50 percent on 2-pt FGs, 40 percent on 3-pt Fgs and 80 percent on FTs). Brice joins the likes of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Ben McLemore, Lauri Markkanen and Mike Daum on that list.
- Bruce Thornton emerged as one of the best point guards in the Big Ten and looks poised to take an even bigger leap next season. He was the only player on the team to start all 35 games and he averaged 10.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He also had a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (92-to-46) while playing a team-high 30.5 minutes per game. Thornton was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Big Ten Tournament, becoming just the 10th freshman to earn that distinction.
- Justice Sueing had a tough final season but he finished it the proper way. He wasn’t able to rekindle the same fire from Maui but he led the team over the final three weeks of the season and was one of the key players in the BTT run. Sueing was in double figures in each of the last seven games and averaged over 14 points and six rebounds per game during that stretch. He also made 32 of his final 35 free throws. The numbers weren’t always there on the court but his leadership of the young group through a difficult stretch never wavered.
- Zed Key looked like one of the best big men in the conference prior to his shoulder injury. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 63.5 percent. He, and the team, weren’t quite the same after Jan. 5. He underwent surgery on his shoulder and a return to form will likely signal positive things for the Buckeyes next season.
- Zed going down allowed freshman Felix Okpara to step up and he showed, there is quite a bit to like about his game. Okpara was fifth in the Big Ten with 44 blocked shots, despite averaging just 15.5 minutes per game. He had a total of 32 dunks on the year and showed his game-changing ability around the rim on both ends of the floor.
- Roddy Gayle Jr., saw his opportunity in the Big Ten Tournament and jumped on it. The Niagara Falls, N.Y. native was talked about all season but wasn’t quite able to showcase his abilities. That was until Chicago, when he averaged 12 points per game while shooting 64 percent from the floor and making nine three-pointers. He had averaged just 3.7 ppg entering the tournament.
- The three transfers made an impact in their own way. Sean McNeil was a stone-cold shooter at times, finishing the year with 59 three-pointers and eclipsing 200 for his career. Ice Likekele did a little bit of everything and was the best leader on the team both on and off the court. No season would be complete without a buzzer-beater and Tanner Holden provided that with a thrilling three-pointer at the horn to beat Rutgers on Dec. 8.
- Team 124 certainly had its ups and downs, but finishing on a high note sent everyone into the offseason with optimism for what is to come next year.