Bravo, Andre Wesson

by Dan Wallenberg

April 13, 2016, is the date Andre Wesson officially became a member of the Ohio State men’s basketball team though with his family ties, he was born a Buckeye.

The son of Keith and Stephanie Wesson and the older brother of Kaleb, who committed to the Scarlet and Gray July 3, 2015, Andre earned the Ohio State scholarship offer with a strong senior year at Westerville South High School that ultimately resulted in a state title for the Wildcats in 2016.

Andre appeared in 127 career games and scored 730 points before his career was abruptly ended with the cancellation of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament, the day the event was set to begin for the Buckeyes March 12 in Indianapolis.

Steady and consistent improvement over his career was the theme of Andre’s career with the Buckeyes.

Over the last two years, Andre appeared in 64 games with 57 starts. As a senior he averaged a career high 9.2 points while connecting on 46% of his field goals and 43% from 3-point range, both tops during his career.

“He is one of the Top 5 toughest dudes we ever coached,” Holtmann said during Senior Night ceremonies after the Buckeyes defeated No. 22 Illinois March 5 in Columbus.

Holtmann and his staff did not recruit Andre to Ohio State, though they did try to get him to sign with Butler before Holtmann took over with the Buckeyes. Holtmann said he and the Ohio State staff never had concerns about Andre’s commitment.

“There was not one day that went by that we as a coaching staff didn’t say ‘Andre Wesson, he’s our guy,’” Holtmann said.

Andre said it feels like he has been with the men’s basketball program forever.

“You know you’ve been here long when you go through two coaching staffs and a bunch of athletic trainers,” Andre said.

Known for his toughness, Andre did not spend much time in the training room despite his fair share of on-court mishaps.

In a 73-71 win over Bucknell Dec. 15 2018, Andre had a pair of teeth knocked out and cracked a third while diving for a loose ball. After briefly leaving the game, he returned to finish the game with a mouth guard.

Earlier this year, Andre was struck in the eye, fracturing his eye socket, in the season-opening win over Cincinnati. The injury kept him out of just two games before he returned to action to help the Buckeyes to a 10-1 non-conference record.

In all, Andre helped lead the Buckeyes to an overall record of 21-10 during his senior season. After falling behind in the Big Ten Conference race with a 2-6 record, the Buckeyes finished 9-3 down the stretch in league competition for an 11-9 final record in conference play, good enough for a tie for fifth overall in what was believed to be the toughest conference nationally and the best group of league teams in conference history.

Along the way in 2019-20, Ohio State defeated four Top 10 teams (Villanova, North Carolina, Kentucky and Maryland), four league champions (Cincinnati, Villanova, Kentucky and Maryland) and was positioned for a third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, an accomplishment only a few have managed in Ohio State history.

All-in-all, not a bad run for Andre Wesson.