COLUMBUS, Ohio–Ohio State was primed to enter the 2020 NCAA Tournament seeded anywhere from No. 4-7 following a 21-10 regular-season finish. The Buckeyes were set to open the Big Ten Tournament playing some of their best basketball of the season with a 9-3 finish down the stretch in conference play.
Shortly after both the 2020 Big Ten and NCAA tournaments were canceled, Ohio State’s season ended with it ranked No. 19 nationally by the Associated Press and No. 18 in the ESPN (coaches) polls.
National college basketball pundits believe the Buckeyes will pick up right where they left off to open the 2020-21 campaign.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has the Buckeyes picked in the No. 19 spot in his recent Top 25 citing the returning core of senior point guard C.J. Walker, senior forward Kyle Young and junior guard Duane Washington Jr. as the reason for inclusion in his ranking.
Seth Davis of The Athletic rates the Buckeyes in the No. 24 spot of his poll. He highlights incoming freshman big man Zed Key, a 6-foot-8 center from New York, as a significant addition to the Ohio State roster.
Noting the successful track record of Chris Holtmann, head coach of the Buckeyes, Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com picks the Buckeyes No. 24 in his preseason prognostication. He also expects Walker and Young along with sophomore forward E.J. Liddell to be the nucleus of another successful season in Columbus for Holtmann and his staff.
Coming in at No. 12 in 247Sports.com poll, Ohio State is expected to garner contributions from a variety of newcomers to the 2020-21 edition of the program, Team 122.
Ohio State has finished among the Top 20 in the final AP rankings in two of the last three years and was the No. 8 team in the final 2019-20 KenPom rankings, an analytical rating of every team nationally.