Kaleb Wesson, a junior from Westerville, Ohio, is looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role in his third season with the Buckeyes. Wesson, who has played in 65 games, including 61 starts, the last two seasons, is on pace to become the Buckeyes’ 59th 1,000-point scorer. A 12.4 points-per-game scorer over his first two seasons, Wesson averaged a team-high 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest on his way to honorable mention All-Big Ten honors a season ago.
What are your goals for the team heading into your junior season?
“I expect nothing less than for us to give our best every time we step on the floor. That’s the expectation everybody should have and we work toward it every day in practice.”
How have you seen your role evolve heading into this season?
“I think I have more say in what goes on with the team. My voice is something that is needed in practice and going into games and I’m looking to continue to be more vocal.”
Being expected to take on more of a leadership role this season, what kind of traits are you trying to instill in the players new to the program?
“We’re trying to focus on effort. There will be days you don’t have all of the energy but you have to make sure you’re bringing your effort and helping your teammates get better every day.”
The team has welcomed four new freshmen this season. What does each of them bring to the table?
“They each bring something different. D.J. (Carton) brings a lot of speed. Zo (Alonzo Gaffney) has his athleticism. E.J. (Liddell) brings his basketball IQ and all-around game. Ibrahima (Diallo) brings a lot of length and athleticism.”
Six of your opponents are ranked in the Top 25 with four non-conference opponents either ranked or receiving votes. How can this non-conference schedule prepare you for the grind of the Big Ten?
“With the Big Ten being so tough, we know there are no easy games and we went our non-conference schedule to be the same way. That strength of schedule will help us a lot when we come down the main stretch in February and March.”
Have you given any thought to this likely being your last season on the floor with your brother, Andre?
“I haven’t thought about it a whole lot and we haven’t talked much about it yet but I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
What did you work on most this offseason and how do you expect to see it help your game this year?
“I worked on my conditioning a lot. Being able to guard guards and wings and being lighter on my feet running up and down the floor was a priority all offseason.”