July 2, 2021

Thank You, Duane!

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Ask a collection of Ohio State fans what they will miss most about seeing Duane Washington Jr. in an Ohio State uniform and you’ll likely get a variety of answers. From his three-point shooting, his driving and slashing, his ability to, at times, seemingly score at will, his varying hair styles, or just his smile. The dude loves to play basketball. You could see if every time he was on the floor.

Duane has that “it” factor that you can’t always replicate. And by it factor, we don’t mean he averaged 30 points per game or was always the best player on the floor each night. But Duane has that swag, that confidence, that bounce, that energy, that charisma, that smile. Those intangibles are what head coach Chris Holtmann, his teammates and Buckeye nation are going to miss the most.

Don’t get us wrong, Duane could ball too. He led the team last year at 16.4 points per game and his 185-career three-pointers made are good enough for No. 4 all-time in Ohio State history. He ends his career with a streak of 34-consecutive games with at least one three-pointer, that included every game last season.

Down the stretch last year, Duane played some of his best basketball. He scored a then career-high 30 points vs. No. 3 Michigan on 12-of-18 shooting. He then nearly willed the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Tournament title, turning in one of the more impressive performances in tournament history. Over the Buckeyes’ four -game run in Indianapolis, Duane scored an event record 92 points, including a career high 32 points in title game vs. Illinois.

Duane steadily improved his game each season. He averaged 7.0 ppg as a freshman, 11.5 as a sophomore and then the team-leading 16.4 as a junior. In 94 career games, he made 185 three-pointers on 512 attempts. Both of those three-point totals rank fourth in program history. He also pulled down 249 rebounds and had a positive career assist-to-turnover ratio (167-to-141).

This summer, Duane continued to grow. He earned an invite to the NBA G League Elite Camp and then was one of just four invitees from that camp to the NBA Draft Combine. His quickness in getting to the rim and finishing, as well as his ability to knock down the outside shot is what impressed the NBA scouts. But his intangibles will also catch the eye of a general manager or a head coach.

Keep ballin’, Duane. And keep smiling!