Nothing. The roster remains intact from the spring. No major injuries have been reported, so the 11 scholarship players we talked about in the spring are the same guys they’re slated to begin the season with.
OSU is not without talent, that’s for sure. However, there is a definite changing of the guard coming with this team, as the last of the previous generation of program stalwarts have departed, as did super freshman D’Angelo Russell. What’s left are some younger guys with promise and a strong incoming freshman class which has a lot of talent, but no obvious, sure fire star at the level Rusell was last season.
I think some of their young guys are ready to step up. As I said in the spring, I really like Tate. He needs to continue to expand his game…even a solid midrange jumper would be a welcome addition…but his smarts, hustle and toughness ensure he’s going to be an impact guy for them. Loving has shown plenty of flashes but needs to keep his act together in order to be the floor stretching 4 man I think he can be. Diop is another guy with a lot of talent but he didn’t quite put it together the way most thought he would as a freshman.
The newcomers will be important to improving this team’s ultimate destination. Trevor Thompson wasn’t a massive factor at VaTech but he’s got experience and they think he can help inside, as can freshman Daniel Giddens. JaQuan Lyle isn’t Russell but he has been considered a major talent for a long time now…he’ll finally get a chance to prove it on the college stage and if he isn’t Russell, he does have a chance to bring some roughly similar elements as a bigger guard who has enough game to possibly handle some point duties. He and classmate AJ Harris have to be the answer at the point for OSU, because I don’t think Kam Williams is really a lead guard at heart.
Again, there’s plenty of talent here. Some McDonald’s AA level players, a lot of guys with a bunch of big time offers, etc. What you don’t have is experience. OSU doesn’t have a single senior on the roster and only one guy playing his third year of eligibility in Loving. That plus uncertainty at the point and the need to sort out and establish roles leads me to conclude the Bucks will be a borderline NCAA team. I have them for 8 conference wins…the more I think about it, the better I feel about that assessment. That’s about what you’d expect from a talented but young team being able to pull off in a deep league.