Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life After Evan Turner: Can The Buckeyes Stay in the Spotlight?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Ohio State Buckeyes had one of the most sensational seasons in '09-10. Evan Turner, the reigning Naismith Player of the Year had the Buckeyes flying higher than expectations. With Turner, the Buckeyes were definitely one of the best teams in the Big Ten.

However, Turner was drafted No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft this past summer. Every time a team losses a significant player, there's always the question as to how you replace a NBA lottery pick. In fact, a number two overall draft pick.

Ohio State's Head Coach Thad Matta decided to go out and recruit the best high school talent to commend Turner's efforts.

Coach Matta brought in McDonalds All American's Jared Sullinger, and Deshaun Thomas. Not to mention, highly-touted recruits Lenzelle Smith Jr, Jordan Sibert, Aaron Craft, and J.D. Witherspoon.

Ohio State's recruiting class certainly looks better than the Kentucky Wildcats due to the fact that Enes Kanter is still fighting for eligibility.

Life after Turner isn't going to be as hard as it seems. Coach Matta has a lot of talent instilled in his roster. Ohio State is a consensus top-10 team in the polls. The Buckeyes returned seven players, and most importantly William Buford, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale, and David Lighty.

For life after Turner to run smoothly, Buford will have to take the role of leader. Last season, Buford was on the back-end of most of Turner's assist.

He is a dynamic scorer, and could blossom without the limelight on Turner. Buford averaged 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assist with Turner.

Buford will be the reason the Buckeyes will be able to get over Turner's production. He is the closest clone to Turner as you can tell by his stats. Not to mention, Coach Matta has brought in a great deal of talent to commend Buford.

Nonetheless, Buford and the Buckeyes will need a lot of production from freshman Sullinger. Sullinger was considered as one of the best centers in all of high school basketball. His physical skill set, and mentality could pose as a key threat to other College Basketball teams.

Coach Matta has a roster that is a consensus Final Four selection. The Buckeyes now have talent and depth. Ohio State will no longer require one player to do it all.

Turner was a magnificent player for the Buckeyes. But, they will not miss him too much because of the work put in this summer by the Ohio State coaching staff.

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