The Ohio State men’s basketball team held its first and only exhibition game Wednesday inside Value City Arena beating Cederaville 95-52. The Buckeyes are ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time in five seasons, and they’ll be put to the test in their first regular season game next Wednesday when they host Cincinnati.
“This is the most challenging opening game I’ve ever coached in,” Head Coach Chris Holtmann said.
Holtmann will rely on the brother duo of Andre and Kaleb Wesson who will both be starters this season. Kaleb Wesson was the team’s leading rebounder and scorer last season and he picked up where he left off scoring 23 points including 3-4 from three-point range.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes will use a rotation of three to four freshman who are eager to play against the Bearcats next week.
“I just want to go out there and kill them,” freshman Alonzo Gaffney said. Gaffney’s father, Kevin, played for Cincinnati from 1979-83 where he played significant minutes during his junior and senior seasons.
“It’s going to be a big game,” said freshman D.J. Carton who dropped 15 points in the exhibition game. “Season opener, two very good, talented teams facing off in a really good environment so it’s going to be fun, but I think us four [freshman] as a group are going to have to play very mature.”
“I feel like for all four of us [freshman] this is going to be an eye-opener,” E.J. Liddell said. “This is going to be the first game where there’s going to be a packed house. All four of us have to calm ourselves down because I know personally I’ll have to calm down when I see all the fans in the stands.”
One week after hosting Cincinnati the Buckeyes will have another huge game against No. 10 Villanova at the Value City Arena as well.