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B1G Foreign Tour Tracker: Buckeyes take on the Bahamas

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Jared Wickerham

Ohio State was the first of three B1G schools that took foreign trips this summer with Michigan and Indiana being the other two. The Buckeyes decided to take a trip to Nassau to play two games against local talent- one All Star team and one from the Bahamas Basketball Federation.

While the Buckeyes lost four players last year, they brought in six new guys in addition to Kam Williams who red-shirted last year. Not all of them made the trip however. Trevor Thompson is currently ineligible because he transferred and must sit out a year (which he is currently appealing), and walk-on Andrew Goldstein also did not appear to make the trip.

As expected, the Buckeyes won both games with ease. On August 7th, they defeated the Bahamas All Stars 88-66. Trey McDonald posted 10 points and 10 rebounds and Keita Bates-Diop was high scorer with 16 points. Both are surprising stat lines. Trey is a senior with career averages of 9 minutes per game, 1.5 points per game, and 1.3 rebounds per game. Keita Bates-Diop is a freshman who is relatively unknown. He was highly recruited but didn't make any of the top high school All Star games, didn't play for a well known high school, and played in the Under Armour Association AAU league. For his size and weight there has to be some concern about playing at the next level, but that will have to be decided.

The only bit of information I could find that wasn't released from the Ohio State Athletic Department was a forum post on BuckeyePlanet.com by a user named "DZ83CK". From what he saw though, "Bates-Diop looked like the star of the freshman class for OSU in this game, he is tall, long, … athletic, and he is already one of the best transition [players] on this team". He later mentions, "Trey McDonald got a few easy baskets at the end that kind of inflated his [stat line]". One curious thing to note is he also mentioned the team played a lot of 2-3 zone.

The second game was against the Providence Storm on August 8th, which was another blowout by OSU: 115-63. Keita Bates-Diop scored 18 points this time, but Marc Loving was the leading score with 19 points. Six guys were in double digits with freshman Jae'sean Tate getting a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds). D'angelo Russell did not play because he was ill.

According to our friend "DZ83CK" from BuckeyePlanet.com, the second game "was played loose at times again in terms of teams not valuing the ball properly and making passes that [got] intercepted in the [back court]". This would explain the high scores. He also had a take on Jae'sean Tate: "Tate really gets after it, gotta expect him to find some minutes with that effort - at one point he crashed the offensive glass and jumped in front of Amir for a rebound and ripped it away from him". This backs up Thad Matta's comparison of Jae'sean to David Lighty. "DZ83CK" also had rave reviews for Kam Williams over both games, saying he will be a great shooting guard (and not a point guard).

I would break down the stats, create some shot charts, and show some tape, but only two of those things are available and these games aren't going to be good indicators of much. I worry that D'angelo Russell didn't have great numbers in his lone game and that Anthony Lee, a graduate transfer, didn't play as well as or better than Trey McDonald and Amir Williams. Those are the guys I expect to be key contributors, not Keita Bates-Diop and Trey McDonald. Maybe that's a good sign, or a sign of each player's worth ethic, or both. Ohio State is officially on break until the fall semester and I'm sure Thad Mattt and company will have plenty of film to go over.