The last time Greg Oden played for Ohio State, it was in the 2007 National Championship Game loss to Florida. After that, he declared for the NBA draft and became the overall number 1 pick.
Unfortunately for Oden, his NBA career never lived up to its tremendous potential. Severe injuries to both knees forced Oden out of professional basketball much sooner than anticipated but the 7-footer had another goal in mind...a diploma.
That's why he was welcomed back to Ohio State by his former coach Thad Matta four years ago. Oden became the tallest, most talented student manager in all of NCAA basketball while working towards his degree in sports industry. In May, Oden will secure his diploma from Ohio State, which is why Sunday, current Buckeye coach Chris Holtmann decided the big guy deserved some recognition.
Oden, like the other senior managers in the basketball program, was recognized before Ohio State's overtime loss to Wisconsin. He was given a framed jersey and earned a standing ovation from the 18,231 in attendance. Well done Greg!! That diploma will be bigger than any Buckeye basket you ever scored.
Senior Day Comeback Comes Up Short
With sophomore star Kaleb Wesson suspended for a third straight game, it appeared the Basketball Buckeyes were headed to a third straight blowout loss. They scored only 16 points in the first half, trailed by 23 points four minutes into the second half and were still down 58-36 with under 8 minutes left. That's the moment when the Buckeyes flipped the script and nearly pulled off what would have been one of the most miraculous wins in school history.
The Buckeyes closed regulation on a 27-5 run and had a chance to win in the final seconds but senior C.J. Jackson's 3-point attempt was an air ball and then senior Keyshawn Woods, after intercepting a Wisconsin pass near midcourt, heaved a shot at the buzzer that was just short.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Wisconsin took a deep breath and wound up winning 73-67 in OT. The loss was a third straight for Ohio State, which closed out the regular season with an 18-13 record, including 8-12 in the Big Ten. OSU is the eighth seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will play Indiana Thursday afternoon at 12:30 pm. It's a game that may be an NCAA tournament play-in game. According to ESPN projections, Ohio State is currently the last team in the NCAA field and Indiana, which closed the regular season by winning four in a row, is the first team out.
While it didn't result in a win, the comeback created excitement in the Schottenstein Center like we haven't seen this season.
Wesson Status Still Uncertain
Following the loss, coach Chris Holtmann said that the status of suspended big man Kaleb Wesson is still uncertain. Wesson was suspended March 1st for a violation of Ohio State Athletic Department policy. No timeline was given for his return. Holtmann has said he's getting guidance from the Athletic Department on the suspension and when Wesson can return to the line-up.
If the suspension is typical to what we've seen in the past, Wesson will be back for the game against Indiana Thursday. A University suspension of Marc Loving in 2015 and of Kam Williams last year were both three games.