Is it too much to expect Ohio State men's basketball to defy expectations two years in a row?
In Chris Holtmann's first season, the Buckeyes went 25-9.
Now? Even players like Micah Potter admit the challenge that awaits them this upcoming season will be formidable.
"We obviously lost the Big Ten Player of the Year in Keita [Bates-Diop], and then probably one of the greatest leaders ever in Ohio State history in Jae'Sean Tate," he said. "Then we got guys like scorers like Kam Williams, and then Andrew Dakich, who was a leader on and off the floor."
However, there have been arrivals to at least somewhat offset the departures.
Ohio State's Chris Holtmann tweeted his welcome to Keyshawn Woods and CJ Walker yesterday. (https://t.co/d4gHuvkizr) Here's what Micah Potter has seen in open gym from the two Buckeye additions: pic.twitter.com/WxpR8xNvaw— 105.7 The Zone (@1057TheZone) June 8, 2018
Potter praised grad transfer Keyshawn Woods, saying he "does everything right," and while C.J. Walker will have to sit out the 2018-19 campaign after transferring from Florida State, Potter told reporters Walker will make everyone who practices with him better.
Plus, Potter is excited to see what Ohio State's incoming freshman can contribute. They're expected to start joining the Buckeyes for their open gyms as soon as this week.
On top of all that, returning players like Potter are aiming to improve. For Potter personally, the hope is that he makes strides on the defensive end.
"I want to be able to make sure that everyone knows that I can guard a lot more than just the five," he said. "I want to be able to be on the court in small ball situations."
The biggest change, though, is the fact that the program is no longer in flux. The upheaval of transitioning from former coach Thad Matta to Holtmann is gone.
"We have the entire summer to work, not just part of it," said Potter, "especially with Coach Q [Quadrian Banks] our strength coach.
"We have the entire summer to work with our nutritionist, the entire summer to work with all the coaches, and we know what we're going to get now."