COLUMBUS — Kaleb Wesson is coming back, and the expectations for Ohio State just got a little higher.
The anticipation all along was that the Buckeyes would have their top star back for another season despite his testing out his NBA Draft stock over the last few weeks. But nothing is ever guaranteed, so the official announcement from the team’s top scorer and rebounder on Tuesday that Wesson would be returning for his junior season was certainly significant for a program on the rise.
For all the work Chris Holtmann has done to elevate the recruiting for Ohio State over the last two seasons, the chance to really make some noise and potentially get out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament was likely going to revolve around Wesson. And now those plans for his third season don’t have to be scrapped, and Wesson can move forward as the centerpiece.
“We really look forward to coaching Kaleb for his junior season,” Holtmann said in a school release. “Kaleb received valuable information in this process. He and his family really went about this process in great way. We stayed in regular communication, and I know he and his family appreciated the feedback they received from the NBA advisory committee as well as NBA organizations.
“As we begin the work ahead for the 2019-20 season I know Kaleb understands the work ahead and I know he is anxious to join his teammates.”
His importance to the Buckeyes couldn’t have been more clear than when they struggled down the stretch with Wesson suspended — losing all three games without him heading into the postseason before immediately becoming a threat again in tournament play.
There is still room for Wesson to grow at the college level, of course, starting with his conditioning. But with his ability to finish around the rim, solid shooting from the perimeter and now a more talented cast around him, Wesson should be in position to thrive with the Buckeyes.
“I’m excited to return to the Ohio State University and continue my journey as part of Team No. 121,” Wesson said in a social-media post.
Ohio State will obviously welcome Kaleb Wesson back with open arms as they both get to work chasing bigger goals.