The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about Kaleb Wesson? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.
Is Kaleb Wesson bound for the NBA? What do you think of his chances to play at the next level and where do you see him fitting into an NBA roster? Playing the 4?
— John (@JohnFrazee76) March 25, 2019
Kaleb Wesson wasn’t ready to talk about his future immediately after his sophomore season ended on Sunday night, and it’s understandable that he would want some time to process what’s next for him. There were hints sprinkled throughout his press conference in the locker room, though, that indicated he’ll be back — and that’s almost certainly the best choice for him right now.
Given some of the questions that would pop up about his late-season suspension, uncertainty about which position suits him best at the next level and the need for Wesson to keep improving his body, conditioning and all-around game, his stock has plenty of room to grow. It’s not even close to a lock that he would get selected if he put his name in for the NBA Draft, but thanks to the recent rule changes, it probably makes sense for him to at least test the water and get some feedback knowing that he can still return to school if he doesn’t hire an agent.
Plus, there’s a lot Wesson can accomplish with the Buckeyes next season if he does return when the expectations for the program start to get raised. His brother will still be around, and the two can form a veteran pair of leaders. One of the nation’s best recruiting classes will be arriving next season, and Ohio State will have two point guards who could feed Wesson more scoring opportunities. And with the freshmen who who were forced to grow up in a hurry on the way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this year becoming sophomores, the improvements in their game should help complement Wesson perfectly.
“Just work, that’s all you can do about stuff like that [in a loss],” Wesson said on Sunday. “When the shot isn’t falling, get in the gym. Yeah, times like this where we had situations this year where everybody was in foul trouble, younger guys had to step up.
“Now, it’s our team and we’re getting older, we’ve got to mature.”
Wesson is already the star at Ohio State, but there is clearly still room for him to get better. And that could be a scary thought around the Big Ten, especially if he’s surrounded by better shooters and a more consistent backcourt.
Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann has proven quickly that he can get the most out of his personnel, and the Big Ten Player of the Year campaign that he helped coax out of Keita Bates-Diop two years ago might stick in the back of Wesson’s mind if he does decide to flirt with the idea of going pro. There’s not much doubt that somebody with his size, strength and ability to step out and occasionally knock down 3-pointers is capable of earning a living on the court. But there could be an enormous difference between what he could make now and what another year of development with the Buckeyes could mean for him.
The most likely outcome is Kaleb Wesson returning for another season with Ohio State. And that return should set the stage for the Buckeyes to make an even deeper run in March Madness at this time next year.
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