The backcourt the Ohio State basketball team trots on the floor in the 2014-15 season will look drastically different than it has the past four years.
The frontcourt has seen the likes of Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, LaQuinton Ross and David Lighty shuffle in and out over that time span, but the one constant was always Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. at the guard spots. Of course, Jon Diebler was also a major part of the guard rotation early in Craft’s tenure.
Clearly, losing Craft leaves a formidable hole on the roster.
He was the best defensive player in the nation and often controlled games from that end of the floor, created opportunities for himself and others with his penetration and was an extension of Thad Matta on the floor.
As for Smith, the lefty was certainly inconsistent at times during his career, but he provided solid defense, three-point touch and underrated rebounding. In fact, Smith’s ability to crash the glass will be the part of his game that is missed most in Columbus, especially when Amir Williams is on the floor at center.
So, what will the backcourt look like in 2014-15 for the scarlet and gray?
The primary holdover is Shannon Scott, who has played his way into Matta’s rotation with Craft-like defense, quickness in the open floor and the ability to get to the rim off the bounce.
He will have a much bigger responsibility on both ends of the floor without Craft and will probably be more comfortable in a defined point…