The 2013-14 Ohio State Basketball season was nothing short of a disappointment, no matter which way you slice it.
The Buckeyes failed to live up to their early top-five ranking, failed to win or contend for a Big Ten title and were upset by Dayton—one of the supposed “little brother” programs in the state of Ohio—in their first game of the NCAA tournament.
If nothing else, Aaron Craft deserved better on the way out.
However, it is a testament to Thad Matta’s program that we can even realistically discuss Ohio State’s conference title hopes for the 2014-15 campaign after such a lackluster year and the departures of Craft, LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr.
Matta reloaded with a sterling recruiting class and landed Temple transfer Anthony Lee to man the middle. Even with Lee scoring and grabbing rebounds down low, Ohio State is going to need incumbent center Amir Williams to play better, as Matta told Daniel Rogers of The Lantern:
We need Amir to play well. We need Amir to play consistently on both ends. We gotta get him back to tracking the ball, we gotta get him back to blocking shots more actively around the rim in terms of challenging shots … When he’s played well, we’ve played well. I know that.
Hypothetically, let’s say Williams does play better, Lee posts a few double-doubles along the way and the recruiting class plays up to expectations. Who would pose the biggest threats in the Big Ten for the…