I have been high on OSU coming in to the season as the biggest threat to UW as I like them on paper. They have a good mix of returning players and young talent, size, and athleticism. They return 2 senior starters from last years team to anchor the point and center spots in Shannon Scott and Amir Williams. Both are defense first players who have yet to come into their own on the offensive side. They have 3 other seniors in Sam Thompson (who got the start against Walsh), backup center McDonald, and transfer Anthony Lee.
OSU played full court press against Walsh before falling into a 2-3 zone in the half court. They looked good doing it much like Syracuse with all the athletes and length. On offense they started off very similar to past OSU teams running a single post with Williams then McDonald down low. Then they changed it up and went small and athletic with Lee at the 5. Lee looked very good on offense, but a bit out of place manning the middle of the 2-3 zone. I will be interested to see if they keep him in the middle or play him on a wing next to a big man.
OSU as always, has a seemingly endless supply of young, long, athletic wings. In addition to Thompson (who looked more confident in this game) OSU returns Marc Loving, and adds freshman Russell, Bates-Diop, and Tate. All the freshman look ready to play early, as well as backup redshirt freshman guard Kam Williams. Of the 4 Russell is the highest regarded and I can see why. Offensively he looks like Gary Harris did as a freshman, very smooth. He is likely not the defender Harris was, but he won't have to be if OSU runs the zone as their primary defense this year. OSU may run 10 deep, or they may have just been giving all the young kids minutes in the exhibition.
I like OSU because of their ceiling. They have some really good looking pieces. That said, Amir Williams has been a physical specimen at 7' and 250 lbs. for 3 years and has yet to be anything other than serviceable. Scott has made offensive improvement every year, but that improvement has only moved him from atrocious to mediocre. Sam Thompson was OK for offensive efficiency at medium usage, but it's hard to see him getting more shots or being more efficient.
So Why do I like OSU? It starts with Lee and Russell. I think these 2 kids can score from what little I have seen. OSU will be very good defensively so if they can just be OK on offense they will be very tough. OSU doubters will say that the exact same thing could have been said the last year, and OSU couldn't score enough. That's fair. The 2nd reason I like OSU is the same reason I always like OSU and that's Matta. He is a great coach.
I won't give my official prediction for OSU until I see them play a bit more, but they will be in the top 3 in the Big Ten.