Ohio State's Struggles Without Evan Turner
The Ohio State Buckeyes' hopes for challenging Michigan State and Purdue for the Big Ten title have been thrown out the window for the most part with the injury to star Guard Evan Turner. Through the first seven games of the season, Turner was the leading candidate for National Player of the Year as he entered the match-up against Eastern Michigan averaging 21 points, 13 rebounds, nearly 7 assists per contest, including two triple-doubles and leading his Buckeye team to wins over Cal and Florida State.
Without Turner, OSU's other three Guards, Jon Diebler, David Light and Willie Buford will need to step up big time and produce. In the first game without Turner, a match up at nationally ranked Butler, the three players were able to generate points offensively, but all of the intangibles Turner offered, whether its his stingy, aggressive defense, ball-handling or leadership, were not matched.
Ohio State will struggle and at best, seem to fit in the middle of the pack in a crowded Big Ten Conference. If Turner returns in February, he will miss nearly all of the scheduled games of Big Ten play, but with a strong showing at the Big Ten Tournament in mid-March, the Buckeyes could sneak into the NCAA Tournament. If not, the Buckeyes will sink and Turner's draft stock will fall, perhaps causing him to return to Columbus, Ohio for his Senior season.
By Corey Ruff - President - 12-13-09