Ohio State falls in Andy Katz’s Power 36 college basketball rankings

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We’re still months away from the start of the 2020-2021 college basketball season for Ohio State, but that doesn’t stop us from checking in on what the national media thinks of the Buckeyes’ chances to shake the tree of the sport in the winter.

One guy we like to follow is the Big Ten Network and NCAA.com’s Andy Katz. He updates his Power 36 periodically through within a season, but also does the same during the offseason. And with super seniors, the pushing back of the NBA draft, and the ability of players to transfer more freely, the rankings have been a lot more variable than normal.

Take the Buckeyes for instance. Katz originally had Ohio State as a top-five team in his first way-too-early projections, but that was when he believed both E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington would return. Now we all know that’s not the case. Liddell is back, but Washington made the tough decision to keep himself in the draft.

And while head coach Chris Holtmann and staff secured some notable and important transfers to fill the void of some departures, Katz and others believe the loss of Washington makes the Buckeyes a less dangerous team, so much so that he has dropped them to No. 12 overall in his latest Power 36 rankings.

Katz doesn’t go too much into detail about why Ohio State dropped a few spots, but it’s not hard to figure out. “EJ Liddell’s decision means the Buckeyes will be in the hunt for a Big Ten title,” is all that Katz writes. It’s clear that he believes Washington was a key piece to the team being a Final Four contender.

So what teams are ahead of the Buckeyes? UCLA is ranked No. 1, followed by Gonzaga (2), Texas (3), Kansas (4), Villanova (5), Kentucky (6), Purdue (7), Oregon (8), Michigan (9), and Baylor (10) rounding out the top ten. Illinois is one spot ahead of Ohio State at No. 11.

Of course, this is all opinion and who knows how well the pieces the OSU coaching staff has to play with will all come together. I still think there’s enough there to play a major role in the Big Ten and beyond.

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