2012 Basketball Preview: Evan Ravenel

Written October 7th, 2012 by Eric

Evan Ravenel knows his business in the paint.

We will have continuing coverage of the Buckeyes exciting win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers later today. For now, we continue the preseason look at the 2012 Buckeye Basketball team.

After being one of several new faces for the Buckeyes last year, Ravenel now takes on a role as the lone senior on the team. On the court, he expects to have a much expanded presence in the absence of Jared Sullinger down in the paint. Considering his experience and talent, Ravenel will look to be a solid, though perhaps not flashy, component of the Ohio State inside game.

Hometown: Tampa, FL
High School: Brandon HS
Position: Forward (4/5)
Year: Senior
Height: 6-8
Weight: 260

High School Awards:

- Tampa Tribute All-Hillsborough County second-team honors (2008).
- Tampa All-City honors (2008).
- Class 5A All-State honorable mention from the Florida Sports Writers Association (2008).

Evan Ravenel transferred to Ohio State from Boston College where he played his first two seasons in the ACC under head coach Al Skinner. His transfer was influenced when Boston College fired Skinner after 13 seasons. Not wanting to stick around for Steve Donahue’s new regime, Ravenel went looking for a new place to call home. While the Buckeyes had never directly recruited Evan out of High School, OSU assistant Dave Dickerson did recruit him while Dickerson was the head coach at Tulane. Matta happily gave Ravenel a scholarship offer, and Ravenel joined the Buckeyes before the 2010-2011 season.

Ravenel spent his season off, required by transfer, working closely with the other Buckeyes. That enabled him to come in last season and provide quality minutes without a big drop-off from his sophomore season at Boston College. He found himself playing a role very similar to the one he played at Boston College, subbing in for the starters at both the 4 and 5 positions as needed and providing quality minutes on the floor.

Career Stats:

Stats from Buckeyes Beat, as usual.

Season GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
 2011-12 39 10.2 3.4 54.1 0.0 69.5 0.3 2.2 0.2 0.3
 2010-11
 2009-10 (BC) 25 10.5 3.3 49.2 0.0 71.4 0.4 2.4 0.4 0.1
 2008-09 (BC) 14 10.3 2.0 32.1 0.0 58.8 0.4 1.4 0.6 0.1

    Career 78 10.3 3.1 48.8 0 68.2 0.3 2.1 0.3 0.2

Strengths:

As we saw last year, Ravenel is an excellent area rebounder. He averaged 2.2 rebounds per game during the season while covering for Sullinger and Thomas in the paint. He saw limited time, only 10.2 minutes per game, suggesting that he was very nearly averaging double digit rebounding over the course of 40 minutes of play. This is certainly solid rebounding numbers that the Buckeyes will need following the departure of Sullinger to the NBA.

In an interview with Buckeye Planet, he expressed a couple more of his skills,

I believe some of my strengths are being a team player, a good passer out of the post position, getting to the basket from different spots on the floor and ball handling. Buckeye fans can look forward to a person that exemplifies high moral character and one who will compete extremely hard both on and off the court. I am a person who will do whatever it takes within the game to win…a player who can provide offense and defensive stops when called upon to perform.

He sounds a lot like Matta’s favorite type of front court player.

Ravenel proved his statements true with his play last season. He quietly but competently did his job when called to do so to give his team the best chance to win basketball games. He also made a couple of key plays in critical games when he was needed to do so. In the end, he makes for a perfect role player in the front court.

Weaknesses:

With the loss of Sullinger, Ravenel will be called on to do more for this team than ever before. He will need to put in the work to be more than just a serviceable role player in the paint, and start to make strides towards being able to play extended minutes during ball games. It’s one thing to come in a few minutes here and there and perform at full-go, and quite another to come in for 25-30 minutes per game and do the same.

One of his biggest weaknesses is on the offensive end.  Ravenel has never been a big scorer, hitting only about 3 points per game his junior season. He does have games where he goes on scoring tears, but then has games where he disappears on the offensive end.  He will want to improve his floor presence in a big way in order to be the kind of player the Buckeyes will need him to be. He will also need to improve his play while facing the basket, and work on some of his mid-range shooting. If these things are addressed, he could be a force down low for the Bucks during the grueling Big Ten stretch.

Role for the team:

Evan Ravenel will be looked on to play more of the 5 than he did last year now that he is the most experienced player in the paint for this team. We’ve heard that Amir Williams and Trey McDonald are both ready to play as well, so it’s likely that all three will rotate in and out depending on how their individual skill sets meet the situation. Unfortunately this means that the OSU play in the paint may be by committee this year.  Keep in mind, though, we’ve heard nothing but good news coming out of the Ohio State gyms this year. This could be a special group of bigs this season.

He may also play backup to Thomas at the 4. He did a pretty good job of that while working with Sullinger in the paint last season, but it remains to be seen if he can work as well with Williams or McDonald in similar situations. I would imagine that such exchanges will be kept to a minimum, as Deshaun Thomas will be one of OSU’s significant scoring options this season.

Ravenel has one more season to firmly implant himself into the minds of OSU fans. He’s already well on his way, but a solid outing this season may be all it takes for him to be remembered for years to come.

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