2012 Basketball Preview: Trey McDonald

Written October 5th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker
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Trey McDonald

Trey McDonald appeared in 13 games for the Buckeyes during his freshman campaign and scored just two points on the season. With Jared Sullinger’s departure, though, the Buckeyes are down to just three post players, including McDonald. He will still be behind Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel for minutes, but his size could be very important to OSU if foul trouble becomes an issue for Williams and Ravenel.

Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan
High School: Battle Creek Central
Position: Center (5)
Year: Sophomore
Height: 6-8
Weight: 240

High School Awards:
- 2011 All-Conference selection (Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference).
- 2011 All-City selection (Battle Creek).
- 2011 Battle Creek Central MVP.

Trey McDonald is a three star athlete from Battle Creek Michigan, ranked the #18 player at his position in the 2011 recruiting class by scout.com. He averaged 9.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during his Junior year – both were team leading. He was also a letterman in cross country for three years, and track for a single season.

High School Film:

Forgive the source. McDonald is #50 in Black/Blue.


Given his cross country and track experience, McDonald is known for his ability to get up and down the court. Speed and Stamina certainly won’t be an issue there. He’s a good on-ball shot blocker and will be able to help make life difficult for opposing offenses down low. One of his greatest strengths is rebounding – nearly anything that bounces into his general area he gets his hands on.

He is a back-to-the-basket type player, who has a refined hook-shot that he can hit with either hand. Matta will be particularly happy that he has displayed an ability to knock down a 15-foot mid-range jumper – as the coach prefers centers to have an ability to play while facing the basket.


Despite his ability to hit the 15 foot jumpers, McDonald will need to work on shooting the ball in general if he wants to fully round out his game. He’s simply not skilled enough yet with facing the basket while shooting to make him an effective offensive threat. He needs to become more consistent with his back-to-the-basket scoring as well, and needs to improve his passing out of the post while under pressure.

His ball-handling skills are in serious need of work, and he’ll need to work on his strength if he wants to compete down low in the extremely physical Big Ten. At the moment he is very raw talent, but Matta should be able to polish it nicely into a good role player.

Role on the team:

The Buckeyes are very thin when it comes to bigs. It appears Deshaun Thomas and LaQuinton Ross will mostly man the forward positions and Ravenel and Williams will share minutes at the center spot. But, like I mentioned earlier, the only way McDonald will see meaningful minutes is if there is some serious foul trouble for the Buckeyes.

There were reports in the early parts of the practice season that McDonald may have substantially improved his game, and that he may see a more substantial role as a result.  Given what we know for a fact, however, we’ll wait to see him on the floor more before we say anything further on that end.

Considering Matta’s recent history in using his bench, it’s unfortunately likely that McDonald will rarely see the floor this season. Expect to see him in mop-up duty in some of the early season games against weaker competition. If he works hard and shows promise in practice, he may even get some rare minutes in more critical situations with his defensive and rebounding skills, but don’t count on it.


  1. ZNo Gravatar
    October 6th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Sure looks like the center position is the weakest of the team this year. Center by committee in giving up 15 fouls is a possibility. Just rebounding and defense is required and a few garbage points would be great(Williams, Ravenel, McDonald)


  2. ryanNo Gravatar
    October 6th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    What is up with our recruiting these last few years? It Thad losing his touch? I feel like every 3 years he pulls in an incredible class, but we should be able to get a top-10-15 class every year. I feel like if this keep up, we’ll only have 8 guys on the team in a few years.


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