To say junior Trey McDonald is a key to Ohio State’s basketball success may sound like a major overstatement.
But considering the Buckeyes have only one other post (5 role) player, McDonald could and probably will be a top sub for Coach Thad Matta. With the departure of Evan Ravenel, OSU’s post game consists of McDonald, and the inconsistent Amir Williams.
But experience will be a major issue with McDonald as he appeared in just 19 games last season and scored 25 points. He appeared in 13 games as a freshman and scored two points.
Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan
High School: Battle Creek Central
Position: Center (5)
High School Awards:
- 2011 All-Conference selection (Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference).
- 2011 All-City selection (Battle Creek).
- 2011 Battle Creek Central MVP.
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 one season.
McDonald was an occasional contributor, playing roughly 8 minutes per game in 19 games (out of a total of 34). He missed large swaths of games late in the season during Big Ten play, as Matta shortened his bench as normal. He also saw action in only one of Ohio State’s 4 NCAA Tournament matchups, the first (fine, “second”) round tilt with Iona.
As normal, stats are from Buckeyes Beat.
And he’s a post player, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t give at least some highlight of him throwing it down.
Given his cross country and track experience, McDonald was 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. McDonald 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.
Given his lack of playing time it’s really tough to pinpoint what the big guy needs to work on. Check back a few weeks into the season and we should have a better idea. The guess would be ball-handling and post-up moves.
Role on the team:
The Buckeyes are very thin when it comes to bigs, but Matta isn’t afraid to go small and not have a true center on the court. That said, it’s safe to say when/if Williams fails to produce, McDonald will be the proverbial “next man up.”