Busting Brackets

Ohio State Basketball: 3 keys to beat West Virginia in Legends of Basketball Showcase

Emerald Coast Classic - Alabama v Ohio State
Emerald Coast Classic - Alabama v Ohio State / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages
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1. Get Jamison Battle into an early rhythm

Minnesota transfer Jamison Battle has put together a strong start to his Ohio State career, averaging 14.1 PPG on 45% field goal and 42% three-point shooting. It's been an impressive turnaround for Battle after a rough 2022-23 season and it's become more clear the reason for his success: Holtmann and this entire Buckeye offense has worked hard to get him open looks early on.

Battle has always been streaky, as most sharpshooters are at this level, but he's shown the ability to take games over when he's feeling it. He feeds off of seeing one or two go in early on, which extends to both ends of the court. Once he gets the boost of confidence, his energy on the defensive side is infectious, and he's more willing to create offensively. This has extended beyond three-pointers this season - Battle has looked to take it off the dribble more often, attack the rim, and look for contact, which has helped open up this Buckeye offense.

There's a confidence to the way Battle is playing right now, and if he can keep his hot shooting alive, it feels like the Buckeyes could overwhelm West Virginia in short order. The Mountaineers simply do not have a player on their side who can match a hot-shooting Battle over a full 40 minutes of game time, and it feels like the ideal opportunity to get him going before the Buckeyes hit the bulk of their Big Ten schedule.