Ohio State Basketball Opens Season Tonight Against Robert Morris

The 2022-23 Ohio State basketball season officially begins today. The Buckeyes start play with a home-opener against the Robert Morris Colonials at 7:00 pm on BTN+.

Buckeye Preview:

The Buckeyes open the season unranked, with national expectations rather low, however this team has potential. Head coach Chris Holtmann has brought in a highly-touted and well ranked recruiting class and combined it with some portal success to build this year’s team. It will be a tall ask for the six true freshmen and three transfers to help comprise a roster that needs to replace Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell.

Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State) and Tanner Holden (Wright State) were two of the three impact transfers for Holtmann. Likekele adds experience and talent at the guard position, and his ability to go get a basket and defend will be essential. Holden can fill up a stat sheet like no other, showing off his skill set in the exhibition victory as well as with Wright State in their recent tourney run.

Bruce Thornton, Brice Sensabaugh, and Felix Okapara are probably the most impactful true freshmen. Thornton and Sensabaugh were starters in the exhibition and fared well. Okpara is a talented big man that Holtmann hopes can develop quickly and become a complimentary piece to Zed Key.

A Look at the Colonials:

Robert Morris was BAD last season, finishing 8-24 and only winning five of 18 conference games. However, a big positive is they return four of five starters and their leading scorer. This is a big advantage for any program.

The projected lineup:

Michael Green III (G)

Enoch Cheeks (G)

Josh Corbin (G)

Khaliel Spear (F)

Matt Mayer (F)

At forward, Kaliel Spear, is “that guy” for the Colonials. He led Robert Morris in both scoring and rebound during the 21-22 campaign, with 14.7 PPG and 7.7 RPG. He started all 32 games for his team and looks to build upon his success in his fifth season of college basketball.

Enoch Cheeks and Michael Green III are also excellent scorers that have abilities beyond the arc. It should be interesting to see how these two stack up against an overall young and inexperienced Ohio State back court.


The Buckeyes starting lineup should be similar to that of the exhibition:

Isaac Likekele (G)

Sean McNeil (G)

Bruce Thornton (G)

Zed Key (F)

Brice Sensabaugh (F)

This may be flexible in the future, as Tanner Holden could move into a starting spot. Gene Brown (concussion) and Justice Sueing (ankle) who are recovering from injuries could also start at some point. 

The Buckeyes should be able to handle business against a less talented Robert Morris. However, don’t expect perfection. There are sure to be nerves and mistakes, from the newcomers and the vets. Many of these players will be making their Ohio State debuts, since the exhibitions were inconsequential.

The game may be sloppy and closely contested early. However, the Ohio State offense combined with the typical Holtmann defense should overwhelm Robert Morris. I believe Ohio State will not only win, but cover the spread of 20.5.

Prediction: 90-65, Ohio State

Featured Image: Joseph Scheller, Columbus Dispatch