Holding first-round projections from several publications, Ohio State forward Brice Sensabaugh’s NBA dreams may be realized this June.
With hopes of improving his draft stock, Sensabaugh is showcasing his abilities in the NBA Combine in Chicago, which runs from May 18-21. While Sensabaugh showed that he is an adept scorer while at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes with 16.3 points per game last season, he said he has more to prove to NBA scouts ahead of the draft on June 22.
“(I’m) just taking on that defensive role, showing that the effort is there,” Sensabaugh told Big Ten Network’s Andy Katz. “I’m just continuing to get better and keep working in this pre-draft process on things like that. In the league, the young guys have to defend first, so I’ll just keep working on that and be that two-way player that’s needed.”
Sensabaugh posted efficient shooting splits in his time with the Buckeyes, hitting on 48.0 percent shooting from the field, including a 40.5 percent mark from deep. His scoring prowess led his emergence into NBA Draft discussions, allowing him to potentially become the second Buckeye in as many years to go one-and-done, joining San Antonio Spurs guard Malaki Branham.
In regard to his rising draft stock during the season, Sensabaugh attributed his growth to his work ethic and drive to improve.
“It was just putting in the extra work, the extra hours — whether it be watching film, working in the weight room or getting extra shots up on the court — putting in the extra time was super important for me,” Sensabaugh said. “I think hard work pays off and it did for me.”
Sensabaugh also pulled back the curtain about Ohio State’s rollercoaster 2022-23 campaign, in which the Buckeyes started 10-3 before sliding to a 13-18 record to close the regular season. But, the Buckeyes emerged in the Big Ten Tournament, pulling off several upsets to reach the semifinal, where they fell to top-seeded Purdue 80-66 on March 11. Sensabaugh missed Ohio State’s quarterfinal and semifinal matchups due to a knee injury, though.
“(We were) just coming together as a team, obviously we had pretty much a whole new team of new guys, so just jelling together,” Sensabaugh said. “We went through a lot of adversity together, so just having each other’s backs and holding each other accountable was important for us and we tried to turn it around late in the season.”
Although Sensabaugh will not be around for Ohio State’s 2023-24 campaign, with him likely to be a first-round selection in the NBA Draft, he emphasized that he’s excited to see the Buckeyes’ core of Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr. and Felix Okpara progress next season.
“I think they’ll be well with the young core,” Sensabaugh said. “Obviously, they can build on last season. They’ve got the experience now and with those main guys being there, I think it’ll be good for them. I’m excited to see what they can do, for sure.”