Former Ohio State Standout Kaleb Wesson Joins Big X For The Basketball Tournament

By May 28, 2020 (1:00 pm)Basketball, Joe Dempsey
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Former Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson, who had entered his name into the 2020 NBA Draft, plans to play in another league before his NBA career begins. 

The Westerville, Ohio, native announced he will participate in The Basketball Tournament, which is an annual basketball tourney held every summer since 2014. 

Wesson will join Big X, which is a pre-existing TBT team, featuring four of his former teammates in scarlet and gray. Former Buckeyes Andrew Dakich, C.J. Jackson, Keyshawn Woods and Kaleb’s brother, Andre, are already geared up to play for Big X. 

Wesson’s entrance into TBT prior to playing in the NBA puts him in an interesting position. While many players in the tourney have been out of college for a while with little chance of making the NBA, Wesson is projected to be a second-round selection in the upcoming NBA draft.

If Wesson is drafted, then he would become the first player to play in TBT prior to being selected in the NBA draft. Regardless, Wesson will not be able to return to Ohio State after hiring agent Jelani Floyd, who is not one of the NCAA certified agents who would allow him to retain his eligibility, per The Athletic’s Bill Landis. 

This year TBT will have a shortened tourney due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the typical 64-team tournament pool, only 24 squads will participate, with no regional brackets. The shortened tourney will only take 10 days and the location has not yet been set. 

When it was announced that only 24 teams could compete, the common perception was that Carmen’s Crew, who are TBT reigning champs, would be the only Ohio State team to make it. Big X may have solidified itself a spot by adding one of the most productive players in the pool. 

As a junior in 2019-20, Wesson averaged 14.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from beyond the arc and 73.1 percent from the foul line across 29.5 minutes per game. The 6-foot-9 forward/center was second-team All-Big Ten for his excellent season. 

Also leading the team in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore, Wesson posted 14.6 points and 6.9 boards per contest in 2018-19, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention. He shot 50.0 percent from the floor, 34.7 percent from deep and 73.4 percent from the free-throw line across 25.9 minutes per game. 

Wesson averaged 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds across 20.7 minutes per contest for the 25-9 Buckeyes as a true freshman in 2017-18. He made 56.2 percent of his field-goal attempts, 28.6 percent of his three-point attempts and 72.1 percent of his free-throw attempts and earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.

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