For two years, Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes have played against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and forward Jamison Battle, but after going into the transfer portal over the offseason, he will be stepping onto the court with Ohio State this season.
A scorer with the threat to knock down the deep ball, Battle has been someone the Buckeyes have had to pay attention to on the perimeter, but now he brings that threat to their offense.
“I think he’s a really proven gifted scorer. That is what we’ve seen from him so far in the preseason, the fact that he can score the ball,” Holtmann said. “We needed that with the loss of some of our wings, namely Brice (Sensabaugh) and Justice (Sueing), we just we knew we needed some scoring. He’s proven that, and now we’ve got to get him to continue to be that guy and then do some things we feel like that he needs to do a little bit better in terms of defending and being a better rebounder on both ends.”
Averaging 6.3 and 3.8 rebounds per game in his two years with Minnesota, Battle knows that’s something he could improve on, but he’s also been working on his shot so he can be much more consistent with the Buckeyes from beyond the arc. His three-point percentage the past two years was 34.4 percent, and his overall shooting percentage was 41.7 percent.
“That’s something I’ve done well my whole college career and my high school career is shoot the ball well,” Battle said. “Granted I haven’t shot as well as I think I can shoot, so I think that’s one thing these guys on the staff push me to do, is just being consistent in the gym, get shots up on the gun. With what I’ve been doing, the work I’ve been putting in, with the help of the staff, the help of my teammates pushing me to get better every day, I feel like I can come out here and be a solid three-point shooter, not only on this team, but also in the Big Ten and in the nation.”
Battle said he looks up to Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and he tried to model his game after him since he shoots off the dribble so well, but he doesn’t over-dribble, only needing two or three to create space for a shot.
Battle said he plays off his own shot well, whether that is actually shooting, getting the ball to an open teammate or going for a rebound after his shot. He is looking to improve in areas off the ball as well, whether that’s helping his team get an open shot, or getting better on the defensive end of the court.
“Defensively, I’ve improved over the last two years, but I think I’m going to make an even bigger jump this year at Ohio State because I know how important that is for our team to succeed, defending in the Big Ten,” Battle said.