Calen Etzler knows he must improve on defense as he pursues a bigger role for the remainder of his sophomore season.

Whether it is a scrimmage in follow at the Schottenstein Center or a contest in the Kingdom League, not each recreation will go your means.

Callen Etzler had one such off day at Ohio Dominican on July 17, taking his first loss in the Kingdom League and personally posting his most disappointing effort of the previous month. But even a disappointing recreation has a silver lining for Ohio State’s redshirt freshman.

Any deficiencies solely point out what work Etzler must improve in the remaining offseason months, and after spending a 12 months on the Buckeye bench in 2021-22, the Ohio native was even hungrier to fill any holes in his post-game expertise.

“We’ve had 4 good video games in a row, we have been unbeaten the entire time. I got here out, I do not know precisely what was unsuitable,» Etzler stated. «I’m not loopy offensively in any respect. I used to be attempting to crash the boards and I do know I’m not all the time going to get the ball. I used to be looking for one other means, however the ball My means wasn’t coming off the rim. On defense, I’ve received to play higher defense, backside line. I received too many downhill scores. It’s going to be a huge studying recreation proper there and it is not going to occur once more.

“Even although we misplaced and I’ve had a actually good 5 weeks in a row till in the present day, I’m taking it as a win. I really like to return right here, do some runs with some folks, meet new folks, meet some professionals. Even although it was a unhealthy day, the backside line is I really like this league.

The 6-foot-8 ahead is enjoying a professional role in the Buckeye rotation in his second season of school basketball. One would possibly anticipate Ohio State to have a better rebuilding 12 months, with eight new scholarship gamers on the roster and 5 of them freshmen.

There’s little doubt Etzler will see the ground this 12 months, however there is no assure how a lot common time he’ll get. Although he has a 12 months of expertise in the program over the incoming freshman class, 4 of the 5 first-year Buckeyes enter as a lot higher-ranked recruits than Etzler.

But Etzler thinks he’ll be able to contribute in 12 months two and stated the work he’s put in behind the scenes over the previous 12 months might be essential to that finish.

«I used to be very proud of redshirting, I feel it was the greatest resolution for me,» Etzler stated in April. “When I look again on it, it is the most suitable choice attainable and are available again subsequent 12 months with a new group. I’ve already received a full 12 months beneath my belt, however I’m nonetheless going to be a freshman.»

Etzler was enthusiastic about the alternative to showcase his recreation to Buckeye followers and Columbus natives who’ve but to see him play in the Kingdom League. Aside from Etzler’s array of highlight-reel dunks and genuine finishes to date in summer season league, Etzler stated he’s most proud of his long-range shot and talent to remain lively with out the ball in hand. to the viewers.

It’s additionally a likelihood to check the platform in dwell recreation motion, even when which means exposing some of its self-confessed flaws.

«Just my taking pictures potential and my motor are most likely the two most essential components of my recreation, however I’ve to work on my defense a lot extra or I will not have the ability to play this 12 months,» Etzler stated. “That’s the backside line. … I shoot a ton of pictures earlier than or after follow. Colby (Bauman) and I, we go to the health club collectively a lot. In follow I’m coping with such issues. Catch and shoot, chopping to the basket, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding.”

In addition to his personal efficiency, Etzler appears to be like to assist the revamped Buckeye roster come collectively to type a profitable group in 2022-23. Etzler stated he’s been impressed with what West Virginia switch Sean McNeil and four-star freshman Bryce Sensabaugh have proven in follow to date, and thinks the group will solely proceed to get higher as the Buckeyes alter to one another.

«Sean’s protruding fairly properly, Sean’s doing very well. He’s from West Virginia, a switch. And Bryce is doing properly, however he harm his ankle right here final week,» Etzler stated. «Those two are doing very well. A cohesive unit. Like, we’re studying a lot and we now have to begin over, study a bunch of new issues and we now have a entire new group. Those two stand out fairly properly, however we now have a lot of actually good items as a group and I hope that Everyone’s going to be 12 months after 12 months and we’ll make it.»

Outside of Kingdom League motion and Ohio State’s follow health club, Etzler will quickly take a look at his abilities in two exhibition matchups towards the Egyptian and Puerto Rican nationwide groups when the Buckeyes journey to the Bahamas in early August. Etzler hopes these contests might be a litmus take a look at for his offseason work and a progress marker for what he can accomplish in 2022-23.

«I’m actually excited to see the place I’m at and the way the coaches suppose I’m enjoying time-wise and position-wise,» Etzler stated. «I’ve been fairly good in follow, I’ve been working off my ass, so we’ll see the way it goes.»


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