Ohio’s 92-90 loss to VMI on Wednesday was the last game for the winningest senior class in program history and marked a new era for Ohio basketball. When next season begins, new faces will be replacing the seniors. .
There will, however, be some carryover on the roster. Javarez "Bean" Willis and Stevie Taylor should see the bulk of the minutes in the backcourt. The frontcourt rotation won’t change much, if at all. Expect Maurice Ndour and Antonio Campbell to continue starting with Treg Setty and Wadley Mompremier coming off the bench.
The challenge for coach Jim Christian will be to find replacements for Nick Kellogg and Travis Wilkins. Kellogg did just about everything for Ohio this season while playing heavy minutes. As for Wilkins, he was the X factor for a sometimes sluggish Bobcat attack. For instance, when Ohio beat the Miami RedHawks on Feb. 17, Wilkins sparked a 22-5 run that was the turning point.
There are obvious candidates to fill these roles, but they are all players with limited experience. Current freshmen Khari Harley and D.J. Wingfield are likely to get the first crack at it, but incoming freshman Kendall Crute could also get an opportunity. The wildcard is incoming JUCO transfer Nehemias Morillo, Ndour’s former teammate at Monroe College.
This change was inevitable, and Christian has options to replace Kellogg and Wilkins’ roles. But can the replacements do so at level that will help Ohio replicate its past success?
Also: Where does Nick Kellogg rank in the pantheon of Ohio Basketball?