On the surface, it was just another win over an inferior opponent as Ohio State blasted Savannah State 85-45 on Wednesday night to take care of business at home.
It was hardly the kind of news that sends shock waves through the world of college basketball.
But if you look a little closer and dig a little deeper, what we saw from the Buckeyes in their latest win is that they may have just found another player they will be able to count on when the grind of the Big Ten season begins.
Evan Ravenel, the lone senior on the roster and the player Ohio State was counting on to a provide lift after Jared Sullinger left for the NBA, stepped up his game a couple of notches in the victory.
The 6-foot-8 veteran scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds, using the advice he recently received from the coaching staff to improve on his game.
“Playing hard and playing with energy is what I need to do,” Ravenel said in a post-game press conference. “It’s not go shoot a thousand shots, it’s not go do a million ball-handling drills — it’s just playing hard. If I play hard, that’s what happens. That’s the type of player I am.”
Ravenel doesn’t need to be a star for the Buckeyes, be it from a scoring standpoint or rebounding standpoint. All the senior has to do is be consistent, turning in the type of performance he did against the Tigers on a regular basis.
Playing hard will give him an opportunity to become a consistent contributor for the Buckeyes. And if Ohio State can count on Ravenel every time it takes the floor, they are going to be better off in the long run.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist for Rant Sports and member of the USBWA. Follow Brian on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.