This year’s basketball team has about as pre-season hype as any team in the Sutton/Ford era. The 2004-05 team was ranked No. 7 in the pre-season AP poll, which is the highest in recent history as far as I can tell.
Still, our No. 8 ranking coming into this season is about as good as it gets for an OSU basketball fan before a season gets under way.
Obviously, the main reason for our respect from the national media is No. 33 coming back. As savvy OSU fans know, Smart is not alone.
In fact, this year OSU returns 94 percent of last season’s points. That is the highest mark in the Sutton/Ford era, narrowly edging out the 2001-02 team that returned Baker/Vic/Fred/Ivan/Melvin among others.
That team was ranked as high as No. 5 at one point in the season before crashing back down to earth (still, they almost took down title-bound Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse in Boston).
This team also returns 86 percent of last year’s minutes, which is second only to the 2001-02 team.
The Sutton/Ford era average for returning points is 56 percent going into this year (minutes: 57 percent).
Here’s a look at the year-by-year figures for returning points & minutes:
Here are the annual figures sorted by most to least:
In 2006, we dealt with the graduation of the Graham brothers, Lucas, Ivan, Bobik, Crawford and Frans. Curry was the only returning player who had logged meaningful minutes.