Four Ohio State seniors saw their four-year Buckeye careers come to a close over 2,400 miles from Columbus Saturday, losing their final college game 73-58 to Arizona in Portland, Ore.
While the Buckeyes were overmatched in the loss, the seniors played well. Sam Thompson, Shannon Scott, Amir Williams and Trey McDonald combined to shoot 11 of 20 from the field, far better than the 9 of 32 their teammates posted, and scored 34 points in the loss to the Wildcats.
“I thought those guys played, man,” head coach Thad Matta said. “I kind of put it on them the last couple weeks of the season and I thought they did a great job of responding. The biggest thing is I thought they did a great job of representing this university for four years with great class and I’m very proud of them for all they’ve done for us.”
The four seniors finish their careers 109-37 in Ohio State uniforms, amassing a number of impressive accomplishments. They reached the Final Four in their first season in Columbus and the Elite Eight the following year. They leave the program with Big Ten regular season and tournament championships to their name and were a part of the squad that helped Thad Matta pass Fred Taylor for the most coaching victories in program history.
Prior to their senior day the seniors talked about leaving the program in a better place than when they came to Ohio State. While the class went furthest in the postseason during their freshman season, Thompson said he was proud of the imprint he and his classmates had.
“I think we did,” Thompson said when asked if he was leaving the program in a better spot. “We’ve been a part of some big games, we’ve been a part of some big milestones, Final Four, Big Ten Championship, Elite Eight, four straight tournaments, Big Ten Tournament championship.
“Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we left our mark on this program. That’s all we can ask to do.”
Thompson scored a team-high 18 points in his final game as a Buckeye, putting him at 1,001 for his career. He is the 52nd player in Ohio State history to top 1,000 points in his career.
He isn’t the only one who leaves the program with his name in the record books. Shannon Scott had just one assist against the Wildcats, but that gave him 207 on the season, the third most prolific season in Ohio State history. His 528 career helpers is third all-time while his 211 career steals is No. 2 all-time among Buckeyes.
The 187 blocked shots that Williams amassed over his career as a Buckeye is tied for the fourth-most in Ohio State history.
“It’s hard just sitting back with all these guys that you’ve been with the past four years and just saying it’s the end right now,” Scott said.
“Just appreciate all the opportunities that I got and that I have nothing but love for everybody out there.”
Thompson echoed those sentiments. With four years and 146 games under his belt, the forward said it’s the relationships he will miss the most.
“Coach Matta and his staff, my teammates, the fans, everybody,” he said. “They really welcomed me into this university and I’m forever grateful for that.”