Della Valle shines in tournament

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Last updated: 07/23/2013 1:05 AM
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Men's Basketball
Della Valle Peaks in European Championships
By Patrick Murphy

On a weekend that brought a lot of negative news regarding the Ohio State Buckeyes, there was something positive for OSU fans to take away from the past few days.

Amedeo Della Valle
Photo by Jim Davidson
Amedeo Della Valle

While Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby were busy causing headaches for their coach, Buckeye basketball guard Amedeo Della Valle was finishing up a great performance at the Under-20 European Championships in Estonia. In the gold medal game, Della Valle scored 19 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter, to help Italy to a 67-60 win over Latvia.

After struggling early with his shot, the Ohio State sophomore got it going late. During the final period he scored 13-consecutive points for his country, going 3-for-3 from three-point range.

After the game, Della Valle was named the tournament MVP after averaging 13 points and 3.7 rebounds for the tournament. The highlight of his tournament was a 27-point, seven-rebound game against Spain, which included a game-winning three-pointer with just three seconds on the clock to lift his team to a three-point victory.

In his first season in Columbus, Della Valle played in only 15 of Ohio State’s 37 games, averaging just 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. Despite his lack of playing time, he still became a fan favorite at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. The best performance of his year was playing 13 minutes and scoring 11 points in a game against Chicago State.

This tournament was a chance for Della Valle to continue to improve and develop his game, while showcasing some of what he can do when given the opportunity.

The Italian was recruited by Matta and his staff because of his ability to shoot from the outside and he was effective from long range during this tournament.

The Buckeyes will need scoring in the 2013-14 season, as they lost their go-to guy DeShaun Thomas to the NBA. The team does return starting shooting guard Lenzelle Smith and they bring in four-star freshman Kameron Williams, which could make minutes hard to come by at the two spot.

It is likely that this team will search for scoring, and if Della Valle can continue to make shots like he did the tournament, Matta will likely find a place for him. The questions for the Italian are on the defensive side of the ball, where a player must contribute in order to play for Matta.

While it was a dark weekend for OSU football, Della Valle provided a bright spot that fans will see down the road. He will hope his play against some of Europe’s top young players will translate to the collegiate game in order to bring some help to the Buckeyes this season.

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