Once upon a time, in old St. John arena...

With the drafting of Jon Diebler by the Portland Trailblazers in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Buckeyes added one more of their products to the professional ranks.  Diebler joins former Buckeye Greg Oden on Portland’s roster, although it remains to be seen if the two will ever fulfill the opportunity to play together that was not afforded in college due to Oden’s departure for the NBA after his freshman season.  Oden’s injury troubles since joining the NBA are well known for both their regularity and severity, and those following his career are now mostly hoping just to see him get some minutes on the floor, as the prospect of making a big impact on the league seems to be dwindling.  It would be a welcome sight  to see Oden running the floor again, demonstrating the defense and shot-blocking that were his signature in college and feeding the ball out of the post to Diebler on the perimeter, but before these two young players that contributed so much to Thad’s efforts at building the Ohio State program can hit the hardwood together, Oden must overcome the initial hurdle of getting healthy.

In a way, Oden ushered in a different kind of era for Ohio State basketball.  Although he has struggled in the NBA, Oden had a stellar freshman year at Ohio State, earning him the #1 overall pick in the subsequent draft.  Beginning with that pick in 2007, Ohio State has had a player taken in the first round of the draft each year until this year, when Diebler was taken in the middle of the second round.  Mike Conley and Daequan Cook joined Oden in 2007 at the #4 and #21 spots, respectively, 2008 featured Kosta Koufos going #23, 2009 saw B.J. Mullens selected #24, and last year Evan Turner was taken with the #2 pick.  Prior to Oden’s class, Buckeyes appearing in the draft were few and far between, and selections of Ohio State players were always in the second round when they occurred.  Even Michael Redd, who went on to have an All-Star caliber season in the NBA, and who remains a member of the Milwaukee Bucks to this day, was not selected until #43 in 2000. Read More

With the NBA Draft set to take place Thursday night, new Ohio State basketball alums David Lighty and Jon Diebler will be waiting attentively in hopes of hearing their names called for one of the 60 picks in the two rounds of the Draft.  Neither Lighty nor Diebler is an appealing enough prospect for an NBA team to warrant a coveted place in the Green Room, where the players nearly guaranteed to go in the top 20 picks are invited, but both former Buckeyes had solid senior campaigns that will at least get them some consideration for picks later in the Draft.

Ohio’s own Cleveland Cavaliers hold both the first and fourth overall picks, although the final slots could easily change before or during the Draft in a typical flurry of trade activity.  Minnesota, Utah, and Toronto hold the second, third, and fifth picks, respectively, and will seek to add some much-needed talent to their rosters.  Top candidates for a lottery pick include Kyrie Irving of Duke, Derrick Williams of Arizona, Enes Kanter of Turkey (that’s the country, not a university from the MEAC), and Brandon Knight of Kentucky, who we will refrain from wishing ill will upon.  You will note that Jimmer Fredette, although having a good shot at a lottery pick, is not among the elite prospects for this year’s draft.  Jazz trading down, anyone? Read More

Just say "No" Jared. To everything!

As Ty discussed in his article this past week, some coaches may be pulling out their CVs and making some edits and updates in hopes of landing a job at Ohio State next year.  It will be interesting to see how the season and subsequent coaching decision plays out for the football program, and hopefully Luke Fickell lands himself the frontrunner position with a solid 2011-12 campaign at the helm.  Nevertheless, with the present uncertainty surrounding the football team, it is nice to have stability in the Buckeye basketball world.

The perception is that Thad Matta has a very well-run program.  After taking over following Jim O’Brien’s departure, Matta has grown the program to new heights, achieving year-after-year success that has fans enthused and engaged in basketball once again.  O’Brien, who recently was named head coach at DIII school Emerson after being out of coaching for a period of time, left Ohio State amidst rules violations that resulted in significant penalties for the university. ��Fortunately Matta has avoided anything of that nature thus far, and although nobody expected the sudden fallout that has occurred with Jim Tressel given his image and reputation, comments by Jared Sullinger in a featured ESPN article on Thursday provide reason to believe that there is little cause to worry about a similar surprise with Matta. Read More

Barbell....bar....barbell....bar....

As both Freddie Mercury and Roger Waters said many times, the show must go on.  While Buckeye Nation can’t really move on from the current situation with the football program just yet, certainly the individual players on the team must attend to business as usual.  And when you’re a Big Ten football player, business as usual probably means spending some time in the gym.

I would say BBOC, but we already know who that is

For anyone who is into strength and fitness, finding the best workout program can feel like trying to find the Holy Grail, except you’re not being harassed by the French.  Instead, you have to deal with the aggravation of all those online tips and trade secrets while you’re shelling out your monthly gym membership fees and trying to figure out how that other guy or girl got to look the way they do.  No doubt the competitive juices are what fuel a lot of weight lifting and muscle training in our culture, and clearly the BMOC mentality can come in handy for the strength and conditioning coaches at Division I programs, but fortunately the personnel at a place like Ohio State also have a bit more insider knowledge than the rest of us about what works and what doesn’t. Read More

C'mon buddy, reach way up here and slap my hand

With the 2010-11 college basketball season now a couple months behind us, and the long days of summer ahead, basketball fans may be in need of the occasional pick-me-up to tide them over to next season, or at least to help ease them through the withdrawal process before they have the opportunity to have a full-blown relapse next fall.  Certainly news like that of Da Dukies being on the 2011-2012 schedule provides a welcome rush, and we hope for more of those tasty nuggets of “legitimate” basketball news to chew on in the coming days, but today we’ll just settle in for talking some hoops in general.

The topic for today is the first of what will be a few “debate” articles here on tBBC.  Any sports fan worth their salt loves to engage in a bit of friendly back-and-forth when it comes to their preferred competitive athletic pursuit, whether it be about the finer points of the triangle offense or just the top 3 reasons that M*chigan sucks so bad.  Debate gets people engaged, it gets a dialogue going, and it gives an opportunity for any old individual to act the expert on a given subject.  Debate is what makes our country so great!  You have your opinion, I have mine, so let’s hash it out!  And if we’re lucky, in the process we’ll be able to effectively prevent any legislation from being passed! Read More

Notes from the 2010-11 basketball season

Written April 12th, 2011 by Jay

Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the 2010-2011 men’s college basketball season, it’s time to reflect a bit on the season past and pick out of a few of the headlines, highlights, or otherwise newsworthy items that seemed to define this season.  Obviously it was a great season for Buckeye fans, and one item of note for college basketball fans in general was the play of our team, and particularly Jared Sullinger, but for now we’ll save the Buckeye-centric comments and take a broader view.

There is always a lot of chatter about the different major conferences, comparing their strengths and weaknesses, arguing for which conference is the toughest, and celebrating wins over teams from other conferences early in the season.  This season was no different in terms of the boasting, but in a number of ways this really was the Season of the Big East.  This isn’t an argument for the Big East’s superiority – just an observation that week-to-week the Big East was getting a lot of attention due to its number of quality teams.  Certainly the Tournament Selection Committee bought into that impression, granting 11 NCAA Tournament berths to teams from the conference, including a #1 seed for regular season Big East champion Pittsburgh.  Although three of the four most highly seeded Big East teams lost in only the second round of the tournament (Pitt, Notre Dame, Syracuse), it was Big East Tournament winner UConn that took care of business, claiming the NCAA Tournament title as well. Read More

Branding basketball and the selection of coaches

Written April 5th, 2011 by Jay

As the NCAA Tournament and the 2010-11 college basketball season wound down these past few days (and boy did it wind down last night), the annual movement of coaches among the college ranks started to pick up.  Teams are scrambling to fill vacancies with the best talent on the market, and while some coaches have indicated an intent to stay put despite recent attention (see Shaka Smart), others seem to have entertained the possibility of moving elsewhere (see Matt Painter).  Then there are those coaches who have already put pen to paper and signed on the dotted line, thus sealing their future (at least for the next few years) as the new head coach for a program.

One such coach is Archie Miller, who just signed on as the new head coach for the Dayton Flyers.  The Flyers’ former coach, Brian Gregory, made the decision to leave for Georgia Tech, leaving Dayton with an opening to fill and Miller as an attractive candidate.  Miller, who is coming to Dayton from the University of Arizona, where he served as an assistant under older brother Sean Miller, may be a familiar name to Ohio State followers from his days as an assistant under Thad Matta for the Buckeyes.  Miller was in Columbus for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons before joining his brother at Arizona.  Going one step further, the Miller family in general has some connection to Thad and Ohio State by means of the following: Read More

It was a great run Thad. Well done, see you next year.

The Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Tournament has now been set, and as Eric’s mini-post highlighted, this year’s remaining teams make for an interesting assortment.  Four teams, one each from the SEC, Big East, Horizon League, and Colonial Athletic Association will take their hopes and dreams to Houston next weekend to see who will come out on top.  With the differing characteristics of these teams, it should be an entertaining weekend of basketball.

Of course, an Ohio State fan choosing to watch the Final Four games will have to decide which team warrants his or her support.  With the Buckeyes knocked out, and seemingly no clear-cut alternative of which team to root for given the lack of Big Ten teams, who rises to the top?  Unless you’ve got a significant other’s alma mater still in the running, tBBC is here to help.  Let’s take a look at each remaining team going into next weekend and try to figure out who is deserving of a little Buckeye love… Read More

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