2012 Recruiting Update: Is Tony Parker a Slam Dunk?

Written December 24th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

It’s still unbelievable the pull that Ohio State head man Thad Matta has been able to put together in his time as the head coach of this great university.From Greg Oden to Jared Sullinger to Mike Conley Jr. and Evan Turner — there has been a lot of talent that we have been fortunate enough to watch blossom. Just on this roster, back to back phenomenal classes have proven that this program isn’t going anywhere over the long-haul. This young team will only be forced to say goodbye to William Buford via eligibility. In 2012, only walk-on Alex Rogers and transfer Evan Ravenel will be in their final year of athletic eligibility.

But what about 2012 freshman class? Dave Dickerson, Chris Jent, Jeff Boals and Thad Matta have yet to receive a commit, despite working hard on the recruiting trail.

That doesn’t mean that whoever decides to come to Ohio State isn’t going to be some of the most talented players in the country going into their first year of collegiate basketball.  This Christmas Eve, my present to you is an update on the 2012 class and how things are coming together for next year.

Read More

Look Ahead to 2011-2012 Men’s Basketball

Written May 19th, 2011 by Joe Laing

One of our personal favorites, William Buford, is coming back for another run.

After Eric’s article on the look-back to last year and the exciting news of adding “the Dookies” to our schedule for next year, I thought why not take a real early look at next year and have a little fun with the article.  Hope you like it!

The biggest recruiting gets of the season were obviously the commitments from “Mr. Party in the USA” Jared “Sully” Sullinger and “Suave Smooth” William Buford to return for another year.  We have been hurt by guys leaving early in the past, but for the first time Since Thad’s first real class we don’t have anyone leaving for the league early!  Both will be primed and ready for big time seasons next year to follow up on their strong campaigns this past year.

Buford will be hungry after a below par showing in the Sweet 16 game against Kentucky.  There were times when I was wondering if DLight should have gone over and just stolen the ball from Will as he was struggling to hit anything.  Sully, on the other hand, will try and follow up his dominant Freshman season with a Naismith winning season.

Also returning are freshmen contributors from last season: “Backup singer” Aaron Craft and “Always Ready to Shoot” Deshaun Thomas.  Aaron will be the leader of the team.  In open gyms over the summer he has taken that role, and really started pushing his teammates to get better – look for it to show on the court next season.  Maybe we should call him “Gladiator” because he never stops.

I expect to see a little bit of a different game from Deshaun next year.  Hopefully I don’t sit in the stands and hear lil old ladies yelling, “pass the ball Deshaun!”, like I did last year.  I see him stepping into the starting spot at the 4 position where he will still look to light it up and score, but will take better shots, look to pass the ball a little more, take it in the post, and have a much improved game on the defensive end.

Read More

Now, the Good News

Written March 26th, 2011 by Eric

We'll miss you Gentlemen. Good Luck

Last night had to be one of the single worst displays of college basketball I have seen by an Ohio State team in years.  That is, of course, an exaggeration, but I’m sure many of you would agree with me on that point.

What is probably not well agreed with is that there are a large number of things the Buckeyes did right in that game.  It’s extraordinarally difficult to keep up with a talented team like Kentucky while shooting an atrocious 32.8%.  That drops to just under 31% if you don’t count three pointers, emphasizing the difficulty OSU had shooting the ball.  It’s pretty rare that excluding your three point shooting drops your shooting percentage.

Let me stress a point.  While Kentucky’s defense was very good (11 blocks is ridiculously good) it was not Kentucky’s defense that beat us.  If you take William Buford’s 2-16 shooting away, OSU shot 40.5% overall and 41.3% inside the three point arc.  As much as I hate to seem like I’m laying blame (I’m not, there’s no blame to lay), it could not be any more obvious why the Bucks struggled in this game.

Wildcat fans, of course, will argue that William Buford’s shooting was so low because of their spectacular defense.  In this case, that is not true.  The vast majority of Buford’s misses were fairly open looks, with only a few coming with a hand in his face – including that last second desperation shot that just missed.  I’m sure that shot is tearing Buford up inside.  It shouldn’t be.  Tough shots like that sometimes fall and sometimes don’t.  It may not be the outcome we wanted, but it doesn’t change the fact that we played tough to end the season.

Read More

Shannon Scott Shows his Stuff on ESPNU.

Written January 16th, 2011 by Eric

Shannon Scott

Yesterday, ESPNU ran a number of High School Basketball games. One of those games featured #9 Milton (GA), including point guard Shannon Scott, against #1 Oak Hill (VA). Oak Hill found themselves down quickly to a surprisingly talented Milton team and eventually lost 75-69 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

The storyline of the game, though, was the play of Shannon Scott, an OSU Basketball signee. Scott, who was matched up against Duke signee Quinn Cook, scored 12 points in the first half on the way to a 24-7 Milton lead. While Scott was not forced to guard Cook one-on-one, he was still able to display great ability in driving past Cook to the basket. Cook scored 16 points and picked up 8 assists, but shot an abysmal 5-19 (26.3%) from the floor.

This is a great sign for OSU going into next season. With Aaron Craft doing so much this year, including what I believe to have been a breakout game for him against Penn State last night, along with Lenzelle Smith and Shannon Scott, the Buckeyes will be set at point guard heading into the future. This has been such a sore position of need for us the last few seasons, so it’s big to have a stable of great players to fit into the position. Scott will clearly provide another dimension, possibly playing a critical 6 man role by scoring off the bench. This would be exactly opposed to Aaron Craft’s more floor general, distributor style. A nice change of pace during the course of a game.

For more discussion of the Milton/Oak Hill game, the ESPN game preview can be found here.