Silver Bullet Points Ain’t Rattled

Written September 19th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

After an exciting week in Berkeley, the Bucks return home in a final warmup before B1G season. As the Rattlers come to town, there’s only one choice for the soundtrack this week.

Trophy Hunting

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- The plan is for Braxton to play some on Saturday; reports from practice had him wearing a brace but with no noticeable limp. That’s the good news.  The “not yet” news is that Adolphus Washington will miss the FAMU visit to Columbus, as the Buckeyes try to ensure that he’ll be healthy for B1G play. Coach Meyer said several times this week that he would be “probable” for Wisconsin.
  • Good Problem To Have- Meyer seemed most optimistic about the play of the defensive line, and praised Coach Vrable’s work with the “young pups”. Given the pressure that they’ve been able to apply minus Adolphus and Tommy Schutt, you’ve got to think that something is going right in the trenches for the Scarlet and Gray.
  • And Then- There’s the linebackers, who still have some question marks in place for Ohio State. Meyer emphasized again that the depth is not what it needs to be given some of the “misses” in recruiting in the last four years; fans will remember that several key stars either haven’t panned out as of yet or have left the program altogether. At this point, the ‘Backers haven’t been tested, but with conference play coming up that’s sure to change.
  • Seeking Hyde- Carlos is back after his three game suspension, but won’t immediately fall into the starting lineup on Saturday. Not only is the current lineup firing on all cylinders, it will take a bit to find a “fit” for Carlos’ game within the offense.  In addition, it wouldn’t be fair, according to the coaches, to sit Jordan Hall given the work results that have been produced over the past three weeks.
  • For The Sake Of Argument- Gene Smith helped schedule this week’s FAMU game in part to bring their amazing band to The Shoe. However, as an FCS school (and not a great one, at that), the game certainly won’t help Ohio State’s “strength of schedule” perception. On the off chance that three or more schools finish undefeated (Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, tOSU), this game might cost the Buckeyes a chance at the Crystal Trophy… Or, as a friend of mine put it, “Gene Smith will have cost the Buckeyes two consecutive chances to play for a national championship”.  Discuss.
  • Smooth- The same goes for Kenny Guiton, who will certainly have a large number of opportunities behind center moving forward. Again, he’s certainly earned the right to do so.
  • Remember When- Ohio State fans used to envy schools like Southern Cal for their full stable of tailbacks and five star QBs? Pretty nice living, ain’t it?
  • Young’uns- There’s a lot of anticipation that some of the newer faces for Ohio State will see action this week; Corey (Pittsburgh) Brown spoke at length regarding Eli Apple, Cam Burroughs, and Vonn Bell’s work in practice. Here’s hoping they get to showcase on Saturday.
  • Jazz Brings The Swoons- Or is it that folks Swoon for Jazz? Either way… this photo does both.
  • Bitter Bear Face- If you hadn’t already, you should read this article about how Cal’s football program has higher ideals in mind than Ohio State. Then, you should remember that Cal’s APR from 2012 would put them dead last in the Big Ten…  16 points behind the team at the bottom (hint: The Harvard Of The West).
  • New Threads- Sounds as if this year’s Nike uniforms for The Game will be a white version of the ones we saw in last year’s win.
  • Four Times The Awesome- Sammy Silverman had a well deserved extra design this week: Read More

The Hunter Needs Silver Bullet Points

Written September 5th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, given Coach Meyer’s perspective for this season, the soundtrack for today should be pretty obvious. There’s the awesome option, and the Ah!Sum! possibility. Happy Thursday, Buck-aroos!

Heart you, Dee Dee McCall

Buckeye 411

  • Health Update- According to Coach Meyer, CJ Barnett will be back in action this week against SDSU, and Corey Lindsley will see more time; although the staff will continue to be cautious with his recovery.
  • Back On The Attack? Although he had a good practice today, Bradley Roby has not yet been bumped up to the starter at corner this weekend. Rod Smith, curiously left off the depth chart released on Tuesday, finds himself on several special teams this weekend, which is a pretty good sign.
  • Isn’t That Special- A lot has been made of Ohio State’s practice of having players earn playing time by being a part of Coach Coombs’ charges for a time. If you want to play, prove that you’ve got the heart and passion… I like it, and am hopeful Bri’onte Dunn (who seems to have been singled out this week) will rise to the challenge.
  • Hybrid No More? Coach Meyer mentioned that Dontre Wilson is more of a receiver at this point than a running back.
  • Getting Defensive- San Diego State runs a 3-3-5 Stack Defense, which is a bit different than what the Buckeyes have seen in the past. However, several players mentioned that Buffalo chose a similar look on Saturday, so they feel more prepared. That being said, don’t be surprised to see quite a bit of unorthodox pressure coming from the Aztecs.
  • The Chase- While Ohio State dropped in the AP poll to #3 (I guess beating an FCS school is a good idea, huh NikeU?), they stayed at the #2 slot in the Coaches’ poll.  Oh, and they’re #1 on the Facebook poll… which reminds me; can we be friends? Read More

Silver Bullets Point To Hope

Written May 22nd, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

What’s really important

Continued thoughts and prayers to our friends in Cowboy and Sooner land… soundtrack should be obvious for today.

Buckeye 411

Simon’s contract has a total value of $2.545 million, including a $385,652 signing bonus. The deal includes base salaries of $405,000, $495,000, $585,000 and $675,000.

Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: This Season and Next

Written April 16th, 2013 by Eric
Thomas was pretty excited - you should be too.

Thomas was pretty excited – you should be too.

I couldn’t believe an entire basketball season had passed us by and I hadn’t yet written a Buckeye Basketball Breakdown. It just goes to show you what the final year of a graduate studies program can do to your soul…and your free time. But those are similar really.

Given how the NCAA Tournament wrapped up, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about what we saw this year from the Buckeyes, and what we might have to look forward to in the future.

This Season

I will be the first to admit that I was particularly worried about this team going into Big Ten play. Seeing the Buckeyes meltdown against Duke, struggle with Kansas at home, and generally perform lackadaisically in the first half of every game, I was quite pessimistic on the night of January 4th. I knew the team was growing, I could see their development, but I was extremely worried by what I had seen to that point.

And then the first Illinois game happened the very next day.

Surprisingly, my opinions of the team improved dramatically after that. They fought hard and picked up a pair of wins in that four game stretch, including a huge win against Michigan. They started to clue in to how to play proper basketball, but they were still missing something.

And then Wisconsin happened.
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Wednesday Night Rumble: Successful Disappointment

Written April 3rd, 2013 by Jason

Basketball season is officially over. Depending on your perspective on how you look at the season’s overall content, this year was either a huge overachieving success or a flaming disaster. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!

Shocked

There really is no better word for the majority of Buckeye Nation’s overriding feeling on Saturday night after the final horn sounded. They were shocked, me included.

How could Wichita State seemingly blow the doors off of our beloved Buckeyes for the better part of 30 minutes and hang on to eliminate the West region’s number 2 seed? How could a Buckeye team that only two weeks ago in Chicago appeared to be finally hitting its stride look so terrible in a regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line?

"Wichita beat Ohio State?!"

“Wichita beat Ohio State?!”

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Tuesday Thoughts: OSU Men’s Hoops Edition

Written April 2nd, 2013 by Ken

 

 

Another Tuesday, another week, another month. Grab your coffee and let’s dive in.

Welcome to a special Ohio State men’s basketball edition. Now that, as far as we’re concerned, basketball season is on, it may be time for some reflection. This article is in two parts; first some commentary on the Ohio State – Wichita State game, then thoughts on the season in general.

 

Ohio State – Wichita State

Before I get too far into this, I want to acknowledge the beautifully conceived and executed game plan on the part of Gregg Marshall and his WSU team. They clearly identified OSU’s weaknesses and exploited them.

On to Part the First. I was in Ohio over Easter weekend getting some high quality family time, so I did not participate in the ingame live blog, which was probably good, all things considered. What follows are some comments/questions that arose around our television Saturday evening.

  • ‘Ohio State didn’t start out with a lot of pep and energy’. [No, they didn’t, and the slow, flat starts finally caught up with them.]
  • ‘Why does he keep shooting those long shots when he’s not making them?’ [The question was in regards to either Craft or Thomas. Likely both of them.]
  • ‘We (OSU) didn’t do as well as they usually do on turnover-fast break baskets’. [No we didn’t. We were ‘outscored’ 6-9 on points off turnovers. For a team that often struggles in half-court offense and needs turnover points, this was not good at all.
  • ‘I don’t understand why we are using a mam-to-man press; we need to use a zone trap to get quick turnovers.’ [This is a pretty good point. If we’re going to apply ball pressure to create back-court turnovers, then dammit, apply pressure, not an escort service.]
  • ‘I hope that Thomas comes back next year. They could be pretty good’. [No question.]

The 1st half was as big a clinker as I’ve seen this team have in some time. The offense seemed to me to be completely out of sorts and very passive, settling for jump shots. There seemed to be no ‘learning’ from the 2nd of the Arizona game where aggressive play created higher percentage FG opportunities. The 22 points in Saturday’s 1st half were “driven” by the 24% shooting, and a strange, awful appearance of ‘Bo Ball’. The Buckeyes were 2-10 from 3’s and only attempted 7 free throws. For 20 minutes, Ohio State managed to out-Wisconsin Wisconsin.

At this point, the game turned into Greek myth/tragedy, with the part of Sisyphus played by Ohio State. Six minutes into the game, OSU took the lead, held it for approximately one minute, and then was faced with a series of uphill climbs for the rest of the game. The Buckeyes just couldn’t get any scoring runs going. Since WSU did a good job of getting back on defense, OSU couldn’t get the breakaway baskets they needed and had to resort to a half-court offense, which frankly, isn’t the best.

The Season

In January I did a little piece on how I saw the basketball team, up to that point in the season. I harped on five issues, let’s revisit them to see what had changed in the last two and a half months. You may need to toggle between articles. Take your time.

1. This is not that good of a shooting team, particularly in key games

I didn’t think so then, I don’t think so now. Back then they were shooting 46.1%, good for 52nd nationally. The Buckeyes ended the season shooting 45.1%, good for 79th position.

2. This is an inconsistent team

I don’t believe this point has changed much either. Generally, OSU tended to start their games very slow, muddle through the first half’s, then play much more focused and with more energy in the second half.

3. This is a team with no legitimate post presence.

This became more obvious as the season progressed. The Buckeyes played their best ball when they went ‘small’. The formula that ‘Dr. Thad’ concocted was to start Amir Williams to win the opening tip then make substitutions at the first media time out.

4. This team is not fun to watch

They didn’t bore us to death, that’s for sure. This is one issue where I’ve changed my mind. As Thad settled on his starting lineup and substitution patterns, it seemed like the players began to gel as a true team. After the ‘Mauling in Madison’, I think the players stepped up to take responsibility for their actions and executing the game plan. And the results showed. If nothing else, this aspect can be taken as a huge win for the coaches and the players.

5. Coaching Impact

Just to be clear, this pertains to player development, not coaching strategies, etc. My bone of contention was that I had not seen significant, if any, improvement between sophomore and junior years of Craft, Smith Jr and Thomas. My position hasn’t changed on that. However, I saw significant improvement in sophomores Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross, and (at the very end of the season) a glimmer of hope this year Amir Williams. Now, if these three can show same improvements between their sophomore to junior year as they did this year, I’d say Thad & Staff have done a very good job.

Disappointed..?

Not really, no.

Thanks for one helluva ride..

My brother and I were discussing this over Sunday morning coffee when he made the observation that ‘ maybe Ohio State overachieved this year.’  The team lost 32 points per game (Sullinger/Buford) and the returning three starters (Thomas/Craft/Smith Jr) contributed 31 ppg. Losing half of your starters’ offensive output provided some challenges of where to find it.

This team may also have been ‘victimized’  by expectations that were set too high. The Buckeyes started out ranked #4 in the country. Why & how eludes me; clearly people should have known that ‘Sully’ and ‘Buf’ had moved on..

Finally, I had commented several times/several places during the course of the season that it would not have surprised me if OSU would lose 10 games during the regular season, due in great part to the above five issues (silly me). The fact that this team came together to finish the season having won 12 of their last 14 games, with an 11 game win streak tossed in, speaks volumes to how the players and coaches figured it out. This speaks very well for all of them.

 

 

 

 

The B1G Time Podcast: Final Four Preview, Coaching Review

Written April 2nd, 2013 by Joe Dexter

Andy Coppens and I are at it again folks. Throwing rocks at the Minnesota athletic department, and raving about Tom Crean’s horrible hairdo…. or execution… one of the two.

If I was on my A game, we would of touched on both.

Thanks to Andy for having me on again, make sure you check out all of his hard work at The B1G Time. He is putting in the hours, and his work is as solid as the conference he covers.

On this week’s show, we preview the final four. Will Michigan have what it takes to get to the title game? We also look back at the Elite 8 losses Ohio State and Indiana suffered from the weekend. We also break down the latest transfer news from Illinois, break down Chris Collins’ hiring at Northwestern, and take a look at who are possible remaining candidates for the open Minnesota job.

As always, thanks for listening! And now you can find The B1g Time Podcast on Itunes!

Monday Musings

Written April 1st, 2013 by Ken

Some weekend, eh? Grab your coffee and let’s get right to it.

Men’s Basketball

A week that started out fairly well, then crashed and burned. In the NCAA’s, they’ve managed to dust Iowa State 78-75, Arizona 73-70 and then fell flat against Wichita State 66-70.  I don’t have much to add to the fine recaps, above, however you can bet that after some musing on my part, I’ll have something to say next week. It seemed that Thad was pushing the right buttons and the team responded in the first two games. On Saturday, things were pretty disjointed. I’d hoped the 2nd half effort against Arizona would carry into the WSU game, but alas, no. Although the offense gott significant points from senior junior DeShaun Thomas and LQR, that was it, unfortunately.

General Thoughts

I hate to do this, but let’s start with a definition: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy. Read More