Buckeyes’ State Part II

Written February 28th, 2012 by DaveR

While it may seem timely to write a piece on the state of William Buford last week and Jared Sullinger this week, it is purely coincidental (I am crafty, but not that crafty). They are things that have been on my mind for some time now. These past several games seemed to become very telling of these struggles, so this is as good a reason as any to take a look at what really may be going on, why Jared should stay for another year, and his role on this team.

Over the past 3 games, this is Sullinger’s scoring efficiency:

@Michigan: 6-14 for 14 points (0-3 from 3pt)

Illinois: 4-7 for for 9 points (0-1 from 3pt)

Wisconsin: 4-10 for 8 points (0-1 from 3pt)

So let’s look at that – it is no coincidence that this Buckeyes team is reeling at the same time that Sullinger has been struggling. There are probably several of you reading this who disagree with the notion that Sullinger really is “struggling” considering the year he is having statistically. He is leading the team in points this season overall and averaging a team high 16.8 PPG. I understand, let’s revise that to a point that I don’t believe can be argued and say that he has been reduced to a role player on this team as of late and, more importantly, this season.
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Is depth a gift and a curse? tBBC Roundtable

Written January 17th, 2012 by DaveR

One of the best blessings to happen to OSU Basketball

I absolutely cannot speak on behalf of anyone else, but I have been starting to get a little uneasy watching this hoops team over the past month or so. Yes, losing does that, but I am born and raised in Cleveland so I have become quite accustomed to the feeling. That said, I have also learned a little about separating the emotion of a loss and what it means in the bigger picture. I am not at all saying that this team is destined to fail, but there have been several questions raised during this tough period for the Buckeyes.

Let me first start by saying that Buckeye Nation has been spoiled; most are very well aware of this and if you don’t agree, well, you’re probably Mark May or Skip Bayless. But speaking specifically about the basketball team, we’ve enjoyed some extremely exciting years under Thad Matta. National Championships? No, but very exciting and very talented nonetheless. The battle that the previous teams have had is that with a very talented starting core, oftentimes there was a large drop-off to bench support. We have all seen and been frustrated by it, but with this latest class, that is no longer the case. Matta has young, raw talent that needs to be developed for this season, but more importantly, years to come.

So exactly how spoiled are we? Not even two years removed from what was a serious depth issue, many are questioning why Matta is reaching so far down the bench for minutes when he has some very clear producers that need development themselves come March. What is even crazier is that it partially includes me. I know, I can probably start an argument with myself but because that would not be too entertaining for you, here are some different viewpoints from our team:
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The Chris Jent Effect

Written December 29th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Dave’s back with a look at the guy behind the guy behind the guy for Buckeye hoops this year. You can get insight and wisdom from Dave in 140 character chunks here: @daverini

Voice Of Wisdom

I don’t know about you, but this is absolutely my favorite time of the year. Where college football, the NFL and college hoops collide bringing something great to watch almost every night. Couple that with the fact that Urban Meyer needed to buy a turn-style for the recruits piling in and it’s made for a great fall/winter. The cherry on top, which is sadly a distant second in discussion, is the leader of the men’s college basketball team – Thad Matta. Despite what ESPN tries to feed the nation, it’s a great time for Buckeye Nation because I believe that Thad is as good of a recruiter as Urban is, but just gets less attention for it because football always comes first. That’s another argument, for another time, in another bar.

Digging even deeper behind the incredible coach and recruiter that is Thad Matta, is Chris Jent. Much like what Thad has done for Buckeye hoops, I believe that Jent’s impact has been somewhat overshadowed by the many storylines that are evolving this season. It’s understood that he hasn’t been in his role long enough, but he still plays a very major part that doesn’t get nearly enough attention, in my opinion.

Admittedly, I was pretty young and never watched Jent while he was with the Buckeyes from ’88-’92, so I cannot speak from any personal viewpoint on his play. However, I do know that he was known as quite the hustler and “scrapper” during his tenure, not to mention that he’s 8th all time at OSU for his 38% 3-point shooting. Read More

A Closer Look at Chris Jent

Written July 7th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

Sometimes as a sports fan, you have to look for the diamond in the rough. With the football season nearly on it’s way and it’s off-season still flaring it’s ugly teeth at us, it’s good to have something bright and exciting happening in the world of Buckeye sports.

When Thad Matta added assistant coach Chris Jent to his staff, it might of been the best thing to happen to the program in quite some time.

Jent, who played for the Buckeyes from 88-92 has NBA experience as a player and a coach. Hired as the Director of Player Development by the Cavaliers in 2006, his work has seen him transform some of the best players in the game, including LeBron James, whose jump shot was improved dramatically thanks to Jent.

It’s that experience that has fans drooling, incoming recruits pumping their fists, and Thad Matta celebrating his best pull from the recruiting ranks in quite some time.

Jent, who originally returned to Columbus in 2006 to pursue his degree at Ohio State, planned on helping Thad Matta and his coaching staff while on campus.

But when current Lakers and former Cavs head coach Mike Brown called asking to borrow him for a few weeks, the budding of an NBA coaching future began.

But when the future is bright, it doesn’t mean it’s always the path to follow. For Jent, the realization of being at home hit the heart.

Everyone I would talk to said, ‘Go with your gut.’ I’d go to work every day and I’d be like, ‘Man, this is fantastic, I’m an NBA coach.’ I’d be on my drive home and my stomach and my gut kept pulling me back to Columbus and I couldn’t deny that.

It also can’t be denied that Jent is one of the best coaches at the top level of basketball at making players better. Something that will translate well to the game of college basketball where coaches are handed raw talent and are in charge of turning them into standout players.

It also don’t hurt recruiting. Adding a former NBA coach, with contacts, and a relationship with LeBron James? Despite lacking any recruiting experience, It’s a promising outlook of even more national talent making it’s way to Columbus.

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Silver Bullet Points Embraces The Media

Written June 28th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Do you feel lucky, Bucks?

For those Buckeye fans who are more than ready to talk some football, today was a good day.

First up, Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell joined Dan Patrick today and talked about his status,

  • According to Coach Fickell, Gene Smith has removed the “interim” tag. He is the head coach… a great move, especially for recruiting. However, you’ve got to wonder if this will still be the case in January of 2012.
  • He hasn’t talked to Coach Tressel face to face since Memorial Day, but has stayed in contact somewhat… no prohibitions on communicating with the former Head Coach.
  • TP called Coach Fickell while he was at a Taylor Swift concert and left a message; Luke hasn’t called him back, holding that TP knows that the University wants the best for him and wants him to finish his degree.
  • Was asked about “Changing the culture”- Wants to restore the focus, get back to “the things we believe in” and “they know exactly what expectations are”.
  • To avoid a repeat of the problems from the past- Education (continued), holding students accountable.
  • Patrick said that he has heard that the issue, at part, is the Buckeye fanbase- that they love the program and the players so much that it makes it hard to police or monitor these types of situation. Coach Fickell said that Buckeye fans do love the team, but often don’t understand NCAA rules. He went on to say that it’s up to the student athletes to know what’s right and to choose to do it.
  • No doubts about being successful.
  • Wouldn’t speculate on any NCAA response- it’s “out of our hands”.
  • Patrick- “If I put all the Big Ten coaches in an octagon, who’s coming out?” Fickell- “Me.” He then went on to talk about his wrestling experience, although wouldn’t comment on whether or not he could take Brady Hoke (hint- he could). Our friends at Scarlet and Game take this a step further.
  • Coach Fickell said that he didn’t have a plan to wear a vest during gameday, saying that “Some things are sacred.”

Seemed a lot more relaxed than at the BTN Interview and press conference… although, the Taylor Swift things makes me a little nervous.

This afternoon, the “conversation” continued, as four members of the Ohio State football team met with the media for a scheduled time of Q&A.  Unscheduled, and welcomed, were comments from Coach Fickell, who joined Buckeye Seniors Joe Bauserman, Mike Brewster, and Nate Oliver as well as John “The Sandman” Simon.

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