Silver Bullet Points Gets Coached Up

Written March 7th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Midweek madness in March… be sure to stick with us after the break to get insight into the personalities and ideologies of some of the new Ohio State coaching staff

Learning from the best

Buckeye 411

  • All Sully, All The Time- Jared Sullinger was today named as a finalist for the John Wooden award, the only one of the fifteen finalists to have also been on that list for the 2010-11 season. He was also named an All American by the Sporting News… which is nice.
  • However-  In the Sporting News piece, we read this:

But the number that best explains his sophomore season is the dramatic decline in free throw attempts from his freshman year. He’s getting fouled about 20 percent less often this season than last, although he is most certainly being challenged by defenders in greater numbers and it would appear he is being contacted more. He is attempting and making roughly the same number of shots as last season, but he is getting fewer calls.

More contact, but fewer calls? That right there is all you need to know about the state of B1G officiating this season, just in case the conference player of the year possibly fouling out of a huge game and not being removed by the officials wasn’t enlightening enough.

Q: Who would star as you (in the movie adaptation of the book)?

A: We had that question asked at Ohio State. We had to do the profile thing during timeouts (at games), where they asked you who would play you in a movie. All my teammates said Denzel Washington. That wouldn’t work for me, though.

How about Zac Efron? We could turn it into a musical.

All I needed to read, though, was Greg Oden’s blurb for the cover-

“Mark Titus knows a lot of personal secrets of mine. If he revealed any of them in this book, I will kick him right in the testicles. I’m not joking.”

When you buy it, be sure to do so from Amazon- gives a little love to your favorite corner of the interwebs.

Read More

Aaron Craft named B1G Defensive Player of the Year

Written March 5th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

Anyone who has watched Aaron Craft do his thing on the court in his first two seasons as an Ohio State Buckeye knows just how much defense matters to the most aggressive yet intelligent guard in the Big Ten Conference. Whether it be stopping the best distributor, putting a stop to the opposing team’s leading scorer, or creating fast break points by ballhawkin’ and stealing the basketball at mid court — any fan of the defensive side of basketball can appreciate the play of the Findlay native.

Yes, even those bums up north (If they are smart enough to comprehend the game of basketball).

Anyways, (Sorry wanted to get my required bashing in early) it was no surprise that when the Big Ten Conference announced it’s end of the season awards, that Aaron Craft was selected by the coaches as the conference defensive player of the year.

Craft, who averaged 2.4 steals per game, ended the season on back to back 4 steal performances. His 75 total thefts are the second highest in a season in school history. Despite being the only unanimous selection to the All-B1G defensive team, Craft’s selection comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the position he plays.

Craft becomes the first guard to win the award since Purdue’s Chris Kramer in 2010. Usually allocated to a forward or center because of so many ways they affect a game defensively, Craft is without a doubt deserving. He says though that everything he does on the floor is a team effort.

“I am humbled by this award. It is certainly not an individual award. I play my best defense when my teammates are at their best. I know my teammates can rescue me if I get beat. It has been a blessing to achieve this accomplishment and share it with the rest of the guys on our team.”

Read More

BBN Basketball LiveBlog: Michigan State II

Written March 4th, 2012 by Eric

The Buckeyes and Spartans meet up at 4:00 PM EST on CBS today to play for either a share (for the Buckeyes) or an outright claim (for the Spartans) of the Big Ten Regular Season Championship!

While you wait, go checkout our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 3:30 PM EST.

Go Bucks! Let’s win that ol’ conference now!

Pregame Glance:MSU Spartans Part II

Written March 3rd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye
The 11th ranked Buckeyes (23-6, 11-5) travel to East Lansing to take on the 5th ranked Spartans (24-6, 13-4).When the Buckeyes hosted Sparty on February 11th they were sporting the second longest home winning streak at 39. That went to the wayside as B1G POY contender Draymond Green and his partner in crime Adreian Payne effectively stopped it cold. Let’s take a good look at the Spartans, their program and this match-up.

The Izzone is brutal

School: Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing,Michigan
Founded: 1855 – The FIRST agricultural College in theU.S.  Originally called the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan
Student Population: 47,800 8th largest university in the country
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Breslin Center
Seating: 14,759
Built: 1989
Head Coach: Tom Izzo –Northern Michigan1977
Experience & Accomplishments 17th Year – 407 wins and 167 losses .4 National COY awards, 6 Final Fours, 14 straight NCAA’s, 6 B1G Champs, 1 National Championship in 2000, More Final Four appearances than Williams and Krzyzewski since 1996(6-5-4 respectively)  Graduates a staggering 81% of players that complete eligibility.
Program History First season was 1898-99 and MSU’s all-time record is 1,507-1.022 with 25 NCAA appearances, 8 Final Four appearances, All-time tourney record of 52-24 and 2 National Championships in 1979 and 2000. 12 B1G Championships and 2 B1G tourney championships.

Read More

Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: Northwestern

Written March 2nd, 2012 by Eric

The Buckeyes managed to beat the Cats with a timely shot from Sully in the paint.

After the Northwestern game concluded, there was one inescapable thought in my mind – this was a very good win for us. I saw it echoed among several other sportswriters on twitter, but ultimately saw a lot more negativity from the fans.

Why did we play so poorly against a team as bad as Northwestern?

Well, first off, Northwestern is not a bad team. As I pointed out in my preview of the game, this team often makes visiting opponents look, and play, stupid. It did not come as a surprise to me that they made us fight for every minute of the game clock. That’s what these guys do at home.

Northwestern, as you may have heard at some point, is also in the Big Ten. The Big Ten this year is one of the single toughest conferences out there. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that we’re going to have a tough time on the road against a conference opponent. To be honest, we’ve been struggling on the road against opponents all season long – there’s no reason Northwestern was going to be any different, even if we did kill them in Columbus. Home court advantage is a significant factor in college basketball, after all.

Given some of the thoughts drifting around Buckeye Nation, here’s a list of some of the big things I took away from the Northwestern win. They’re not all positive, but they all generally show a positive trend in this team.
Read More

Buckeyes Evade Wildcats 75-73 in Evanston

Written February 29th, 2012 by Eric

Craft's offense showed up today to help out against a fiesty Northwestern team.

The Northwestern Wildcats played host this evening for a battle with the Ohio State Buckeyes, and gave the Buckeyes everything they could handle and some. Jared Sullinger put down the last second layup off an excellent Aaron Craft pass to win the game. Sullinger finished the game with another double double with 22 points and 18 rebounds, more in line with what he is capable of doing every night. DeShaun Thomas also secured a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Craft scored 14, and Lenzelle Smith put down 12. Drew Crawford of Northwestern led all scorers with 23 points, closely followed by John Shurna’s 22.

Despite discussions about the possibility of starting lineup changes to try to kick-start the Buckeyes better, Ohio State came out with their standard opening five. Matta clearly trusts his guys to get the job done, so we will just have to see if these guys can make the changes necessary to play elite basketball again. While we saw some steps in the right direction tonight, they have yet to demonstrate that they can close out a game – especially after grabbing a big lead.

Surprisingly, the Buckeyes came out strong in this one. Lenzelle Smith started things off on the right foot with a pair of baskets to go along with a trip to the charity stripe. Jared Sullinger also managed an early trip to the line, indicated that the Buckeyes were attacking the basket early. In so doing, they managed to open up a couple of long jumpers for Craft, who drained a three and an 18 footer from the left wing.

Northwestern wasn’t going to take it lying down. The Cats used a nice Drew Crawford dribble drive early to get the Buckeyes focused on defending the lane. Crawford was then able to use the collapsing defense to find open shooters on the outside. The strategy enabled Northwestern to hit three of their first six treys, and kept the game closer than it otherwise would have been with the Buckeyes playing such motivated basketball.
Read More

BBN Basketball LiveBlog: Northwestern Part II

Written February 29th, 2012 by Eric

It’s time to wake up and pay attention. March is just around the corner, and the Buckeyes have two regular season games left. Tonight’s matchup? The Bucks take on the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, IL.

While you wait, go checkout our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 8:00 PM EST.

Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance: Northwestern Part II

Written February 28th, 2012 by Eric

Bill Carmody's default look on Selection Sunday.

The Northwestern Wildcats are playing host to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday evening for the second to last game of the regular season. Bill Carmody’s team is standing at 17-11 for the season, and 7-9 in the Big Ten – good for 7th overall in conference. Over their last six meetings the Buckeyes lead 5-1, including an overtime battle in the Big Ten tournament last year. The last Northwestern victory occurred in Evanston on February 18th, 2009 by a score of 72-69.

Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament in the history of their program. During the 2009-2010 campaign, the Wildcats put together a 20 win season that should have been enough to earn them their first bid. Surprisingly, they were denied entry and relegated to the NIT for the second year running. They again missed the tournament last season with a slightly less impressive 18 win season, but they were at least in the conversation.

The Wildcats find themselves in the conversation again this year. Sitting at 17 wins with two games left on the schedule, there is an outside chance that the ‘Cats could play their way into the tournament. Not surprisingly, many in the Big Ten find themselves rooting for Northwestern to make it into the field of 68 – though, of course, not at the expense of their own teams.

A lot of their recent success, and the reason that they’re consistently making post-season play, has to do with how Bill Carmody has them playing in Evanston. The Wildcats have been an incredibly difficult team to beat at home during the last few seasons, making Welsh-Ryan Arena a surprising intimidating building. You may recall last season when the Buckeyes, in their only meeting with Northwestern, escaped with a 58-57 victory after Northwestern missed a desperation half-court heave at the buzzer. That trend has continued into this season as a number of teams will attest.
Read More