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 X Factor

Written January 12th, 2012 by DaveR

DeShaun Thomas has quickly become a fan favorite.

“I went for like eight in a row because I was so pumped that I was playing good defense on Kelly.”

To me, this quote perfectly epitomizes everything about Deshaun Thomas. We all know that he is not afraid to shoot anywhere near a gym, and when he actually plays some defense (or passes), he gets really excited about it. It’s an accomplishment. Honestly, how often do we talk about his defensive execution or negative assist ratio? We really don’t unless it comes as a surprise or an added bonus.

This is not an all out attack on “Tank”, and, aside from my not-so-subtle cheap shots, he really has quickly become a very critical piece to this suddenly floundering Ohio State team. He referred to himself as the “X Factor” after the Duke game, but he’s quickly emerged as something much, much more. This team will need all of it and then some come March.

Thad Matta first saw Deshaun play in the 8th grade, and by his freshman year he had already given his commitment to OSU. After that commitment, and being named Mr. Basketball in Indiana, most thought and assumed that he would fall into the “one and done” category along with Jared Sullinger. Thomas’ minutes were limited as any freshman’s would be. When he was in the game his play was extremely erratic, particularly his shot selection. His first game against North Carolina A&T, he did come off the bench to score 24 points and hauled in 8 rebounds; a great sign of things to come.
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