Mens BB Preview: Ohio University Bobcats

Written November 11th, 2013 by Ken

bobcat

The 2013-2014 basketball season is underway.  The 1-0 Buckeyes dusted off Morgan State 89-50 in their season opener ad now host the Ohio University Bobcats Tuesday at 8:00 PM. Ohio State was powered by accurate shooting (47.7%) and dynamic rebounding (55 rebounds) in their first win of the season. Meanwhile, down the road in Athens, OH, the Bobcats defeated Northern Iowa 75-64 with even better shooting, hitting 52% from the floor in their opening win.

 

Here’s the scoop on Ohio University.

School: Ohio University

Location: Athens, OH

Founded: 1804

Student Population: 22,685

School Type: Public, co-ed

Division: D-I

Conference: Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Arena: The Convocation Center “The Convo”

Seating: 13,080

Built: 1968

Head Coach: Jim Christian

Year: 2nd

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Men’s BB Preview: Morgan State Bears

Written November 8th, 2013 by Ken

morgan state

The 2013-2014 basketball season is nigh upon us. Like soon; in fact this Sunday, to be exact. After “scrimmaging” the Walsh University Cavaliers (winning  93-63), the #11 Buckeyes host the Morgan State University Bears this coming Saturday with a noon tip-off at The Schott. The pre-conference schedule starts; now it gets serious.

 

Here’s the scoop on Morgan State University.

School: Morgan State University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Founded: 1867

Student Population: 6,000

School Type: Public, co-ed

Division: FCS

Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)

Arena: Hill Field House

Seating: 4,250

Built:

Head Coach: Todd Bozeman

Year: 8th

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2013 Basketball Player Preview: “Slam” Thompson

Written November 2nd, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

Looking for the best athlete in the Big Ten? Ohio State’s Slam, I mean Sam, Thompson is that guy. He has wowed everybody in the B1G and is among the early discussions about who will lead this years Buckeye squad.

Up, up and away

Out of high school, Thompson came into Ohio State with the reputation of being a high flyer and during his freshman campaign for the Buckeyes he proved just that.

Notables:
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
High School: Whitney Young
Position: Forward
Year: Sophomore
Height: 6-7
Weight: 200

Freshman Statistics:
- 10.6 MPG
- 2.1 PPG
- 1.1 RPG
- 49.3 FG% (34/69)

Sophomore Statistics:
- 25.1 MPG
- 7.8 PPG
- 3.5 RPG
- 49.8 FG% (106/213)
- 2 HDPG (Highlight Dunks Per Game)

He showed himself very capable of making the highlight reel play on the offense side of the ball and to be a solid defender as well. He has all of the tools to become a lock down perimeter defender this season.

Thompson will still be coming off of the bench for the Buckeyes in 2012, but his role will have to change a bit. A lot more will be asked of him offensively. Thad Matta said yesterday at Big Ten media day in Chicago that Thompson has worked extremely hard on his offensive game, specifically his jump shot. And he needed to. Watching Thompson shoot the ball was painful at times as he seemed to have absolutely no confidence in his jumper.

Slam started all 37 games last season and was at many times, the spark the team needed with some of his highlight reel dunks. Look for the best athlete in the B1G to stand out this season and provide a lot of highlight reel material.

While there is a lot of doubt about Thompson’s jump shot and overall offensive game, nobody questions his game-changing athletic ability. Just take a look at this dunk he threw down against Indiana last year:

And because we all love watching Thompson dunk so much, here’s one more video from a few weeks back when CBS’ Seth Davis visited an OSU practice and wanted Thompson to dunk over him: Read More

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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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.

 

 

 

 

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

Breakdownability NCAA: OSU vs Wichita State

Written March 29th, 2013 by Ken

 

.. I’m really not quite sure what to say to this..

 

School: Wichita State University
Location: Wichita, KS
Founded: 1895
School Type: Public
Student Population: 14,806 total, 11,763 undergrad
Stadium: Charles Koch Arena “The Roundhouse”
Seating: 10,506
Opened: 1955
Head Coach: Gregg Marshall
Experience: 6th year

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Wednesday Night Rumble: Smooth Criminal

Written March 27th, 2013 by Jason

The Buckeyes have advanced to their fourth straight Sweet 16 and look to continue hitting their stride in the city of angels tomorrow night against Arizona. Spring football practice has reconvened. The Big Ten has 4 of the 16 teams still vying for the Final Four. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!

He’s Crafty

The range of emotions regarding feelings toward Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during Sunday’s 3rd round matchup with Iowa State. The nations best defender was on his game, went through a folly of errors, missed the front ends of two one-and-one free throw attempts, then made the games two biggest defensive plays, drove in for a layup and finally proceeded to drop a bomb to seal the deal.

"Smooth Criminal" Craft gets the last word on Georges Niang

“Smooth Criminal” Craft gets the last word on Georges Niang

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