tBBC All-Time Tourney Semi #1 1960 Versus #5 2011

Written April 25th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

Gone is the month of March and all the greatness on the hardwood we look forward to all year long. As basketball fans, we strive for one more shining moment. We wait anxiously as football takes center stage until old man winter strikes again. Here at tBBC, we are reliving March Madness this morning as we bring you the semi finals of the All-Time Tourney. Pitted against each other today are two of the best overall teams in Ohio State history. Today, we feature the only Ohio State championship squad against a 2011 squad that many believe had all the tools to win a second championship in school history.

When members of this 2011 squad met the 1960 team during their 50th Anniversary reunion in 2010, they took something from it. But what if they could learn first hand from one of the most impressive teams in college basketball history? How would the likes of Jared Sullinger, Jon Diebler and David Lighty stack up with Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, and Mel Nowell? Today, we breakdown a dream match-up of two very good teams. With only one moving on to the Finals to take on the winner of the 1992/2007 semi-final winner. Here’s WVaBuckeye and my breakdown of tBBC Semi-final #1.

Make sure you vote for who you believe would win this match-up on the top left hand corner of the web page.

1960 Starters and Stats

Player

FGM

FGA

FG%

3FG

3FGA

3%

FTM

FTA

FT%

REB

AVG

PTS

AVG

Jerry Lucas C

283

444

.63

0

0

0

144

187

.77

442

16.4

710

26.3

Larry Siegfried G

145

311

.46

0

0

0

81

108

.75

107

3.8

372

13.3

Mel Nowell G

156

330

.47

0

0

0

56

73

.76

72

2.6

367

13.1

John Havlicek F

144

312

.46

0

0

0

53

74

.71

205

7.3

342

12.2

Joe Roberts F

135

281

.48

0

0

0

38

56

.68

194

6.9

308

11.0

1960 Team Stats

OFFENSIVE

FG%

3%

FT%

RPG

PPG

AVERAGE

.49

0

.72

41.8

90.4

DEFENSIVE

FG%

FT%

FT%

RPG

PPG

AVERAGE

.38

0

.71

36.9

69.7

Jerry Lucas in the Record Books
When Jerry Lucas eventually broke Robin Freeman’s career scoring mark, he did it by a long shot. Freeman’s mark at the time was a mere 1,597 points in 57 games and Lucas finished with 1,990 by 1962 and stayed there until Herb Williams came along in 78-81 and is currently 3rd all-time.  His career scoring average of 24.3 is still ranked 2nd right behind Robin Freeman’s 28 ppg. His 1960 season saw him land the 5th best in points (710) average (26.3). As a team he was part of the highest scoring average ever at 90.4 ppg. Lucas is one of only two players to score 500+ in three seasons (Michael Redd). He is the all-time leader in career and single season FG percentage at .624 and .637 respectively. The one category that Lucas is the leader in and may never be touched is rebounding.  He was a special player and had a nose for getting it done. He is the career leader (1,411), is the top three in season and 1960 was third (442), second through sixth in game rebounds and had 25 against W. Kentucky in 1960 for number 6. He finished up with a career rebounding average that may last at 17.2 rpg and set a new single season mark in 1960 with 16.4 which he broke each subsequent year after that.

2011 Starters and Stats

Player

FGM

FGA

FG%

3FG

3FGA

3%

FTM

FTA

FT%

PTS

AVG

REB

AVG

Jared Sullinger F/C

222

410

0.54

3

12

0.25

188

267

0.7

635

17.2

377

10.2

William Buford G

200

433

0.46

61

138

0.44

59

70

0.84

520

14.4

141

3.9

Jon Diebler G

145

286

0.51

114

227

0.5

64

79

0.81

468

12.6

98

2.6

David Lighty G

153

327

0.47

51

119

0.43

89

142

0.63

446

12.1

148

4

Dallas Lauderdale C

74

101

0.73

0

0

0

8

26

0.31

156

4.2

120

3.2

2011 Team Stats

OFFENSIVE

FG%

3%

FT%

RPG

PPG

AVERAGE

0.49

0.42

0.70

34.5

77.1

DEFENSIVE

FG%

3%

FT%

RPG

PPG

AVERAGE

0.42

0.34

0.73

29.6

59.7

Team in the Record Books
Several records fell to the wayside during this teams run in the 2010-11 season. David Lighty set a single game 3 point shooting % mark by going 7/7 against George Mason. Jon Diebler set a career mark with 3 consecutive years leading the team in 3 point shooting %. He hit 114 threes to put him second on the single season list behind himself from the previous season’s 116.  During that run he hit 10 against Penn State which was a new tOSU and Big Ten mark. He now holds the career attempts record for threes with an amazing 900.  His 50.2% from down town is the new single season % leader, and Will Buford now holds the #2 position at 44.2%. Will became one of twelve players to score 500+ in multiple seasons and Jerry Lucas and Michael Redd are the only two with three seasons.  Dallas Lauderdale makes the list with 213 career blocked shots and comes in at number 3 all time. Jared Sullinger broke Dennis Hopson’s record of free throws attempted in a single season with 267 as the previous mark was 264.  As a team the 587 assists is the new single season mark for a team and they passes the 1986-87 team for second place on points scored in a season with 2,854 behind 2006-07. A sharp shooting team behind Diebler and Lighty this team hit 14 consecutive against Wisconsin, a record shooting percentage of 42.3%, and a single game shooting percentage of 93.3% which is an NCAA mark. They are second on the OSU all time list for threes made in a season with 285, two short of the 2006-07 team.
Playmaker
Few people can argue that there was a better playmaker in Ohio State history than Jerry Lucas. There certainly aren’t any in history who have near the honors or have meant as much to the program as a whole. In high school he was named Mr. Basketball USA twice and there have only been two others with that honor and they are Lew Alcindor and LeBron James. Once he committed to Ohio State in college the freshmen head coach Fred Taylor was promoted to become the varsity head coach.  Once attending Ohio State, few people would know that he had insisted on being there on an academic scholarship. The rest as they would say is history. Lucas became the face of a dominant team that won several games over the next three years. He could score from anywhere on the court but his nest skill was rebounding and putting it back.
Facing off against Lucas would be a tough task for anyone. Few in Ohio State history had the moxy to compete with him let alone defend him. The person I give a chance to is the playmaker of the 2011 squad, David Lighty. Lighty spent a lot of time becoming one of the best defenders tOSU will ever see because of his work ethic. During the 2011 season he was expected to be the leader of the team and to be a court general. He did not disappoint. Keeping the Buckeyes level headed was his best attribute and there were several times he took control and led the team to victory. Arguably one of the best overall players in its storied history, Ohio State was fortunate to have Lighty stick around as long as he did.

Advantage 1960

Post Presence

Could you imagine a real game where the freshman Jared Sullinger met Jerry Lucas inside for a battle of who could first gain momentum and ride it throughout the game? There is no doubt that both would find a way to score. The most intriguing thing is who would have the rebounding advantage? Instantly, you would have to think Lucas, who averaged 17+ rebounds a game. Lucas though didn’t have to contend with the likes of a Dallas Lauderdale inside, or guards like David Lighty that aren’t afraid to go to the post and get the basketball. If we’re playing in the three point era, the 1960 team might not even have many opportunities to get rebounds.

As much as I think we’d see a battle inside, the key would be who can dish it out most effectively to teammates driving to the lane or open for jumpers. Sully was the king of that in his first year of the college game. Though you could never doubt Jerry Lucas making adjustments in game. This is the same kid that at age 15 was beating college players because of his wit and athletic ability. He is also the unselfish leader that often dished off the rock to his teammates. All five starters averaged double figures in 1960. Even with Lucas averaging over 26 points a game.

Plain and simple, Lucas was a winner. Two high school championships. A National Championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year.

To me, what would make this match-up so intriguing is the under the hoop game of Jared Sullinger, with his ability to kick it out to the perimeter, against Lucas’ patented pivot passing and hook shot. One underlying factor could be foul trouble. Lucas was known as a “clean” player that used angles and knowledge to defend. Sullinger is more physical in the post, like most power forwards and centers are today.

It’s hard to say who would win the battle in the paint, and it could go either way. If I were a betting man though, there is no way I’d doubt the determination of Jerry Lucas

Advantage 1960

Ball Handler
Probably the most intriguing of the match-ups to me is between the ball handlers of these two teams. In our previous match-up that included the 2011 team David Lighty was the man and we had just begun to see the tip of what is to become with Aaron Craft. A freshman on last year’s team he usually took to the floor in replace of Dallas Lauderdale and took over at PG from Lighty and at times William Buford. Showing signs of greatness as a defender he would have given Mel Nowell and John Havlicek fits on the perimeter and for the most part slowed them down. Stopping them would be a different story altogether in my opinion.
Mel Nowell was the least heralded of three superstars in the class with Lucas and Havlicek, but he was a dandy in his own right. A great ball handler and future first rounder in the NBA, Nowell was the consummate team player. Very seldom did he make a mistake and if there wasn’t anything there he wouldn’t force it. Taking his shots as they came, Nowell set the standard for point guards.
Craft learned from the best defender tOSU has seen in some time in the Scarlet and Gray. David Lighty was a great on ball and off ball defender because of his length and instincts. His ball handling skills were what made him a great all around player and do all for the Buckeyes. His match-up against Nowell would be one for the ages.

Advantage 2011

Head Coach

He might of been a career .191 hitter in the major leagues, but man could Fred Taylor coach a basketball team. When you start to realize what he has done for this University’s basketball program, you get a real look into where the tradition and excellence started. After convincing Jerry Lucas to come to Ohio State on a fishing trip, the ball got rolling right away. Alongside classmates John Havlicek and Mel Nowell the Buckeyes went to three straight finals. Coach Taylor led his team to 7 Big Ten titles. In five NCAA Tournament appearances, he went 14-4. He is the all-time winningest coach in school history.

Yet I think Thad Matta could give him a run for his money when it comes to single game planning.

We are fortunate to have Thad on our sidelines as basketball fans know. Taylor might have the most wins in the program’s history, but Matta has the highest winning percentage.  The difference (believe it or not) is that Taylor has way more experience in close games. That is more valuable than any coaching statistic.

Advantage 1960

What are your thoughts on this match-up for the ages? Make sure you share your comments below and vote for who you believe would make it to the finals in the upper left hand corner of the site!

1 Comment

  1. tomNo Gravatar
    April 25th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    You didn’give a choice,since both answers are the 2011 five. Without question the best team is Lucas and company.

    [Reply]

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