Another week rolls on toward the start of camp as the “dead period” continues to trudge forward with it. That doesn’t mean we don’t have Buckeye sports items/thingy’s to talk about. And what are the Cleveland Cavaliers going to do now that they have the first pick in the NBA’s draft lottery for the second time in three years? It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Keep it quiet
Admittedly, it makes it hard on those of us who blog about Buckeye sports when we hit a lull in the action. The period we are in now, basically from the end of the NCAA basketball tournament to the opening of Urban Meyer’s second fall camp is without a doubt the most, well, to be honest, boring time of the year. There’s baseball on campus, I’m sure some other non revenue sports that deserve our attention as well, but the big two (the football and basketball programs) are in hibernation mode waiting to get cranked back up.
For the football program this has traditionally been a “danger zone” of sorts. Last year’s dead period was highlighted by Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort being chased by police in Shawnee Hills and upon being caught being arrested for obstructing official business (whatever that means) when they were (allegedly) urinating between two buildings at a golf tournament. Remember that? Fun times.
Who could ever forget the saga of the summer of 1998: Will Andy Katzenmoyer pass his golf and AIDS awareness classes to be eligible for that falls season? (side note: A season that started with a 34-17 season whipping on West Virginia in Morgantown, someone remind Ben Nesselroad of that night for me!)
The “Big Kat” story leads us to our first no-no of the 2013 dead period…
Notre Dame quarterbacks
For the second year in a row dead period mischief has been kicked off by Notre Dame quarterbacks.
Last season returning starter Tommy Rees was arrested after fleeing a party that was being broken up by police. After being caught and pepper sprayed, Rees was charged with two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count each of battery and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Rees received a crushing one game suspension.
Must have been some party! Read More
This is part two in my series on Ohio State Women’s basketball. Originally had intended to do these in back to back weeks, but it became apparent early on that Coach Foster may have been coaching his last season, and that became true. So with the help from Charles, this is the finishing product on the women’s dominance of the B1G. Check out my previous article here.
After the firing of Nancy Darsch following the 1997 season, the Buckeye brass wasted little time stealing Beth Burns away from San Diego State. Coach Burns returned to SDSU after her brief stint with the Buckeyes form 1997 to 2002 at which point she was replaced by Jim Foster. After a combined 16 seasons at SDSU before and after OSU she resigned unexpectedly recently. Let’s take a good look at her term with Ohio State.
She finished her stint 81-65 overall and never really hit her stride while in Columbus. A tenacious and aggressive style of coaching along with a great knowledge of the game never really paid off with players that were left from the Darsch era and the players that she brought in ended up not fitting in either. The stigma of three 8th place finishes, one 4th and a 5th in the B1G even took Foster a couple years to get things rolling.
The transfers are out, coaches are making suggestions to improve the college game, and the hardwood is becoming “painted wood that you play basketball on.” There is a lot of news and commentary to get to this Thursday. Let’s hit the listeners with a frickin’ FUNKY BOOM. Here is your weekly Notebook jam — We gettin’ funky with Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears today!
True Court Appeal
Everybody is getting into the the hardwood makeover! We should expect one at Minnesota in the next few years with renovations expected to their basketball facilities. This season, we saw a new floor at Value City Arena with renovations taking place at the Schott. In 2011, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan and Purdue made changes to their home floors.
This year, it’s Nebraska — who unveils the brand new Pinnacle Bank Arena next season, has made some drastic improvements. First and foremost, they have shrunk the block N at mid-court to respectability. They have have also added an outline of the state of Nebraska, with a star on the city of Lincoln — the home of Nebraskatball, and the capital of the state. Nebraska’s design also has a nice finish around the wings and top of the key, and around the perimeter. In fact, It looks like they got their floor plans from a very solid program. Truth is it looks tons better than the original design, and doesn’t go way overboard. Just because your campus isn’t on the beach FIU, doesn’t mean you have to bring the beach to the university.
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.
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.
Spring is finally in the air. Baseball season is underway. Saturday is the annual Scarlet and Grey game. Basketball has crowned its national champion. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
We’ve hit the stretch run of spring football and the Scarlet and Grey game is being held this Saturday at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Brown Stadium. The game starts at 1pm and you can hear it live on the flagship station for Buckeye sports 97.1FM or www.971thefan.com It will be shown on the Big Ten Network at 7pm Saturday night.
Student Appreciation Day
One of the highlights of the 2012 spring camp was the first ever Student Appreciation Day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Don’t be cynical, the name implies exactly what it is: a chance for the football team to allow unprecedented access to the students who make up the body of this great university and support it so vehemently on Saturday’s in Ohio Stadium and even on the road in opposing dojos. Read More
Basketball season is officially over. Depending on your perspective on how you look at the season’s overall content, this year was either a huge overachieving success or a flaming disaster. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
There really is no better word for the majority of Buckeye Nation’s overriding feeling on Saturday night after the final horn sounded. They were shocked, me included.
How could Wichita State seemingly blow the doors off of our beloved Buckeyes for the better part of 30 minutes and hang on to eliminate the West region’s number 2 seed? How could a Buckeye team that only two weeks ago in Chicago appeared to be finally hitting its stride look so terrible in a regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line?
The Arizona Wildcats gave the Buckeyes a rude welcome to the Sweet 16 to start, but the Buckeyes put together an excellent run to reclaim the lead and put the game away 73-70 on a last second LaQuinton Ross three pointer to advance to the Elite Eight. Despite the rough start, the game developed into a back and forth battle that Arizona very nearly reclaimed. DeShaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 20 points, and was joined in scoring by LaQuinton Ross (17), Aaron Craft (15), and Sam Thompson (11). Arizona was led by Mark Lyons’ 20 points, along with Solomon Hill’s 16.
Arizona controlled the first half for the balance on the strength of a stifling defensive effort. The work shutting down the OSU offense turned into easy points on the other end for the Cats, often on the fast break, but also against a surprising flat Buckeye defense. Of course, that wasn’t about to stop the Wildcats from building a double digit lead with their three point shooting, mostly while Aaron Craft sat on the bench with 2 fouls. But, Thad Matta wasn’t going to let it stay that way. With six minutes to go in the half, Matta risked putting Craft back into the game to try regain control of the momentum. The strategy worked brilliantly, allowing the Bucks to finish on a 12-6 run to close to within 4 points going into the locker room.
What didn’t help the effort for either team was the ludicrous pace of the game as dictated by the officials. I won’t say that the calls were necessarily wrong, but with both teams in the bonus with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half, there were certainly a lot of them. Only at the very end of the half did the officials seem to loosen up on the controls and allow the players to simply play the game.
The Buckeyes came out of the half ready to play basketball. OSU jumped out on a quick 8-0 run on the strength of their own tough defense to take their first lead since the opening possessions. They were able to continue to push that momentum to a solid 8 point lead while continuing to suppress Arizona’s scoring. Not surprisingly, that wasn’t to last. After building up a 10 point lead, the Buckeyes found themselves taking fire from Solomon Hill of Arizona, who sank 9 straight points and brought the game within four.
School: University of Arizona
Location: Tucson, AZ
School Type: Public
Student Population: 39,236 total, 30,867 undergrad
Stadium: McKale Center
Head Coach: Sean Miller
Experience: 4th year