Speed, Strength and Second chance opportunities looked like they would be the difference early on New Year’s Eve, but it was timely shots, late offensive momentum, questionable officiating and unprecedented mistakes that led to Indiana’s 74-70 win in Bloomington to end 2011.
After Jared Sullinger started the game with an old fashioned three point play with a nice move to the low post, it was the play of guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. early that led to a 7-0 run to begin play. Sullinger stole an inbound pass in front of the Hoosier hoop that led to a breakaway layup from Craft. Lenzelle Smith Jr. would follow up with two offensive rebounds that turned into two points on a tip in.
Sullinger would go 3-3 in the first 8 minutes of the ballgame. After hitting the bench, due to foul trouble, the storyline of the game started to change.
Halfway through the first, Indiana started to find their rhythm. Jordan Hulls hit a wide open three from the nearside wing to draw the game within 7. Ohio State would be held six plus minutes without a field goal. With 7:45 on the clock Victor Oladipo made it a 4 point game with another wide open look from the far wing.
After a series of questionable calls, Verdell Jones III would tie the ballgame at 25 from the free throw line. The physical aspect of the game was taken out of play, as every single hand check and movement caused a whistle.
The end of the first half became a scrum of defensive fortitude as both teams found themselves clawing on the court for possession.
Our friend Kevin Dearth sends us this wallpaper as we get ready for the 2011-12 season to kick off.
Great work as always, Kev!!
When the Buckeyes hit the court on Sunday against Walsh University, one of the major things head coach Thad Matta and his coaching staff will be looking for is a defensive presence to replace graduating senior Dallas Lauderdale. With Jared Sullinger moving over to the power forward position,the center position is an open battle between Boston College transfer Evan Ravenel, Amir Williams and fellow Michigan Prep star Trey McDonald.
Today we take a look at the best defensive player of the bunch in Amir Williams, who many believe could earn a starting spot early in the year with the right showing in exhibition play. The 6’11″ Detroit Country Day star follows the steps of Yellow Jacket alums Keith Benson, JaVale McGee, Chris Webber and Shane Battier as impact players during their first year on campus. He is by far the tallest player on the roster and offers the Buckeyes a post power on both sides of the basketball.
He’s no Greg Oden or Jared Sullinger, but without a doubt, Amir Williams has the talent to grow into an All-American candidate in the future.
Hometown: Birmingham, MI
High School: Detroit Country Day
High School Accolades:
- 2011 McDonalds All-American
- 2011 Parade All-American
- 18 PPG (2011)
- 12.6 RPG (2011)
- Finished 3rd in Michigan Mr. Basketball Voting (2011)
A four star prospect, Williams was considered the 10th best center in the 2011 class according to Rivals.com and ESPNU ranked him the fourth best of his class. Without a doubt, Williams enters the Big Ten as the best center of the class, and it’s undisputed that his shot blocking ability is the best of his class and already at the top of the conference. Some believe that Williams could contribute right away, but the truth of the matter is he has to earn Thad Matta’s trust. If he does, the Buckeyes put a solid rebounder and shot blocker on the floor that could be the extra spark Ohio State needs to have a successful season. Read More
When the man we’ve come to know as Sully takes the court to start the 2011-12 season, he might have a smaller waistline. His Ohio State uniform might surround a bit more muscle and intimidation. He certainly won’t resemble the young man that took to court as a freshman a year ago. It’s hard to imagine an improvement that goes beyond the contribution of Jared Sullinger’s first year on campus.
When the Buckeye’s main man takes over as the leader on the floor in the upcoming months — gone is the baby fat, two minute breathers, and struggles in the paint on D. If it’s these minor issues that fans of college basketball critique and consider flaws, than opponents of the Scarlet and Gray have another thing coming. There’s a reason media outlets like CBS Sports has dubbed him the best player in the game of college basketball.
He has the intangibles, talent, motivation, and leadership to carry a team to the next level.
Hometown: Columbus, OH
High School: Northland HS
Position: Forward/Center (4/5)
High School Awards:
- 2010 McDonald’s All-American.
- 2010 High school Naismith Award Winner.
- 2010 Jordan Brand High School Al-American.
- 2010 Parade Magazine Player of the Year
- Ohio’s Mr. Basketball (2009, 2010)
- 2010, 2009 First Team All-State
- 2010, 2009 AP Player of the Year in Ohio
- 2008 Third Team All-State
I know most of the talk about the Ohio State sports world is the youth movement that we saw on Saturday to go along with some key veterans that really stepped up to kick off the 2011 football season. But, we definitely didn’t want to forget our excellent Basketball team and what they’ve been up to over the summer! We will be filling you in with a weekly basketball article or more leading up to tip off. Look for a couple player previews, position previews, schedule preview, practices reports, and anything else that we find to report on in the next several weeks.
The schedule should be finalized in the next couple of weeks, but 4 big games headline the non-conference schedule. Florida, Duke, @Kansas, and @South Carolina. It should be an exciting run before we get the big ten season.
The team is currently on a break until Sept 12 when they can start limited workouts with the coaches. I was able to attend one open gym, but it was before any of the frosh were there. Word is starting to swirl around about this team and how once again if the veterans mesh with the incoming freshmen, we could be very special.
Lets start with Will Buford. I can only imagine how the Kentucky game still haunts him. It has really fueled him this off-season to work hard and he never even put his name in for the NBA draft because it bothered him so much. Look for a much stronger and more dynamic Will this year. I see multiple 20 point games in his senior season. Read More