In a lengthy regular season that results in a conference tournament followed by a national championship tournament, it’s hard to call a game on a Wednesday night against Minnesota a “must win” game. But that’s exactly what tonight’s battle at the Schottenstein Center with the Minnesota Golden Gophers was for our Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team. Coming off a horrible loss on Sunday at Wisconsin and with Michigan State looming this Sunday, the Buckeyes needed the Gophers to right the ship and did just that in a convincing 71-45 win.
With the win the Buckeyes improve to 19-7 on the year, 9-5 in the Big Ten.
Aaron Craft’s buzzer beating three ended what was a first half of missed opportunities for Ohio State. The Buckeye defense regained its lost mojo and forced Minnesota into 12 first half turnovers but could only convert the miscues into ten points. The Bucks lead 29-23 at the half, but you had the feeling they could have blown the game wide open at several different spots.
The second half turned out to be a different story. The Buckeyes continued to clamp down on defense, meanwhile shots began to fall and easy transition buckets found them up 41-31 at the 12:00 mark and they never looked back.
Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 19. He was followed for Ohio State by Shannon Scott with 11 and Laquinton Ross with 10. Minnesota was led by Andre Hollins with 11 and Oto Osnieks with 10.
The Buckeyes have now won 6 straight over the Golden Gophers. Tonight’s 26 point win is the largest in the series with Minnesota since the Buckeyes abused the Gophers 94-63 on March 4th 1992. Read More
It’s a relatively quiet week for Ohio State sports (*knocks on wood*); coaches are recruiting, hoops is preparing for an attempt to sweep That State Up North, and all the students are above average. So, let’s dig around the ol’ interwebs and see what we can find to chat about today, shall we? Oh, and I’m enjoying this at the moment.
The pre-season #4 team in the country gets things started off with a scrimmage of sorts against the Cavaliers of Walsh University from North Canton, Ohio. Still competing in the NAIA in basketball, they will be making the switch to NCAA D2 for the 2013-14 season. Led by former player Jeff Young in his 10th season at head coach, they will provide us with an opportunity to see what bench players will give us this season. The Cavs and the Buckeyes have met six times with the first exhibition taking place in 2006-07.
|Location:||North Canton, Ohio|
|Founded:||Walsh University was first founded as LaMennais College in Alfred, Maine in 1951|
|School Type:||Private – Roman Catholic Church|
|Division:||NAIA D1 – Moving to NCAA D2 by 2013-14|
|Conference:||Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|
|Head Coach:||Jeff Young – Walsh University|
|Experience & Accomplishments||224-44 (9th yr.) For seven consecutive seasons, Jeff Young took the Cavs to the heights of the NAIA. Walsh made seven straight trips to the National Tournament, won a national title in 2005, and finished as runners-up in 2010. After a year of playing in limbo, Young is poised for his next challenge; elevating the Cavs to the elite of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA Division ll. Young enters the 2012 season with the highest winning percentage of all active coaches.|
|Program History||First yr. of basketball: 1962-63
Overall all-time record: 868-555
No. of yrs. in NAIA Tournament:13
Last Post Season Appearance/opponent: Cedarville 3/3/12
Result: won 78-77 OT/OIC Title Game
It’s been a great season of football so far and not too surprisingly basketball has snuck up on us. We have done our best to try and get everybody’s input on the upcoming season from around the blogosphere including a nice two-parter with people from around the B1G that can be read here and here. We also spoke with fellow Buckeye Bloggers about the Buckeyes and that can be read here.
We finish up our pre-season of roundtable with an in-house brand. Look forward to starting the season off soon but let’s first get everyone’s opinions.
Who is the Key returner other than Craft or Thomas?
WVa. The bottom line for this team will be defense this season and the key returner to make that happen will be Shannon Scott. As much as he may contribute offensively is up to him, the defensive side of the ball comes easy for him and when Coach Matta decides to put the clamps down it will be Scott and Craft doing that. Scott showed some nice flashes of this and what he can bring offensively so when teams double down on Thomas, look out!
Eric. There are a number of names that could go here. There are two roles of need on this team: “Scoring” and “Paint play”. That means that for each there are a couple of answers.
Scoring: One of the three – LaQuinton Ross, Sam Thompson, Lenzelle Smith. All three will be looked for their scoring output this season. We don’t know whether it will be Ross or Thompson starting in place of William Buford at the three, but they will definitely sub in and out for each other. Lenzelle Smith will very likely maintain his role at the 2 spot in the backcourt. He’ll need to hit some critical buckets for us this season.
Paint play: Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel. Ravenel will bring much-needed experience to the center position, while Williams will bring some serious defensive ability and hopefully some offensive talent. It will be fascinating to see how these two play together.
Mali. I’m excited to see LaQuinton Ross… came in with a TON of upside, will Matta be able to develop it in ways that help the team long-term.
Joe L. Zelle’ – I look for Smith to pick up where he left off in the tourney last year playing good D rebounding from his guard spot knocking down the open 3′s and finding a way to get to the rack and score.
How much hurt will losing Sullinger and Buford cause the team? Read More
This week’s basketball schedule has been altered slightly, so expect Tim’s look at Trey McDonald on Friday night and Eric’s look at Evan Ravenel on Sunday. The Tuesday/Thursday schedule will resume next week!
The loss of several stars to early entry into the NBA draft has made recruiting little tougher for Thad Matta. The scholarships have dwindled for the 2012-2013 season leaving just one open spot for a new-comer. Amedeo Della Valle will have the honor of being the lone newbie to this year’s squad.
Over the last couple of years the Bucks have lost the likes of Jon Diebler and William Buford. This has left Matta searching for someone to step in to fill the scoring void in the Buckeyes’ lineup. If Della Valle (or ADV for short) lives up to his hype, Matta will have found that someone and maybe even more.
Hometown: Alba, Italy
High School: Findlay Prep (Las Vegas)
Position: Guard (2,1)
ADV comes from a basketball background. His father, Carlo, played 15 years as a pro basketball player. His father never pushed ADV to become a basketball player which, in my opinion, was the best move Carlo could have made. Carlo allowed ADV to play soccer and basketball both and always told him to “play what you like”.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, it does indeed say “basketball” up there. While everyone is overloading from the celebration of Coach Meyers first game as the head coach of THE Ohio State university and a W against Miami of Ohio, we thought we’d introduce you to a Tuesday fixture of basketball with tBBC. Myself, Eric, and Gary Russell are going to do our best to keep you updated on the basketball Buckeyes with news as it is ready and a roundtable or maybe even a chat on Tuesday’s with some people in the know.
Who’s the one carryover from last season who needs to have a big off season and why?
Eric – In terms of needing a big off-season, there’s only one obvious answer – Amir Williams. Matta teams tend to under perform when he doesn’t have a top notch guy in the paint to focus the attention on. Amir Williams was supposed to be a huge get for the Buckeyes when we recruited him, but the few times we saw him last season he looked stiff and immobile on offense – though his defense was pretty good. He absolutely needs to have worked on his offense in a big way, both in moving without the ball and in getting a hip into the defender when posting up.
One other key to his offense – he needs to be able to pass back out of the paint. Buckeye fans got very spoiled with Sullinger and his ability to feed guys outside the arc after attracting the entire defense. This offense will work a lot better if Williams can come even half-way towards replicating that trait.
I’m going to give a #2 answer as well, because I can. Lenzelle Smith Jr. needs to have a big off-season. He did a laudable job last season, especially towards the end. He needs to carry that momentum into this season and be a significant scoring option for this team.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hearing from some “new voices” here at tBBC… If you’re interested in being a part of this series, drop us a line!
Like every coach in college basketball, Ohio State’s Thad Matta is often criticized by fans and supporters. One thing Matta is not usually criticized for, though, is his ability to recruit top-notch talent.
Except for this upcoming season.
Ohio State’s 2012 recruiting class does not have any player ranked in the top 150. In fact, the Buckeyes’ class contains a grand total of one commit: Amedeo Della Valle, a 6’3” point guard from Henderson, Nevada.
Coming off a season that resulted in a trip to the Final Four, the Buckeyes lost All-American forward Jared Sullinger and guard William Buford, OSU’s third all-time leading scorer. It was also a season that ended with Jordan Sibert and J.D. Weatherspoon electing to transfer to Dayton and Toledo, respectively. With those four out of the picture, many Buckeye fans seem to be very concerned about the lack of a 2012 recruiting class.
The sky is not falling, though. Next year’s Buckeyes will be just fine.
Replacing Sullinger and Buford will no doubt be a challenge, but OSU has several players that were patiently waiting their turn on Matta’s bench just a year ago. Read More
The Buckeyes have finally added someone to the 2012 class, and boy is he a good one to add to the talent pool next year. If your a fan of European play, then you will be excited about the addition of Amedeo Della Valle. The 6’6″ Italian combo guard out of Nevada chose Ohio State today over Texas A&M and Arizona.
At one point, it looked like Michigan was going to be the favorite when rumors swirled that Trey Burke was headed to the NBA. After Burke decided to come back for another season and the commitment of fellow point guard Spike Albrecht, Della Valle made his interest known in Ohio State.
After a visit this Tuesday, it became clear that the Ohio State Buckeyes were the favorite. Arizona has a slew of guards within the 2012 class. Texas A&M is an upstart that could of used his services.
Like we mentioned on Friday’s recruiting update, what is so special about Della Valle is his ability already to play defense. Sure, he is no Aaron Craft, but he adds great depth at the guard position. He also adds range and a good ability to drive to the hoop.
This now means that the Buckeyes have three open scholarships remaining heading into the season.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest.
Here is a scouting video of Della Valle to enjoy.