Ohio State Defeats Illinois 83-67

Written February 21st, 2012 by Eric

The student section was rocking the #Hop2theRafters t-shirts.

Coming off their fifth loss of the season, the Buckeyes looked to bounce back at home against the struggling Fighting Illini. Unfortunately for Illinois, they simply did not have the horses to keep up with the intense Ohio State attack, and fell 83-67 in Columbus. Meyers Leonard of Illinois led all scorers with 21 points, while Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 19. William Buford and Aaron Craft rounded out the OSU double digit scorers with 17 and 11 respectively – a solid game from the Buckeye’s leaders.

The Buckeye Nuthouse was proudly sporting shirts that read “Retire #32″ tonight. The shirts were in honor of Dennis Hopson and his excellent career for the Scarlet and Gray in the mid-80′s. To see the students supporting OSU history so enthusiastically was amazing, and I’m proud of the passion that they have shown for Hopson.

The Buckeyes came out of the gate very determined to earn the win tonight. The team played with amazing energy and intensity from the outset. Their passes were sharp and crisp, and placed where only the intended recipient could recieve it. Even better, the Buckeyes were finding open shooters and making great shot selection. The best was William Buford’s shot fake from above the charity stripe that turned into a pass to an open Aaron Craft for three, putting Illinois down by double digits and forcing Bruce Weber into an early timeout.

Thad Matta mixed up the bench rotations in a big way. Instead of having Shannon Scott come in solely for Aaron Craft as we have seen all season long, Scott came in and played the two for Lenzelle Smith. That allowed the Buckeyes to have a pair of good ball control point guards in the game. We also saw Sam Thompson come into the game for Buford early and get quality playing time, including an amazing one handed tomahawk ally-oop from the aforementioned Scott.
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BBN Basketball LiveBlog: Illinois Part 2

Written February 21st, 2012 by Eric

Happy Mardi Gras! The Bucks are back in Columbus for their rematch with the Fighting Illini! The game tips at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN.

Keep your eyes open on this game. Our own WVaBuckeye put together a set of shirts for the Nuthouse to help promote the #Hop2TheRafters cause

While you wait, go checkout our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 6:30 PM EST.

Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance: Illinois

Written January 9th, 2012 by Eric

The Bucks continue their road tour by taking on the enigmatic Fighting Illini in Urbana-Champaign. Here’s the data:

The Fighting Illini

School: University of Illinois
Location: Urbana and Champaign, Illinois
Founded: 1867
Student Population: 41,495
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA
Conference: Big Ten Conference
Stadium: Assembly Hall
Seating: 16,618
Built: 1963
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
Year: 7th

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Basketball LiveBlog and B1G Q&A

Written November 3rd, 2011 by Eric

Basketball season is rapidly approaching, and I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re planning to do about it here at the BBC. The answer is, getting totally pumped!

Buford's ready to get back to his high flying act!

With the Buckeyes taking on the Walsh Cavaliers for an exhibition matchup this weekend (Sunday, November 6th, 2 PM) it is the perfect time to run the first Buckeye Basketball LiveBlog of the season!

But, you point out, the game is not on television? You’re correct, it’s on the BigTenNetwork.com – behind a paywall no less. But you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without a solution, did you?

If you go to The Big Ten Network “Net Only” section (just click the link) and scroll to the middle of the page, you’ll see a “Subscribe Now” button. But you don’t have to pay $15 to see the game! Just enter “BTDN3FR33” in the coupon code box and you’ll be signed up for a free month of the BigTenNetwork online! Just remember to cancel before the end of the month if you don’t want to continue using the service.

Viola! Basketball LiveBlog here we come! They start 30 minutes before the game, so feel free to be late!

We were also approached a couple of days ago by the Minnesota basketball blog From The Barn to answer some questions regarding the upcoming basketball season for them. Joe Dexter and I were more than happy to oblige. We offer the questions and answers here for our viewers to read and enjoy!
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B1G Basketball Preview: Illinois

Written October 17th, 2011 by Eric

Coupled with our individual player previews, and given that the Ohio State bye week is so cleverly timed, we wanted to take the opportunity to break down the Big Ten teams going into this season. Up first is the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Last Season:

DJ Richardson will need to step up for the Illini this season.

Illinois had a reasonably successful year, making the NCAA Tournament as a 9 seed and beating UNLV in the first round. Unfortunately, they ran into a top-seeded Kansas team who was not about to get upset by a 9 seed in the second round two years in a row.

In the Big Ten, Illinois was a middle-of-the-road team with a 9-9 record in conference. That put them in a tie with Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, so it’s not like they weren’t in good company last year. Illinois ended up being seeded 5th in the Big Ten conference tournament, and fell in their first outing to Michigan 60-55.

Key Player:

With the graduation of Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale, the Illini are going to be looking to DJ Richardson to pick up the slack. Richardson was fifth on the team in scoring last season with 284 points and was known for his wicked three-point shooting. His 55 makes from beyond the arc was good for second on the team last season.

If Richardson can make people forget about the positives that McCamey brought to the Illini the last few years, Illinois will be in great shape moving forward. Read More

Ohio State handles Illinois 89-70

Written February 22nd, 2011 by Eric

It's been a while since Lighty got any Face Time. He earned it tonight.

A month after their first meeting in Champaign, the Fighting Illini finally returned the favor in Columbus.  Sadly for Illinois, they weren’t able to pay-back the result, falling to the Buckeyes 89-70.  Ohio State returned to their pre-Wisconsin form, destroying a team with solid shooting and excellent defense for the first time in the last four games.  David Lighty’s 21 points led all scorers, while Jared Sullinger notched his 13th double double on the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The big surprise for Illinois was star player Demetri McCamey sitting on the bench to start the game.  The move was made by Bruce Weber to try to get more effort out of his team and hopefully drive a spark off the bench.  Interestingly, the switch was made moments before the game began and was a complete surprise to the Illini players.

Early on, it looked like a good move on Weber’s part.  The Illini showed great effort in the early minutes, fighting hard and making things hard on the Buckeyes on offense.  The strategy did have the unfortunate effect of taking Illinois’ best shooter off the court, leaving them with limited scoring options.

Even worse for the Illini was William Buford’s start for the game.  Buford came out hitting 4-5 of his shots from the floor – the only miss from three point range – scoring 8 quick points from several points on the court.  It was clear that the Buckeyes were working hard to get him open and let him score the ball.

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