Some weekend, eh? Grab your coffee and let’s get right to it.
A week that started out fairly well, then crashed and burned. In the NCAA’s, they’ve managed to dust Iowa State 78-75, Arizona 73-70 and then fell flat against Wichita State 66-70. I don’t have much to add to the fine recaps, above, however you can bet that after some musing on my part, I’ll have something to say next week. It seemed that Thad was pushing the right buttons and the team responded in the first two games. On Saturday, things were pretty disjointed. I’d hoped the 2nd half effort against Arizona would carry into the WSU game, but alas, no. Although the offense gott significant points from
senior junior DeShaun Thomas and LQR, that was it, unfortunately.
I hate to do this, but let’s start with a definition: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy. Read More
After Ohio State lost to Kansas, head coach Thad Matta made a change to his starting lineup.
Out of the starting lineup–at the center position–went fifth-year senior Evan Ravenel and in came sophomore Amir Williams.
In Williams’ first start, an 87-44 victory against Chicago State, he scored just four points and grabbed four rebounds, but only played 15 minutes.
It is very hard to judge the decision off of such a small sample size. One game against a poor opponent makes that difficult. Last night, in Ohio State’s Big Ten opener against Nebraska, Williams started his second game of the season.
The Buckeyes won, 70-44. Williams played just 18 minutes. But, he had eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Nebraska isn’t exactly the Big Ten’s strongest basketball team, but a big test for Williams will be Saturday when the Buckeyes take on Illinois in Champaign.
The move seems to be working for Ravenel too. A lot of players who have waited for their time may not respond well to being taken out of the starting lineup a third of the way through the season. But Ravenel seems to be a great team guy.
He grabbed 10 rebounds against Chicago State and last night he had seven points and two rebounds in 11 minutes.
To me, Ravenel has always seemed like an energy guy anyway. He may have been better suited coming off of the bench from the beginning so he can bring that energy and emotion onto the floor and give this team a spark.
With big men in the Big Ten such as Cody Zeller (Indiana), Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota), Derrick Nix and Adrian Payne (Michigan State), the Buckeyes will need to get a lot of help from the center position.
Whether it be from Williams in the starting lineup or from Ravenel off the bench, the production must be there.
There is simply no amount of Listerine that can wash out the bad taste left in those returning players mouths having endured two losses to Kansas last season; one on December 10, 2011 (78-67) and one at the Final Four in New Orleans on March 31, 2012 (64-62). They will just have to take care of their home court where they have the 5th longest streak for wins against non-conference opponents sitting at 39. WVU was their last home loss in this regard in December of 2008 almost exactly four years ago. Tim Shoemaker did a great Tale of the Tape. Let’s take a look at this top ten battle.
|School:||University of Kansas (KU)|
|Founded:Motto||1865; I shall see this great sight, why the bush does not burn (Exodus 3:3)|
|School Type:||Public, Flagship, Space Grant|
|Stadium:||Allen Fieldhouse “The Phog” named for the father of coaching Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen|
|Built:||March 1, 1955|
|Head Coach:||Bill Self, Oklahoma State, 10th season|
|Experience & Accomplishments||Self was named 2012 Naismith College Coach of the Year, The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000, 2009 and 2012, the Associated Press National Coach of the Year in 2009. He was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2012. 13 NCAA Tourneys, 1 NCAA Champion, ! Final Four, 6 Conference Tourney Champions, Produced 16 NBA draft picks|
|Program History||The Jayhawks began play in 1898 and have an all-time record of 2079-807 (.720). In 2008, ESPN ranked Kansas second on a list of the most prestigious programs of the modern college basketball era, behind only Duke. Kansas has the longest current streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (23), holds the longest current streak of winning seasons (29), has the most winning seasons in Division I history (93), the most non-losing seasons (.500 or better) in NCAA history (96), the most conference championships in Division I history (55), the most First Team All Americans in Division I history (20), the most First Team All American Selections in Division I history (28), is second in Division I all time winning percentage (.720), and is second in Division I all time wins (2,079)|
The Buckeyes take on 4-4 Winthrop University from the Big South conference in their next match-up and are on a roll since losing to Duke. The Eagles are on a little roll themselves having dispatched the other “Ohio” team as our least favorite buffoon from up north likes to say. The Eagles beat the Bobcats 50-49 with a late push and two final second free throws from their star player. Let’s take a look at the school from Rock Hill, SC.
|Location:||Rock Hill, South Carolina|
|Founded:||1886 – Veritas cum liberate “Truth with Liberty”|
|Head Coach:||Pat Kelsey(Xavier 98) First Season as a head coach|
|Experience & Accomplishments||Before stepping away from basketball following the 2010-11 season, Kelsey was the associate head coach at his alma mater Xavier U. where he spent two seasons. Prior to that he cut his teeth coaching under the late and great Skip Prosser at Wake Forrest and then Dino Gaudio.|
|Program History||The University’s most well-known athletic team is the Men’s basketball team which has earned a berth in nine NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournaments since 1999. Additionally, they have won the Big South Conference Championship in 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. 6 of the 8 Men’s Basketball team’s championships and national rankings came during Gregg Marshall’s tenure as head coach. Marshall left Winthrop to become the head coach at Wichita State University.|
Keith Hornsby led the UNC Asheville Bulldogs into Columbus but wasn’t able to do enough to keep the Buckeyes from running away with this one by a score of 90-72. Hornsby was an unstoppable shooting machine today, hitting a ridiculous 9-12 from the floor, 6-8 from three, for 26 points to go with 4 rebounds. That’s an incredible game from the young guard. He was joined in double digits by Jeremy Atkinson (11), and Will Weeks (10). The Buckeyes saw four players break double digits including: Sam Thompson (18), DeShaun Thomas (17), Lenzelle Smith (16), and Evan Ravenel (12).
Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes also ran away with the Bruce Hornsby puns – Keith Hornsby is the son of the famous grammy winning artist. That leads us to the musical selection for this recap.
No, seriously. Do yourself a favor and read through the LiveBlog transcript. The puns are gloriously horrible.
As opposed to Wednesday night’s game, the Buckeyes did a lot of their damage close to the basket in this one. They played the first half with a paltry 2-10 shooting from long range, but held a 15 point lead over UNCA at 50-35. The scoring was done on the fast break, where the Bucks picked up 16 points, and in the paint with Ravenel who picked up 12. The only reason UNCA was able to keep the game even respectably close was the shooting of Keith Hornsby, who connected on 4-5 attempts from long range, and 7-8 attempts overall.
Many Buckeye basketball fans may just want to fast forward two weeks from Saturday.
Ohio State will host Kansas, the team that beat OSU not once, but twice last season and knocked the Buckeyes out of the NCAA tournament in the Final Four.
But, in fact, OSU can’t afford to fast forward, because between now and then it has four games it must use as a way to improve before the date with the Jayhawks.
Over the next two weeks, Ohio State has games against Long Beach State, Savannah State, UNC Ashville and Winthrop. Four games OSU should win easily, but it needs to get better before Dec. 22.
The Buckeyes were somewhat exposed in their 73-68 loss to Duke. That game made me think of three questions I would like to see answered in the next two weeks before the Kansas game.
1. Who will step up on this year’s team to put the ball in the basket outside of Deshaun Thomas?
Answer: Against Duke, Ohio State Deshaun Thomas was the only player who could consistently score. This may be the case all season, but in order for the Buckeyes to make a deep run this year, somebody else is going to need to score. For me, that guy has to be LaQuinton Ross. In Ohio State’s last game against Northern Kentucky, Ross led the Buckeyes with 22 points. Over these next four games I’d like to see him average around 15 per game, get his confidence up and then see how he performs against Kansas.
2. Will Ohio State have a consistent threat from behind the arc? Read More
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