The Drive To Retire Dennis Hopson’s Jersey Number

Written February 15th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Fox Sports Ohio was gracious enough to invite us to write a bit about the #Hop2theRafters movement, and published the following article yesterday.

In an era defined by highlights, by “Oh! Did you see that!!” tweets and texts to friends, every fan is convinced that the others they know need to recognized the greatness of their favorite star or team.

2096 for #32

But, as quickly as the excitement builds, it also dissipates; athletes who are all over today’s timeline or emailed YouTube clips are soon out of the public conscious as “Next!” becomes “Now.”

Sure, there are those who transcend the sport – the hall of famers, the heroes of a championship team, the persons responsible for iconic moments in a franchise or team history — those names are readily offered up by the fanatics and casual fans.

Most, though, end up in the “Hey, what happened to?” file, the “I remember that guy…” area of conversations between people who are deeply knowledgeable about the sport, or the discussions where followers of an earlier area are defending their favorites against the young guns of the modern day.

What does it take to be recognized, though, by the institution itself?  For some Ohio State basketball fans, that question has been answered in their quest to have the University retire the number of the career scoring leader, Dennis Hopson. Read More

tBBC All-Time Tourney #2 2007 vs. #7 2010

Written February 6th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

Joe D and WVaBuckeye bring you another round of the tBBC All-Time Tourney! Today pits Evan Turner and the 2010 Buckeyes versus the Diaper Dandy 2007 squad featuring Greg Oden and Mike Conley. Enjoy! 

As the seeding’s were finished and Joe and I prepared to do our match up research, this game became the most intriguing. Both teams feature National POY candidates in Greg Oden and Evan Turner and of course Evan walked away with every major award during his junior season in Columbus. Both teams feature a star from our previous match up in David Lighty who has the distinction of being on three of the nine teams we are featuring. The 2007 team came close to being only the second Buckeye team to bring home the big dance hardware since 1960. They had attempted to go through a Florida team that had their number during the regular season 86-60. The 2007 squad never lost at home going 27-0 and lost just three on the road to UNC, the Gators and Wisconsin. They finished the season ranked #1 in the AP poll and in the RPI. The 2010 team was led by quite possibly the best all around player to ever don the Scarlet and Gray. Evan Turner led this team to a second place Big Ten finish behind great single season stats that made the rest of the starting line up better. Almost averaging a double/double at 20.4 PPG and 9.2 RPG as well as 6 assists a game the rest of the starters averaged in double digits.

What are to follow will be several comparisons of each team’s makeup. We will be including our opinions of each comparison with who has the advantage and at the end will be guest appearances. We hope you enjoy our tournament as we look forward to the outcome!

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Ohio State All Time Basketball Tournament

Written January 10th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

I began a journey to do a comparison of the two greatest teams in Ohio State Basketball history. At first glance it seemed a simple task to pick two teams and write a nice article about who was better at a given skill. The more I read about teams in Buckeye lore, the more I realized I couldn’t write such an article. I had my teams picked out and as things would have it, Joe Dexter and I started brain storming. We came up with the idea of presenting tBBC readers with a challenge.

Is the Jerry Lucas Era the best in Ohio State History? It's time to find out your opinion!

Joe and I are going to break the teams down based on certain criteria: Playmaker, Post Presence, Ball handling, Head Coach and we’ll throw in some  other advantages to go with those. We are also planning on having a guest writer or two as we move along through the tourney. We’ll provide you with some stats to chew on between the two teams in each match up.

We had six teams we were going to go with initially and each time we looked at it we knew we had to have eight. Then that turned into nine because we found one more team we felt deserved to be in the tourney. The criteria were simple. Which teams accomplished more for THE Ohio State University were our first choices and then teams that were led by All-time Greats.

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2011 Basketball Preview: LaQuinton Ross

Written November 30th, 2011 by Eric

LaQuinton Ross at Life Center Academy

On December 9th the already talented Buckeyes get a shot in the arm – LaQuinton Ross gets to return to Columbus to start classes and rejoin his teammates on the basketball court. I’m certain he’s pumped to be a part of what is quickly shaping up to be a really special team, and I know I’m excited to see him on the hardwood in the near future.

Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
High School: Life Center Academy
Position: Forward (3)
Year: Freshman
Height: 6-8
Weight: 200

The fifth member of the 2011 class, LaQuinton Ross is reportedly the most talented and athletic of the bunch. During summer workouts it was commented that Ross was easily the most ready of the class to play now. Unfortunately, he was declared an academic non-qualifier before the season started due to a snafu with the State of Mississippi’s grading system. Being declared a non-qualifier is far worse than being simply declared as ineligible. As a non-qualifier, Ross was no longer bound by his letter of intent and could be recruited again by other programs. That Ross is back speaks volumes both of his integrity, and of his desire to play with this team.

As a four star recruit (by, Ross was highly recruited out of high school, picking up offers from names such as Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, and Syracuse. He was the 16th ranked player at his position, three spots behind Sam Thompson, and the 53rd ranked player in the ESPNU 150.

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Once upon a time, in old St. John arena...

With the drafting of Jon Diebler by the Portland Trailblazers in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Buckeyes added one more of their products to the professional ranks.  Diebler joins former Buckeye Greg Oden on Portland’s roster, although it remains to be seen if the two will ever fulfill the opportunity to play together that was not afforded in college due to Oden’s departure for the NBA after his freshman season.  Oden’s injury troubles since joining the NBA are well known for both their regularity and severity, and those following his career are now mostly hoping just to see him get some minutes on the floor, as the prospect of making a big impact on the league seems to be dwindling.  It would be a welcome sight  to see Oden running the floor again, demonstrating the defense and shot-blocking that were his signature in college and feeding the ball out of the post to Diebler on the perimeter, but before these two young players that contributed so much to Thad’s efforts at building the Ohio State program can hit the hardwood together, Oden must overcome the initial hurdle of getting healthy.

In a way, Oden ushered in a different kind of era for Ohio State basketball.  Although he has struggled in the NBA, Oden had a stellar freshman year at Ohio State, earning him the #1 overall pick in the subsequent draft.  Beginning with that pick in 2007, Ohio State has had a player taken in the first round of the draft each year until this year, when Diebler was taken in the middle of the second round.  Mike Conley and Daequan Cook joined Oden in 2007 at the #4 and #21 spots, respectively, 2008 featured Kosta Koufos going #23, 2009 saw B.J. Mullens selected #24, and last year Evan Turner was taken with the #2 pick.  Prior to Oden’s class, Buckeyes appearing in the draft were few and far between, and selections of Ohio State players were always in the second round when they occurred.  Even Michael Redd, who went on to have an All-Star caliber season in the NBA, and who remains a member of the Milwaukee Bucks to this day, was not selected until #43 in 2000. Read More

Apparently this is a photo of Evan Turner’s room, trophies and all (via Lighty’s twitter account).

Like most college rooms, with a few key additions.

Me thinks he will be able to hire a decorator in a few months.

Your turn PJ.  It was well earned today!

Your turn PJ. It was well earned today!

This game was ugly in far too many ways. The ugliest had to be the loss of Evan Turner for an undisclosed amount of time. Early in the game, Turner took the ball to the hoop to slam it home and came down to the court awkwardly. He landed painfully on his back, and it was clear something bad had happened. It was reported that Turner was transported to OSU Medical Center for precautionary x-ray’s on his back. He did walk under his own power to the locker-room, which is a great sign. We really hope that everything is ok and nothing serious has happened, not only as Buckeye fans but as sports fans. Evan, take your time, heal up. You being completely healthy is far more important than anything OSU basketball does this year.

The other way this game was ugly was from EMU’s perspective as the Buckeyes put up 62 points in the first half on their way to a Value City Arena record of 111 points. The previous record was 110 points set a couple games ago against St. Francis. The school record is 121 points set in 1995 against George Mason, and it almost seems like a matter of time before this team shatters that record.

PJ Hill had a career day today with 18 points on 6-8 shooting (3-4 from three) 3 rebounds and 3 assists. At one point he hadn’t missed a shot with 5-5 shooting and 3-3 from three. He absolutely lit up the court in Evan Turner’s absence and it’s great to see him step up his game.

Diebler performed his usual magic. He has become mister consistency, but today he was beyond consistent with 6-8 shooting from three. He also secured 5 rebounds and dished 5 assists. David Lighty also had a huge game, with a massive tomahawk jam at the 8 minute mark of the 2nd half that stole every last shred of momentum from EMU. He, too, put up 16 points on 6-10 shooting. He has definitely embraced his role on this team and is getting good minutes out of his time on the court.

William Buford improved immensely from his slump, a great sign for him. At the end of the game he rained in back-to-back three’s that caused him to break into a grin. It’s great to see him start to collect himself again and return to the type of shooter we all know he can be. He hit 5-11 from the field with 3-6 from three. He did a great job passing as he created himself a double-double with 10 assists to go with his 16 points.

Eastern Michigan made a wonderful adjustment in this game that I wanted to point out. Their primary point leader, Brandon Bowdry, had a rough first half missing his only shot and committing 3 fouls. In the second half, EMU tried hard to make certain the ball got in his hands in a place where he could produce and it paid off by getting him a quick 15 points in the first 10 minutes (he ended with 24). The change to get him more involved and attack the OSU defense in a different way was fantastic coaching. Of course, the Ohio State defensive set in the first half to completely negate him was also excellent coaching and preparation.

Ohio State’s defense was opportunistic and aggressive. The Buckeyes managed to force 24 turnovers by Eastern Michigan, and while many were clearly miscommunicated passes, it very well was likely caused by the confusion the Buckeye defense instilled in EMU’s offense. EMU struggled shooting the ball with a mediocre 28.6% 3-point shooting day, though they had some success in the second half down low allowing them to pull up their shooting percentage to 43.4% from the field.

It was a different story for the Buckeyes on offense as every single Buckeye that saw the court put points on the board. The three point shooting was out of control as they shot 55% from outside the arc. It almost seemed like they couldn’t miss as the baskets rained from all over the court with a 63.3% shooting percentage overall. You’ll win a lot of basketball games shooting better than a coin-flip, especially when you add the massive defensive effort the Bucks had today.

I really want to make an impassioned plea to the coaching staff to let Kecman see a bit more play. He’s a great rebounder and has a wonderful outside stroke. He’s defense probably needs work but I have seen nothing but great things from him and would love to see him more.

After the game, the commentating crew mentioned that the “talk” was that everything would be fine for Evan Turner. Right now that’s nothing better than rumor, but it’s still good to hear. We will keep you updated as we hear news about Turner in the next several days. We hope that only good news comes down the pipe.

Ohio State will next face off against Butler in Indianapolis next Saturday, December 12th at Noon. You can see that game on ESPN.

UPDATE: Thad Matta announced after the game that the X-Rays were negative.  Not certain yet if they’ll need to hold Turner out of any practices, or sit him for the Butler game, but things are looking good so far.

UPDATE2: It has been announced that the original X-Ray’s did not reveal the actual extent of the injury.  Evan Turner has “transverse process fractures of the second and third lumbar vertebra” (broken tailbone) and will be out for 8 weeks.

Ohio State Basketball Preview

Written October 28th, 2009 by Eric

Well here we are with one week to go before the start of the college basketball season. This season is looking pretty exciting for the Big Ten with seven teams expected to make it to the big dance. Heck, this might be the conference’s first real chance to take home a Big Ten/ACC Challenge title. But we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about our Buckeyes!

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Thad Matta is now entering his sixth season as Head Coach with a record of 127-46 at the helm of the Buckeyes. This is Matta’s first season the he has fielded a team made predominantly of veterans since the ’05-’06 team which included such luminaries as Ja’Kel Foster, JJ Sullinger, and Matt Sylvester. More amazing than that fact is that this team has precisely no Freshmen! The coaching staff did this intentionally so that they could save scholarships for the upcoming recruiting class, which is supposed to be on par with the original Thad Five (at least in Scout’s and Rival’s rankings).

Also on the coaching staff is a new face in Assistant Coach Jeff Boals. Boals spent the last three seasons coaching the post players for the Akron Zips, and aided in a 23-13 MAC Tournament Championship season that saw the Zips earn their second ever NCAA tournament bid. More familiar to Buckeye fans will be returning Assistant Coach Alan Major who has spent 9 straight years working with coach Matta, including three years at Xavier.

Let’s now take a look at the players position by position. Honestly, it’s a little difficult to do, since Matta likes to play many different sets of 5 players with many players contributing in many different roles. We’ll see if we can do it any justice!  All Stats refer to the player discussed beneath them and are courtesy of ESPN (where available).

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