Getting Parental with Silver Bullet Points

Written February 12th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

For the second straight week we go all “in loco parentis” for SBP… here’s the soundtrack to match, from back in the day.  Or as I call it, “The Day”.

“No, the cat is a bit to the left…”

Buckeye 411

  • He’s Got That Going For Him- While Aaron would certainly trade both of these accolades for a win last night, it’s significant to note that #4 was awarded the B1G Player of the Week for last week’s efforts, as well as being named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches “Good Works” team for 2014.  Adjust your swoonage accordingly.
  • Get Your Tickets- Yup, what used to be free will now cost you- the Ohio State Spring Game (and LAX showdown with Michigan) will be a $20 at the door cost for fans this year. Scheduled for Saturday, April 12, the tickets can be purchased prior to the event for $12… a far cry from the “bring a can of food” admissions cost of the past.
  • More Awards- Former Buckeye (and we certainly could have used him against TTUN) Jared Sullinger was also awarded “Player of the Week” by the NBA on Tuesday for his play with the Celtics.
  • And Even More- Last week in this space we told you that Ohio State’s Zach Smith was named the B1G Recruiter of the Year by Scout- today he added the same award from the folks at Rivals. Pretty solid work… wonder who his grandpa is?
  • This Week In Parenting, Part One- Sounds as if Malik McDowell is still in the “deliberation” process with his family, and will be making unofficial visits to Ohio State and Florida State with his parents in order to make a decision- the family has targeted April 1 as their “selection date”.  Also, it sounds as if the most important aspect of this story is being resolved; the relationship between parents and their son.
  • SNAPPER!!! Ohio State offered a longsnapper today… one of the 5 star variety! W00t!!
  • Wrasslin’- The National Duals are in Columbus this year, and Ohio State has drawn Hofstra to kick things off
  • This Week In Parenting, Part Two- This is a great video about the legacy of one of our favorite player’s parents and a surrogate “father” for a lot of past and future Buckeyes: Read More

The Hunter Needs Silver Bullet Points

Written September 5th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, given Coach Meyer’s perspective for this season, the soundtrack for today should be pretty obvious. There’s the awesome option, and the Ah!Sum! possibility. Happy Thursday, Buck-aroos!

Heart you, Dee Dee McCall

Buckeye 411

  • Health Update- According to Coach Meyer, CJ Barnett will be back in action this week against SDSU, and Corey Lindsley will see more time; although the staff will continue to be cautious with his recovery.
  • Back On The Attack? Although he had a good practice today, Bradley Roby has not yet been bumped up to the starter at corner this weekend. Rod Smith, curiously left off the depth chart released on Tuesday, finds himself on several special teams this weekend, which is a pretty good sign.
  • Isn’t That Special- A lot has been made of Ohio State’s practice of having players earn playing time by being a part of Coach Coombs’ charges for a time. If you want to play, prove that you’ve got the heart and passion… I like it, and am hopeful Bri’onte Dunn (who seems to have been singled out this week) will rise to the challenge.
  • Hybrid No More? Coach Meyer mentioned that Dontre Wilson is more of a receiver at this point than a running back.
  • Getting Defensive- San Diego State runs a 3-3-5 Stack Defense, which is a bit different than what the Buckeyes have seen in the past. However, several players mentioned that Buffalo chose a similar look on Saturday, so they feel more prepared. That being said, don’t be surprised to see quite a bit of unorthodox pressure coming from the Aztecs.
  • The Chase- While Ohio State dropped in the AP poll to #3 (I guess beating an FCS school is a good idea, huh NikeU?), they stayed at the #2 slot in the Coaches’ poll.  Oh, and they’re #1 on the Facebook poll… which reminds me; can we be friends? Read More

Tuesday Thoughts: OSU Men’s Hoops Edition

Written April 2nd, 2013 by Ken

 

 

Another Tuesday, another week, another month. Grab your coffee and let’s dive in.

Welcome to a special Ohio State men’s basketball edition. Now that, as far as we’re concerned, basketball season is on, it may be time for some reflection. This article is in two parts; first some commentary on the Ohio State – Wichita State game, then thoughts on the season in general.

 

Ohio State – Wichita State

Before I get too far into this, I want to acknowledge the beautifully conceived and executed game plan on the part of Gregg Marshall and his WSU team. They clearly identified OSU’s weaknesses and exploited them.

On to Part the First. I was in Ohio over Easter weekend getting some high quality family time, so I did not participate in the ingame live blog, which was probably good, all things considered. What follows are some comments/questions that arose around our television Saturday evening.

  • ‘Ohio State didn’t start out with a lot of pep and energy’. [No, they didn’t, and the slow, flat starts finally caught up with them.]
  • ‘Why does he keep shooting those long shots when he’s not making them?’ [The question was in regards to either Craft or Thomas. Likely both of them.]
  • ‘We (OSU) didn’t do as well as they usually do on turnover-fast break baskets’. [No we didn’t. We were ‘outscored’ 6-9 on points off turnovers. For a team that often struggles in half-court offense and needs turnover points, this was not good at all.
  • ‘I don’t understand why we are using a mam-to-man press; we need to use a zone trap to get quick turnovers.’ [This is a pretty good point. If we’re going to apply ball pressure to create back-court turnovers, then dammit, apply pressure, not an escort service.]
  • ‘I hope that Thomas comes back next year. They could be pretty good’. [No question.]

The 1st half was as big a clinker as I’ve seen this team have in some time. The offense seemed to me to be completely out of sorts and very passive, settling for jump shots. There seemed to be no ‘learning’ from the 2nd of the Arizona game where aggressive play created higher percentage FG opportunities. The 22 points in Saturday’s 1st half were “driven” by the 24% shooting, and a strange, awful appearance of ‘Bo Ball’. The Buckeyes were 2-10 from 3’s and only attempted 7 free throws. For 20 minutes, Ohio State managed to out-Wisconsin Wisconsin.

At this point, the game turned into Greek myth/tragedy, with the part of Sisyphus played by Ohio State. Six minutes into the game, OSU took the lead, held it for approximately one minute, and then was faced with a series of uphill climbs for the rest of the game. The Buckeyes just couldn’t get any scoring runs going. Since WSU did a good job of getting back on defense, OSU couldn’t get the breakaway baskets they needed and had to resort to a half-court offense, which frankly, isn’t the best.

The Season

In January I did a little piece on how I saw the basketball team, up to that point in the season. I harped on five issues, let’s revisit them to see what had changed in the last two and a half months. You may need to toggle between articles. Take your time.

1. This is not that good of a shooting team, particularly in key games

I didn’t think so then, I don’t think so now. Back then they were shooting 46.1%, good for 52nd nationally. The Buckeyes ended the season shooting 45.1%, good for 79th position.

2. This is an inconsistent team

I don’t believe this point has changed much either. Generally, OSU tended to start their games very slow, muddle through the first half’s, then play much more focused and with more energy in the second half.

3. This is a team with no legitimate post presence.

This became more obvious as the season progressed. The Buckeyes played their best ball when they went ‘small’. The formula that ‘Dr. Thad’ concocted was to start Amir Williams to win the opening tip then make substitutions at the first media time out.

4. This team is not fun to watch

They didn’t bore us to death, that’s for sure. This is one issue where I’ve changed my mind. As Thad settled on his starting lineup and substitution patterns, it seemed like the players began to gel as a true team. After the ‘Mauling in Madison’, I think the players stepped up to take responsibility for their actions and executing the game plan. And the results showed. If nothing else, this aspect can be taken as a huge win for the coaches and the players.

5. Coaching Impact

Just to be clear, this pertains to player development, not coaching strategies, etc. My bone of contention was that I had not seen significant, if any, improvement between sophomore and junior years of Craft, Smith Jr and Thomas. My position hasn’t changed on that. However, I saw significant improvement in sophomores Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross, and (at the very end of the season) a glimmer of hope this year Amir Williams. Now, if these three can show same improvements between their sophomore to junior year as they did this year, I’d say Thad & Staff have done a very good job.

Disappointed..?

Not really, no.

Thanks for one helluva ride..

My brother and I were discussing this over Sunday morning coffee when he made the observation that ‘ maybe Ohio State overachieved this year.’  The team lost 32 points per game (Sullinger/Buford) and the returning three starters (Thomas/Craft/Smith Jr) contributed 31 ppg. Losing half of your starters’ offensive output provided some challenges of where to find it.

This team may also have been ‘victimized’  by expectations that were set too high. The Buckeyes started out ranked #4 in the country. Why & how eludes me; clearly people should have known that ‘Sully’ and ‘Buf’ had moved on..

Finally, I had commented several times/several places during the course of the season that it would not have surprised me if OSU would lose 10 games during the regular season, due in great part to the above five issues (silly me). The fact that this team came together to finish the season having won 12 of their last 14 games, with an 11 game win streak tossed in, speaks volumes to how the players and coaches figured it out. This speaks very well for all of them.

 

 

 

 

Boxing Day With Silver Bullet Points

Written December 26th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Wonder if it's a metaphor for something...

Well, here we are, at the second biggest shopping day of the holiday and fiscal season. It’s kind of sad, really- all those unwanted or mis- purchased gifts being dragged back to the mall, where “Good Will To Men” is certainly in short supply.

That being said… how hard is it to follow a list? And what part of “bullets” looks like “marbles”… grumble grumble grumble.  Given what’s in the theaters beginning yesterday, you’ve got two choices for today’s soundtrack.

Buckeye 411

  • Perfect Ten- Well, not perfect, but the Buckeyes find themselves at the ten spot in the AP poll following losses to Duke and Kansas. Indiana and Michigan both hold their spots above the Buckeyes, who find themselves the highest rated two loss team in the country.
  • Great Dane? News Monday was that the Bears had dropped former Buckeye Dane Sanzenbacher, who only amassed 2 catches this season after 20+ at the end of last year. The good news is that he was immediately claimed by the Bengals, so congrats?  I’m excited to see if he will be able to make an impact on the playoff bound Cinci squad, or if this will be a short-term assignment.
  •  All Is Not Wells? Speaking of Buckeye alumni, Beanie is convinced that he’ll be traded following this season.
  • Ballin’- Elsewheres, Jared Sullinger had a pretty good Christmas Day game against the Nets: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists. Well done, young fella.
  • Stars- They make no sense at all.  Case in point: This is the tape of a “four star” high school senior. Four. Not five. Four.  Without setting the bar too high, I hope Joey Bosa turns the “star snub” into the same kind of drive that created John Simon.
  • That Being Said- Bradley Roby was supposed to go to Vanderbilt to play wide receiver.  I guess the folks at OSU must know that they’re doing with recruiting and positions and so forth- here’s his sophomore video, in case you were wondering how things worked out for him. Read More

tBBC Basketball Roundtable – Guest Edition

Written September 12th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

For today’s basketball roundtable, I share questions and answers with Eric and Gary of tBBC, and two guests: Eric invited a blog friend Jordan, and I invited liveblog regular CeMoBuckeye.  Enjoy!

What were your favorite moments of the 2011-12 season and why?

Lots of love for this tough game.

Gary. My favorite moments of last year both happened on the road. First the victory on Madison. My distaste for Wisconsin runs beyond just football. Anytime you go in and knock off Bo Ryan in Madison always puts a smile on my face. Second was the victory at Michigan State. I respect Tom Izzo and his teams. They are always tough and always tough at home. Beating them in East Lansing, I believe, have them the confidence for their run in the postseason.

Eric. The best moment had to be the win over Wisconsin in the Kohl Center.  Nothing gives me a warmer or fuzzier feeling than beating the socks off the damn red and white scum from Madison.  Close second would be a tie between the Syracuse win, which was a fantastic piece of basketball against an excellent opponent, and the Buford gut shot win at MSU to help clear up his own last second game worries.

Jordan. First, beating Florida and Duke at home in the same month; second, beating a highly touted Syracuse team in Boston to go to our eleventh* Final Four; third, two fifteen seed upsets in one hour in the NCAA Tournament; forth, beating Wisconsin at Wisconsin for the first time in a decade; fifth, beating Cincinnati in the sweet sixteen to exorcize the Bearcat tournament demons of fifty years ago.

CeMoBuckeye.  How the team came together at the end of the season and made an incredible run to the final four.

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tBBC Basketball Roundtable

Written September 4th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

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?

New big man should make an impact

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.

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Silver Bullet Points to Vacation

Written July 11th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

May be vacation, but feels like home

Salutations from our nation’s 48th state, where I currently find myself vacating on the same road that I live by several hours to the west. Yup, this is as close to Rich Rod as I’ll ever get… probably for the best.  Knowing that we were headed this way the wife let me plan our trip around two sacred OSU sites, although she did boycott one of my musical selections for the journey. Ah, well… at least she let me watch the 2002 game on the BTN this evening.

Buckeye 411

  • Rolling In The Deep- An updated depth chart was released today, with a few interesting things of note. First, unsurprisingly, Storm Klein is no longer in the two deep, being replaced by Connor Crowell. Also of note, though, was that Jake Stoneburner, Jack Mewhort, and Jordan Hall were still listed as starters; we know that the first two have had their scholarships removed for the time being, and that Jordan will miss time due to injury recovery. Also of note- Chase Farris is still listed as a defensive end, even though news out of the WHAC has him being moved to offensive line for the fall campaign.

This “update” seems to be merely a reflection of Coach Meyer’s decisions regarding Klein’s actions, and there may not be any more to read into it. Again, Urban stated at the end of spring practice that the chart would be set- fall camp was about preparation and not position battles.

  • Watching The Watchers Who Watch Watchlists- Several Buckeyes are on national award watchlists this pre-season, including Stoneburner’s place on the Mackey list for the nation’s best tight end. Others to keep an eye on include John Simon and Jonathan Hankins for the Bednarik award (Nation’s best defensive player), while Braxton is one of only a few sophomores on the Maxwell list (Nation’s outstanding player). We’ll keep a… uh… watch on these as they develop. UPDATE- Drew Basil has been listed on the list for the Groza Award for the nation’s best place-kicker.
  • Sully, Making Friends And Fools- With his 20 point performance against OKC in Monday’s D-league game, Jared Sullinger has won the praise of Celtic Homer ESPN Grantland editor Bill Simmons, while making the GMs who chose to pass him by look really really stupid. On the twitters today someone posted (help me out in the comments) that Sully’s back issue and work ethic made him drop in the draft, while DHoward’s back issue and work ethic are making him a key free agent this summer.  Yeah…
  • Happy Landing! While regular readers of tBBC will recognize our love/hate/water-under-the-bridge with the gang at SBN, I can’t be more excited than when I saw one of our favorite “independents” join their newest Ohio State offering. Hats off to Ian… and give him a follow on twitter as well.
  • Belated- Happy Birthday to Urban Meyer, who turned “still lower cholesterol than Brady Hoke” on Tuesday.

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Rockets Red Glare, Silver Bullet Points In The Air

Written July 4th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

A bit of a damper on the July 4th celebration, as Andy Griffith passed away on Tuesday. Since he represented a slice of America for so many folks, it only makes sense that he’d leave us this close to America’s birthday.

Not enough firepower for Urban

Buckeye 411

  • Hall no!! We hope it’s not true, but a number of reports on Tuesday speculated that Jordan Hall’s foot injury might keep him sidelined until much later than the 10 weeks that were initially reported. While some discussed the possibility of a red-shirt, others pointed to Hall’s own comments about his willingness to work beyond those limitations. As a fan, though, you’ve got to want what’s the best for him over the best for the program… It’s good to be loaded at Running Back.
  • iPad Pushback- The OZone’s Brandon Castel has a pretty good summary of Ohio State’s new iPads For Athletes program, including discussion of how they’ll be used in the classroom and in the locker room. He also points out that these are similar to the laptops that Buckeye Student Athletes were given in the past, particularly in that these are loaners to be checked out and back in. Hopefully this will go a ways toward mitigating some of the “privileged athletes get even more perks” critiques that the program initially received. Again, these are not the property of the recipient… in a good way.
  • Sully The Celtic- Introductions all around earlier this week, with additional news that Kevin Garnett will be staying, Jason Terry might be joining, and Ray Allen is in limbo for Jared’s new team. Still gonna’ take a while to get used to the green and white uniform, though.

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