Monday Morning Commentary

Written July 2nd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

This isn't about the logo on his shirt, but about the nature of his actions as an individual.

I’m headed south on vacation with the family and just wanted to try something new before I disappear for a couple of weeks. There’s a lot going on in the sports world with the Olympic trials and the NBA draft just recently concluding. I’ve got some things to cover but I promise I will be quick!

How about we start with my rant first so I can get it out of the way? The recent news coming out of State College, PA has me mesmerized. Not so much that the info has come to light as much as how their fans are responding. I spent the better part of the day reading about fans who are taking this personally. They think the world is out to get PSU.  That couldn’t be further from the truth. I tweeted in response to a friend that most of the people defending the University lack the basic human quality of compassion for these victims. Plain and simple, that is what all of the fuss is about.

I want you to imagine for just a brief moment that you are one of the victims and they are telling you that those involved didn’t believe you deserved to be protected. Not to mention the fact they are now basically saying the victims didn’t deserve justice. That is what all of the information is doing to these victims, and those who defend the university that covered it up lack any compassion for anything human.

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Another ‘Sully’ in Beantown: Jared Sullinger to Celtics

Written June 28th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Legendary Player, Legendary Program

With the 21st pick in this evenings’ NBA draft, former Buckeye Jared Sullinger was informed that he would be headed to one of the most legendary franchises in basketball when he was drafted by the Eastern Conference’s Boston Celtics.

The two year star at Ohio State saw the end of a challenging week with the phone call from Danny Ainge; a certain lottery pick after his first season in Columbus, a second season with the Buckeyes resulted in concerns regarding his health- particularly his back. Sullinger missed several games this past season with hamstring and back injuries, and numerous scouts raised concerns about his resilience over a longer season.

However, several medical professionals and the Sullinger Camp were adamant that his durability would not be an issue- and GMs noted that he would be a steal in the second half of the first round.  Jared is the 7th first round pick in six years for Ohio State.

Jared’s work ethic has never been questioned, nor has his heart.  I believed going into the draft that whoever ended up selecting him would get a greater player than his draft status and statistics would indicate- he is the ultimate team player, and will thrive under another quality coach. Sullinger joins a team with some aging leadership; it will be interesting to see if he can contribute minutes to rest the veterans while learning the ropes and awaiting his time to shine.  The sky is certainly the limit.

Video by WBNS-TV’s Dom Tiberi

In a press release tonight, the University had reflections from Coach Matta and an overview of Jared’s career at Ohio State. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gets Bombed

Written June 20th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Next Stop, Ann Arbor

It’s Wednesday, halfway to what’s sure to be another glorious June weekend. Big thanks to “Darth Grant” for finding the inspiration for this week’s title and lead photo- Eric may have some more on this story a bit later in the summer, but for now, here’s one of the men behind that amazing flying machine.

Buckeye 411

  • Two Sport Athlete? We introduced you to the newest member of Ohio State’s 2013 class on Tuesday, but found out later in the day that Johnny Townsend hopes to walk on to the Ohio State baseball team as well. Given that we’ve got a Boren with similar interests, I’m looking forward to seeing how Coach Meyer chooses to allow these opportunities- although, I remember that several Gators also ran track.  We’ll see…
  • It’s Not A Red Flag, It’s Scarlet- After news broke regarding Jared Sullinger’s “medical red flags”, several interesting comments emerged. Jared’s dad theorized that some of this “news” was actually being leaked by teams lower in the draft who were hoping Sully would fall to them- this would be frustrating, in terms of lost money, but might put him on a much better team to start his career. At any rate, you’d think that the NBA would not allow tampering with… sorry, I just couldn’t finish that without laughing. You’ve got to wonder, though, if there are numerous players with these types of issues, why is Sullinger’s the only name we’ve heard?  The Four Letter Network had a couple of diverse opinions- Dickie V said that you don’t need clinics and workouts to know Sullinger’s going to be a star, you just have to watch him play.  And then there’s Michael Wilbon, who said that he’d pass on Sully in the first round because “Ohio State. And Greg Oden”.  Somewhere, Mark May rubs his hands together and gloats…
  • “Crushed”- According to Tim May, that was Urban Meyer’s reaction when hearing about Mewhort and Stoneburner’s transgressions, although he went on to say that he thought they’d rebound well. This is an interesting observation, and one that Andrew made today over at The Empire- Kids that Urban respects and counts on make a mistake, and he “feels” for them. But, he still holds them accountable at a very high standard. While this is an intriguing corrective decision given that both Ohio State and Florida have struggled due to student athletes being on their own agenda and not on the team’s page, I’m also impressed at this from a Higher Education Professional’s viewpoint. While not always true, there is a sense of privilege and entitlement that has crept into the current generation of young adults, and learning early on that decisions have real consequences is more than developmentally appropriate. Given that young adults are still developing their pre-frontal cortices, where decision making occurs, a concrete life lesson like the one that these guys are receiving has the possibility of lasting long after the days in the ‘Shoe are over.
  • Making The Grades- The OSU football team announced spring quarter GPAs today, and over 45 members of the squad had a 3.0 average or higher.
  • Troll On- Well, since we’re already on the topic, the Four Letter Network decided to list the “greatest sports moments in state history for each of the 50“. Ohio’s signature moment? Well, it was the BTN’s number one three icon, although it actually happened in Germany and not within the state borders. Yup, even ESPN plays “Germany or Ohio?”
  • TBUN- Yup, I’ll give some love to a Sun and Blue blogger; our friends at Maize and Brew had a great article this week about Ohio State’s place in the conference,

So as we stare down the coming 2012 college football season, a billowing cloud of fury and excitement just now beginning to peak over the late-June horizon, it becomes apparent that no matter how bad things got in Columbus last year, that the Buckeyes were merely down on the mat for a short time. The cartoon birds flew in quick circles as Ohio State shook its head and looked up at the rest of the Big Ten standing over it grinning. But the birds have gone away and the Buckeyes are back on their feet.

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Here's your chance

Sponsored Post: Our partners at The Buckeye Room have put together a Star Studded lineup of Former Ohio State Buckeyes to sign autographs at multiple store locations over the next week.  Jared Sullinger will be signing autographs at 4 different stores and they will be hosting a 1997 Rose Bowl Champions Reunion Signing that includes Orlando Pace, Stanley Jackson, Greg Bellisari, Pepe Pearson, & Ryan Miller.  The signing dates are listed below.This is a great opportunity to see some of Ohio State’s Legends and get signed memorabilia at great prices.  “We are happy to be able to offer this opportunity to meet some of the players that Buckeye fans get to watch on TV but never have a chance to meet in person” says Johnny Campbell, President of the Buckeye Room & Cardboard Heroes.

They will have 8×10 photos, OSU Basketballs, OSU Footballs and Mini Helmets available at the signings for purchase.  They also give fans the opportunity to purchase autographed items even if they can’t make an event.  You can call their Internet Sales Division @ 1-800-930-4591 to place an order and have your item autographed, personalized and shipped to you immediately following the event.  That is definitely “Buckeye Friendly” service.

Jared Sullinger Signing Dates & Prices

4/14-Buckeye Room at Tuttle Crossing in Dublin from (Noon-2PM)

4/14-Cardboard Heroes at The Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek (6-8PM)

4/15-Cardboard Heroes at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo (1-3PM)

4/16-Buckeye Room at Polaris Mall in Columbus (6-8PM)

**All Autograph tickets are $20 with Inscriptions being an additional $10

1997 Rose Bowl Reunion Signing

4/15-Buckeye Room At the Polaris Mall in Columbus (2-4PM)

  • Orlando Pace- $45.00
  • Greg Bellisari- $15.00
  • Pepe Pearson- $15.00
  • Stanley Jackson- $15.00
  • Ryan Miller- $15.00

**Super Ticket-Gets all 5 autographs for only $75, save $30.

A New Era Begins On The Hardwood

Written April 5th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

It’s hard to put into words the impact Jared Sullinger has had on the Ohio State basketball program during his two years on campus. For Ohio State fans there is more to his legacy than what the nation saw on the floor as a sophomore or freshman.  Throughout his time here we’ve seen a kid from Columbus grow into a man ready for the next level of competition.

From the battles in the paint, to the ‘Sully Smirk’.  Teammate, to at times the most dominate player in all of college basketball. An athlete who always let his actions speak louder than words.

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Jared Sullinger To Enter NBA Draft

Written April 4th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Thank You, Jared

This afternoon, Ohio State sophomore Jared Sullinger will end speculation regarding his future and announce that he is ending his career with the Buckeyes and will be entering the NBA Draft in June.

There was speculation that he might go pro after his freshman season, when he was awarded the B1G and National Freshman of the Year honors during a time when he set the OSU freshman scoring record. Many projected him to be a top 5 pick last season- however he returned to Ohio State to make another run at a National Title.

In addition, though, he struggled with some foot and back injuries early in the season and missed several games, including the first matchup against Kansas. It’s logicial, then, his desire to play professionally was partially strengthened by his concern for his long term health.

Sullinger helped Ohio State to a B1G Championship in both of his seasons in Columbus, and led this year’s team to a final four bearth.

Additional accolades during his time at OSU include-

  • 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten (Coaches/Media
  • 2012 Preseason Top 50 Wooden Award
  • 2012 Preseason Naismith Award
  • 2012 Preseason Player of the Year (Big Ten, CBSSports.com, USBWA)
  • 2012 Preseason All-American (AP, Sporting News, CBSSports.com, Blue Ribbon, Basketball Times, USBWA, ESPN.com)
  • 2011 Naismith Award Finalist
  • 2011 Wooden Award Finalist
  • 2011 Sporting News Freshman of the Year
  • 2011 USBWA First Team All-America
  • 2011 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year
  • 2011 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • 2011 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
  • 2011 NABC District 7 First Team
  • 2011 Big Ben Freshman of the Year
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Nov. 15, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7)\
  • Big Ten Player of the Week (Nov. 22, Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Jan. 24)

An Columbus native, Jared was the Ohio Mr. Basketball twice prior to enrolling at Ohio State. His HS teammate, Michigan freshman Trey Burke, may be following him to the NBA in the near future.

One silver lining on this: This opens one additional roster spot for Thad Matta’s recruiting efforts… and OSU fans have been pretty blessed by the results of those efforts in the past. You’ve got to wonder how this will impact the decision of Tony Parker, who has OSU near the top of his list.

Jared- you are a true Buckeye legend. Godspeed in the next phase of your career, and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Kansas found success in the second half by getting to the rim off the fast break.

Ohio State and Kansas met for the second time this year, this time on the neutral court of the Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams played tough basketball, but the Buckeyes were unable to maintain their nine point halftime lead, falling to the Jayhawks for the second time 64-62. William Buford’s game high 19 points were not enough to lift the Bucks over Kansas’s Thomas Robinson, who matched Buford with 19. Travis Releford scored a critical 15 for the Jayhawks, including four free throws at the end to seal the game.

Neither team started the game with their heads quite in the right place offensively for the first few possessions. While Kansas did score a quick duece on their first possession, they spent their next seven possessions taking atrocious shots. That was matched by the Buckeyes on the other end of the court early. Only when Lenzelle Smith dropped a three pointer did the Buckeyes settle down and start making better decisions with the basketball, leading to a 7-0 run through about four minutes of play.

Kansas attempted to make early adjustments to try to counter the little OSU run. By moving the ball better, the Jayhawks were able to find better looks at the basket and began to make their looks again. Not surprisingly, Thad Matta reinspired the defense on the subsequent timeout. The pep-talk seemed to work, giving the Buckeyes the necessary intensity to make offense difficult for the Jayhawks.

Much to Buckeye fan’s relief “good” Buford made an appearance in this one. As has been apparent all season, Buford’s shooting is strongly dependent on his early game shots. If he makes good decisions early, like he did today, his shooting is generally strong all game long. If instead his decisions are poor early, his shooting struggles throughout. However, one thing Buford never seems to struggle with is assisting his teammates, playing good defense, and tough rebounding. It was critical, though, that his shots started falling early, allowing him to build his shooting confidence early.
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Pregame Glance: Kansas II

Written March 31st, 2012 by Joe Dexter

Amir Williams is an X factor Tonight.

We’re just hours away from the start of the Final Four! The Ohio State Buckeyes and Kansas Jayhawks will meet in the second game of the day today, tip-off set for 8:49 PM. I still don’t know what’s stranger. The fact that both teams will be playing basketball inside a Superdome, or that the floor that both teams will be playing on is made in the small “unicorporated community” of Amasa – A  small part of Hematite Township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Though all 250 citizens of the city are upset that either Wisconsin or Michigan State isn’t in the Final Four, they will be among the millions of fans with their eyes fixed on what could be one hell of a Saturday.

According to the folks at the Worldwide Failure Leader, this is the first time since 2005 that all playing on the final weekend of college basketball have finished the year ranked in the top ten in terms of attendance. Yesterday, over 6,000 fans made their way to a football stadium to watch practice (practice man!),

Kicking things off is the inner-state battle between Kentucky and Louisville. AP Player of the Year Anthony Davis and his Wildcat squad might be the most talented squad to take the court in bluegrass blue since the Days of Rick Pitino and Ron Mercer. You know the former Kentucky coach is firing up his guys simply based on how the nation is disrespecting his team as they head into today’s play as nine point underdogs. There is no doubt that the Louisville Cardinals have been put on an island all by themselves by the national media. Nobody has given this team a chance.

Yes, they are heavily over-matched and Kentucky is by far the odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang. But I can’t remember a time when three teams flew this far under the radar heading into the last three games of the year. That in itself should set off some fireworks tonight.

Which means Ohio State fans should expect one heck of a battle in what’s being dubbed the “Most Competitive Game in the Tournament.”

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