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.
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.
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)
**Super Ticket-Gets all 5 autographs for only $75, save $30.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.”
Lots of excitement in your Wednesday updates…
Buckeye Hoops 411
Buckeye Football 411
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Syracuse Orange met in Boston this evening to decide who would represent the East Region in the Final Four. After a tight, hard-fought battle, the Buckeyes succeeded in picking up the 77-70 victory over the 1-seeded Syracuse Orange. Every single Buckeye contributed a key piece to this tough victory, but Jared Sullinger led all scorers with 19 points and 7 rebounds. He was followed closely by Lenzelle Smith’s 18 points, most scored in the 2nd half with the game coming down to the wire. On Syracuse’s side of the ball Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine combined for 29 points and a pair of rebounds.
Both teams started off hot attacking the paint with extreme aggression. That may have been a surprise to many who suspected the Buckeyes were going to have to use the long ball to attack the Syracuse 2-3 zone. However, as the Bucks had demonstrated against Cincinnati, they had learned well the methods of handling the 2-3 under the basket. Those lessons were proven valuable again as OSU was able to misdirect, and pass around, the Syracuse zone.
Unfortunately, Jared Sullinger was forced to sit with 13 minutes with two quick fouls. His second foul seemed to be a bit ticky-tack, but with the game being an intense back-and-forth affair, it was understandable that the refs were playing things conservatively. Thankfully, the Buckeyes have been forced on many occasions this season to play without him, which has been to the benefit of Ravenel’s development. He certainly put those skills on display tonight, demonstrating that he could handle the quality interior presence of the Orange.
With OSU’s best big sitting on the bench Syracuse seemed to press their attack into the paint even more. By doing so, they were able to force Evan Ravenel into a quick pair of fouls of his own. Matta, of course, responded by bringing Amir Williams into the game. Ultimately, the move hurt the Buckeyes. While Amir Williams is a very talented player, he is by no means close to a polished product. It was clear from his play on offense that he doesn’t understand as well as Ravenel and Sullinger how to attack the 2-3, nor does he move around nearly as effectively in the paint as the other bigs.