Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: Leadership

Written January 20th, 2012 by Eric

Embodying leadership, one ivory-handled pistol at a time.

Much has been written in the past few months about what makes this year’s Ohio State Men’s Basketball team so different from last season’s. Obviously the loss of David Lighty, Jon Diebler, and Dallas Lauderdale had a profound impact on the way this team plays basketball. But, it leaves one to wonder why it had such an effect.

Many have said that the team is missing the extra facet of Diebler’s shooting, and that this team simply doesn’t shoot as well. Others have said that we’re missing Lighty’s leadership on the floor, and that last year’s team benefitted greatly from his experience and calm. And who knows what kind of impact Dallas Lauderdale really had on the team. He could have been an incredibly charismatic guy behind the scenes and in practice – helping the team keep focus for the long-haul.

Leadership on the basketball court is a hard quality to define and pinpoint. It’s the trait of an individual for which others look up to them and follow their example. But it doesn’t easily appear in the stat-sheet. If only there was a column for “leadership points”! That would make analyzing a leader’s effects nice and easy!

C’est la vie.

There are other ways we can analyze the effect leaders have on their team. We should first ask ourselves though, how exactly leaders effect their teams in the first place.
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tBBC All-Time Tourney: # 4 1968 vs. #5 2011

Written January 19th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

The tBBC All-Time Tourney is back with another barn-burner as the number 4 seeded improbable 1968 Buckeyes take on the unforgettable 2011 squad.  JoeD and WVaBuckeye break down today’s match-up.

Ohio State’s true Cinderella — the 1967-68 Buckeyes got second life at the very end of the season thanks to some help from our friends up north. In early March, players had turned their uniforms in. They thought they had played their last game against Illinois. They still practiced, but without any expectations of playing again.

All Iowa needed to do in securing the only spot for the Big Ten in the 23 team post-season tournament was beat a Michigan team that was 5-8 in the conference.  After jumping out to a 22-8 lead, Michigan was able to hold on by one to force a one game playoff between the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes at the brand new Mackey Arena in boilermaker country.

Fred Taylor was so thankful  for the Wolverines’ effort, that he sent  soon to be fired Michigan coach Dave Strack a varsity O blanket to keep warm over the spring.

The Buckeyes would go on to beat the Hawkeyes and entered the tournament as a member of the Mideast regional in Lexington Kentucky. After a win over East Tennessee State, the Buckeyes would meet the heavily favored home Kentucky Wildcats and survive by one point. Wildcat Head Coach Adolph Rupp was so upset after the game, he refused to make an appearance at the post-game press conference. That’s when Guard Bruce Schnabel came up with a poem that rings wonderment in Ohio State fan’s ears.

“Some say we were good, some say we were lucky, all I know is we’re in L.A. and Rupp is still in Kentucky.”

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Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: Hot Hands

Written January 13th, 2012 by Eric

William Buford defines hot-and-cold shooting.

Many of you probably could have guessed, had you know that a Basketball Breakdown was pending, that this would be the topic of choice for this week. For those that couldn’t, you probably didn’t see the incredible 43 point display that Illinois guard Brandon Paul put on the Buckeyes on Tuesday night. You don’t necessarily want to watch the highlights – it’s pretty gory.

Let me start out from the get-go by saying that scoring 40+ points in a game is an incredible feat. Much applause to Mr. Paul for pulling it off, particularly against the #5 team in the country (at the time). There’s a reason the Buckeyes are ranked so high, and solid defense is one of them. Scoring that many points against a sound defensive team makes it just all the more impressive.

But how can it happen? How can such a sound defensive team allow a player to score so many points? I submit that this had less to do with poor play from the Buckeyes (though that definitely contributed) than it did with some excellent planning and fantastic play on Illinois’ side of the ball. I definitely don’t want to see anyone take anything away from Brandon by saying that it was entirely Ohio State’s fault. He (and his team) had a lot to do with it.

Let’s start by asking how you can tell if a player a hot (or cold) night.  Obviously when you’re watching a game you can see it in the player’s and team’s reactions to him hitting (or missing) a lot of shots.  Statistically, it’s a little more difficult.  You have to look at the player’s averages – preferably over a season, but career can work too – and look at how statistically ridiculous a particular night of shooting is.

Let’s consider William Buford first.  Buford has been accused of having some pretty cold nights and not producing particularly well.  Looking at his averages, Buford is scoring a little more than 15 points per outing this year.  If you consider that he plays on a team with two other lights-out scorers (Jared Sullinger and DeShaun Thomas), and you consider that a good team typically has one guy who averages more than 15 per night, then it’s suggestive that he’s not as cold as people think.
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tBBC Radio Hour: 2011 Basketball Season Preview Part 1

Written October 20th, 2011 by Eric

It’s nearly time for the Basketball Bucks to take the hardwood again, and Eric and Joe Dexter are here to talk all things hardwood! The pair reminisces about last years great squad, and looks forward to the things to come – particularly newcomers Amir Williams and Shannon Scott. They also talk about the gains made by Sullinger, Craft, Buford, Deshaun Thomas, and Jordan Sibert, and what that will ultimately mean for this team. Lastly, they spend some time talking about the talent around the Big Ten, and what kind of a challenge the Buckeyes might have in repeating as Big Ten Champs.

Eric and Joe are very excited to chat with Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch during this week’s interview. They discuss all things Buckeye Basketball, and is certainly a conversation you don’t want to miss!

PS – Joe made a little gaffe on this week’s podcast, botching the name of a former Buckeye. The first person to post in the comments with correct answers to all three of the following:

  • The name Joe was trying to say,
  • The name Joe actually said,
  • And, who exactly that person in the second bullet point is,

will win a free T-Shirt from the guys at Time And Change! You can also connect with them at this Saturday’s mega launch party if you’re in Columbus. Read More

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

With the NBA Draft set to take place Thursday night, new Ohio State basketball alums David Lighty and Jon Diebler will be waiting attentively in hopes of hearing their names called for one of the 60 picks in the two rounds of the Draft.  Neither Lighty nor Diebler is an appealing enough prospect for an NBA team to warrant a coveted place in the Green Room, where the players nearly guaranteed to go in the top 20 picks are invited, but both former Buckeyes had solid senior campaigns that will at least get them some consideration for picks later in the Draft.

Ohio’s own Cleveland Cavaliers hold both the first and fourth overall picks, although the final slots could easily change before or during the Draft in a typical flurry of trade activity.  Minnesota, Utah, and Toronto hold the second, third, and fifth picks, respectively, and will seek to add some much-needed talent to their rosters.  Top candidates for a lottery pick include Kyrie Irving of Duke, Derrick Williams of Arizona, Enes Kanter of Turkey (that’s the country, not a university from the MEAC), and Brandon Knight of Kentucky, who we will refrain from wishing ill will upon.  You will note that Jimmer Fredette, although having a good shot at a lottery pick, is not among the elite prospects for this year’s draft.  Jazz trading down, anyone? Read More

Silver Bullet Points Is Speedy

Written June 16th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Quick notes for a Thursday:


  • Incoming freshman Ejuan Price has asked for his release from Ohio State. Even up until signing day, there were people who didn’t know if he’d end up in Columbus, so this may not be all that much of a surprise. It’s assumed that he will end up at Pitt, given that they came on strong late in his recruiting process.
  • Current Buckeye running back Jordan Hall has been moved to Wide Receiver, according to sources within the program.  Again, this makes sense for a couple of reasons- it gives experience and depth to a very young WR corps, it moves him out of a very crowded depth chart at RB and gives him a chance to be in the field, and it works well with Coach Drayton’s experience. If you recall, Coach Drayton was the RB coach at Florida, but worked closely with Gator slot receivers (Percey Harvin in particular) as a part of their spread run packages.
  • Speaking of Florida, one Miami newspaper says that the NCAA will be visiting “The Sunshine, Tourists, and Large Bugs” state to investigate allegations of impropriety with 7-7 tournaments and recruiting. Universities impacted include LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, and (you guessed it) Ohio State.
  • Big Ten Hoops schedules were released today: Ohio State only plays Penn State, Purdue, Minnesota, and Iowa once next year (PSU/PU home, Minn/Iowa away), but gets Nebraska twice. Wheee!
  • Congrats to Jantel Lavender, named Ohio State’s female athlete of the year today. Yesterday, Steven Kehoe was given the same honor for the men.

Best Wishes

  • The Dispatch’s Ken Gordon announced yesterday that he would be transitioning to the “Features” section of the paper, leaving the sports page after 20 years and the Buckeye Beat after seven.  He’ll be missed… Of course, you know what this means.
  • Congratulations to former Buckeye Jon Threebler, who celebrated his wedding today. No, I’m not making a “Shoots and scores” joke.

Stay Tuned

tBBC has some big news tomorrow… very large indeed. (This is only site related… no need to freak out about NCAA stuff)

Now, the Good News

Written March 26th, 2011 by Eric

We'll miss you Gentlemen. Good Luck

Last night had to be one of the single worst displays of college basketball I have seen by an Ohio State team in years.  That is, of course, an exaggeration, but I’m sure many of you would agree with me on that point.

What is probably not well agreed with is that there are a large number of things the Buckeyes did right in that game.  It’s extraordinarally difficult to keep up with a talented team like Kentucky while shooting an atrocious 32.8%.  That drops to just under 31% if you don’t count three pointers, emphasizing the difficulty OSU had shooting the ball.  It’s pretty rare that excluding your three point shooting drops your shooting percentage.

Let me stress a point.  While Kentucky’s defense was very good (11 blocks is ridiculously good) it was not Kentucky’s defense that beat us.  If you take William Buford’s 2-16 shooting away, OSU shot 40.5% overall and 41.3% inside the three point arc.  As much as I hate to seem like I’m laying blame (I’m not, there’s no blame to lay), it could not be any more obvious why the Bucks struggled in this game.

Wildcat fans, of course, will argue that William Buford’s shooting was so low because of their spectacular defense.  In this case, that is not true.  The vast majority of Buford’s misses were fairly open looks, with only a few coming with a hand in his face – including that last second desperation shot that just missed.  I’m sure that shot is tearing Buford up inside.  It shouldn’t be.  Tough shots like that sometimes fall and sometimes don’t.  It may not be the outcome we wanted, but it doesn’t change the fact that we played tough to end the season.

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