Gone is the month of March and all the greatness on the hardwood we look forward to all year long. As basketball fans, we strive for one more shining moment. We wait anxiously as football takes center stage until old man winter strikes again. Here at tBBC, we are reliving March Madness this morning as we bring you the semi finals of the All-Time Tourney. Pitted against each other today are two of the best overall teams in Ohio State history. Today, we feature the only Ohio State championship squad against a 2011 squad that many believe had all the tools to win a second championship in school history.
When members of this 2011 squad met the 1960 team during their 50th Anniversary reunion in 2010, they took something from it. But what if they could learn first hand from one of the most impressive teams in college basketball history? How would the likes of Jared Sullinger, Jon Diebler and David Lighty stack up with Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, and Mel Nowell? Today, we breakdown a dream match-up of two very good teams. With only one moving on to the Finals to take on the winner of the 1992/2007 semi-final winner. Here’s WVaBuckeye and my breakdown of tBBC Semi-final #1.
Make sure you vote for who you believe would win this match-up on the top left hand corner of the web page.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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
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
Quick notes for a Thursday:
tBBC has some big news tomorrow… very large indeed. (This is only site related… no need to freak out about NCAA stuff)