With basketball season rapidly approaching and a lot of information to digest from around the conference, I thought it was high time we here from bloggers representing them. We kick off a series in roundtables with our first five today and we are doing our very best to round up the rest of the B1G for you! We hope you enjoy the feature and give us plenty of feedback!
We’re doing our best attempt at giving everyone a good picture of each team with a variety of questions. I want to take this opportunity to thank our first four panelist; Covering Purdue and a great video guy that you can catch here exclusively to tBBC at times, WCBI TV’s own Robby Donoho and his latest video ; covering Spartan Nation is one of the best in that state up north in Hondo Carpenter; taking care of the Hoosiers for us from Crimson Quarry is John M. featured blogger for them and very well respected in the state just west of us; getting us straight with Bucky Badger will be Andy from Mad Town Badgers a great blog for Wisconsin; and finally but certainly not least, my old writing partner here at tBBC and current Buckeye Empire member Joe Dexter.
Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.. Spartan Nation. Keith Appling (G) is a key player back for the Spartans. He is Tom Izzo’s “guy” on this team and with that comes a lot of minutes. Not a natural point, that is the only spot he could play at the next level and Izzo is committed to him playing there.
Adreian Payne (C) is a native of Ohio and if you are a Buckeye fan, you would think he is all world. Against the Buckeyes he lives up to the hype he had coming out of high school. Against every other team, he is a key role player.
Derrick Nix (C) is the best of the MSU big men. Not as athletic as Payne, he can bang with anyone and take the ball and the game to the rim.
Branden Dawson (F/G) is listed by MSU as a G, but he is a SF. He is the real deal. Arguably, Dawson is the best player on the team. He suffered a late season injury, but he will for sure be 100% by conference play. They say before that, but MSU in my opinion has a history of rushing players back too fast. He is too valuable with too much basketball ahead of him to rush it. He is a complete player. Read More
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?
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.
For the first time ever the top four seeds of the Big Ten tournament have advanced to the semi-finals. The three co-champions are still in, and still have an opportunity to prove that they are indeed the best team in the Big Ten.
Ohio State and Michigan get to prove it on the court today.
Today is the rubber game in this season’s series. Both teams split the regular season meetings, with the Buckeyes taking a 64-49 win at home, while Michigan emerged victorious in Ann Arbor 56-51.
But this game has even more historical significance. The Buckeyes and Wolverines have encountered each other repeatedly over the last several years in the Big Ten Tournament. Last season, the Bucks handled Michigan in the semi-finals 68-61 by opening up a significant lead halfway through the second half and coasting to the win. The year before saw Evan Turner’s last second buzzer beater sink Michigan’s hopes of upsetting the #1 seed in the quarterfinals, ending a fairly close game 69-68.
The Wolverines welcomed the Buckeyes into the Crisler center this weekend, and sent the Buckeyes packing with their fifth loss of the season by a score of 56-51. The Buckeyes struggled shooting the whole night but had several chances to tie it up late in the second. Unfortunately, Michigan did just enough to keep Ohio State from ever gaining the lead. DeShaun Thomas had a huge game for the Buckeyes picking up a double double by scoring 25 points on 8-13 shooting, including 3-6 from three, and grabbing 13 rebounds. Trey Burke lead the Wolverines with 17 points and 5 assists for the game.
The Michigan defense came to play early in this one. Ohio State’s offense needed several trips before they finally found their first bucket from the left elbow from DeShaun Thomas – a shot he repeated on the subsequent trip down. The Wolverines weren’t going to let such a golden opportunity escape them, putting down 8 points before the first TV timeout and getting the crowd into the game in a big way.
The offensive explosion from the guys in maize was particularly impressive as they spread the scoring out evenly amongst the starters. Trey Burke had a nice dribble drive with several spin moves to get a good close range shot, while Tim Hardaway had an excellent 18 footer from the left wing. Morgan and Novak also hit a couple easy baskets to help out the run.
Hardaway came to play in this one and dropped several big shots from the outside. Having disappeared for several straight games, his presence was much needed for this Michigan team to have success. With his shots falling from the outside, especially with Buford going cold for most of the night, it was a very bad sign for the Bucks on the road.
The Buckeyes are in the AA this evening for their second shooty hoops battle with the Michigan Wolverines! The game tips at 9:00 PM EST on ESPN.
While you wait, go checkout our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 8:30 PM EST.
The Buckeyes, having recovered from their loss to the little brothers with a solid win over the Golden Gophers, now have to travel to Ann Arbor to face the plucky Wolverines for the second time this season.
Michigan, currently ranked #17 in the AP Poll, has absolutely earned that ranking the last couple of weeks. While they are only 3-2 through their last five games, their two losses have come at Ohio State (64-49) and at Michigan State (64-54). In turn, they’ve picked up impressive wins against #20 Indiana, and Illinois, and also picked up a nice (but not necessarily quality) win at Nebraska.
Michigan’s sophomores struggled at times during the slump. Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-6, 200) in particular struggled to hit his shot in their games against Michigan State and Nebraska, scoring a combined 10 points in those outings. For reference, recall that he scored 15 against the Buckeyes in a general rout. Hardaway is an important cog in the Wolverine’s offense, so it was critical to their postseason outlook that he managed to emerge against Illinois this week and score 15.
The newly-formed Buckeye Bloggers Network put their heads together again! This time we will be looking at the impact that each starter and the bench had on the game against Purdue on Tuesday night. The other blogs joining us in this venture are: The Buckeye Blog, Our Honor Defend, Buckeye House Call, OSU Silver Bullet, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray.
Lenzelle Smith has had quite a sophomore campaign for the Buckeyes. It was apparent early in the season that he had not fully realized his role on the team, as he struggled to score and to really gel in the framework of the starters. His recent games in Big Ten play have been a positive indication that he is understanding better what he needs to bring to this team.
What has made Smith a starter from day one has been his defensive intensity. While he is not the best defender on the court – how could he be, he plays next to Aaron Craft – he is certainly one of the better defenders on the team. Guards have typically struggled when playing the Buckeyes, and that has as much to do with Smith’s play as with Craft’s.
Smith has taken his successes on the defensive end and used them to grow on the offensive side. For a long time this season the running joke was that Smith’s over-under in scoring was five points, and that he would play like he was desperate to break it. Rare would be the game that he actually succeeded, it seemed.
And then Indiana happened – twice.
If anyone doubted the fact that the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry is back, this afternoon’s display of strategic basketball on both sides of the floor shows the real story in the Wolverines rise back to prominence in the Big Ten Conference.
A look at the scoreboard after this one doesn’t quite put it into context. After running into the best overall effort from Ohio State starters, the Wolverines hit the road with arguably their best performance in the last 8 years against their out of state Rivals. Despite a lackluster second half, and as much as we hate to say it — this team remains as one of the top to be reckoned with in this conference and in March.
Even after falling 64-49 in Columbus.
You can site the incoming talent, but in reality it’s the coaching of John Beilein. After taking an early 5-0 lead, Ohio State began to find their rhythm. Deshaun Thomas nailed a three to get the Buckeyes on the board with 18 minutes to go in the first. Lenzelle Smith followed with a beautiful layup and dish off to Jared Sullinger for the emphatic dunk in the low post.
Down two, Beilein made the adjustment to a 2-3 defense. Early it was effective, as Ohio State’s offense was unable to penetrate through and to the hoop. Despite giving up some tough baskets early, the Wolverines were able to set the pace through their defense in the first half.
Of course, that didn’t deter the best rebounding guard in the nation.