I couldn’t believe an entire basketball season had passed us by and I hadn’t yet written a Buckeye Basketball Breakdown. It just goes to show you what the final year of a graduate studies program can do to your soul…and your free time. But those are similar really.
Given how the NCAA Tournament wrapped up, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about what we saw this year from the Buckeyes, and what we might have to look forward to in the future.
I will be the first to admit that I was particularly worried about this team going into Big Ten play. Seeing the Buckeyes meltdown against Duke, struggle with Kansas at home, and generally perform lackadaisically in the first half of every game, I was quite pessimistic on the night of January 4th. I knew the team was growing, I could see their development, but I was extremely worried by what I had seen to that point.
And then the first Illinois game happened the very next day.
Surprisingly, my opinions of the team improved dramatically after that. They fought hard and picked up a pair of wins in that four game stretch, including a huge win against Michigan. They started to clue in to how to play proper basketball, but they were still missing something.
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.
It looks like another date has been set in the Tony Parker sweepstakes. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Michael Carvell, the Four time Georgia State Champion was set to make a decision sometime today. Miller Grove head coach Sharman White told the paper last Sunday that the top 25 ranked recruit is ready to make his decision and end the process.
Yet again though, we’ll have to wait even further than expected.
At this point, Parker and his family say that they will let the world know where to expect arguably the best 0ffensive big man in this class to land on Monday. Many speculate it’s because The Georgia product has soured on UCLA and is looking at Kansas and Duke more and more as his decision looms. High school head coach Sharman White shared this with folks on Wednesday through the Atlanta Journal constitution.
“Tony and his family just wanted a little more time. That way, they will get the weekend to hammer it out. No official time has been set but it will likely be around 3:30 or 4 p.m.”
Parker, who had planned to announce his school of choice at the start of the signing period, has narrowed it down to UCLA, Georgia, Duke, Kansas and Ohio State.
(Today starts a series of updates involving the future of the Buckeyes on the hardwood. Every once in a while, tBBC will get you updated on those that could be future Buckeyes. As the tradition and program prestige grows under the Thad Matta Era, so does the talent that could hit the court. Today we update you on a few blue chip recruits that could be part of the 2013 Ohio State recruiting class.)
It’s amazing what the future holds when things are done the right way. Championship runs give young players a glimpse of what the future holds when they become part of something special. Coaching the right way and instilling values beyond the basketball court has led players to the next level of competition. Success breeds success. Now as we look forward to the future of the Buckeyes on the hardwood, one thing has become clear.
The talent in the current and recent classes has built a customary tradition of excellence on and off the court at The Ohio State University.
The class of 2013 shouldn’t be any different as in-state talent and national recruits have kept their eyes on one of the fastest growing programs in the country. Due to the recent success on the court, and the graduation of players to the NBA, there are many up and coming recruits wondering what it would be like to become the next great Buckeye. Thanks to the help of current players and one of — if not the best coaching and recruiting staffs in the nation.