Deshaun Thomas to Return for his Junior Season

Written April 6th, 2012 by Eric

Deshaun Thomas is coming back for his junior season, hoping to lead the Buckeyes to another B1G Championship.

In an announcement provided by the University, Sophomore Power Forward Deshaun Thomas declared his intentions to remain with the Buckeyes for his junior season. The 6-7 forward made his decision after careful consideration of his potential NBA draft prospects.

From the press release,

“Deshaun, his family and our coaching staff have spent the last week evaluating his future,” Matta said. “Deshaun determined he wants to remain a Buckeye. We are looking forward to building on the success our team enjoyed in 2011-12 with Deshaun playing a significant role next year.”

A statement from Thomas was also released,

“We have a great team returning next season and I want to be a part of another championship run,” Thomas said. “My family, my coaches and I looked at my future as a professional but I love being a Buckeye and want to continue my education and development as a player and as a person at Ohio State.

“If I do have an opportunity to play basketball professionally, I want to have an immediate impact,” Thomas said. “Working with my teammates and coaches at Ohio State will help me achieve my future goals.”

Thomas will be the top returning scorer for the Buckeyes this season having scored 619 points through 39 games this season, just 38 points shy of Sullinger’s team leading 647 points. He will provide a significant scoring option for the Buckeyes while they attempt to replace multi-year starters Jared Sullinger and William Buford.

The Bucks hope to hoist this piece of hardware someday.

Since the loss to Michigan State almost two weeks ago, Buckeye fans have been in a sort of holding pattern regarding this year’s team. How good are they really? How far can this team go? Will they live up to the hype, or fall flat on their faces in the Sweet 16 again?

Most people have some pretty pessimistic answers to those questions – partly because most Buckeye fans are Football fans first, and reasonably react strongly to losses. It’s hard to think rationally about a loss when you’re used to a sport in which going less than undefeated is usually a recipe for not making the Championship Game.

Cheap shots at the BCS in a basketball article? check

I’ll grant you that the worst loss we’ve suffered all year was the 10 point home defeat to the Spartans. That loss was bad, but not necessarily bad bad. The Buckeyes learned a lot about themselves in that game, and we learned a lot about what it’s going to take this team to win basketball games.

Alright, I’ll do it. I’ll answer the question that everyone has been thinking, but no-one has had the courage to voice.

What exactly is it going to take for the Buckeyes to win the National Title this year?

Luckily there is a bit of a science to winning national titles in Basketball. Considering we have about 30 years of 64 team brackets to reference, and analyze, and disect, and rend, and…

You get the picture.

It turns out that there are many different metrics for championship winning basketball teams. In particular, I’m going to use one that was posted on Rivals a few years ago. What makes this one special? It’s a lot more quantitative than qualitative, and I just like it better. Maybe those two things are more related then I want to believe.

There are 13 different traits on this list. A team doesn’t have to have them all, there are always exceptions – for example UConn last year with 9 losses won despite winning squads typically suffering no more than 7 – but most championship teams have some significant set of these traits. So while missing on a couple is ok, we want to see a fair margin going the Buckeye’s way.
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Big Ten Midseason Report Card

Written January 27th, 2012 by Eric

Playing for the Golden Rock

Time really seems to be flying by these days.  Here we are in the middle of the Big Ten conference basketball schedule and it feels like just yesterday that we were getting excited to get this season underway.  Amazing.

As a whole, the Big Ten season has been packed with incredibly exciting games.  There have also been more than a few surprises that have made the conference seem impossible to predict.  Several teams (I’m looking at you Purdue) have pulled some very strange Jekyll and Hyde routines that defy understanding.  All in all, it’s made for one excellent year of Big Ten basketball.

You may recall that JoeD and I (along with Robby Donoho and JoeL) previewed each team Big Ten team during the preseason.   I wanted to take a moment* to look at how each team has done compared with our expectations; and with the information we now have at hand, attempt to predict how they might finish out going forward.  You will find links to our previews with each team below.

We also put together this Q&A with the Minnesota basketball blog From the Barn that aggregates a lot of our ideas.  You may find that a humorous look at where our thoughts were prior to the season.  We weren’t completely off-base, thankfully.

I won’t make predictions of who will make the NCAA tournament just yet – that will depend a lot on how strong the conference is viewed by the selection committee.  We’ll just have to set that discussion aside for a future date.

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