After coming across tickets at the last minute, Joe was able to make the trip north and gives us the inside scoop from the game…
After an exciting sweet sixteen season a year ago, how will the 2010-2011 basketball bucks fair? We here at tBBC are here to preview the campaign and hopefully be one of your stops for basketball coverage throughout the year. We hope to have first hand information at times so check back during the season.
The Buckeyes return 4 starters (David Lighty (3rd team all Big Ten), Jon Diebler (3rd team all Big Ten), Dallas Lauderdale, and Will Buford (3rd team all Big Ten) from last seasons team. Obviously losing walk-on’s the caliber of Danny Peters (Currently working on the Arizona bball staff) and Club Trillion blog owner Mark Titus will be hard to swallow, but hopefully one of the nation’s top 3 incoming classes helps with their early departure. Oh yeah, there was that other guy that some called “The Villain” that we might miss as well.
The four returning starters all saw significant time last year, some might say a little too much as Lighty averaged 36 minutes, Buford 34, and Diebler 37. With the depth coming in this year we should see the ability to get more rest for them, as well as see a little more uptempo game at times.
One of the fun things to do at the beginning of the year is to predict the starting lineup. Well some might be wondering if Aaron Craft a first year player can handle the point guard position. I don’t expect a Mike Conley type season, but what I do see is the ability to manage the game, get the ball in the hands of the playmakers, and contribute in spots on the scoreboard if teams sag off. We will still see others at the point to give Craft rest time. Look for Diebler, Buford, Lighty, Smith to help bring the ball up court.
With that said I see a starting lineup of Craft, Diebler, Buford, Lighty, Sullinger.
Sullinger might surprise some, as what we have all heard about Lauderdale is how improved the returning stater is, but that’s how good Sullinger has been in the preseason. He also provides a scoring threat that Lauderdale doesn’t. What we will see though is both Dallas and Jared on the floor together at the same time. Sullinger will also be able to pull bigger defenders from the hoop with his ability to step out and hit the jumper. Lauderdale will once again provide a defensive mindset in the middle of the lane, and he is in the best shape of his career, so look for a big senior campaign from him.