Ohio State announced the hiring of Kevin McGuff as the new Ohio State University Women’s basketball coach. Coach Jim Foster retired this year after 11 seasons at Ohio State, where his teams were 279-82 (.772), having accomplished the most wins and highest winning percentage in school history.
Coach McGuff has 11 seasons as head coach; two years most recently at University of Washington preceded by nine years at Xavier (sound familiar?). In those 11 years, McGuff’s team achieved a record of 255-99 (.720), so he brings an impressive record of accomplishment with him to Columbus. In a sense, Kevin and his family are returning home; he is a native of Hamilton, OH.
Below are excerpts from Gene Smith’s announcement, as well as a link to the full announcement.
April 16, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and director of athletics, announced today Kevin McGuff has been named head women’s basketball coach at The Ohio State University. Read More
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.
Welcome to the Ides of April episode, also known as ‘Tax Day’ Musings. If you’re reading this, you must have already filed your taxes. If you haven’t, you’d better get busy. Grab your coffee and either hit the calculator or let’s plunge forward.
Men’s Ice Hockey
Let’s get started with some really good news. On Friday, it was announced that goalie Brady Hjelle was named 1st Team All-American. In all, 25 players were named to the All-America squads as selected by members of the American Hockey Coaches association on Friday. Hjelle was named the first-team goalie on the west squad and was one of five CCHA players selected in the conference’s final season.
Hjelle, a native of International Falls, Minn., is the first Buckeye to earn a spot on the first team since 1998 and the third first-team selection in program history. His award marks the eighth time an Ohio State player has been named a first or second team All-American by the AHCA.
This is a pretty big deal. Obviously we want to recognize Ohio State All-Americans. But how about Brady’s performance this season? Just for perspective, his goals-against-average (GAA) of 2.00 would rank him 4th best goalie in the NHL. His save percentage of .935 would be 2nd best in the NHL in. By the way, the Sabres goalie has a GAA of 2.84, so Brady, give us a call. OK?
Ohio State Football
The 2013 Buckeyes had their Spring Game this past Saturday, and believe me, it was good to see (or listen to in my case) the game, even under scrimmage conditions.
It came down to some form of logic relationship: 1st O : 1stD : 2nd O : 2nd D; since the rosters were pretty much aligned Scarlet Offense and Gray Defense. As expected, if Urban Meyer was to be believed, the 1st half was Air Buckeye; both teams combined for 279 total yards, of which 259 were passing yards. The game ended with close to 440 yards combined passing for the teams.
All three QB’s got some significant reps, and actually didn’t look too bad.
Braxton’s offensive numbers were skewed a good bit by being “sacked” 9 times for a loss of39 yards. These were of the black-jersey variety, so take it with many grains. Smooth Kenny G did his this in a schizophrenic way, making plays running and passing for both squads. Good to have him on our team come September.
Cardale “”.. we ain’t come to play SCHOOL..” Jones got off to a rocky start in his 2nd half action (2 turnovers 3rd period, 3 for the game) but settled down a bit and seemed to get a much better handle on running the offense. Later today, we will talk more about the spring game with the ‘Birm on tBBC Radio Hour’.
Welcome to another episode of Musings. A few odds & ends this week. Have your coffee? Good, let’s get to this.
More good news from the medical front this week. It’s a two-fer this week.
OHIO STATE CANCER LEADER DR. CALIGIURI ELECTED TO AACR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri, who leads the The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James), is one of five distinguished scientists elected by members of the American Association for Cancer Research to serve on the AACR Board of Directors for the 2013 to 2016 term.
OHIO STATE CANCER RESEARCHER SELECTED FOR FIRST CLASS OF FELLOWS OF AACR ACADEMY
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dr. Carlo Croce, chair of the department of molecular virology, immunology, and medical genetics; and director of Human Cancer Genetics at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James), is among 106 scientists selected by the American Association for Cancer Research to be in the first class of the Fellows of the AACR Academy.
Junior Deshaun Thomas has elected to forgo his senior season at Ohio State and become eligible for the NBA Draft. The 6’7″ forward averaged 14.4 points per game as a Buckeye, scoring 1630 points in three years, while averaging 5 rebounds per game, and shooting nearly 48 % from the field.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana — Thomas is considered by many as a first round draft pick. Well known for his offensive production, Thomas put Ohio State on his back at points during his junior season. Averaging just under 20 points per game and starting in all 37 games played this season.
And when it mattered most in his Ohio State career, he stepped it up. Thomas is the second all time leading scorer in Buckeye tournament history. His 62 tournament rebounds are also fourth all-time in school history.
In a prepared release by the Ohio State Communications department, Thad Matta talked about Deshaun’s development as a player the last three years.
To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing. His accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but I am just as proud of him and what he has done off the floor. We recruited him offering the opportunity to grow as a person and player and that is exactly what happened. I know there is much more in-store for him in the future and I am proud to have been able to coach him.
Thomas will spend time between Columbus and Indianapolis preparing for the NBA Draft.
Basketball season is officially over. Depending on your perspective on how you look at the season’s overall content, this year was either a huge overachieving success or a flaming disaster. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
There really is no better word for the majority of Buckeye Nation’s overriding feeling on Saturday night after the final horn sounded. They were shocked, me included.
How could Wichita State seemingly blow the doors off of our beloved Buckeyes for the better part of 30 minutes and hang on to eliminate the West region’s number 2 seed? How could a Buckeye team that only two weeks ago in Chicago appeared to be finally hitting its stride look so terrible in a regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line?
Like Janelle the week before, tBBC was representing loud and proud as Ohio State’s basketball team moved onward through the West Regional to Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Starting Wednesday of last week, I was fortunate to get an “up close” look at the team as they prepared for and worked to earn a right to head to Atlanta for the championships. And while the weekend didn’t end with the Buckeye’s cutting down the nets, it was a memorable one for many reasons.
Another Tuesday, another week, another month. Grab your coffee and let’s dive in.
Welcome to a special Ohio State men’s basketball edition. Now that, as far as we’re concerned, basketball season is on, it may be time for some reflection. This article is in two parts; first some commentary on the Ohio State – Wichita State game, then thoughts on the season in general.
Ohio State – Wichita State
Before I get too far into this, I want to acknowledge the beautifully conceived and executed game plan on the part of Gregg Marshall and his WSU team. They clearly identified OSU’s weaknesses and exploited them.
On to Part the First. I was in Ohio over Easter weekend getting some high quality family time, so I did not participate in the ingame live blog, which was probably good, all things considered. What follows are some comments/questions that arose around our television Saturday evening.
The 1st half was as big a clinker as I’ve seen this team have in some time. The offense seemed to me to be completely out of sorts and very passive, settling for jump shots. There seemed to be no ‘learning’ from the 2nd of the Arizona game where aggressive play created higher percentage FG opportunities. The 22 points in Saturday’s 1st half were “driven” by the 24% shooting, and a strange, awful appearance of ‘Bo Ball’. The Buckeyes were 2-10 from 3’s and only attempted 7 free throws. For 20 minutes, Ohio State managed to out-Wisconsin Wisconsin.
At this point, the game turned into Greek myth/tragedy, with the part of Sisyphus played by Ohio State. Six minutes into the game, OSU took the lead, held it for approximately one minute, and then was faced with a series of uphill climbs for the rest of the game. The Buckeyes just couldn’t get any scoring runs going. Since WSU did a good job of getting back on defense, OSU couldn’t get the breakaway baskets they needed and had to resort to a half-court offense, which frankly, isn’t the best.
In January I did a little piece on how I saw the basketball team, up to that point in the season. I harped on five issues, let’s revisit them to see what had changed in the last two and a half months. You may need to toggle between articles. Take your time.
1. This is not that good of a shooting team, particularly in key games
I didn’t think so then, I don’t think so now. Back then they were shooting 46.1%, good for 52nd nationally. The Buckeyes ended the season shooting 45.1%, good for 79th position.
2. This is an inconsistent team
I don’t believe this point has changed much either. Generally, OSU tended to start their games very slow, muddle through the first half’s, then play much more focused and with more energy in the second half.
3. This is a team with no legitimate post presence.
This became more obvious as the season progressed. The Buckeyes played their best ball when they went ‘small’. The formula that ‘Dr. Thad’ concocted was to start Amir Williams to win the opening tip then make substitutions at the first media time out.
4. This team is not fun to watch
They didn’t bore us to death, that’s for sure. This is one issue where I’ve changed my mind. As Thad settled on his starting lineup and substitution patterns, it seemed like the players began to gel as a true team. After the ‘Mauling in Madison’, I think the players stepped up to take responsibility for their actions and executing the game plan. And the results showed. If nothing else, this aspect can be taken as a huge win for the coaches and the players.
5. Coaching Impact
Just to be clear, this pertains to player development, not coaching strategies, etc. My bone of contention was that I had not seen significant, if any, improvement between sophomore and junior years of Craft, Smith Jr and Thomas. My position hasn’t changed on that. However, I saw significant improvement in sophomores Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross, and (at the very end of the season) a glimmer of hope this year Amir Williams. Now, if these three can show same improvements between their sophomore to junior year as they did this year, I’d say Thad & Staff have done a very good job.
Not really, no.
My brother and I were discussing this over Sunday morning coffee when he made the observation that ‘ maybe Ohio State overachieved this year.’ The team lost 32 points per game (Sullinger/Buford) and the returning three starters (Thomas/Craft/Smith Jr) contributed 31 ppg. Losing half of your starters’ offensive output provided some challenges of where to find it.
This team may also have been ‘victimized’ by expectations that were set too high. The Buckeyes started out ranked #4 in the country. Why & how eludes me; clearly people should have known that ‘Sully’ and ‘Buf’ had moved on..
Finally, I had commented several times/several places during the course of the season that it would not have surprised me if OSU would lose 10 games during the regular season, due in great part to the above five issues (silly me). The fact that this team came together to finish the season having won 12 of their last 14 games, with an 11 game win streak tossed in, speaks volumes to how the players and coaches figured it out. This speaks very well for all of them.