After an impressive win at West Virginia in their opener and a narrow win at home against Florida Atlantic, the Ohio State women’s basketball team looked to continue their undefeated start to the season today as they hosted Virginia Commonwealth University Thursday night. The already shorthanded Ohio State roster suffered another blow earlier this week as junior guard Shelbi Honeycutt announced her decision to transfer from OSU in order to be closer to home and to get more playing time. Honeycutt is from Siloam Springs, Arkansas so her decision certainly makes sense and we wish her all the best. Honeycutt’s decision left the Buckeyes with nine available players for Thursday night’s game as Raven Ferguson is serving the last game of her three game suspension for violating team rules and Kalpana Beach is out with an ACL injury. While the current roster is small, good news awaits on the horizon as earlier in the day Kevin McGuff and the Buckeyes officially signed five new players (Asia Doss, Alexa Hart, Chelsea Mitchell, Kelsey Mitchell, and Makayla Waterman), four of who are ranked in the top 100 in the country, to a recruiting class that is ranked as high as #2 in the nation. While this new recruiting class promised great things for the future, the Buckeyes still had more pressing business to attend to in the form of the VCU Rams.
The game started out a little sloppy for Ohio State as they missed a few shots and had a pair of turnovers in the first two and half minutes which raised some concerns that the turnover issues that plagued the Buckeyes in the closing minutes against FAU would once again be a problem against a similar, fast paced, guard-heavy VCU team. OSU led 4-2 just over two and half minutes into the game but then things settled down, the Buckeyes started to take better care of the ball and hit their shots to take a 13-4 lead at the first media timeout while hitting 6 of 8 from the field. The Buckeyes extended that lead to 19-6 with eleven and half minutes remaining in the half when they hit what could have been a hiccup as Ameryst Alston picked up her second foul however guard Amy Scullion quickly scored five points to take care of any lost offensive production. After extending their lead to 26-11 with eight minutes remaining in the half, the Buckeyes started having turnover issues which fueled a 7-0 run by VCU. Ohio State recovered though and put together a 14 to 5 run to push the lead to 17 before a Rams’ three-pointer at the buzzer made it 40-26 Buckeyes at the break.
Good Morning and pardon me while I completely ignore the art of filing a violation. That’s no way to start a Friday. Of course there are concerns, and it’s hard to put our trust in the Athletic Department.
But as a college basketball fan, I have bigger fish to fry.
You see, in a world full of B
CS the lore of another college sport has become lost. Thanks to all the “players” in the political system that is division I basketball, the fan will suffer the next few seasons as the expansion of conferences now has majorly affected the smaller conferences of college basketball.
Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the 2010-2011 men’s college basketball season, it’s time to reflect a bit on the season past and pick out of a few of the headlines, highlights, or otherwise newsworthy items that seemed to define this season. Obviously it was a great season for Buckeye fans, and one item of note for college basketball fans in general was the play of our team, and particularly Jared Sullinger, but for now we’ll save the Buckeye-centric comments and take a broader view.
There is always a lot of chatter about the different major conferences, comparing their strengths and weaknesses, arguing for which conference is the toughest, and celebrating wins over teams from other conferences early in the season. This season was no different in terms of the boasting, but in a number of ways this really was the Season of the Big East. This isn’t an argument for the Big East’s superiority – just an observation that week-to-week the Big East was getting a lot of attention due to its number of quality teams. Certainly the Tournament Selection Committee bought into that impression, granting 11 NCAA Tournament berths to teams from the conference, including a #1 seed for regular season Big East champion Pittsburgh. Although three of the four most highly seeded Big East teams lost in only the second round of the tournament (Pitt, Notre Dame, Syracuse), it was Big East Tournament winner UConn that took care of business, claiming the NCAA Tournament title as well. Read More
We continue our look at the NCAA tournament field with our third of three regions. Jay and Joe already did a fantastic job with the West and Southeast regions yesterday. The Southwest region seems a lot easier to predict than the Southeast with a lot fewer chances for upsets in the first round. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some teams to look out for, though!
Favorites: There is no question about the top favorite for this bracket. Kansas, last year’s overall #1 seed, is in no danger of facing the same fate as last year. This year’s team is a dangerously deep and talented group, not dependent on any one player to get the job done. The Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus, lead the team in points per game and rebounds per game as well as leading a trio of fantastic frontcourt players. Overall, Kansas plays with an incredibly fast pace, and runs with a significant height advantage that could give their opponents trouble.
Keep an eye on Purdue as well. While the Boilermakers ended the season in pathetic fashion (losses to Iowa and Michigan State), they are still a spectacularly dangerous team when they’re on their game. Expect Matt Painter to lead his team deep into the tournament as he’ll be more than capable of refocusing his troops on the importance of March.