I began a journey to do a comparison of the two greatest teams in Ohio State Basketball history. At first glance it seemed a simple task to pick two teams and write a nice article about who was better at a given skill. The more I read about teams in Buckeye lore, the more I realized I couldn’t write such an article. I had my teams picked out and as things would have it, Joe Dexter and I started brain storming. We came up with the idea of presenting tBBC readers with a challenge.
Joe and I are going to break the teams down based on certain criteria: Playmaker, Post Presence, Ball handling, Head Coach and we’ll throw in some other advantages to go with those. We are also planning on having a guest writer or two as we move along through the tourney. We’ll provide you with some stats to chew on between the two teams in each match up.
We had six teams we were going to go with initially and each time we looked at it we knew we had to have eight. Then that turned into nine because we found one more team we felt deserved to be in the tourney. The criteria were simple. Which teams accomplished more for THE Ohio State University were our first choices and then teams that were led by All-time Greats.
Lots of things to catch up on… Some of this has been around for a bit, but we’re not all edgy and trendy and stuff.
The Story Of The Week
Although it’s not really sports related, the capture/death of Osama Bin Laden did have some ripples throughout Buckeye nation and the sports world, particularly on the twitterverse:
Giving us the low down from courtside, Joe is back with a look in from the win against MSU.
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The South Carolina Gamecocks arrived on a cold wintery day in Columbus and got even more than a cold reception in the Schott. The Buckeyes ran up a 30 point lead before letting it slip slightly to the only slightly less impressive 79-57 final. Jared Sullinger was, as usual, the player of the game for the Buckeyes with yet another Double-Double with 30 points and 19 rebounds on the game. The Buckeyes showed without question that they were deserving of their #2 ranking in the domination they displayed in the game.
The Buckeyes started out the game with a clear focus on this game. While the defensive effort wasn’t as fine as it could have been, it was enough to make a couple turnovers. The defense led to some easy offense for the Buckeyes giving them an early advantage against the quick Gamecocks. Particularly impressive was Sullinger’s aggressive play down in the paint. In the first four minutes of the game he had forced South Carolina into 4 fouls, including 2 on South Carolina forward Malik Cooke. He had also managed to make it to the charity stripe five times, a continuation of his fantastic effort the last several games.
One of the important questions about this Buckeye team is the bench playing. In the last big game against Florida State, the Buckeyes did not play particularly deep into the bench. Also, against IUPUI, the starting 5 + Aaron Craft spent the majority of the second half on the court, despite taking control of the game late. The question was how quickly Matta was going to go to his bench. The answer came quickly as Craft and Thomas both came out after the first timeout – a great sight to see for the future of this program.
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.