Home » Ohio State » Recent Articles:

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 8, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigten

College basketball seasons always bring us teams that perform superbly in the non-conference season but fall into mediocrity in conference. Many times those teams are the product of cushy non-conference schedules, as well as being exposed by tougher conference competition.

There are exceptions to this every season, though, and the Big Ten had its share of them this year. Those teams’ later downward spirals were about the only difference between the league again being the best in the country, and the consensus that it settled in a notch lower.
… Continue Reading

Ohio State gets a little help and advances to the Final Four

by - Published March 25, 2012 in Columns
ohiostate

BOSTON – Jared Sullinger came back to college for this. He felt his team had this kind of potential, even if many others didn’t. In the end, he proves to be right, as his young Ohio State team is headed to the Final Four, and not on the backs of four players who carried them for a lot of the season.

Ohio State’s 77-70 victory had a little irony in that they won the game a little like the way their opponents often beat teams this season. Ohio State didn’t use a zone defense like Syracuse, but whereas the Orange won a lot of games with their depth, Ohio State did so on Saturday to a different degree. The man of the hour, if there truly is one, was not Sullinger, and it wasn’t surging Deshaun Thomas, feisty point guard Aaron Craft or steady senior William Buford.

… Continue Reading

The NCAA’s $2,000 hot mess

by - Published December 15, 2011 in Full Court Sprints

We go coast to coast with other news from the college basketball nation

The NCAA is entering new levels of ridiculous mismanagement. The Associated Press reports that the NCAA might reconsider giving new scholarship student-athletes a $2,000 stipend, though it would have to allow players who have already signed letters of intent to receive the extra cash while banning those who sign later.

Ohio State superstar Jared Sullinger is still hurting from recurring back spasms, and coach Thad Matta didn’t want to say when Sullinger will be back in the lineup for the Buckeyes, according to a CBS Sports.com wire report. But Sullinger answered that question Wednesday night when the Buckeyes beat down USC Upstate 82-58 and Sullinger played 24 minutes and got 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Nobody will face criminal charges in the Xavier/Cincinnati brawl, the Associated Press reports. Joe Deters, a Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor, looked into the matter, deciding not to pursue charges against anyone. One of the factors was Xavier center Kenny Frease’s satisfaction with an apology from Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, who decked Frease in the head during the debacle.

Seton Hall will gain some more depth this weekend with the return of freshman Brandon Mobley, who had been out with a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum since the summer, according to the Associated Press.

Don’t skip your court appearances. Nothing good can happen. Just ask Kansas’ Ben McLemore. The freshman is under arrest after skipping a Dec. 6 court appearance for a citation related to underage alcohol possession, according to a CBS Sports.com wire report.

Also on the list of bad behavior is taunting fans by grabbing your crotch. New Mexico State sophomore Christian Kabongo did that, and now he’s suspended, writes Diamond Leung for ESPN.com’s “College Basketball Nation” blog.

Syracuse still has Melo — Fab Melo that is. If you thought I was talking about Carmelo Anthony, well, I kinda was. The NBA star who led the Cuse to a championship is convinced that Melo 2.0 and the rest of the crew have the talent to win another championship for the first time since 2003.

I’m not gonna lie — I love the fan experience. And if you tell me that a team in California’s tradition is to throw tortillas when a victory is in hand, I find it amusing. I mean, a flying tortilla — presumably uncooked soft tortilla — won’t hurt anyone. Except when your team is only up two and the officials consider giving the home crowd a technical. Yep, that’s how UC-Santa Barbara’s 65-61 win against San Diego went down, writes Diamond Leung for ESPN.com. When the fans started tossing tortillas, the officials considered tossing out a T. They opted to go with a public announcement that any more thrown items would produce two free throws for the Toreros. The fans settled down, and the Gauchos won.

North Carolina-Kentucky lives up to the hype

by - Published December 4, 2011 in Full Court Sprints

The matchup between North Carolina and Kentucky lived up to its billing. It was a well-played game that came right down to the wire, and was close throughout. The eighth-largest crowd in Rupp Arena history saw it, and even more watched on television. And it’s possible that the game will mirror the teams’ seasons.

Kentucky probably has the most talent of any team in the country, but the Wildcats’ youth hasn’t been hard to see. Their freshmen have had their share of growing pains, from Marquis Teague’s early struggles taking care of the ball to Anthony Davis learning how physical the college game can be. It’s for exactly that reason that senior Darius Miller has never been more valuable than much of the early going this time around.

North Carolina is right up there with the Wildcats, but this is an older and more mature team. Whereas the Wildcats start three freshmen, the Tar Heels only played two freshmen yesterday and both came off the bench. But they start a senior, two juniors and two sophomores, and on the whole this is a team quite a ways from its ceiling just like Kentucky.

In the first half, North Carolina led by as many as nine and was the better team. They were hot from long range, going 6-9 from behind the arc in the opening frame. But Kentucky scored seven in a row at the end of the first and start of the second half, momentarily grabbing the lead and then staying right with the Tar Heels until they took the lead for good on a Davis jumper with less than eight minutes to play.

The Tar Heels had one more chance after Teague missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds left. They got the ball to John Henson, known more for his shot-blocking than scoring, and in a length-versus-length matchup, Davis got a hand on his short jumper and the Wildcats were able to run out the final seconds for a 73-72 victory.

It’s a game that many would love to see a rematch of, and considering that both teams are a ways from their respective ceilings, no one would be surprised if it materialized in the month of March.

While that was the best matchup of the day, there were a few other teams, conferences and player of note.

 

Marquette

Winning at the Kohl Center is hard for visiting teams to do, but Marquette pulled it off on Saturday and did so without their starting point guard. Before the game, the Golden Eagles announced that Junior Cadougan was suspended for the game due to a violation of team rules. Wisconsin has lost two straight, but neither is a bad loss as they lost to North Carolina earlier in the week. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, are 7-0 with a blowout win over Ole Miss and Saturday’s win at Wisconsin.

 

Xavier

Xavier is becoming quite the second-half team. On Monday, they trailed by ten in the second half before rallying to beat Vanderbilt in overtime in Nashville. But yesterday they did themselves one better, as they trailed Purdue by 11 at the half and 19 in the second half before coming back to edge the Boilermakers 66-63. In the last 10:44, Xavier outscored Purdue 30-8.

 

Illinois

It seems like Bruce Weber has been on the hot seat forever in Champaign, but let’s acknowledge not only the job he has done thus far but especially what he is doing this season. After an 82-75 win over Gonzaga on Saturday, the Illini are 8-0 with wins over Richmond and at Maryland as well. Neither of those two is a big NCAA Tournament resume win, but they are worth noting because the Illini haven’t beaten up on a slew of terrible teams and could be 12-0 when they take on Missouri on Dec. 22, though they will have to get by UNLV at home before then. Saturday was the first time all season Gonzaga did not have at least four players score in double figures.

 

Brigham Young

No Jimmer, no problem for Brigham Young. After Saturday’s 79-65 win over Oregon in Salt Lake City, BYU is 6-2 with a win over Nevada included and the only losses being at Utah State and against Wisconsin. Granted, this isn’t the Oregon team we all thought we would see before the season with the departures of Jabari Brown and Bruce Barron, but the Ducks aren’t pushovers.

 

Head-scratching in the CAA

A number of conferences have their opening games this weekend before teams resume non-conference play for a little while longer. Perhaps none has had results that might leave one scratching their head as much as the Colonial Athletic Association, where three teams won on the road and preseason favorite Drexel lost to Delaware by 11 (albeit on the road). The Dragons have had a rough go of it thus far, but Chris Fouch is back so they’re closer to having their full team together. Still, Fouch was 0-9 yesterday and the Blue Hens won the battle on the glass by a 40-32 margin over a Drexel team that routinely beats up opponents on the boards.

The one other score that jumps out is Georgia State thumping William & Mary 66-34 in Atlanta. The Tribe didn’t look to be far from being a good team last season, but they’re struggling mightily out of the gates and Saturday may be the low point thus far.

 

We go coast to coast with other news from the college basketball nation

  • Ohio State didn’t miss a beat despite Jared Sullinger being out with back spasms.
  • College of Charleston lost a wealth of talent and experience from last season’s team, but the Cougars are 7-1 overall and are one of four teams that went 2-0 in early Southern Conference games this weekend. Chattanooga, who the Cougars beat last night and was picked to win the North Division, is 0-2.
  • Connecticut got a big lift from Ryan Boatright with 23 points and six assists in his home debut.
  • UCLA is now 2-5 after a home loss to Texas that saw them blow an 11-point lead.

 

Some of Sunday’s Key Matchups

Sunday is a day full of interesting matchups of teams that we’re trying to find out something about. None of these are like North Carolina-Kentucky, but they will be worth keeping an eye on.

  • Baylor at Northwestern
  • UNLV at Wichita State
  • California at San Diego State
  • Dayton at Murray State
  • North Carolina State at Stanford
  • Notre Dame at Maryland
  • VCU vs. George Washington (BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center)
  • Kansas State at Virginia Tech

Big Ten rises to the Challenge

by - Published November 30, 2011 in Full Court Sprints

The Big Ten has the look and feel of the best conference in the country.

From top to bottom, the Big Ten has the most quality, and those teams were on display Tuesday as the conference grabbed a 4-2 lead in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Among the premier teams, Ohio State thumped Duke 85-63 as the Buckeyes tore through the Blue Devils’ Swiss cheese defense. Four of Ohio State’s five starters scored at least 17 points, led by Jared Sullinger’s 21. As a team, Ohio State shot nearly 60 percent from the field and from 3-point range. When they did miss, they collected the rebounds nearly 30 percent of the time, which is actually off their season average of about 34 percent, according to Ken Pomeroy’s stats. But when you’re already shooting 60 percent, any second chances at all could be devastating for your opponent.

Although the convincing victory is excellent, it’s not altogether shocking. Duke entered a hostile environment in Columbus coming off a tough trip to Maui last week in which the Blue Devils battled tooth and nail three straight days to claim the EA Sports Maui Invitational title. Yes, they had nearly a week off, but Duke looked tired, as several players launched air balls from deep throughout the game. With eight days off until their next game, look for the Blue Devils to rest up and rebound well.

Perhaps the best win of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last night was Northwestern’s 16-point victory at Georgia Tech. For a team searching for its first NCAA Tournament bid in school history, the Wildcats had to win this one. Georgia Tech does not figure to be competitive for the ACC title this year, but the Thrillerdome remains a tough place to play. Northwestern was on its game, shooting 55 percent from the field, with John Shurna leading the way with 25 points. The Wildcats’ win is impressive because it’s not like the team is totally unfamiliar to the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory was an assistant to MIchigan State’s Tom Izzo for several years, including in 2003, Bill Carmody’s first season in Evanston. And it’s not like his style of play has changed much in eight years, according to Pomeroy’s stats.

The Big Ten will look to continue its strong play tonight, highlighted by a huge match up in Chapel Hill between North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Here are some other news and notes from across the college basketball nation.

North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes is expected to play in that clash with the Badgers tonight after spraining his ankle in the Tar Heels’ loss to UNLV last weekend, ESPN reports.

Bernie Fine is out at Syracuse after new and more troublesome allegations of sexual abuse emerged during the past week. However, the Associated Press’ John Kekis writes, Orange coach Jim Boeheim isn’t worried about his own job security, despite vehemently defending Fine when the allegations first appeared, going as far as to call the accusers liars. The investigation continues in this case, so Fine is innocent until proven guilty. But there apparently was enough smoke for Syracuse to find cause to ditch the veteran assistant before a raging fire broke out.

USC forward Dewayne Dedmon, averaging 7.7 ppg and 6.0 rig, will miss about a month because of a stress injury in his right foot, the Associated Press reports. The Trojans have been struggling already this season with one of their big men in the lineup. This certainly won’t help the cause.

Eamonn Brennan notes for ESPN’s College Basketball Nation blog that Florida coach Billy Donovan picked up win No. 400 in his career when the Gators dismantled Stetson 96-70. At age 45, Donovan is one of the few coaches in the game who have the early success that could put him in position to challenge Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s record for Division I wins — whenever Coach K calls it a career.

Michigan State and Big Ten look for port during storm

by - Published November 11, 2011 in Columns

As college basketball officially starts its 2011-12 season, teams from the Big Ten place themselves right in the middle of the action.

As I am writing this, I am anxiously awaiting tip-off of the North Carolina vs. Michigan State game being played on the bow of the USS Carl Vinson in homage of Veterans Day. Regardless of the outcome, this is a very important game for college basketball and its relativity to America. … Continue Reading

Ohio State Buckeyes 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Conference Notes

Ohio State Buckeyes (32-3, 16-2)

Big Ten Champion, Sweet 16 appearance (Defeated by Kentucky 62-60).

Coach Thad Matta (190-57 at OSU) returns for his eighth season.

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. F Jared Sullinger (Averaged 17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg)
So. F Deshaun Thomas (High point scorer in four games last season)
Sr. G William Buford (44% 3-point average, only returning senior)
So. G Aaron Craft (Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award winner)
Fr. C Amir Williams

Important departures:

David Lighty: 12.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 42.9 percent from 3-point range
Jon Diebler: 12.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 50.2 percent from 3-point range
Dallas Lauderdale: 4.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 blocks per game

Additions:

Fr. PF Trey McDonald (Rivals.com three-star player)
Jr. PF Evan Ravenel (transfer from Boston College)
Fr. SF LaQuinton Ross (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. PG Shannon Scott (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. SF Sam Thompson (Rivals.com four-star player)
Fr. C Amir Williams (Rivals.com four-star player)

Outlook:

Ohio State adds forward Evan Ravenel, a transfer from Boston College, along with guard Shannon Scott and center Amir Williams, both McDonald’s All-American team members, as part of a loaded recruiting class. They should make an immediate impact coming off of the bench. The Buckeyes will need the young players to step up quickly after losing three starting seniors: G David Lighty, G Jon Diebler and F Dallas Lauderdale, who played prominent roles in last year’s campaign. Also, assistant coach Chris Jent returned to his alma mater after a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Kuwik left Matta’s staff to head to Dayton.

Schedule highlights:

Ohio State has one of the most difficult nonconference schedules in Division 1 basketball. They play Florida early and travel to Kansas right before a late season division stretch. But every Buckeye fan has circled Nov. 29. That is when the Duke Blue Devils come into Columbus in what could be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 midseason match up. Regardless of the outcome, Ohio State will have to either keep or gain momentum heading into the new year as the team faces a brutal stretch between Jan. 29 and Fed 18 that finds it playing Michigan twice, Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan State. As long as they can keep their loss column miniscule, they should repeat as Big Ten champions.

Prediction: First

Next: Penn State Nittany Lions
Back to Big Ten preview

TIQ Player Ratings Reveal Top Returning Talent

by - Published October 22, 2011 in Columns

It’s good to be a fan in the Midwest, if the top returning players according to the Total Impact Quotient ratings mean anything.

As we prepare for the 2011-12 season, let’s take a look back at the top players from the 2010-11 season. To tally the top 50, I added the top players in various statistical categories to the list of players from major conferences. That adds the likes of Cleveland State’s Norris Cole, College of Charleston’s Andrew Goudelock and Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried to a list that predictably includes Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams. … Continue Reading

Newark Regional Notes: Kentucky Advances to Final Four

by - Published March 29, 2011 in Columns

NEWARK, N.J. – Kentucky is Final Four bound. The Newark Regional started off slow but gave us two outstanding contests to cap off a wild weekend. A tempo free look at the games, beginning with the final.

Kentucky 76, North Carolina 69

Possessions:

Kentucky 69

North Carolina 71

… Continue Reading

Big Ten Player Rankings 2.0

by - Published December 26, 2010 in Columns

It might not be possible to overhype freshman phenom Jared Sullinger.

Ohio State is already in the top five in the polls, and Sullinger is a favorite for top honors among freshmen this season, so it’s not like Sullinger and the Buckeyes are under the radar. And his stats clearly make him a candidate to finish the season as a first-team All-American.

Sullinger started the season with a bang, posting back-to-back double doubles, including 26 points and 10 rebounds at Florida. But in recent weeks, Sullinger has been even better and more important to the Buckeyes. Veterans like William Buford have struggled a little from the field, but Sullinger remains ruthlessly efficient, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. … Continue Reading

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Advertisement

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter