Archives for December 2012

Basketball Week in Review/Preview

Week of 12/23-12/29 Review

It wasn’t a very busy week for the Buckeyes with Christmas they only had one game and it was just a final cupcake primer in leading up to the start of the Big Ten season.

The only game of the week was at home against a 3-12 Chicago St. Cougars program that gave up little resistance. The game started off pretty slow for OSU with the team shooting woefully starting just 1-8 from behind the arc. They were not playing very good defense either and found themselves in a game that was too close early on. When they started attacking the rim and playing more of a inside out game the shots started to fall and the defense started to pick up and the Buckeyes never looked back in blowing out the Cougars 87-44. The Buckeyes ended up shooting 57% and 47% from 3 point range. they also out rebounded the Cougs 44-18 which helped a ton. Deshawn Thomas led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points and was one of 5 players with double digits. Evan Ravenel led the team in rebounds with 10. While it was a great game to work on some issues in the end it won’t do much for their Natl. reputation. This leads us to the start of the B1G season after going 10-2 in Non-Conf games.

Week of 12/30-1/5 Preview

Wednesday January 2nd

The Buckeyes open up B1G play by hosting 9-4 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska as a team has not been very impressive so far with no signature wins and some really horrible losses. They are scoring 61 points a game while only shooting the ball 43%. They avg 32 rebounds a game and 11 assists. They have 3 guys averaging 13 points a game but after those 3 guys not much to talk about.

Saturday January 5th

The Buckeyes on Saturday will face a tough road test as they head to Champaign, Ill. to take on the 13-1 Illinois Illini. The Illini are a surprising team who came into the season unranked and have played extremely well under first year head coach John Groce and have worked their way up to being ranked 12th in the country. The Illini are led by All B1G player Brandon Paul who I am sure OSU fans remember for scoring 42 points against OSU last year. Paul is scoring 18 points a game this year on 43% FG%. He also leads the team in rebounds per game at 5.1 RPG. The team has 6 guys scoring 8 points a game or more so they have depth and will use it. They like to run a lot and try and control the pace of the game. As a team they avg 77 points per game while shooting 45%. They avg 36 rebounds and 12 assists per game as well. Should be a great match up and a chance for OSU to state their case as an elite team in the B1G.

In Case You Missed It

OSU LogoOSU FootballWell it’s been once again too long since the last In Case You Missed It, which means this is going to be a long dump of links I’ve accumulated since the last time I posted this. This list is long on the links, short on my comments. Bear with me as I work my way through these. These are disjointed and somewhat scattered.

So (deep breath) here we go:

Urban Meyer will be a guest analyst for BCS Championship Game pre-game show (according to Marcus Hartman and others on Twitter)

Doug Lesmerise’s “Urban Meyer’s top 6 moments of 2012“.

Speaking of Urban Meyer’s 2012 season, you can pick up the Ohio State Game Time 2012 Season in Review on DVD. With Urban Meyer (actor)! And Ohio State Football Players (actor)!

Mike Adams was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ (vomit) team Rookie of the Year.

Donte Whitner is going to the Pro Bowl. No surpise. Alex Boone is a Pro Bowl alternate. Suprise! (Remember when Mr. Boone tried to punch out a tow truck?)

Forbes lists College Football’s Most Powerful Head Coaches, Urban comes in at #3.

Ohio State’s new floor at the Schott (Sure beats some abominations we’ve seen in the past [Oregon]).

ESPN’s Big Ten Blog took at look at the salaries of assistant coaches in the Big Ten. One of the knocks on the bigwigs of the B1G is that they are tightwads compared to other conferences (read: SEC). This is probably exhibit A.

Presented without comment.

Braxton Miller opens as even odds with Johnny Manziel for the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner (at least according to one sportsbook)

Thanks to everyone who shopped through our links from our Christmas Gift List post. It’s greatly appreciated!

And check out the Twittering Buckeyes page. I’ve made a complete overhaul of the list and added a bunch new Buckeyes.

And from the really old but I feel like I should still link them category:

Eddie George returning to Ohio State as assistant VP for business advancement is some Grade-A level cool news.

Brandon Castel from the Ozone sits down with the Grittiest Grit Floorburner, Chris Jent.

Chris Cicero, who tipped off then-OSU football coach Jim Tressel in 2010 of player misdeeds, was suspended from practicing law for a year by the Ohio Supreme Court for violating attorney-client privilege.

No big deal, just B.J. Mullens bringing the hammer down (remember him?):

Misc: I couldn’t find it on for our Gift List, but I want one of these jackets. I mean, like, I want that. Here is one of the reasons why football helmets now have facemasks. It’s crazier than you think. Ohio State researchers, doing work (that one’s for you, sportsMonkey).

Finally, just because:

The Spread, Week Eighteen: B1G Finish(ed?)

Tomorrow night, Minnesota opens up the Big Ten bowl season against Texas Tech. No one has much faith in the Gophers, or the rest of the conference for that matter. All seven of the league’s bowl teams are underdogs and that just reflects the absence of top teams Ohio State and Penn State as well as the general (correct) perception that the conference just wasn’t that good this year.

But I thought it might be interesting to look at how this bowl season would have been different if there no were no sanctions in place for the Buckeyes or the Nittany Lions. I don’t mean to add fuel to your What-Might-Have-Been fire, but what else is there talk about? Cincinnati vs. Duke?


#1 Ohio State vs. #2 Notre Dame

Yes, this is exactly what would have happened. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Ohio State would have been on top due to being ranked higher in the pre-season. There is no reason for Notre Dame to have jumped the Buckeyes throughout the year as both teams had close calls and ugly wins. As for the Bama aPAWLogists, sorry, but there’s no way the last two remaining AQ unbeatens don’t play for the title. You’ll never convince me otherwise.


Nebraska vs. Stanford

I’m not sure that the Rose has to take the #2 Big Ten team in this situation (if anyone can verify, it would be appreciated), but I’m pretty sure they would. Penn State was an option here, but both their conference and overall records are worse than the Huskers, so I don’t think they’d be the pick here.


Penn State vs. Georgia

Michigan and Penn State are pretty much interchangeable for this spot. They both lost to the same teams in-conference and no common-opponent comparison favors either team significantly. You could argue that Michigan’s schedule earns them this bid, but Penn State was playing better at the end of the year. Also, Michigan sucks.


Michigan vs. South Carolina


Northwestern vs. Mississippi State



Wisconsin vs. TCU

Bret Bielema always looks like he just drank a tub of Blazin’ sauce anyway, so maybe if this had been the Badgers’ bowl, he would’ve hung around. Thankfully, we’ll never know. I’m sure the Frogs would have enjoyed beating Wisky in a bowl again though.


Michigan State vs. Texas Tech

This would have been a far better match up for the conference, as the Spartans are more equipped to defend Tech’s passing game and attack them on the ground than Minnesota is.


Purdue vs. Oklahoma State

Another that works out the same as in real life. So a loss.


Minnesota vs. Central Michigan

If you watched Western Kentucky play in (and almost win) their first bowl game ever last night, you probably need to look into getting some other hobbies. You probably also didn’t think about how they wouldn’t be there if not for the transgressions of Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel, et al. Unless ESPN brought that up. They probably did.

So there you have it. How do you think the B1G would have fared this bowl season if this was the slate? How do think we’re going to do for real? Approximately how much alcohol would an average human need to consume to watch all seven Big Ten bowl games in their entireties (assuming he had the technology to do so)?

A recruiting Christmas Present for Buckeye Nation

OSU FootballA day of giving and receiving is upon us and today OSU got a present in it’s first member of the 2014 recruiting class. Most of the attention lately has been focused mainly on finishing out the 2013 class but several guys from the 2014 class have been trying to commit to Coach Meyer but because of the small size of the class OSU has been asking the guys to wait to commit to give them time to finish out 2013 and for the players to make sure they are making the best decision for themselves. OSU will need several OLmen in the 2014 class and hence they are ready to admit the first commit in the 2014 class a behemoth of an Offensive Tackle.


Marcelys Jones announced his commitment to Ohio State via his Twitter account.

Marcelys Jones is a 6’5″ 325 lbs 4 star OT from Cleveland, Ohio. Marcelys is a giant recruit who will bring strength and power along with a nasty side that OLmen need to be successful. He will need to work on his foot movement and speed and turn some of his “baby fat” into muscle but with the help of Coach Marotti and his S&C program he will get in shape very quickly. I am not sure he will stay a OT or move inside to OG depends how much he grows height wise in the next year to fit the type of body Coach Meyer wants in his OTs. The good news is most people believe that Marcelys is a package deal with 2013 recruit Chris Worley and 2014 no 1 recruit in Ohio and 5 star talent Marshon Lattimore. Rivals has no ranking for him for 2014 yet. Scout also doesn’t have a ranking for him yet either. 247sports ranks him as a 4 star and the no 3 recruit in Ohio and no 92 recruit in the country. ESPN doesn’t have him ranked yet either.

You can clink the link below to see his highlight reel.

Marcelys Jones Highlights

Merry Christmas From All Of Us At MOTSAG


Basketball Week (Kansas) In Review/Preview

Kansas Review

12/22/2012: Ohio State 66 – Kansas 74 (8-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Here we sit on the eve of conference play which the Buckeyes will begin without a “signature” win. The Buckeyes fell to Kansas yesterday in a game that was similar to the ebb and flow of the Duke game. The Buckeyes were strong in the first half, but Kansas took control in the second half and the Buckeyes could not recover. It is the third loss to Kansas in the last 12 months. It is apparent that this year’s team still needs to figure out how to close out games. Deshaun Thomas did not have the stand out game that I was anticipating. While hed led the Buckeyes in scoring, he took three shots in the last 14 minutes and missed all of them. That is not a recipe for success. Still waiting for Deshaun to breakout with a performance similar to what we saw in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Like I said in the preview, this one loss is not a make or break. That being said, it clearly demonstrates that there is work to do if this team wants to compete for a B1G championship. I know we all hate to look for moral victories, but can we agree that it is easier to find them in basketball (especillay in non-conference games)? There were a couple positive outcomes of the game. Coach Matta was pleased with the effort:

“I thought we battled. I thought we played with an element of toughness and tenacity we needed to,”

Then, he quickly summed up the loss in one sentence:

“But a lot of it just comes down to you’ve got to put the ball in the basket in a game like this, and we couldn’t do it, and it became contagious throughout.”

The buckeyes shot 30% from the field. Simply not going to get it done against an opponent like Kansas.

12-12-22-MB-0102-thumb From a players standpoint, the best performance was turned in by Shannon Scott. Scott’s stat line – 15 pts, 6 reb, 4 asst, 2 stls. He continues to improve and IMO is quickly becoming the best point guard on the team. His play is making it difficult for Matta to keep him on the bench. If you ask me, that is bad news for Smith, Jr. and Ross because I think Matta is beginning to favor the back court duo of Scott and Craft. It will be interesting to see how this continues to develop as conference play begins. Matta has built the reputation of shortening his bench in conference games. He has stated that he feels more comfortable with his depth this year, but it remains to be seen if he will use 8 to 10 players or the typical 7 that we have been used to in the past.

Week in Preview

12/29/2012 @ 4:30 PM (BTN) Chicago State (3-11, 0-0) vs Ohio State (8-2, 0-0)

The Buckeyes will take the week off (from games) for Christmas. The Buckeyes play Chicago State next Saturday in the final scrimmage before B1G games begin on January 2nd.

Kansas Live In Game Chat

Ohio State vs. Kansas – Shootyhoops live chat

Kansas Preview

12/22/2012 @ 4 PM (CBS) Kansas (9-1, 0-0) vs Ohio State (8-1, 0-0)

Many people trash the NCAA regualr season because “it doesn’t mean anything”. Maybe, but one thing is for certain, the NCAA tournament makes it so top caliber teams square off during non-conference play. Sure, a win or loss in a non-conference game against a top ten opponenet will not make or break a season, but it provides teams a glimpse of the competition that potentially awaits late in the tournament. The regualr season may be undervalued in the media and the minds of some fans, but for the coaches and players I am certain that is not the case.

Coming off a poor performance against Winthrop, the buckeyes look to bounce back against #9 Kansas today in the Schott. In the most recent weekly review, we discussed the improvement of Sam Thompson, Shannon Scott, and Amir Williams. I think it goes without saying that their continued maturation is paramount to getting a win against Kansas. That being said, I am looking for Deshaun Thomas to have a statement game today. He has been steady this year, but he needs to step up on the big stage. Similar to what we saw last March in the NCAA tournament.

What are other MotSaGers saying…


Kansas is a must win IMO….. They need to establish themselves as an elite team and a team that can beat a squad with lots of big men. This game will make their case to the National Media that they are a top 4 team which is something many are questioning.

el Kaiser

That Kansas game is going to set the tone for my weekend and subsequently my holiday. No pressure, Buckeyes.

I agree with them both. This is a huge statement game. What better way to start off the holiday week than with a win against an upper echelon opponent. I see the buckeyes doing just that.

Ohio State 74 – Kansas 69

The Spread, Week Seventeen: The Case Against Alabama

On January 7th, 2013, if we we’re still here, Alabama will take on Notre Dame for the national title in the only post-season game that matters. It may be the most David/Goliath title game the BCS has ever cranked out: last year’s champion towering over a scrappy independent that wasn’t even ranked in most reasonable pre-season polls. Notre Dame also happens to be the most popular team among casual college football fans, which is probably 90% of why the rest of us can’t stand them.

It’s been a long time since Notre Dame won a national championship in football. So long that there wasn’t even a BCS the last time they were on top. In fact, there was no such thing as Sun Belt football, Big East football, Conference USA or the Mountain West. So if you know a Notre Dame fan, they are going to be incredibly insufferable should the Irish pull off the upset.

And it will be an upset, because as soon as the matchup was announced, Bama was installed as a 9 point favorite, despite being the #2 ranked team and owners of the only loss on either team’s record. You know why.

The primary difference between the two teams is on the offensive side of the ball. The Crimson Tide have scored like crazy pretty much all season, finishing 15th in scoring offense. Notre Dame is 75th. But that’s not the whole story.

Alabama has played 13 games, six of them against teams with winning records. In those six games, the Tide average 31.8 ppg, nearly 12 points less than their average against losing teams (43.3). Seven of Notre Dame’s 12 games were against winning teams. Their scoring average is slightly higher (27.6) in those games than in games against losing teams (25.6).

Notre Dame played two teams who won 10 or more games this year and went 2-0 in those games with an average margin of victory of 12 points. Alabama played three such teams, going 2-1 with an average MOV of a single lousy point.

The two teams are virtually dead even in scoring defense, each giving up fewer than 11 points per game. But can you guess who looks significantly better when we dig deeper? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.

In games against winning teams, Notre Dame maintained their overall average of 10.3 ppg. They gave up 10.4 to losing teams. On the other hand, Alabama allowed more than twice as many points to winning teams (15.8) as they did to losing teams (7.3). Against 10-win teams, the Irish gave up 13 points in both games, while Bama surrendered 17, 28 and 29.

This trend holds up in most of the other statistical categories (although it’s worth noting that it flips in Bama’s favor in passing offense), suggesting that Alabama could find themselves feeling like that stunned Miami team in 2002 if they take the Irish lightly.

There are some other, intangible factors surrounding this game as well. Brian Kelly has the opportunity to cement his legacy as Notre Dame’s coach, while Nick Saban is staving off rumors of his inevitable second shot at the NFL. For some reason, there is a tendency for teams with “storyline” players to win. Clarett, Tebow, Young… Te’o? Six title games have featured one of the teams from the previous year’s game, but no team has ever won consecutive titles.

And, of course, there’s the whole thing with the world ending tomorrow. Sorry, Bama.

Basketball Week In Review/Preview

Over the last 10 days the buckeyes have played four non-conference games against teams that have given little resistance (except for tonight – more on that later). While for the most part the games have been one-sided, they have provided an opportunity for some questions to begin to be answered. I am speaking about questions concerning the sophomore class.

Week in Review

12/08/2012: Ohio State 89 – Long Beach State 55 (5-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

LaQuinton Ross followed up a career high of 22 with another solid outing against LBSU, scoring 16 points. Ross really stood out in the two game stretch vs N. Kentucky and Long Beach State. We have been asking for a while where is his scoring punch. He is slowly settling in and providing production off the bench. Sam Thompson also dazzled with more highlight reel dunks. That is becoming something to be said about every game. Stay tuned for video evidence…

12/12/2012: Ohio State 85 – Savannah State 45 (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Nothing really sticks out for this game. Another dominating performance. I have not mentioned much of the “experienced” guys in this post. I have been more interested in how the “young guys” have performed, but Deshaun and crew have been steady performers. This game was no different; Deshaun dropped 21 in the first half against Savannah State.

12/15/2012: Ohio State 90 – UNC Asheville 72 (7-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

As I watched the UNC Asheville game, I felt it was the most complete offensive performance of the season. I realize it is not against top flight competition, but there were positive takeaways. Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson stood out in this game for me. I have been really impressed Scott’s passing ability. He ended up with 9 assists on the night in 21 minutes. Sam Thompson had a break out night with a career high 18 points. As promised, Sam Thompson doing his thing to cap his stellar performance.

12/18/2012: Ohio State 65 – Winthrop 55 (8-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

OK, so multiple cliches could be attributed to this game e.g. The buckeyes were looking ahead to the big game against Kansas, The buckeyes played down to the level of competition, etc. I could go on. Who knows what the case was last night, but I am not going overreact. It was an ugly game, especially offensively. Give some credit to Winthrop and let’s move on to the next game. One positive takeaway was Amir Williams’ performance in the second half. He showed some flashes, but he is still not playing at a high level on a consistent basis. His progress is important to track as we get closer to conference play.

Week in Preview

12/22/2012 @ 4 PM (CBS) Kansas (9-1, 0-0) vs Ohio State (8-1, 0-0)

Another early top ten match-up that will be a great measuring stick. Stay tuned later in the week for an in depth preview.