Archives for January 2013

Basketball Week In Review/Preview

Ohio State 56 – Michigan State 59

Last Saturday OSU traveled to East Lansing riding a 3 game winning streak and their first quality win. Every game against MSU will be tough to win especially at their home court. A lot will be written about the last play of the game where Shannon Scott made a blunder but this game was winnable all game long and several times the Buckeyes failed to capitalize on those chances. Most of the talk was centered on DT and his 28 points which equaled what the rest of the team scored. The real problem as I see it is that OSU had a starter (Amir Williams) with ZERO shots. They had another starter (Sam Thompson) with 2 attempted shots. How you can win games with 40% of your starters only taking 2 shots is a skill only Thad Matta has mastered but sometimes it leads to losing a game that OSU could have won so easily. To me this team is heading in the right direction with Thompson slowly losing his minutes to Shannon Scott and Amir and Evan Ravenel splitting time as well. If they can find a way to score some points down low in the post on a more consistent basis this team can dominate but until then they will struggle against bigger teams like MSU.

Iowa at Ohio State Tuesday January 22nd at 6:30 on BTN

If I told you today that OSU and Iowa had the same number of wins (13 each) and nearly the same number of losses (OSU 4 to Iowas 5). Yeah I was just as surprised. Iowa is coming off of back to back B1G wins over Northwestern and Wisconsin. Although Wisconsin is their best win on the season that is the same Wisky team that went into Bloomington and beat Indiana. Iowa is right now at the same place as OSU trying to prove they belong in the elite discussion and a win against OSU in Columbus would do just that.

Iowa is led by 6’6″ G/F Roy Marble (yes the son of former great Roy Marble) who is averaging 15 points a game and 4 rebounds. As well as 6’8″ Ohio native Aaron White who is averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Iowa will put up a fight and if OSU doesn’t solve some of their issues it could be a long night but Thad Matta always has this team well prepared following a loss and tonight will be no different.

Prediction- OSU 64 – Iowa 52

Ohio State at Penn State Saturday January 26th at noon on ESPN 2

Penn St. is Penn St. they are bad at basketball. Currently they are 8-10 and 0-6 in the B1G. They are led by 6’4″ G DJ Newbill and is 15 pts and 6 Rebs. and 4 assts. per game. He is their do it all guy and will most likely be hounded by Aaron Craft all game long. Also leading the PSU team is 6’4″ Jermaine Marshall and his 15 PPG and 4 RPG and 2 APG. It is never easy to win a road game in the B1G but OSU has to take advantage of this game because it will most likely be their easiest road test of the year and every win counts and is needed come seeding time. They can’t allow a game like this one to slip away so they will have to do all they can to pull out a victory.

Prediction- OSU 80 – PSU 62

Michigan State Live In Game Chat

Ohio State @ Michigan State – Shootyhoops live chat

Michigan State vs Ohio State Preview

OSU Logo(Today’s Michigan State Preview comes courtesy of guest writer Joe Ginley (Twitter: @JoeGinley). Joe is a student at John Carroll University, a Buckeye fan and contributes to a variety of news outlets, including Spartan Nation and the Plain Dealer)

Saturday’s showdown in East Lansing between #11 Ohio State and #18 Michigan State is a vital game for both squads. Though the two teams enter the contest from totally different positions, both the Buckeyes and the Spartans will be looking to establish themselves with a significant conference win on Saturday.

The Buckeyes have a major challenge ahead in the form of Michigan State. Ohio State is coming off a huge 56-53 win over That Team Up North, and riding high after point guard Aaron Craft and Co. spelled Michigan’s Trey Burke and the Michigan offense. Ohio State turned in an exceptional effort early in the game, racing to a 29-8 lead in the first thirteen minutes of the contest. The Buckeyes proved they can match up with some of the best the NCAA has to offer in the triumph over the then-second ranked Wolverines. But the Bucks can’t rest on their laurels in the upcoming game against the Spartans. Michigan State is a dangerous team, especially with a hometown crowd behind it.

Tom Izzo’s Spartans (15-3, 4-1) have not had an easy journey to this point. Injuries, less than stellar play at times and a recent altercation have all hampered the Green and White. Two of Michigan State’s top players, guards Branden Dawson and Gary Harris, have both caused concern this season. Harris has had repeated problems with both shoulders, while Dawson recently had knee trouble. Dawson had the MSU faithful holding their breath when he crumpled to the floor, holding his surgically repaired left knee during Michigan State’s 66-56 win over Nebraska on Sunday. “I was like, ‘Oh crap, there goes the season,’” MSU starting center Derrick Nix said. However, Dawson only tweaked his knee and was soon back in the game, a huge break for the Spartans.

Dawson was the source of anxiety once again when the sophomore engaged in an altercation with junior center Adreian Payne on Wednesday morning. The scuffle between the off-campus roommates began with some needling, but ended up in a small fist fight. Punches were thrown, damaging a wall at the Nittany Lion Inn, where the incident took place. Minor injuries were sustained, but nothing to keep either Spartan from competing. Izzo quickly cleared up the situation, as he benched both players for the first half of MSU’s game on Wednesday night against Penn State. “I spent my entire afternoon meeting with the players involved, and they are sincerely remorseful,” Izzo said following the skirmish. The Spartans went on to beat PSU, 81-72. After the game, Izzo complimented the two on how they handled the situation. “I like the way they both responded. They resolved it. It was joking like you do with your brother.”

Michigan State has also been plagued by poor play against lesser teams. The Spartans sneaked by Louisiana-Lafayette and Iowa with narrow three point victories, but were burned in an upset loss to Miami earlier in the season. Michigan State can come out sluggish against a weaker opponent, but the Spartans can also go toe-to-toe with powerhouses such as Kansas, who MSU defeated earlier in the season, 67-64.

Ohio State can expect to play the same type of game it played against Michigan State. The Spartans feature a stout defense that is third in the Big Ten in allowing only 58.5 points per game. MSU will likely hold the Buckeyes under 70 points, as Izzo’s squad has only allowed opponents to exceed that amount three times this season. OSU already plays at a slow pace on offense, not helping its cause. The Bucks will rely on Deshaun Thomas for points, as they have done all season. Thomas will need to duplicate the 20 point performance he notched against the Wolverines. Ohio State will also require production from Craft and sophomore forward Sam Thompson, who both notched nine points last Sunday.

The Buckeyes, known for their tough defense, will have to keep up that reputation against the Spartans. Michigan State has a number of offensive weapons, ranging from Dawson to junior guard Keith Appling. Though MSU is primarily known for its defense, the Spartans can light it up on offense, as they did against Penn State on Wednesday, scoring 52 points in the second half.

Schematically, if OSU can take away Michigan State playmakers Dawson and Harris, the zone defense can be an effective tool in stopping the Spartans. In the first half on Wednesday, the Nittany Lions utilized a 3-2 zone, holding MSU to 29 points. At the same time, the Buckeyes can also be vulnerable to a zone defense, as proven on Sunday. Ohio State excelled when facing Michigan’s man defense but did not do as well when challenged by a zone defense.

Look for this game to be a classic Big Ten brawl. Both OSU’s Deshaun Thomas and MSU’s Branden Dawson will be critical to the success of their respective teams. But the outcome will depend on which team’s secondary playmakers can take control. For Ohio State, Aaron Craft has to continue his stellar defense and also produce a lot of offense. Sam Thompson needs to have a solid day on offense. Big men Amir Williams and Evan Ravenal must secure rebounds and pick up points in the paint. For Michigan State, production from guards Gary Harris, sophomore Travis Trice and junior Keith Appling will be crucial. Trice and Appling are an especially dangerous pair when on the court together. Centers Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne also need to have solid outings for the Spartans to emerge victorious.

Regardless of the outcome, Saturday’s matchup between two stellar Big Ten foes (set for 6 PM on ESPN) should be an indication of where Ohio State and Michigan State stand in a highly competitive conference that boasts six teams ranked in the top 25.

Hahahahahahaha Part 3

Basketball Week In Review/Preview

OSU LogoThis Ohio State team going into this week is not the same team we saw this time last week.

Week in Review

1/8/2013: Ohio State 74 – Purdue 64 (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten)

Thad Matta picked up his 100th win as the Buckeyes bounced back from the butt-whooping they endured at the hands of the Illini. Humbled and maybe a little scared, the Buckeyes played a great game against Purdue on their home court. Deshaun Thomas had 22 and Craft 15 as the Buckeyes handled their business, not looking ahead to Sunday’s match-up against the hated, despised, putrid, awful disgusting Michigan Wolverines.

Oh, and Sam Thompson did this:

1/13/2013: Ohio State 56 – Michigan 53 (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten)

We talked about this one already, but let’s just recap again: Aaron Craft’s defense dominates Trey Burke’s offense, cementing Craft’s position as the best point guard of the two, for now and forever until Burke can beat Craft. The same goes for the rest of that talented team. Thad Matta clearly has Beilein’s number. Also: Mitch McGary is making a strong play to join my “most hated” Big Ten basketball team (current Mount Rushmore: Damon Bailey, Zach Novak, Chris Webber, Calbert Cheaney).

Oh, and Sam Thompson did this:

Week in Preview

1/19/2013 @ 6 PM (ESPN) Michigan State (14-3, 3-1) vs Ohio State (5-1, 0-0)

The only game on the schedule for the Buckeyes is a doozy. They travel to East Lansing to take on the Spartans, whose only test so far in the Big Ten has been against Minnesota, which they lost 76-63. But Michigan State is always tough at home and will be ready for a currently streaking Buckeye team. Matta and his staff should have plenty of time to get the Buckeyes ready for this one.

In Case You Missed It

OSU FootballOSU LogoIn case you missed it: Our semi-regular look back at the news and noteworthy items regarding our beloved Buckeyes and the world around us. Here’s hopefully a representative list of things you might have missed since the last one:

PURDUE: Darrell Hazell has apparently hired Jim Bollman as his new offensive line coach. You probably have a funny joke about him looking like Joe Tiller, or that Purdue is going to be pulling their guards or something, but don’t bother. Twitter has you covered (and it’s all awful).

COMING BACK: Both Bradley Roby and Jordan Hall will join the Buckeyes for a push toward a National Championship in 2013. Hall was granted a medical redshirt and Roby decided to skip the NFL draft and come back for his senior season. Both are huge returns for Urban Meyer.

DESHAUN THOMAS, HE’S REALLY GOOD: Deshaun Thomas was awarded the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week (along with some guy named “Zeller”) after his strong performances against Purdue and Michigan.

BUCKEYES IN THE NFL: DeVier Posey scored his first touchdown in the Texans playoff loss to the Patriots and also tore his achilles tendon.

Also, Brian Rolle is getting a second chance (Steelers… Why’d it have to be Steelers?):

GET USED TO IT: Early 2013 Top 25 lists have been trickling out for a while, and once again Ohio State finds itself near the top of another, this time from Athlon Sports.

WHEN NOTRE DAME LOSES, WE ALL WIN: Especially Urban Meyer, who put a little extra scratch in his pocket finishing third in the final AP poll. Thanks, domers!

LET’S BASH OHIO STATE! Somehow, it’s Ohio State’s fault that Notre Dame laid a huge turd in the BCS title game against Alabama. At least that’s what I gather from this incoherent mess by Graham Couch. And if anyone can decipher the 11th paragraph to me, I’d be much obliged. I’m at a loss for words on that one.

LET’S TRADE: One former Buckeye (Bollman) goes to Purdue, and Ohio State gets a former Boilermaker as Devin Hill walks on at Ohio State, presumably to play fullback.

ETC: Who you calling lumpy?! Hahah that was so funny we forgot to laugh. No Sam Thompson in this list makes Buckeye fans cringe.

Ohio State Gets First Marque Win

OSU LogoOhio State defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 56-53 in a hard fought basketball game that looked like it was going to end up like some other close games this year — Buckeyes dominate early, let their opponent claw their way back into the game and then go cold at the worse opportune time possible. This time it was the Buckeyes time to close out a close game against one of the better teams in the country.

DESHAUNI’d like it was a reverse psychology move on my part, doubting Aaron Craft’s skills and wondering if Trey Burke was perhaps the better point guard. It was only one game, but it was definitely Aaron Craft’s defense that flustered and smothered an obviously motivated Burke. Burke came out swinging, hitting the first three pointer of the game and looked like he was going to set the tone for the rest of the day. But the Buckeyes fought back, took a sizeable lead and never looked back.

Craft hounded Burke all game. Burke scored 15 points but it took 4-13 shooting to get that. Burke also had four turnovers. For whatever reason, either the Buckeyes play Tim Hardaway Jr. well or he simply struggles against the Buckeyes. He pitched in 12 but also was 1-6 from three point range and 5-15 overall. Deshaun Thomas played Glenn Robinson III as well as I think could be expected and made him a non-factor. His three at the end of the second half was clutch but other than that big shot, he really didn’t hurt the Buckeyes.

Speaking of Thomas, Deshaun was clearly motivated today to play well and even gutted through some pain near the end. When Deshaun is getting floorburns, you know it’s been a dog fight. Deshaun led all scorers with 20, hitting a couple important threes but his put back under the rim near the end was just as important.

This was a great game to watch, much more enjoyable than that debacle against Illinois. Thad Matta had his team ready for this Michigan game, had a clear defensive game plan to stop Burke and company and got his guys up for the game. This is just the start of a tough road through the Big Ten, but this was a huge win for both Craft’s confidence and this team as a whole moving forward.

Coach Meyer taps into TTUN pipeline

OSU FootballThis weekend couldn’t get much better could it? First, OSU lands a commitment from 2013 LB/Safety Christopher Worley. Then the Mens Basketball team defeated previously unbeaten and destined to be no 1 in the country Michigan. Those things in and of them self would make for a great weekend for OSU. Then though Coach Meyer wanted in on some of the beating TTUN action and decided to swoop in and steal a 2014 recruit direct from Detroit Cass Tech the biggest HS pipeline that TTUN and Brady Hoke have at the moment. Cass Tech is sort of like Cleveland Glenville is for OSU only on a lower level and with much less success. With this new recruit OSU now has 2 players in the class with Marcelys Jones being the first.


Damon Webb is a 6’0″ 180 lbs 4 star DB from Detroit, Michigan. Damon is a shutdown corner who isn’t afraid to hit a guy and help on run defense. He comes from a school that has had a lot of success in Michigan. Damon had offers from the likes of LSU, Michigan, Michigan St., and a host of other school. 247sports ranks him a 4 star and the 146th best recruit in 2014. ESPN doesnt have rankings out yet but he is on the 150 watch list. Rivals ranks him a 4 star. Scout ranks him a 4 star and the 7th best CB in the country for 2014. Below you can see his JR year highlights.

Damon Webb confirmed his commitment via his twitter account.

Michigan Live In Game Chat

Ohio State @ That Team Up North – Shootyhoops live chat

Michigan at Ohio State Basketball Preview

OSU LogoThis “Michigan is getting good at sports again” thing is starting to make me itchy.

Sure, there football team is about to go through some major growing pains without the Magical Time Wizard Denard at the helm, but all signs point to a better, stronger Michigan team next year.

And yes, this isn’t the Fab Five that Coach Beilein is putting out on the court this year, but Burke, Hardaway Jr, Robinson III and company are an extremely dangerous team.

They are catching the Buckeyes at crossroads. After a severe beatdown at the hands of Illinois, the Buckeyes bounced back to take care of business against Purdue early this week. And today Michigan comes to the Schottenstein Center looking to impress voters and fans on national television, definitely eyeing that #1 spot in the polls after Duke went down to NC State (a previous foe of Michigan’s, by the bye).

The gameplan should be relatively simple — hound and get physical with Trey Burke (Aaron Craft, check!), prevent easy shots around the basket (Amir and Ravenel, check maybe?) and pray that someone in yellow and blue doesn’t get hot from beyond the three point line (the game is on Sunday, so check?).

Oh, and Deshaun Thomas and someone else needs to put points on the board.

(Interesting side-story here: Shannon Scott was the player Thad Matta added the same year Trey Burke was looking to join a team. Ohio State did not recruit Burke for a variety of reasons (already had Craft in the fold, Scott was interested) and the Ohio boy went up North while Scott signed with Ohio State. So while Scott was apparently Matta’s first choice, Burke has been enjoying relatively better success than his other counterpart. It will be interesting to see these two matched up from time to time, which should happen in this game.)

This game has all the fixins for a great home crowd for the Buckeyes and that should give them the boost they need (the fans have clearly spoken in our poll as to who the best point guard in this game is [Aaron Craft was winning at the time of posting, FYI]). A few high-flying dunks by Sam Thompson, a great shooting day from Thomas and this game could easily go Ohio State’s way.

A some hot shooting early by Michigan or a dominant performance from Trey Burke could spell doom for Ohio State.

I’m going with the former. How do you see this game going?