Ohio State Basketball: Contenders

With 11 minutes to go in the first half, the Ohio State Buckeyes went down 20-10 against Minnesota during the Big Ten’s Super Saturday.  The best player in the Big Ten, Keita Bates-Diop, was struggling from the floor, and the OSU defense couldn’t handle Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy and his game down low.  However, through their slump, the Buckeyes stayed committed to playing physical basketball and taking advantage of every opportunity.

The very first points on the board came off a steal that led to an easy transition dunk for Bates-Diop.  This was a preface of things to come, because, even though at times they weren’t getting the ball in the hoop, the Buckeyes continued to force turnovers.  In fact, they ended the game with 10 steals and 22 points off of 15 Minnesota turnovers.

Ohio State’s second made shot was a transition layup that was set up by a Sweet n’ Low bounce pass from CJ Jackson to Kam Williams.  This was another fast scoring opportunity made possible, not because of outstanding offensive playmaking, but because they were playing smart, tough Ohio State basketball. The Buckeyes finished with 11 assists.

The third score for the OSU came after CJ Jackson missed a 3 pointer from the corner.  He followed his miss and came up with an offensive rebound that put him right next to the hoop with a wide open shot.  Jackson’s floater put his team ahead 6-2.  OSU finished with 12 offensive rebounds.

Unfortunately, after a few layups underneath to make the score 11-10, the shots stopped falling.

The Golden Gophers went on a 9-0 run and took their ten point lead.  This left the fans that had made the long trek up to NYC wonder whether it looked like, perhaps, the Buckeyes didn’t have the magic.  Maybe they were having an off day, or this talented Minnesota team was just finally finding their stride again.  Maybe Ohio State had been overachieving for the last few weeks, and they were finally falling back to earth.  Either way, OSU was struggling and their opponent was surging.

Of course, we all watched the game so we know how it ends.  The Buckeyes saved the first half doing the same things that they had been doing through the first 9 minutes of the game.  They kept forcing turnovers, they kept making good passes, they kept getting rebounds, on both the offensive and defensive ends, and eventually, someone’s shot went in.

All of the sudden the floodgates opened to reveal the January Buckeyes once more.

Steal, pass, score;
block, pass, pass, score;
inside, outside, score;
steal, pass, miss, offensive rebound, put back, score;

Ohio State took the lead and then took a commanding lead and then they started dominating.  A 10 point deficit turned into a 12 point lead and the score was 34-22.  A 24 to 2 scoring run in which the Buckeyes dominated every facet of the game– shooting, defending, rebounding, passing– and they did it with Keita on the bench for 5 minutes.

This team believes it’s one of the best teams in the country.  After taking care of business at Rutgers, holding off a late surge from Northwestern, and obliterating Minnesota in Madison Square Garden, they come home with an 8-0 conference record and a top-15 ranking.  Their four-game homestretch, starting tonight with Nebraska, comes at the perfect time, giving the Buckeyes an opportunity to flex their muscles against the middle of the Big Ten in preparation for what could be a Top-10 matchup at Purdue on February 7th.

Chris Holtmann has put this team in a position to do something that they haven’t done since the 2012-2013 season: hold a top 10 ranking in January.  If they win their next four games, they will own a 21-4 record, including a 12-0 start to conference play.  Four games is a tall task, especially with the physicality of the Big Ten, but Ohio State has shown that it has the coaches, players and drive to do it. The next step is Nebraska, and then Penn State and Indiana and Illinois.

Keita Bates-Diop has come back down to earth after his four-game “prove-it” tour, but Ohio State hasn’t.  The Buckeyes are still dominating teams, still proving that they are not just “the surprise of the season” as every major sports publication is dubbing them.  They want everyone to know that they aren’t overachieving.  They are contenders.

Their next step is Nebraska, but this Buckeye team has its sights set higher.

Ohio State Basketball: Becoming the Hunted

On Sunday, January 7th 2018, the Ohio State Men’s Basketball team defeated the top ranked Michigan State Spartans. When asked about the upset, OSU’s coach, Chris Holtmann, responded, “It is hard to win on the road, especially when you have that kind of number by your name. You get a different look from teams.” That ‘number’ he was referring to was the tiny 1 that could be seen next to Michigan State’s name throughout the game’s broadcast, and the point he was making was that, when people know you’re the best, your opponents play you harder.

Coach Holtmann knew this fact from experience, himself watching his own Buckeyes give the AP’s number 1 ranked team in America all it could handle, and then some.

From the beginning of the season, when they were selected by some to finish as low as 14th in the Big Ten (out of 14), this undervalued and overlooked team had been playing with a chip on their shoulders.

In fact, when asked whether OSU’s quick conference start surprised him, Senior Jae’Sean Tate told the press that he and the other players “always remind ourselves that we were last picked in the Big Ten… and I think that has really been a key to our success.” This slight drove them to become a team that played with ferocity—that played their tough and scrappy game no matter the opponent.

They were hunters.

As far as any of their opponents knew, this was a team of misfits—a roster filled to the brim with walk-ons, transfers, busts and guys who just couldn’t stay healthy; but from the beginning of the season, they started proving people wrong.

In an early season matchup against a tournament-level Butler team, they showed flashes of dominance that belied their humble exterior, but a last second comeback by the Bulldogs kept OSU in the shadows. Another opportunity for some notoriety came in the ACC-B1G Challenge, but, once again, a late-game collapse against the now-ranked Clemson Tigers stole the spotlight away. They had some losses, but they were hunters still.

Luckily, after missing two other opportunities at signature wins against Gonzaga and UNC, their prey had finally arrived. It came in the form of the aforementioned Spartans, a team on a 14-game win streak, standing atop the College Basketball world. Ohio State went into that Sunday night showdown the hunters, but they came out the hunted.

A home game against Maryland in which they were down by 9 at the 11 minute mark of the 1st half proved that they were no longer a team that would be overlooked.  At the end of the game, Maryland’s Coach Turgeon said, “We knew we weren’t getting the same shot that Michigan State got at the start of the game,” and so the Terrapins came out swinging. The Buckeyes didn’t have that same fire to start off, the way they had against the Spartans, but after a quick timeout by Coach Holtmann, Maryland got buried, going from up nine to eight down in less than 4 minutes, and that was pretty much the end of the game.

After surviving their first test as the hunted, the Buckeyes had to go on the road against Rutgers, a physical, defensive team that had just barely failed to do what Ohio State did in knocking off Michigan State.  This time, though, the Buckeyes would have no home crowd. They would be playing on regional television in a game that Rutgers would surely be up for after such a great performance in the previous week.  However, once again, the Buckeyes were up to the challenge, beating Rutgers 66-46. Holtmann said after the game that they “are going to have some people that will play with a different edge” and that they would “see if we are good enough to manage that.” Another test passed. Another hunt escaped.

Of course, for all of their impressive defensive statistics, Rutgers is currently 1-5 in conference and tied for 12th in the standings. Tonight, the Buckeyes face off against a much better team in their arena and on their court. Northwestern, a team that made the tournament last year and then had the nerve to return 4 starters, has been slumping for the better part of this season, but they do have the talent to compete with Ohio State. The game between these teams is going to be Big Ten basketball at its finest, and the Buckeyes are going to have to grind it out.

OSU has proven that they have the goods to play with the big boys. They have proven that they can come back at home and take care of the conference’s not-so-good teams on the road. Now they’ve got to take it one step further to prove they deserve to be at the top of the Big Ten. They have to beat a good team on the road when that team is preparing specifically for them. This is just the next test of many to come as they seek to close out the season strongly.

Tonight they have a chance to pass another milestone for this once-unheralded Buckeyes team and to add to their tournament resume, only this time, they’re the ones with the number by their name.

Ohio State Basketball: Post-Game Overreaction by Jesse M. Brake

It has been mere moments since Andre Wesson put the nail in the coffin against a solid Rutgers defense (not so much with the offense), and it’s occurred to me that there may be a good metaphor for this Buckeyes team.  Early in the broadcast, the commentators were talking about Jae’Sean Tate and how he is a do-everything type of player, a Swiss Army Knife, and, while that is a good description of what Jae’Sean does for Ohio State, it is an even better metaphor for the Basketball Buckeyes as a whole.

This team is a Swiss Army Knife.

Now, I obviously don’t expect you to believe me without any evidence, so to prove it to you, so let me give you some numbers.  (Prepare yourself for Too Much Information.)  The Buckeyes’ offense is the 28th rated team in KenPom Adjusted Efficiency and their defense is rated 30th in Adjusted Efficiency.  There are only 9 teams in the country— including Ohio State— that are rated in the Top 30 nationally in both categories.

According to teamrankings.com, the Buckeyes are 19th in Shooting%, 28th in Effective Field Goal % and 32nd in True Shooting % while remaining in the Top 75 in all defensive Shooting categories.  They are in the Top 30% of all teams in Block Percentage, Top 20% in Rebound Rate, Assists per Game and Assist/Turnover Ratio and they are among the best in the nation at not allowing opposing teams to get easy points in the paint.

What all of those statistics mean is that this is an adaptable team. Against Michigan State, we saw this Buckeyes team not allow Sparty to penetrate the lane or get anything inside, forcing a team that was struggling shooting from the field to take a lot of outside shots.  OSU also took advantage of Michigan State’s tendency to turn the ball over, forcing 12 TOs and making the most of transition scoring opportunities.  They did all this while still playing their basic, high-effort man-to-man defense.

The next game, against a Maryland team missing important playmakers, they held firm on defense through a slow start shooting until they were able to get better, more open looks.  From there, they scored and scored while the undermanned Terrapins had no offensive response.  The Buckeyes tied the school record for most 3 Pointers made in a game with 17, and 8 different players made at least one shot from beyond the arc.

Tonight, against this stingy and plodding Rutgers defense, the Buckeyes slowed everything up and locked down the inside, forcing one of the worst shooting teams in the country to dribble around for 25 seconds and then throw up deep 2s and 3s all night.

With three unique victories against three completely different teams, Ohio State is showing itself to be a matchup nightmare.  This team is showing itself to be a Swiss Army Knife that can find your weakness and take advantage of it, or that can beat you at your own game.  They have CJ Jackson, who is just like the tiny knife on the backside of the tool, swooping in for layups, assists, and rebounds.  They also have Keita Bates-Diop, the big main knife that will cut you to the bone if you’re not paying attention and can be used for many things.  Not to mention they’ve got Micah Potter; he’s that curvy thing that looks like a bottle opener, but it can’t be because there’s already another bottle opener, so you just use it to pry things.

There’s a little something for every situation with these Basketball Buckeyes, and the more I see of this team, the more credit I give to the Coach.  Holtmann has molded this team into something competitive and fun to watch, which brings me to my overreaction:  Ohio State is not just a tournament team, they are a good tournament team, and they are a dark horse to make it to the Final Four THIS SEASON.  If they can get past Purdue, they might even be able to win the Big Ten too.

Trouble for Trimble’s Terps?

This Saturday the Basketbucks have a shot at upsetting another top five team this season as they travel to College Park, Md. to face the Terrapins.

Gametime: Sat, Jan 16 / 12 pm

Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, Md.

TV: ESPN2, ESPN3

 

Both teams share a few common opponents – Northwestern, Mt. Saint Mary’s, and Connecticut. The only difference is the Terps’ win over Uconn, whom the Buckeyes failed to beat.

But ever since defeating Kentucky, this Buckeye team has had a lot more confidence. This has been an odd Buckeyes squad to figure out, from dropping early games against easily beatable opponents to playing their best two games against their toughest competition, UVA and Kentucky. But nevertheless, the Buckeyes will be going into this weekend’s game with a 13-6 record.

On the other side of the tip, the Terrapins boast a 15-2 record and a national ranking of third, right behind Kansas and Oklahoma. However, those rankings will be subject to change after Kansas’ loss to West Virginia as well as Maryland’s most recent loss to the *ichigan Wolverines. Maryland’s toughest win is probably against Wisconsin, having lost their two toughest games to UNC and *ichigan, so they have yet to really defeat a decent opponent.

 

Projected Starters

Head Coach Mark Turgeon’s best weapon is none other than point guard Melo Trimble. Trimble leads the Terps in scoring with 14.8 ppg. He also is an excellent free throw shooter with a percentage of 87 percent so far this season, and he is also a force to reckon with on the defensive end with 22 steals. Rounding out the other projected starters for Turgeon’s squad, former Duke shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon will be tough to stop. Jake Layman, Robert Carter, and Damonte Dodd should be the big men starting, all of whom are averaging over ten points per game.

For the Buckeyes, it should stay the same with Jaquan Lyle at the point, followed by Jae’sean Tate, Marc Loving, Keita Bates-Diop, and Trevor Thompson at the center position.

 

Keys to the Game & Matchups

The keys to this game for both teams will be who can control the glass. Despite being the shortest in the starting lineup at 6’4, Tate leads the Buckeyes in rebounds with 108 on the season. Tate’s battle with Carter (6.9 rebounds per game) should be a fun one to watch within the game.

Another interesting matchup to keep an eye on is to see whether or not Lyle will be quick enough to guard Trimble. Lyle has a height advantage on him, but we’ll see if he can limit Trimble’s production. That is who the Bucks have to stop first, but even so, Maryland is fifth in the nation in field goal percentage, so they have scoring production all over the court.

 

OSU X-Factor – Daniel Giddens. If Giddens can provide good minutes off the bench without getting into foul trouble, then he should prove to be a good defensive weapon. Ohio State ranks tenth in the nation in blocks per game with 6.06, but 35 of those this season have come from Giddens. He will have to play solid defense to give the Buckeyes a decent shot at shutting down Maryland’s offense.

Maryland X-Factor – Diamond Stone. Stone is Maryland’s second leading scorer overall this season with 13.1 ppg, and he may not even start, in favor of Dodd, who has started the last few games for the Terps. The 6’11” freshman can also crash the boards with his size.

 

Prediction: OSU 65 / Maryland 72

Despite limiting Trimble, the Terrapins just have too many weapons on offense for the entire team to have an off night. Balance and a well executed gameplan will unfortunately prove to beat out the Buckeyes. But should Maryland have a tough night shooting from the field, Ohio State could have their second top five upset of the season.

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Buckeye Men’s Basketball Preview

The Buckeye men’s basketball season is officially underway. Andrew Chirico and I do a preview of the players on the team. Lot has changed with some familiar faces still. Thad Matta brought in a very highly ranked recruiting class into Columbus for this season.

Andrew and I also do a review of the Mount St. Mary game, the first to open up the season and the win allowed Thad Matta to go 12-0 on season openers while being the head coach for Ohio State. The win also puts him at 300 victories.

This is our first of hopefully many covering the men’s basketball team so we are hoping its also going to be a fun ride.

2017 Four-Star Center Kaleb Wesson Commits to Ohio State

(Dispatch Photo by Barbara J. Perenic)

(Dispatch Photo by Barbara J. Perenic)

Thad Matta and Company today found out they will have a big man coming to play in Columbus.

Ohio State received their first commit for the 2017 Class. Kaleb Wesson is a 6-foot-9, 270-pound center from Westerville, Oh. During Wesson’s sophomore year while playing for Westerville South he averaging 11.7-points, 8.6-rebounds and 3-blocks per game. Kaleb is ranked as the No. 53 overall player in the Class of 2017 by Scout.com, the No. 12 center and the No. 1 center in Ohio meanwhile Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 77 overall player.

According to ESPN Kaleb has great hands and feet already the only knock is conditioning. They project him to be one of the top centers for 2017 class. Wesson will join the current bigs the Buckeyes already have in junior transfer Trevor Thompson, redshirt freshman David Bell, incoming commits Daniel Giddens along with future players Derek Funderburk and Micah Potter.

For any Buckeye fans thinking the name Wesson sounds familiar it should. His dad was a center for OSU during the eighties. Alas for anyone hoping for him to also play football don’t believe that is going to happen even though he is a three star lineman, word is he will be shifting his focus to basketball.

The Best Damn Fan March Madness Giveaway

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It’s that time of year again, time to rush out and join as many brackets as you can and see how much money you possibly could win.

This is the time of year where bragging rights amongst co-workers, friends, and family are on the line.

This year, we are doing something special for our readers and Buckeye Nation. You have to admit that having the first College Playoff National Championship is exciting, heck you guys proved it by the making this past year one of our best ever.

And now we want to give back.

As a thank you to our readers, Men of the Scarlet and Gray and The Buckeye Battle Cry have teamed up for a unique March Madness Tournament Giveaway.

The Best Damn Fan March Madness Giveaway!

We will be giving away to the winner of our Tournament Pick’em a pair of Club Seats to The Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 18th, which includes the lacrosse matchup against Maryland before The National Champs take the field. Plus, bust the bracket and become our Pick’em champion, we’ll also be sending you “100 Things Buckeye Fans Should Do Before They Die,” by Andrew Buchanan.

We’re also throwing in an amazing two sided Ohio State flag made by the great folks at CVS flags.

Our contest winner will be able to Fly their Ohio State pride while letting the whole neighborhood know which team you support. As you can see, this Flag is top quality. It’s made of the most durable polyester which is built to withstand even the toughest competition.

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The price to enter for something like this you ask? Free, it is our way to give back to The Best Damn Fans In The Land.

All you have to do is add yourself to our Yahoo! Pool and make the proper picks that make you the Best Damn March Madness Pick’em Fan in the land.

It’s easy as 1,2,3!

Head to our Yahoo! Pool by clicking here.
Click Join Group
Sign in to your Yahoo! account

It’s the Best Damn Fan March Madness Giveaway, brought to you by Men of the Scarlet and Gray and The Buckeye Battle Cry

Good Luck, go Buckeyes and we can’t wait to meet the lucky winner at The Spring Game!

The Pride that is The Ohio State University

The last few years I have made the trek down I-71 from Northeast Ohio down to Columbus for the Arnold Classic. No I’m not into the whole weightlifting scene as time on that has passed me by, but I think (in my mind anyways) at my size I can get away at looking like a former lifter. Honestly its kind of refreshing that this is a place at my size that I don’t get any stares or people saying man your a big guy. I digress to what has brought me a sense of pride especially so much so this year. Columbus is like a second home to me, my second city behind Cleveland. The Land will always be my home and have that special tug at my heart but there is something about Columbus that has a special spot also. No its definitely not the drivers down here (your a bunch of crazy selfish thugs). Its The Ohio State University,The Scarlet and Gray, The Buckeye Leaf, The Buckeye Nation.

Many of us if fortunate enough to get to spend quality time with our fathers, want to be like them and love the same things as them. I was no different growing up watching Browns, Indians, Cavs, and Buckeye games with my Dad. When he use to score tickets to go to any of these events it was the best thing (there was no HD and 100 camera angles when I was a kid). Walking into the Old Cleveland Stadium had a great feeling but it honestly felt like it needed to be redone or fixed up especially when you were forced to watched a Browns game behind a pillar at least the Indians games you were able to move closer to the field because there wasn’t many fans showing up at all. Cavalier games were a trek to the Richfield Coliseum but that place was fantastic (sorry Q your really a good stadium but the Richfield was better IMO). Getting to go to The Shoe was the best. Nothing ever compared. You could tell that it was (and still is) an old stadium but even to this day I still get goosebumps every time I enter the Rotunda going into the greatest stadium in all of college football. The House that Harley built, the greats that have played on that field, coached on the sidelines, The Best Damn Band in The Land and what they do and have done on that field, the feats that were accomplished on that track (yes there use to be a track in The Shoe youngins Google it).

The last week there has been a flood of news coming out about The Ohio State University and its all been so positive its great. Yes I know that there is more to OSU than football (heck I’m going to the men’s regular season finale against Wisconsin). There is the B1G Championship Wrestling Tournament taking place on the campus right now, women’s basketball team has a really bright future with Mitchell and Hart plus the other sports in general are really on the rise. Buckeye Nation has so much to be proud of right now its not even funny. The reason we key so much on football especially here at MotSaG is that is what you our readers are telling us you are looking at which is great. 2010-2011 the Buckeye football program took a huge black eye and some really came after the Buckeyes (I’m looking at you four letter network). Jim Tressel “The Senator” “The Sweatervest” was forced to resign in May of 2011. Everything was so bleak, many were calling for AD Gene Smith’s head (I was in that camp) for what felt like his arrogance of not self imposing a bowl ban on 2011 season.

November 2011 a new era was born, Urban Meyer was hired as the leader of the Buckeye program. Buckeye Nation was ecstatic the rest of the nation was not at all.

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I’ve had this on the back of my pick up truck since Jan 2012 “Urban Renewal- Restoring Greatness inside the Horsehoe”. Urban’s first season the man leads the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record and should have played against Notre Dame and won the National Championship that year but no we really were the one’s catfished thanks to Gene Smith right (more on that later). 2013 the Buckeyes go 12-2 only losses were the ones that meant something, MSU in B1G Championship game and Orange bowl to Clemson. 2014 starts off shaky with Braxton going down and the loss to Virginia Tech. Meyer and company kept the team together and grew stronger and was getting better. There were still skeptics like myself before the Michigan State game but they came out and showed this is a team lead by one of the greatest coaches of our time. We all know what happened to finish off the year and coach Meyer wasn’t even B1G Coach of the Year. Yes as a homer I and all of Buckeye Nation was out raged but the ones in the national media who know and understand football like Phil Steele claimed that Meyer was COY. What was interesting was what Jon Gruden recently said

“What he did at Ohio State, losing a Heisman Trophy candidate and then doing what he did with two different quarterbacks that were backups. Amazing to me.”

How can you argue with that? Urban Meyer has Restored Greatness inside the Horseshoe plus what he is doing with these kids and teaching them leadership and turning them into men . You aren’t hearing of the Florida problems that were all his fault that supposedly followed him here but mysteriously have gone away, because kids have bought in and know there are consequences for their actions in Ohio. In my opinion it seems like a lot of covering up going up in the Whole State of Florida. I don’t want to make accusations but honestly three different universities and their issues and its always business as usual just saying.

Remember the catfishing I was saying about the Gene Smith situation? Well lets be men here and say everyone makes mistakes, they still got a ring for that season (I’m looking at you Mark May, You mad Bro). Smith is only the eighth athletic director for The Ohio State University, been going strong since March 5, 2005. I know it can be easy sitting on the outside saying if “I was in that position I would do this”, until your in that position you don’t know all the variables. Smith has put the Buckeyes on the map as a destination to bring in the best coaches in all sports, Bringing in Meyer, Matta who has turned the Buckeyes into a school that you can say plays basketball too, and recently brought Kevin McGuff to lead the woman’s basketball program who is on the verge of blowing up if they can get past the injuries, just to name a few. Gene Smith has been the leader who has helped turned the Buckeye Athletic program into one of the Top 10 of all of Sports Programs in the Nation per Forbes.

“The culture of OSU Athletics is one of excellence that is focused on the growth and development of each person. It is an environment where all individuals are valuable members of the team with ideas to contribute and given the opportunity to lead those efforts. The department provides traditional education opportunities as well as engage’s employees with projects to stretch them and grow new skills. Individuals are given autonomy at the local level to determine what works best for their group. Gene [Smith] truly supports each individual and allows them to lead. It is a culture of we and not me as cliché as that sounds. I am very thankful for the opportunity the Buckeye’s have given me to grow my professional skills.” – Janine Oman, Assoc Athletics Director Sport Administration/Sport Performance

Yes a National Championship does bring in a ton of pride into a University and fan base, but honestly I can’t remember feeling so much pride for the Scarlet and Gray as I feel now as when they last won their National Championship. This is due to the leaders like Gene Smith who has went out and found quality leaders to lead each individual program with pride and turn the young men and women who play for the Buckeyes into great leaders of tomorrow. I would personally like to thank Gene Smith for what he has done and all of the coaches who work there butts off to help build a better tomorrow by being the greatest.

MotSaG Men’s B1G Basketball Power Poll

Another week down which means we move another week closer to March Madness. We are halfway through the B1G season and there is constant movement with some pretenders and some finally figuring it out. Where does your team (if not The Ohio State) fall on my list?

1. Wisconsin 19-2(7-1) Can anyone catch the Badgers right now? They are in total control of their destiny to bring home the regular season crown.
Last Week: #1
RPI: 8

2. Maryland 18-4(6-3) Getting beat by OSU by 14 unfortunately didn’t drop them below my beloved Buckeyes. I have to have the Terps above because of RPI and overall record right now.
Last Week: #2
RPI: 17

3. Ohio State 17-5(6-3) The Ohio State D’Angelo Russell’s are on fire. Thad Matta did a lineup change and it seems to have done wonders for the Buckeyes. Back to back wins over Indiana and Maryland have propelled the Buckeyes into the Top 25 but have a big match up against Purdue Wed.
Last Week: #3
RPI: 35

4. Indiana 16-6(6-3) The Hoosiers took it on the chin losing to their rivals Purdue last week but bounced back beating Rutgers.
Last Week: #3
RPI: 33

5. Michigan State 15-7(6-3) Don’t look now but Sparty catching a roll and defeated both Rutgers and TTUN by an average of 15 points between the two games. Don’t want to say I told you Izzo will get this straightened out but I might be right for the first time.
Last Week: #5
RPI: 37

6. Purdue 14-8(6-3) The Boilermakers have climbed their way into the Battle for Second Place. Purdue is on a three game win streak including beating rival Indiana and Northwestern last week.
Last Week: #9
RPI: 79

7. Iowa 13-8(4-4) The Hawkeyes looked like they were going to be a top team in the B1G but are on a three game losing skid.
Last Week: #6
RPI: 52

8. Michigan 13-9(6-4) Is the injury bug catching up to the Wolverines? Not yet they Beat Nebraska but lost to in state rival “lil Brother” Sparty last week.
Last Week: #7
RPI: 74

9. Illinois 14-8(4-5) The Fighting Illini are struggling losing to Minnesota but beating Penn State last week, their RPI and overall record has allowed them to jump in this weeks poll though.
Last Week: #10
RPI: 65

10. Nebraska 12-9(4-5) The Cornhuskers are on a two game losing slide and their RPI is turrible (Barkley voice). Things aren’t looking good in the Land of Lincoln.
Last Week: #8
RPI: 110

11. Minnesota 14-9(3-7) Golden Gophers might be playing tough and has moments of looking like they are ready to turn the corner and possibly get hot then they drop one to PSU. Beating Nebraska has helped ease some of that pain.
Last Week: #11
RPI: 89

12. Penn State 14-8(2-7) The Nittany Lions have 409 problems and basketball is just one of them.
Last Week: #13
RPI: 100

13. Rutgers 10-13(2-8) Rutgers might be home to the birthplace of college football but the Scarlet Knights aren’t any good at basketball, lost six straight B1G games
Last Week: #12
RPI: 116

14. Northwestern 10-11(1-7) I have no words for the Wildcats, one conference win not good.
Last Week #14
RPI: 160

As always comment down below let me know your thoughts, hit me up on the twitters or email me at AskMotSaG@gmail.com and let me know what I have wrong like you always do, looking forward to the talk about basketball just like we did with football.

Thad Matta Lands a Five Star Recruit

Late last night after a HUGE win over #16 ranked Maryland. Word was leaked out via D’Angelo Russell’s Instagram that a big time recruit JaQuan Lyle had committed to play for Ohio State while he was on his Official Visit to OSU yesterday. On top of that D’Angelo also said he would be returning to play next season as well. While we can’t confirm the latter the former has proven to be true and JaQuan Lyle will be a part of a star studded 2015 class for Thad Matta and Ohio State.

JaQuan Lyle is a 6’5″ 220 lbs Five Star Shooting Guard from Huntington, West Virginia. JaQuan originally committed to Oregon last year but had to decommit due to a grades issue and was forced to go to a Prep school for one season while he worked on grades and his game. JaQuan is a top recruit very similar to D’Angelo Russell and if D’Angelo returns they would be a deadly combination. If D’Angelo doesnt comeback next season JaQuan is the perfect fit to replace him at the Shooting Guard spot.

JaQuan Lyle joins Austin Grandstaff, Mickey Mitchell, AJ Harris, and Daniel Giddens all ranked Top 100 and at least Four Stars in the 2015 class. Time will tell where this class fits compared to Thad’s other classes but one thing is certain Thad can and will recruit his butt off.