MotSaG Men’s B1G Basketball Power Poll

Back for another week and there’s a lot of movement in the Big Ten conference this week, lets take a look at where I feel things shook out.

1. Wisconsin 18-2 (6-1) The Badgers are on a perch all by themselves, currently have the solo lead over the Terps in the BiG standings. Wisky smashed Iowa last week and pulled out a tight game against the maize and blue to take over the top spot from Maryland.
Last Week: #2
RPI: 8

2. Maryland 18-3 (6-2) The Terps lost a spot after beating Sparty last week but losing to Indiana. Maryland and the Buckeyes meet up this week big game for Buckeyes to add another quality win to resume (last chance) and for the Terps to try and stay on the heals of Wisconsin.
Last Week: #1
RPI: 14

3. Indiana 15-5 (5-2) The Hoosiers and their, I can’t seem to stay off the court Tom Crean, had a decent week. Beating Maryland by 19 but then lost to OSU by 12.
Last Week: #5
RPI: 32

4. Ohio State 16-5 (5-3) Buckeyes had a really good week winning a tight game at Northwestern then coming home and beating Indiana by 12 to get their first big win of the season. D’eangelo Russel showing why he is considered a top lottery pick in next seasons draft.
Last Week #6
RPI: 53

5. Michigan State 13-7(4-3) Sparty beat PSU but lost to Nebraska last week. Izzo will get this turned around Sparty fans.
Last Week : 4
RPI: 43

6. Iowa 13-7 (4-3) I know how can I have the Hawkeyes lower than the Buckeyes after they beat OSU twice. You get blown out by Wisconsin and lose a close one to Purdue to have a losing week will do that to you.
Last Week: #3
RPI: 52

7. Michigan 12-8 (5-3) The Wolverines might be living on borred time since losing Levert for season. This week they beat Rutgers and barely lost to Wisconsin without him.
Last Week: #7
RPI: 73

8. Nebraska 12-7 (4-3) Cornhuskers aren’t going away quietly mater of fact they are making some noise and making a run it looks like. Beating Minn and Michigan State has allowed them to jump up 3 spots this week.
Last Week: #11
RPI: 91

9. Purdue 12-8 (4-3) Boilermakers in the middle of the hunt for the B1G crown. They lost to Ill by 9 and beat Iowa.
Last Week: #8
RPI: 96

10. Illinois 13-8 (3-5) Fighting Illini beat Purdue but lost to Minnesota and have a below .500 conference mark
Last Week: #9
RPI: 58

11. Minnesota 13-8 (2-6) Golden Gophers lost to Nebraska but beat Illinois at home. Allowing Minnesota to move a spot is there out of conference record and better RPI
Last Week: #12
RPI: 90

12. Rutgers 10-11 (2-6) I should probably put the Scarlet Knights seeing how they are under .500 across the board and on a current 4 game losing skid. Having one more conference win allows them some reprieve for another week.
Last Week: #10
RPI: 102

13. Penn State 13-7(1-6) Nittany Lions lost to Michigan State but beat Purdue this week for their first conference win of the year.
Last Week: #14
RPI: 97

14. Northwestern 10-10 (1-6) Wildcats gave the Buckeyes a run for their money like they always seem to do and they only lost to Maryland by 1. Seems their second win is on the end of the line of the fisherman from the State Farm commercial right now.
Last Week: #13
RPI: 147

As always comment down below let me know your thoughts, hit me up on the twitters or email me at 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.

Columbus we have a Problem

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is on the bubble of the NCAA tournament and it could burst at any moment possibly sending them to the NIT. When was the last time you heard that from a Thad Matta squad? I believe it was the 07-08 squad that failed to make it to the big dance that year (NIT Champs 08). We are talking about a six year stretch that has included 2 Sweet Sixteen appearances, an Elite Eight, and a Final Four appearance.

Is it to early to panic? Yes and No


Lets take a look at Ohio State’s schedule so far and compare quality wins and bad losses since these are things the committee will look at. The Buckeyes current RPI is 56 not good. Quality wins: None, they had shots mind you but losing to Louisville, North Carolina, Indiana and Iowa are showing you can’t play with tournament teams. Bad losses: Thankfully none and hopefully there won’t be any. The Buckeyes don’t need to win out their rest of the games right now to be in the Big Dance but they more than likely need to beat Maryland, Wisconsin and Indiana to get a quality win. Sad to say that Thad can easily win 20 games again this season and could be on outside looking in.


Going through looking at the stats and were the Buckeyes rank in the B1G through their first 6 conference games you would be hard pressed to believe that they are currently sitting at 3-3. Defensively the Buckeyes are #1 in blocks, #2 in steals, #5 in total rebounds (#4 in offensive and #3 in defensive). Have to admit the rebound stat really wasn’t what I was expecting to see since I seem to always be yelling at the TV for the Buckeyes to box out and why does the opponent seem to always get so many second chance shots.

Offensively the Buckeyes #2 in points per game, #1 field goal percentage, #3 at 3 point shot percentage while they are #5 in attempts made and #4 in attempts. They need serious work on the free throw line though, #9 in the B1G averaging 70.3 percent from the charity stripe. The Buckeyes are #3 in assists and #9 in turnovers (#11 at 11.4 per game) which are good things.

So Whats Wrong

Some say its playing a zone defense (tell Syracuse it doesn’t work) some say its leadership, others say its youth. I say its a combination of everything. I don’t see that much communication between the players out there on the court, every time you see a busted play on defense they are standing around looking at each other wondering who blew what assignment. The switch on pick and rolls are one of the biggest areas I see the lack of communication and then there is a guy for a wide open shot. The leaders like Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, and Amir Williams seems to be there at times but a player like Williams hasn’t taken that role and asserted himself. In my opinion Williams can be one of the most dominate forces in the league if he played with passion constantly. There are games you wish Thad would bench him for the whole game after seeing some of the stuff he pulls especially in big games. Graduate transfer Anthony Lee claimed when he came to Columbus if he was on the squad last season the Buckeyes wouldn’t have been knocked out by Dayton. After watching Lee play this season I wonder if he has any speed but out of control. He is another that should be a leader but when he gets out on the floor which is the third option after Williams and McDonald he seems to play like a bull in a china shop. D’Angelo Russell is a kid with great talent but he has a constancy issue himself at times. Others need to step up and help Russell is easy thing to say when its the whole team who is inconsistent at best offensively.

Either the Buckeyes aren’t fired up enough for the big games or too fired up not sure but the coaching staff needs to figure out a rotation that will work best and quickly. Defensively I am not against the zone but I am against players not communicating on that side of the ball, moving together as a unit (I’m picturing them practicing while having a string connected to each other), keeping your hands up (remember the movie Hoosiers? Its true in real life too). and for the love of god box someone out.

In Closing

I will leave you with the final thoughts of this rambling man. Is it to early to panic again yes and no its mid January and the Buckeyes are 14-5(3-3) with no quality wins. Can this be turned around, Yes. D’Angelo Russell ready to go pro? In my opinion no needs at least one more year. Will the Buckeyes make the tournament? Thad Matta’s the coach and his track record says yes.

Thad Four Become Official

Yesterday was the first day that college basketball players nationwide could officially sign their Letters of Intent. While it wasn’t much of a surprise there was just a little hint of drama during this last years recruiting process, the players have been known. The only drama was of one player decommitting then recommitting within a months time if memory serves me right. Mickey Mitchell was the player everyone was worried about especially since he committed to Thad and Ohio State when his brother was still a part of Urban Meyers program. Yesterday Mitchell made it official signing his LOI along with future teammates Daniel Giddens, Austin Grandstaff, and A.J. Harris. These are huge gets for Thad and company plus they will have basically newcomers to the court next season with David Bell (C) who is currently on the team but looks to be redshirted and Trevor Thompson (C) who has to sit out a season for transferring from Va. Tech. The best thing would be if D’Angelo Russell will still be on the squad next season to be a part of this incoming class along with the other youth that the Buckeyes have but that might be a pipe dream.

Players we know for sure that will not be on the team next season due to graduating is Shannon Scott(G), Sam Thompson(F), Amir Williams(C) and graduate transfer Anthony Lee(C). The current and future Buckeye men’s basketball picture looks bright. Lets take a look at your 2015 recruiting class.

Daniel Giddens C 6-10 235lbs
Marietta Georgia
Rivals: 4 star ranked #43 nationally
scouting report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
A defensive presence in the lane, he protects the rim with his shot blocking skills and his body. He is hard to score against inside because he is strong, powerful, long and athletic who uses his frame to shield the rim. Giddens is a alert defender especially off the ball in help situations where he can contest and /or block a shot to help a teammate. He runs the floor extremely well and consistently hits the boards on both ends especially offensively. Immediately on his defensive rebound he throws the outlet pass which gets the transition game going. Scores mostly on drop off passes but has shown the ability to post some on the blocks. He can also get to the rim with short one or two dribble drives which is a problem for opposing centers. He moves well without the ball and can catch and finish with touch or above the rim with power and good explosiveness.
A bona fide low post game is lacking. He first learn the art of the post up which includes deep post position with a low and wide base along with making and maintaining contact with his defender. Giddens must continue to work on developing on the offensive end of the floor especially with his back to the basket game and a short jumper. His free throw shooting is poor at the present moment and as he is leaving points at the line. Learning how to use his massive frame against like size defenders will be the first step in his growth.
Bottom Line:
If progress can be made on the offensive end of the floor we are looking at one of the most difficult players in the class of 2015 to stop inside because of his physical frame and good hands. Giddens is an active and mobile center that is strong and physical. He is an excellent defender, rebounder and finisher and as his offense continues to develop so will his offensive production. Reminds us of former Florida center Patric Young or former Ohio State forward center Perry Carter.

Austin Grandstaff G 6-4 180lbs
Rockwell, Texas
Rivals: 4 star #41 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Grandstaff is an excellent shooter off the catch or dribble. He is terrific at coming off a variety of screening actions as well. When he gets on a roll he can make a bunch. He’s a solid basketball athlete with a good basketball IQ. While shooting is his main attribute he can also put the ball on the floor and make plays off the dribble. Good passer and a good handle round out his game.
Would like to see him become a better defensive player, he has the tools to do it. Also, he can be a bit streaky shooting the ball, needs more consistency. Austin is a volume scorer who sometimes needs a lot of shots to get his points. We’d like to see him be more efficient. Grandstaff will need some help getting open at times and he will not only need to add strength but improve as a ball handler when under intense ball pressure.
Bottom Line:
His ability to put the ball in the basket is what sets him apart from most. He is a true shooting guard that can make shots from all over the court and will be an immediate shot maker on the high major level.

Mickey Mitchell F 6-7 210lbs
Plano, Texas
Rivals: 4 star #92 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Mitchell is simply a relentless rim attacker. The lefty is tough and competitive on both ends of the floor. He is an excellent passer with great court vision and ball skills as well. He is a decent three point shoot when he feet are set and he is in rhythm. Mitchell is a good perimeter rebounder that is a coast to coast threat if not brought under control immediately. He is an above the rim finisher on the break and on all clear paths to the rim. Mitchell is a match up nightmare from the wing position and has a great motor as well. Mitchell is also a standout quarterback.
Mitchell has room to improve from behind the arc and he will also need to make better decisions with the ball at times and just keep it simple. He will also need to add the jump stop to his game so he doesn’t make himself charge prone.
Bottom Line:
Mitchell is an aggressive wing that has excellent skill and feel for the game. He can score in a variety of ways and is an elite passer with toughness and a great motor. Mitchell is a high major wing that can impact the game with his skill and toughness on both ends of the floor but make no mistake about it his passing and court vision make him special.

A.J. Harris G 5-9 160lbs
Dayton, Ohio
Rivals: 4 star #103 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
A.J. is an ultra quick point guard that can get in the lane at will. He has a lightning fast first step. Has an excellent floater with great touch and body control. He’s a good advance passer off the dribble and getting the ball up the floor. He moves the ball well in the halfcourt and can create for himself or teammates at end of clock situations. The lefty is a very tough competitor with a great motor.
Harris is a very streaky shooter with range to 20 feet. Must improve the consistency of his jumpshot. He is a capable defender that sometimes gambles too much. We’d like to see him get stronger which should come as he matures.
Bottom Line:
A.J. is a solid addition for Ohio State. He should follow in their tradition of good, solid, team-first point guards.

Welcome to Columbus and Buckeye Nation.

Men’s Basketball team rips Walsh

I know we are still recovering from the big win last night in East Lansing and the Buckeyes are making it real interesting in football but there was an exhibition basketball game in Columbus today.

We have learned some thing about the Scarlet and Gray basketball team going forward, like the possible starting line up, if the freshman phenomenon is for real, and if this team will have an offensive presence.

Thad Matta ran out a starting line up of guards Shannon Scott(SR) and D’Angelo Russell(FR), forwards Marc Loving(SO) and Sam Thompson(SR), and the center Amir Williams(SR). The starting line up can be tinkered with if need be if players start struggling later in the season but the main concern is that there’s going to be times in the beginning of the season where the line-up will feature players that haven’t played together at all, hopefully they will grow together as the season progresses.

Freshman phenomenon D’Angelo Russell is the real deal. It’s sad to say we might only get to watch him play for a season so enjoy his game. He has a pretty left handed jumper and a presence that is beyond his years as a true freshman. He was running the offense a lot tonight replacing Scott as he went to the bench and not only can Russell score but he can pass and rebound. his numbers from today were 17 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds in 30 minutes. Russell lead the Buckeyes in all those categories. Yes this kid is for real and it is going to be a joy to watch him play this season.

Remember last season when it was painful to watch the Buckeyes try to score on offense? Don’t think there is going to be that issue happening this season. Yes the Scarlet and Gray were chucking up three’s today going 10-28 from behind the arc (35.7%) and they were 46.2% on their field goals (30-65). They missed a lot of lay-ups and Sam Thompson missed a big dunk in the first half. When this team gels together they are going to be something special. Guys are still learning there roles and plays, like Anthony Lee missing some wide open passes to the hoop.

Bottom line Buckeyes scored 77 and held Walsh to 37 and yes it was just an exhibition but you have to start somewhere. Buckeyes first game is this Friday vs UMass-Lowell in Cbus and only watchable on the Big Ten network plus subscription.

I will have a complete preview done this week as the season finally opens up and I have finally stopped crying about not seeing Aaron Craft in the Buckeyes uniform anymore.

Top 3 Moments in OSU History (Guest Post)

We here at MotSaG are interviewing several potential writers and have each of them to write about a different topic and will present them to our readers so they may give some feedback. Please leave some comments for the guys and show some support. Thanks

This post is is brought to you by Stephan Sharp and you can find him on Twitter at @StephanSharp

When I was asked to write about my top three events in Ohio State history, my first thought was “How am I going to narrow this down to three?” To make my choices a little easier, I decided to only pick from events that have happened in my lifetime (since 1990). I know I am leaving out a great deal of important events by doing this, but it was the only way I thought would be fair and allow me to write about games I have witnessed and not just read about. Now on to the countdown…

No. 3: Ohio State 28 – Troy 10, Sept. 20, 2008

If you don’t remember much from this game, I can’t blame you. Terrelle Pryor’s first start for the Buckeyes ended with him throwing four touchdown passes on just 16 attempts. At the time, it was the smallest crowd in Ohio Stadium in six years with just 102,989 in attendance.

This game being Pryor’s first start is not why I have this game on my list. This was the first game I had the privilege of attending in person at Ohio Stadium. Walking from the parking lot, past St. John Arena, and seeing the rotunda on game day for the first time is something I will never forget.

I’ve been to other games since this one, including victories over That Team Up North in 2010 and 2012, but a rather lackluster win over a Sun Belt school will always hold a special place in my heart.

No. 2: Ohio State 85 – Tennessee 84, Mar. 22, 2007

Just five days after needing Ron Lewis and his clutch three-pointer to send an eventual second round victory over Xavier to overtime, the Buckeyes again needed late-game heroics to continue their quest for a first national basketball championship since 1960. Ohio State ended up falling in the national title game to Florida, but that does not diminish how great this game was.

I remember watching this game from my couch and being so frustrated with the performance of the first half, which ended with the Volunteers up by 17, that I seriously contemplated going to bed (this was the late game in the San Antonio regional and I had school at 7:45 the next morning) rather than allow myself to suffer through a blowout loss. I decided to give the team 10 minutes to show me something and fight their way back in it. I’m glad I stuck it out. The game was tied again halfway through the second half.

Greg Oden struggled with foul issues the entire game, playing just 18 minutes while scoring only nine points to go with three rebounds and four blocks. But that fourth block was the biggest of his career in scarlet and gray. His last-second, soaring swat of Ramar Smith’s potential game-winning lay-up is the first thing I think of when asked of Greg Oden and the 2006-07 Buckeyes.

No. 1: Ohio State 31 – Miami (FL) 24 2OT, Jan. 3, 2003

This was a no-brainer for me. Number one is the only football or basketball national championship won by Ohio State in my lifetime so far. The game no one gave Ohio State a chance to win. The game Ohio State won.

This was just a great game from start to finish between two great teams battling for the BCS National Championship. Everyone remembers Cie Grant coming on the blitz to force Ken Dorsey into throwing a poor pass on 4th and goal in the second overtime. Everyone remembers the pass interference call on Glenn Sharpe that gave Ohio State another life in the first overtime. Everyone remembers the horrific knee injury Willis McGahee suffered in the fourth quarter. The play I remember most is Maurice Clarett chasing down Sean Taylor and ripping the ball away following a Taylor interception in the third quarter.

A Mike Nugent field goal ended that drive, giving the Buckeyes a 17-7 lead. If Clarett does not pull off that outstanding play, Todd Sievers 40-yard field goal to send the game to overtime wins the game for Miami. Instead, Clarett’s final touch as a Buckeye ended up being in the second overtime as a short touchdown run that would prove to be the national championship-winning score.

What are your thoughts on my top three events in Ohio State history? Would any of these make your list?

Former Buckeye Greg Oden Arrested (Per Report)

It is being reported this morning that Greg Oden was arrested early this morning and charged with battery. Details are sketchy right now but it sounds like it happened in his hometown of Lawrence, Indiana. Here is what is being reported right now…

New details from the Indy Star…

The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. in the 7200 block of Maple Bluff Place, according to a Lawrence Police Department report.

Officers arrived at the home to find the victim crying and lying across a bed holding her face, police said. A woman described as the victim’s best friend first told officers what happened, police said.

“He punched her in the face,” the witness said, according to the report.

The victim initially was “uncooperative,” police said.

The victim’s best friend, police said, told the woman, “There isn’t that much love in the world. You need to tell that he punched you in the face.”

Police “observed blood, swelling to the nose, lacerations to the forehead and nose area of the victim’s face,” according to the report. They also “observed blood on the sofa and floor in the sitting area. (They) observed (blood) on the living room carpet (and) dirt from a flower pot that was knocked over.

The house belongs to Oden’s mother.

Oden was “calm, apologetic and cooperative” when officers spoke with him, police said.

“I was wrong, and I know what has to happen,” Oden told police, according to the report.

OSU Mens Bball Schedules Perennial Power

According to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN Ohio State will play Memphis in 2015 at a neutral site in Miami, Florida. Here is part of that report…

The Hall of Fame will debut a new event in Miami in 2015 in which Kentucky will play South Florida and Memphis will face Ohio State, an industry source told ESPN.

The neutral site doubleheader will be played at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 27, 2015. The format of the event is that each host school will play three home games in addition to one neutral site contest.

This will add another marquee match-up for Coach Matta and an early season challenge to help prepare them for the B1G season and post season.

Thad Matta & The Buckeyes Land Big Man Thompson

Ohio State has picked up seven-foot Virginia Tech transfer Trevor Thompson, according to ESPN Basketball insider Jeff Goodman.

The Buckeyes have been in the running for Thompson for several weeks now and Ohio State was speculated to be one of his top choices in his college search. Thompson averaged 5 PPG and 4.7 RPG over 30 games for the Hokies this past season. Due to transfer rules, Thompson will sit out the upcoming season and will have three years of eligibility left starting in the 2015-2016 season. This is a great pickup for Thad Matta’s squad after clearly lacking size in the front court this past season. Here’s a taste of what Thompson can bring to the team:

Thompson himself also took to Twitter to announce the news:

Thompson is ready. Are you ready for him Buckeye Nation?

Ohio State Men’s Basketball Back in the AP Poll

basketball_iconOhio State, sporting an uncharacteristic like record of 19-5 has made its way back in to the AP Poll, clocking in at #22 (they also moved up from #25 to #20 in the Coaches’ Poll).

After three straight wins (over Wisconsin, Iowa, and Purdue), Ohio State seems to be on a little mini-run heading into the game against Michigan, a showdown of two previous conference front-runners. Ohio State has showed steady improvement while Michigan is struggling to find an answer to when teams stifle Nik Stauskas’ prolific offense.

The B1G still boasts five teams in the Coaches’ Poll. You can see the rest of the rankings over at ESPN.

Ohio State Beats Purdue 67-49

The Buckeyes looked sloppy at times, but some slick shooting from Lenzelle Smith Jr. and a harassing defense allowed Ohio State to pull ahead and win Saturday night. Smith was hot behind the arc, hitting four of seven three-point attempts and finished with 16 points along with five assists. LaQuinton Ross led in scoring with 17 points and also led in rebounding with six rebounds.

Ohio State struggled at times finding a good shot, something that has plagued them all season. But when the Buckeyes made good shot selections it paid off. What’s frustrating about watching this team is there’s a good bit of talent, but carelessness and poor decision-making seems to throw them off pretty easily. The saving grace for the team though is it’s defense, which stepped up even more in the second half. Purdue had a hard time getting any offensive rhythm and their starters struggled mightily in this game.

Outside of A.J. Hammons’ 11 points, the other four Boilermakers’ starters combined for only 13 points. As I noted in my preview, Hammons had to have a big game and his fellow starters needed to provide consistent shooting to supplement him. And obviously they didn’t do it. Besides the Buckeyes’ inconsistency on offense, two bench players for Purdue stepped up and kept them in the game. Rapheal Davis and Kendall Stephens contributed 11 points and 12 points respectively off the pine. If it wasn’t for their contributions, Purdue would’ve been blown out.

While the Buckeyes looked like they were going to lose it at times, especially with about around nine minutes to go, they made their shots when had to the most. Shannon Scott had a nice game off the bench providing key shots when necessary and finished with nine points. If Scott can start providing some consistent relief off the bench, that could help Ohio State tremendously come March. Aaron Craft did what he does best and that is being the leader of the team. Craft finished with seven points, four assists and three steals. It gets said a lot, but his presence on defense is what makes the Buckeyes defense good instead of just decent.

With the win, Ohio State has now won three straight games. It’s amazing how the tone of the fans has changed over the past week. Winning tends to do that, huh? I think this team is going to be just fine and will be as ready as they can be come crunch time in March. Up next for Ohio State is arch rival Michigan, who just lost to Iowa on Saturday. A win over the team up north would be great for the Buckeyes’ resume and would continue the momentum the Buckeyes have rebuilt with their three consecutive wins.