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.

Its that time of the year again!

Its that time of the year again! Basketball season is officially here(technically the season doesn’t start til Sunday.) Nonetheless its here and its a cause for celebration. But before I get ahead of myself, I know we’re coming down the home stretch of the football season and the Buckeyes are right in the meat of the schedule, but please bear with me because its B-Ball season baby!


The Buckeyes, coming off of an overall decent yet lack luster season, are looking to make some huge improvements from last year’s team. OSU finished with a 24-11 record in Thad Matta’s 11th year. Thats not a bad record, but when you play in the Big Ten, which is arguably the best conference in basketball, that kind of record only lands you in 6th place. But bouncing back may be easier said than done, sense the Bucks lost their top two scorers per game, NBA lottery pick D’Angelo Russell and Slam Thompson. Russell averaged 19 points per game, while Thompson’s average was just over 10. However, Ohio State seems to be loaded with talent on this year’s team. Sophomore, Jae’sean Tate has a motor that doesn’t quit and is the leading returning scorer from last year’s squad. His role, as the new leader of this team, will bring an energy and a fire to the court, that we haven’t seen in the past few years. Not to mention, Keita Bates-Diop, the Sophomore Small Forward, will get much more playing time this season. Bates-Diop showed signs of tremendous talent last year, but he will have a greater opportunity to prove how he earned that four star rating, coming out of high school. Thad Matta and company also brought in the number one recruiting class in the Big Ten, which consists of five, four star commits:

C Daniel Giddens
SG Austin Grandstaff
SG Jaquan Lyle
SF Mickey Mitchell
PG AJ Harris

Ohio State is in a prime position, with the amount of talent they have on the roster, to make a run for a championship this season. Whether their lack of experience will hinder the Buckeyes has yet to be seen.

Around the country, there are always Freshman that jump right into the game and make a huge impact; Dick Vitale calls them “diaper dandies.” For example, Ben Simmons at LSU is a guy that everyone seems to be fascinated with. Some more names you should be on the look out for are from your typical blue chip programs such as UK and Duke.

Kentucky will play the #10 overall player coming out of high school last season, SF Jamal Murray; as well as the #2 overall and #12 overall players, PF Skal Labissiere and guard Isaiah Briscoe.

Coach K has brought in PG Derryck Thornton and SG Luke Kennard for his backcourt. They are the number #14 overall and #21 overall players respectively. Duke also signed the #3 overall player, SF Brandon Ingram.

Its looks like it will be anothet great year of college basketball and I can’t wait. If you want to check the Men’s Basketball team, Ohio State kicks off its season on Sunday against Mt. St Mary’s; but the kickoff marathon starts on Tuesday.
3 Kentucky and 6 Duke will play at 7:30.
Georgetown and 1 Maryland will start at 9PM, and 5 Kansas and 19 Michigan will tip-off at 10 o’clock. Enjoy the season basketball fans!

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, the No. 12 center and the No. 1 center in Ohio meanwhile 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.

Thad Gets a Second Big for 2016

Lets face it Thad Matta’s hasn’t had much luck getting Big men to Ohio State. Yes there was the one and done Greg Oden, Jared Sullinger as far as really good ones that have donned the Scarlet and Gray so far. There also has been (at least to many fans like myself) disappointments like Amir Williams, undersized centers like Trey McDonald and Anthony Lee. I am sure I am missing some names right now but you get my point.

Next season redshirt freshman David Bell will be someone to keep and eye on along with Virginia Tech transfer who had to sit out this last season, Trevor Thompson.

Derek Funderburk a 2016 commit for the Buckeyes earlier this year is going to be joined now by Micah Porter. The 2016 class is going to be small might even be done with recruiting.

Porter who is from Mentor is listed at 6’10 220-240 and plays center/forward. The 3-star player is listed as the #13 prospect in the state of Ohio.

Thad has talent coming in this next season for the outside, has size currently on team with more coming. This actually could be very scary whats about to go down in Columbus the next few years.

The Best Damn Fan March Madness Giveaway


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.


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.


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.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Links

OSU LogoBrownsosuHelmetThree Yards and a Cloud of Links is Men of the Scarlet and Gray’s semi-regular curated look at items that would interest Ohio State fans. These include news items, interesting blog posts and the occasional meme you’ve probably already seen. It’s all here and it’s all for you. Have a tip that should be included in the next TYAACOL? Drop us a line at or through our Contact Page.

And we’re BACK! I’ve been spending a large portion of my time in a Quincy, MA hotel room for work, which means I should finally have time to get some honest to goodness blogging in. And what better way than to get back into the swing of things than an actual blog post — I find some articles that I think you might like and I’ll link them and you can read them yourself. Blogging used to be so much easier back in my day.

INCOMING CUTENESS ALERT: I have a feeling that come the middle of September of this year, Columbus is going to see a serious uptick in the number of Ezekiel’s born into this world. And with good reason. The Columbus Zoo, however, is ahead of the curve:

ALMA MATTA: Serious questions about Thad Matta have been raised during the course of the season (and I myself feel there’s a little truth to them) about his effectiveness and his success at developing players. There’s never been a question if Matta can recruit (Oden and Conley, The Villian, Sully and DT, Russell) but some of his projects have not panned out.

That being said, with a victory against Penn State, he ties Fred Taylor’s record for wins as the Head Coach of the Ohio State Men’s Basketball team. Matta’s success cannot be denied. What I find interesting is this quote from Coach Tom Izzo of Michigan State:

“I think he does an incredible job, and I’ve gained so much respect for him over the years, and yet he doesn’t seem to please enough people sometimes in Columbus.”

Are we that demanding as fans? Has Matta not done enough? Are current struggles indicative of his career as a whole?

OPPS, DID I DO THAT? I spend a lot of time instant messaging my fellow MotSaG’er Jeremiah throughout the day, and occasionally I’ll send him a highly inappropriate message and then follow up with “Oops, wrong window”, meaning my suggestive IM was intended for my wife, not my cohort. It happened once on accident, but for the most part, I do it to get a rise.

All that’s to say that I am having a little bit of an issue believing Zach Smith’s 4 year-old “accidentally” texted a recruit, which was a no-no that Ohio State self-reported as part of its report to the NCAA on minor infractions.

I’m not saying he didn’t do it. I’m also saying he didn’t not do it and then blame his son. I’m just saying.

WE STILL LOVE THE VEST: Asked if Harbaugh is the man to bring Michigan back to greatness and glory, Jim Tressel said that he does think Jim Harbaugh can do it. But he also reminded football fans that he is still the master of saying everything by saying sort of nothing:

“Personally, I think they’re a ways away from being at the level where there’s going to be a Ten Year War”

“A ways away”. Don’t ever change, Senator.

DEVOUT FAN: My son told me once he was a “fan of tornadoes”. I’m not really sure how one becomes a fan of tornadoes, but son is on. I also am not sure how one becomes a fan of Judge Judy, but it looks like they are out there. I was going to throw this in the ETC section, but it gets it’s own section. I can’t get over the “Devout Fan” part:

Of course Judge Judy’s response is just icing on the cake:

ETC: I think the opening title page of this SI Gallery of “Big Ten Players To Watch” is rather sufficient. Probably no need to dive into the gallery, but if you want to, you’ll find plenty more Buckeyes in the mix. Brian Hartline visited with the Browns earlier this week. I’ll just follow that up with the immortal words of Michael Clarke Duncan. Finally, look at these little pancakes. LOOK AT THEM.

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 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.

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.