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.

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.

MotSaG’s Inaugural Men’s B1G Basketball Power Poll

Since my football power poll was such a huge and rousing success, I have decided it’s time that MotSAG have a Big Ten Men’s Basketball Power Poll. Lets see how I am looking at the league five or six games into conference play.

1. Maryland Terps 12-1(5-1) Newcomers to the B1G are making some noise. I am sure Duke is happy with the move of the Terps out of the ACC since they always seemed to upset Duke once a year. Being only one of two teams at least .500 or above versus Top 25 teams so far this season. The Terps only loss has come at the hands of the Fighting Illini but they have beaten Michigan State by 16.
RPI #13

2. Wisconsin Badgers 16-2(4-1) The Badgers are the favorites in the B1G this season and a preseason Final Four pick by many. The only conference loss is from Rutgers and out of conference loss was to Duke. Best win was over Oklahoma so far.
RPI #9

3. Iowa Hawkeyes 13-5(4-1) The Hawkeyes biggest concern has been closing out games. The seemed to have done fine against Ohio State dominated them in both match-ups. Iowa has lost to Texas, Syracuse, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Michigan State. We will find out if they are for real when they face Wisconsin this week.
RPI #43

4. Michigan State Spartans 12-7(3-2) Izzo’s squad has losses against Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame, Texas Southern, and twice to Maryland. Their best wins are Marquette and Indiana so far. Sparty will have this figured out soon I mean come on Tom Izzo is their coach.
RPI #37

5. Indiana Hoosiers 14-4(5-1) What have the Hoosiers done to get this high in the Power Poll? For starters go 3-1 against Top 25 teams, the only B1G team with a winning record in that department. Their only Big Ten conference loss came at the hands of Sparty.
RPI #58

6. Ohio State Buckeyes 14-5(3-3) The Buckeyes are having some issues to what seems (myself included) might possibly be a sweet sixteen team in some preseason picks. Having a NBA lottery pick (D’Angelo Russell) on your squad would almost guarantee that right? With losses to Louisville, North Carolina, Indiana, and basically blown out twice by Iowa has many wondering whats wrong with the current Buckeye team (more on that later)
RPI #56

7. Michigan Wolverines 11-7(4-2) The thought the Wolverines were going to possibly have another great B1G team this season after their win against Syracuse took a huge step back. With four consecutive losses to New Jersey Institute of Technology, Eastern Michigan, Arizona, and SMU. By losing to NJIT that should put the maize and blue at the bottom of the list but being 4-2 in conference play prevents that. Lets see how they cope with losing Caris Levert for the rest of the season. He was their leading scorer and rebounder.
RPI #84

8. Purdue Boilermakers 11-7(3-2) Boilermaker fans I would love to move you up at least one spot since you did beat TTUN but seriously who have you played and beat so far?
RPI #103

9. Illinois Fighting Illini 12-7(2-4) Who is this Illini team? They beat Baylor and Michigan State but lose to TTUN,OSU, Nebraska, and Indiana.
RPI #53

10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights 10-9(2-3) Scarlet Knight fans sorry but losses to Northwestern, Nebraska, and Minnesota have you bellow Illinois despite you are the only team to knock off Wisconsin.
RPI #75

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers 10-7(2-3) The only reason the Cornhuskers are this high is that they have 2 wins in conference play so far. Looking at their out of conference schedule people need to lay off Ohio State’s.
RPI #119

12. Minnesota Golden Gophers 12-7(1-5) Gopher fans starting your conference play with five straight losses is never a good thing.
RPI #97

13. Northwestern Wildcats 10-8(1-4) Wildcat fans lets face it your not a basketball school your a football one am i right? nope
RPI #141

14. Penn State Nittany Lions 12-6(0-5) Nittany Lion fans I have 409 more reasons to hate PSU even more but I digress. No conference wins to date thats statement enough for me to rank you last
RPI #103

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 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.