Is Isiah coming to town? According to Bob Baptist, via Jeff Goodman of FoxSports, Ohio State hoops might open up their season against Florida International, the team Isiah Thomas recently took over...for free. It is still part of the Coaches v. Cancer tournament opening round games, but it was previously reported OSU would open up against James Madison.
While I think it is hilarious FIU gave Zeke another chance to destroy something else, Isiah picked the best place and time to start his college coaching stint, Snoozer City Arena in early November. There might be more ESPN camera's in the building than students and you know all the blue hairs down front still love Isiah, because he played for Bobby Knight. Regardless of the outcomes in the opening round games, the Buckeyes will move on to MSG, where they will face off against Syracuse, UNC and California.
Ranking the Big Ten Players This was originally in Good Shizzy the other day, but I thought it was worth bringing over to the big time, because it is an interesting follow. Adam Rittenberg, the tireless Big Ten blogger over at ESPN is ranking the top 30 B10 players for the upcoming football season.
Only 10 players return from the top 3 offensive All-Conference teams of 2008, while 15 return on the defensive side, making this a wide open season and an almost unpredictable list by Rittenberg. He listed Thaddeus Maximus as his 26th best the other day and it will be interesting to see how many Buckeyes end up making the list. Ohio State still has some holes to fill and it is unproven who is going to step up and become that elite talent, there are many candidates, but they are still green. Who do you think makes the list? Coleman? Pryor? Wilson or Heyward? Boom?
Pro Careers Starting I was on a vacation from blogging during the NFL draft, so we haven't hit on that too much around these parts, but after looking at it further, I think all the Buckeyes, minus Brian Hartline, ended up in great situations. The NFL teams have had their rookie mini-camps, but the Buckeyes draftees can't attend another OTA until mid-June when school is out.
- Malcolm will wear #27 for the Saints and has been used at corner thus far in his workouts.
- Beanie choose #26 and is a perfect fit for Arizona, if he can consistently blitz protect.
- The Rams released their leading tackler from last year, Pisa Tinoisamoa, after drafting Little Animal, who will wear #55 to start his career.
- Robo gets to keep his #80 up in Cleveland, but may be looked at as a #3 or #4 receiver, after the Browns recently signed Hilliard native Mike Furrey to a contract.
- The surprise pick for me was Hartline, who heads to nice weather, but also a team that had 3 somewhat proven receivers last year and drafted Patrick Turner from USC this year. Hartline will don #82 for Miami and will probably see most of his work on special teams.
- D-Wash turned his combine performance into a 4th round pick and will also get to keep his #20, as he battles for a nickle position with the Chiefs.
- My new favorite NFL player, Marcus Freeman of Da' Bears will wear #58, while battling for playing time opposite Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher.
- The Buckeye feel good story of the year, Nader Abdallah will be #68 as he fights for a roster spot with Jacksonville.
Word to the Wise If you are anything like me, September 12th has been circled on the calendar for a year now, as the Buckeyes will be looking for revenge, when the mighty Trojans invade Columbus. However, OSU can't afford to look past their first opponent, pesky Navy, who has had 6 straight years of 8+ wins and has lead the nation in rushing 3 straight, including 292 yards/game in 2008, which was lower than their 327 and 348 in the previous 2 seasons.
The Midshipmen did lose most of their offensive attack, but according to Phil Steele, over the last 6 years they have won more BCS games (13) than any other non-BCS team. They also have a winning record (27-17) on the road over that same time span. With the unproven talent of Ohio State in key areas and the disciplined running style of Navy, I have a felling this game could be reminiscent of past early season scares.