Monday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on February 27, 2012 at 6:00a

It's a Monday in February and that can only mean one thing: it's time for another Buckeye basketball group therapy session1.

What until recently looked like a team headed for a one seed in the tournament has now dropped three of its last five games, the latest in a come-from-ahead finish against the Badgers yesterday at the Schott.

Is it any wonder that Matta had to toss this team out of practice Saturday? The chemistry problems on this team have reached a point where you finally do have to ask whether Matta has lost the team.

Will Buford, who had 15 points in a losing effort on Senior Day: "It's very concerning leading up to March. We should be together by now."

Deshaun Thomas spoke of maturity and the need for someone to step up shortly before taking to Twitter to defend his final shot and point out the team's poor free throw shooting.

The loss dropped Ohio State to 11-5 in the conference, tied with Michigan for second place and two games back of Michigan State. The loss also clinched a share of the Big Ten title for the Spartans, though the Buckeyes can earn a tie for the crown if Michigan State loses at Indiana on Tuesday and Ohio State wins at Evanston on Wednesday and then in East Lansing in the final game of the season Sunday.

If Ohio State bottoms out and loses to both Northwestern and Michigan State, the worst they can do is a three seed in the conference tournament as they hold the tie-breaker over Wisconsin if the Badgers win out2 they will fall to the four seed.

Forget a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Just keep us out of Kentucky's bracket as the four seed.

SO THAT'S WHY CHIP KELLY WAS SO INTERESTED IN THE NFL FOR 18 HOURS. Oregon's Chip Kelly caught a lot of people off guard when he briefly flirted with the top job in Tampa last month. Now, the dalliance makes a lot more sense.


The NCAA has been looking into Oregon's recruiting practices since March of last year when Yahoo! first reported university payments to trainer/adviser Willie Lyles. Last September, Oregon officials announced that the NCAA had officially notified the school of its inquiry into possible violations involving Lyles, but things didn't get real until Friday night, when Oregon released a heavily redacted Proposed Findings of Violations (PDF).

Seven violations are spelled out, although Oregon, citing FERPA3, redacted all but three of them:

  • The football program paid for subscriptions to at least three recruiting or scouting services [REDACTED]
  • The institution's football program exceeded the permissible limit on the number of coaches by one when [REDACTED] engaged in recruiting activities
  • From 2008 through 2011, the scope and nature of the violations set forth ... demonstrate that the athletics department failed to adequately monitor

An Oregon spokesman said that, as of Friday, the school had not received a Notice of Allegations, which would come next. At this point, given the early stage of the process and the redacted state of the released document, it's anyone's guess as to what kind of trouble Oregon is in.  

It is worth pointing out that LSU is also tied to Lyles, so right about now would be a great time to hit them up with FOI requests.

AN UPDATE FROM THE MEAT MARKET. Former Buckeyes Mike Adams, Michael Brewster, Dan Herron and DeVier Posey completed their work at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis over the weekend.

Adams, considered a mid-first rounder by some services, turned in a disappointing 19 reps on the bench press to go along with a useless, but interesting 5.40 mark in the 40-yard dash. Brewster put up 29 reps on the bench and clocked a 5.35 40 at 6-2/312. For comparison, Michigan's David Molk put up 41 reps on the bench.

Herron clocked a 4.66 in the 40, which is good but not great for a running back. He added a 4.04 in the 20-yard shuffle, which was good enough for the 2nd-best time at the combine in that event behind Florida's Chris Rainey.

Posey turned in a 4.50, which puts him about 15th in terms of wide receivers at the Combine4. He measured 6-2/211, matching his listed height and weight at Ohio State.

Look, it's easy enough now to say that Eric Lichter was not a great S&C guy. In fact, Ohio State had been missing a difference-maker at this position since Dave Kennedy left in 2001. With Mickey Marotti, the Buckeyes now have someone that can help these kids take their strength to the next level. It will be interesting to measure the results at future Combines.

DIVERSIONS: Urban Meyer, making it rain for cancer research... Mike Adams on why he sold one of his rings... Boom Herron shares his side... It makes too much sense... Found outside a Meijer in Michigan... Devastation on the Missouri bench... Florida hit with the rare pre-game technical foul... Ah, the 70s... Wut?

  • 1 This is a rather intense group therapy session. In addition to the men losing to Wisconsin yesterday, the Lady Buckeyes dropped a game at Nebraska, men's hockey dropped two to Miami and the baseball team dropped the opening series to Georgia Tech, 2-1.
  • 2 Both Ohio State and Wisconsin would be 0-2 against the league's top team, Michigan State, but the Buckeyes would be 1-1 against the league's second team, Michigan, while Wisconsin would be 0-1.
  • 3 Paging the firm of Berman & Berman.
  • 4 Don't ever change, Miami. The Hurricanes had the Combine's fastest player (wide receiver Travis Benjamin, 4.36) and running back (Lamar Miller, 4.40). Miami's record last year? 6-6.

Comments Show All Comments

LadyBuck's picture

Of all the stupid rules, not being allowed to dunk before a game or during intermission takes the cake. I can understand not to dunk it when the ball is dead during play time, but if you're warming up, what's the harm in it?

Dean's picture

Believe it or not, it goes back to the OSU-Minnesota brawl in 1972 - the NCAA thought that Minnesota's practice of dunking before the game got the players too amped up and aggressive, so they banned it (the links below mention this in passing).

Pam's picture

In '69, I went to see my HS basketball team play in the Barn during the state tournament. East High played against Dayton Chaminade and when they came out to warm up, Ed Ratleff, Nick Connor and Dwight Lamar dunked. The place went nuts and E High opened the game with 3 T's. Best part? Chaminade all white cheerleading squad doing a cheer: "S O U L, we got soul now you get some"

LadyBuck's picture

Well... That's a tad ironic. I guess it makes sense if you take it in that perspective. Still, if they enforce a rule like that, they should enforce other, larger, rules during the game, consistently. 

Poison nuts's picture

Haven't even read this article yet but I gotta say - that is the best photo I've ever seen of Chip Kelly & by that I mean it's far and away the worst photo I've ever seen of Chip Kelly! Looks like a mix between Shrek....and Chip Kelly.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

djidell's picture

Why does this team appear to lack focus on weekend games?  Are they staying out late Fri/Sat night?  It's not just WB..the entire team lacks energy and focus on Sat/Sun.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Hopefully Boom can turn in a better 40 time at tOSU pro day.  A 4.66 sounds like an undrafted free agents speed.

Jdadams01's picture

That's honestly about the best he can do.

nickma71's picture

Jake Long "only" did 37 reps on the bench. It has been a few years, but I think that was the most, and as many as Vernon Gholston did.

German Buckeye's picture

Anyone think that combine analysis write up on Adams at the site is a little harsh?  Only a 54.0 "grade".  Wow, you'd think a SCUM alum had written it.  Seems to contradict potential end of first round projections. 

Whereas Brewster's write up is fairly decent although his grade is marginally better at 58.0. 

German Buckeye's picture

LOL on that 70's Evil Kneivil  bike stunt.  I remember doing crazy stuff on my bike also.  Hilarious.  Love grandma and the neighborhood kids watching - probably paid .5 cents to watch - old Dad thinking, "that's muh boy..."

btalbert25's picture

Wow, so Boom was only .01 faster than Andrew Luck on the 40.  Also heard Luck had a higher vertical jump than Cam Newton.  Sounds like Luck is really athletic as well as an incredibly smart QB. Obviously, he was kind of athletic, but I didn't know he was that quick and athletic.

TLB's picture

This is why Urban banned twitter for the football team. 

Count Thomas as one of the guys that won't be back next year.

RecruitBuck's picture

Really? Urbz banned Twitter? That's new, considering all of the football players I follow still tweet.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

As far as I know, he banned them tweeting about the team and what goes on in the locker room.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

RecruitBuck's picture

That's not what the OP said. I know they aren't supposed to tweet about the team. The OP said he banned Twitter, which is incorrect.

btalbert25's picture

The shot was stupid, but he was right, that didn't cost the team the game.  I also think he was right about the free throw shooting.  The guy was a Mc Donald's All American who was just going to college as a means to get to the NBA, maybe you don't say your degree doesn't mean anything, but I'd venture to say that many kids in college basketball share the exact same opinion.

I don't see him getting drafted very high though.  He can't play defense for shit and he isn't a consistently great scorer.  If he declares, there's a good chance he won't see the first round.  Hell 1/3 of the first round will be taken up by players from UNC and UK.

blazers34's picture

couldnt disagree more.  think he is a sure fire first rounder. he can score, has size, monster on the boards, and has gotten better at d. 

btalbert25's picture

I guess he can end up in the bottom 3rd of the first round.  Could probably be a lottery pick if he comes back.

RedStorm45's picture

has size? He's 6^6 playing the 4 spot.  You think he can guard Amare, Dirk, Duncan, Gasol, Bosh, etc.? Move him to 3 maybe? You think he can guard LeBron, Durant, Carmelo, etc.?

Squirrel Master's picture

Yeah, Thomas at most may be a bench player. He is undersized for his position and to slow to move to the SF. He has great hops and can shoot well but he needs polish or he will not make it.

Just think, Sully will most likely be a PF like, I hate saying this, Glen Davis. Thomas can't compete with players like Sully at the PF. Move him to SF and Lebron, Durant, Carmelo would kill him. Not to mention he would be competing with Harrison Barnes and Kidd-Gilcrist for drafting and he is not even close to as good at them. He has the stats but talent is not there.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

this is not the same team i saw blast DUKEie by 23 and then blow out the rest of the league midseason...something internally is going on for this team to fall apart

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

buckeye defender's picture

"my degree means nothing" that Thomas' way of saying he's gone after this season?

scarlet and gray every day...

slippy's picture

I think that was the guy who re-tweeted DT's comment who added that.  Notice where the quotations are.

buckeye defender's picture

yep you're right, my bad.

scarlet and gray every day...

snoodogg22's picture

Damn this season is going down the shitter fast! Next year isn't looking so promising either.

Tough times never last, tough people do

thatlillefty's picture

anybody know how Matta's '12 recruit class is shaping up?

RecruitBuck's picture

We're either taking Tony Parker or no one. Amile Jefferson is no longer being recruited by OSU I believe.

thatlillefty's picture

one recruit? how is that possible?

Squirrel Master's picture

Loaded on scholly players. but it will be more than 1 recruit. That is based on only Buford leaving, since he is the only senior. but we all know Sully is leaving and I would bet money that Thomas will leave after this year which would be a huge mistake. He is not ready and won't get drafted in the 1st round if at all. So I think there are 3 scholly players that Matta can recruit.

I am sorry, yes this team missed free throws late that could have put this game advantage OSU, but WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU AVOID A FOUL BEHIND THE ARC!!!! Thomas played great and even made me rethink my thoughts of him staying at the PF position. Especially the way he was hitting free throws! He was the best at the line and he avoids the hit and throws up that rediculous shot!

I can't bring myself to watch anymore. I love this team and the players but I die a little bit when they play like that! They will make it to the sweet sixteen and then play like this and lose to no matter who it is, Kentucky or Murray State!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

dumpus's picture

on the mizzou bench - good to see that dane cook is back in comedy...

Bucksfan's picture

Did you guys watch the game?!  Why are we talking about Deshaun Thomas's last shot, as if that had any impact in a 3-point loss?  The guy had 23 points, 7 rebounds and was 3 for 5 on free throws.

What about the fact that Craft couldn't execute a bounce pass to save his life?  Or how about his 1 for 4 effort from the stripe?  Or Sullinger's inexcusably deplorable night (8 points, 0 for 3 on free throws)?

Deshaun Thomas is the only one out there who played anything resembling basketball.

In the end, it doesn't matter.  3 of the 5 starters logged 35 minutes.  The bench didn't score any points.  It's not a great basketball team.  Spade is a spade.

blazers34's picture

agree.  Thomas kept them in the game.  He has been carrying them lately.  Seems to me that Sullinger has checked out mentally and is ready for the NBA.  Also, there is a chance he could be banged up too.  Either way, he is NOT platying well.

Bucksfan's picture

Yeah, nothing gets NBA teams more fired up to draft you than showing them that you mentally check out at times.

DJ Byrnes's picture

That Meijer's photo was an awesome way to start the day. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

RedStorm45's picture

sad showing for Brewster...guy was the #1 rated center coming out of high school.  Can't execute a shotgun snap to save his life.  6^2?? He was listed as 6^5 his entire career.  I understand listing guys an inch or two more than they actually are...but 3 inches for a lineman?

Expectations for hoops...beat NW, lose at MSU.  Beat our first round opponent in the big ten tourney, lose the next round.  4/5 seed...lose 2nd game of the NCAA tourney.  What a waste.  The team has ONE consistent scorer right now...D.T.  Sully might give you 6 points and 5 boards.  Buford might give you a 3-13 showing.  Craft might give you 5 points, 3 assists, and 4 turnovers.  Smith...might not score at all.  There are no scorers on the bench.  How in the heck did we recruit Scott over Burke? Kid can't shoot and can't defend.  What good is he?

Squirrel Master's picture

I think Brewster will be fine. His measurables were not great but he showed some good things on the field. I was watching. They say his major issue is short arms, he can't get a solid push. It is also an issue when you think shorter arms can bench more.

Adams looked better than the report showed. He is a lock at #4 for OT. Glenn may have jumped over him but Jon Martin fell below him due to not being able to workout at the combine.

Herron really didn't look that bad. If he can go to the right place, get some coaching, he could be a productive player in a role.

Posey did not look great at all. his measurables are okay and his speed is "eh". Couple that with his history of dropping passes and he might fall to a 5th round grade. Plus being a deep WR class, he should have left last year!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

buckeyechad's picture

It seems like not that long ago our players were putting up some of the best numbers during the combine. Even Boone put up solid numbers. 19 reps? wtf have they been doing the past few years

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I think that's why a lot of these kids are getting their asses whooped with the new strength and conditioning program. No Pain no gain I guess.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

poop's picture

Look, it's easy enough now to say that Eric Lichter was not a great S&C guy.

Now I can see why Urban keeps saying that Mariotti is the most important hire on his staff.