Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on February 21, 2012 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.

Last night, I heard a name I haven't heard in quite a while. That name was Greg Oden, and I couldn't help but feel his pain after learning he underwent his third microfracture surgery. Oden has had two surgeries on his left knee and one on his right.

It seems like forever ago that Oden and fellow freshman Mike Conley dominated college basketball and nearly won it all before losing to Florida in the NCAA championship game. Back then, the sky was the limit for the Indiana native who was a nightmare for opponents on the defensive end.

His only healthy basketball season after high school, when you think about it, was his one and only season at OSU. After being selected #1 overall by Portland, Oden has only played 82 games in his four NBA seasons, 61 of which came his rookie year. His legacy has been compared to that of Sam Bowie, the player Portland took over Michael Jordan.

It must be tearing Oden up inside that he can't play the game which made him who he is today. The fact that he is even continuing to try to get back on the court after all the surgeries and disappointments in his professional career shows how passionate he is about the game. You can only hope at some point everything works out for such a talented player and a great Buckeye.

However, I'm not going to pout too much for him. After all, he is making $8.9 million dollars this season.

 SO GOES THE SEASON WITH BUFORD. William Buford is having an up and down season, which has been trending downward as of late. Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch believes the Buckeyes aren't going to get far unless Buford turns it around.

As displayed in the Buckeyes' losses against Michigan State and Michigan, Buford is going to need to elevate his level of play if the Buckeyes expect to go far in the NCAA tournament. Buford, the team's only senior, is setting a poor example for the younger players beneath him as he has taken the most shots on the team but is an astounding ninth in field goal percentage on the team.

Additionally, while Buford is averaging 15 points this season, his highest average of his career, he is averaging 18.4 points against the bottom seven Big Ten squads and only 8.8 points against the top four teams. He's clearly having trouble living up to the pressures of big games and that's a bad sign because every game in March Madness is a big game.

Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas can only do so much for this team. Thad Matta needs to get more out of his perimeter game. Lenzelle Smith, Aaron Craft, and Buford have simply not been a great alternative to the post game and it's hurt OSU in their last two big games.

Buford, who could've been a first round NBA draft pick last year, is playing at such a low level that some people are questioning if he'll even get drafted. Could Buford have to play in Europe like David Lighty did this year? Maybe we shouldn't think this far ahead as Buford still has time to turn it around, but Buford has to pick it up or the Buckeyes are in trouble come March.

GEE SOUNDS OFF. In an interview with Ohio State's student newspaper, The Lantern, Ohio State president Gordon Gee states that he doesn't agree with the NCAA bowl ban for OSU's football program next season.

"First of all, the NCAA — if we would have given up five bowl games, they would have imposed the sixth on us because they were going to impose a bowl ban. This was Ohio State. This was (the NCAA's) moment in time, and they were going to impose a bowl ban no matter what we did."

Gee, however, wasn't alone. Former head coach Earle Bruce voiced his discontent with the NCAA's sanctions.

"I've heard some things that I wonder about," Bruce said. "I think you let the (NCAA) do their job, and they did it with a vengeance."

But that's not all, folks. A Miami-area college sports lawyer, Michael L. Buckner, threw in his two cents on the matter as well.

"Under the Committee's logic, Ohio State played ineligible student-athletes in the Sugar Bowl. I have a few problems with their rationale," Buckner said. "(The Committee) is trying to inject themselves in the judgment of the reinstatement staff and the Committee on Reinstatement. That's not in their purview. Their purview is to look at violations."

While I'm very enthusiastic these relevant sources are so passionate about voicing their opinions against the NCAA, I believe it isn't necessary at this point. I, just like everyone else in Buckeye nation, didn't like the way the NCAA went about imposing its punishment on OSU. However, we can't change what's happened and it's best if we just move forward.

It's great that someone is speaking up for a lot of disgruntled fans and players, but at this point, let's just deal with it. Let's let Meyer whoop these players into shape next season, and get them ready to come back hungrier than ever in 2013.

The bow tie's coming off for this scuffle.

THIS IS FAMILY BUSINESS. Kirk Ferentz is hiring his son, Brian, as offensive line coach for his Iowa Hawkeyes.

Brian, who has been with the New England Patriots for the past four seasons, returned to Iowa after coaching the Patriots' successful tight end combination of party enthusiast Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. 

While there is the obvious family and alma mater connection that attracted him to Iowa, I still find it odd that Brian Ferentz would give up his position with the Patriots. Many analysts see Ferentz as a talented mind who could one day be a play caller.  Maybe he believes he'll be able to climb to a more prominent position faster than in the NFL, or maybe he just feels at home at Iowa.

Either way, it's a great hire for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.

BUCKEYE HOOPS. Ohio State had a mediocre showing in Ann Arbor last Saturday and they dropped to #8 in this week's college basketball top 25. The top five rounded out with #1 Kentucky, #2 Syracuse, #3 Missouri, #4 Kansas, and #5 Duke.

The coming week doesn't get easier for the Buckeyes either, as they will play Illinois, who knocked Matta's squad off in their earlier meeting in Champaign, and the always tricky Wisconsin Badgers.

OSU will play Illinois tonight at 7 at the Schott and will also play Bo Ryan's Badgers on Sunday at the Schott.

LOS LINKS. Your Illinois basketball update... For those wondering about Davonte Neal...  Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck avoid an awkward situation... Dancing without Joe Pa... Any of you bros care to LAX?



Comments Show All Comments

mclovin's picture

Wisconsin game is on Sunday. 4 pm

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

The NCAA cleared the kids to play in the Sugar Bowl and serve their suspensions the following season. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I support Gee making that statement concerning the corrupt NCAA, as long as he states it just this one time, and he doesn't keep revisiting the issue.

Also, there is sort of a hierarchy when it comes to "moving on" from the corrupt NCAA's absurd penalties against Ohio State:

The players and coaches ought to move on immediately, not concern themselves with things they cannot control, make their statements in the weight room, on the practice field, in the classrooms, in the 'Shoe.

The university administration has to strike a balance between "moving on" and protecting the university's interests.

There's no impact on the team, one way or the other, whether the fans move on or don't move on. It's simply up to you, as an individual. Large concentrations of fans who understand how corrupt and counterproductive is the NCAA can contribute to changing that system in small, incremental ways; moroever, I wouldn't advise those fans to simply "move on" in the face of (what they perceive to be) systemic corruption, but that's me. 

VestedInterest's picture

I feel personally that the rogue nature of the NCAA needs to be pointed out religiously regardless of source. I agree that players and coaches should spend about as much time as tying their shoes railing against them but a snide condescending comment I don't mind. The facts clearly illuminate a collegiate sanctioning body that is diametrically opposed to it's stated mission statement, namely fairness.

There exists a 400 page manual on how the governing of schools is to be handled, yet without fail the predictability of sanctions is anything but. I've always felt that it's incumbent upon those under their rule to require consistency, looking the other way from any group condones their blatant disregard for equity in their assessments at all levels. The NCAA should spoken of in the most anachronistic manner possible until their ability to become the integrity laden governing body they claim to be is a reality.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Excellent point. A tactic that is likely to be particularly effective against the NCAA is to relentlessly ridicule it, constantly refer to it as an anarchronism, etc. 

As you're suggesting, the "intellectual culture" of the NCAA might be especially sensitive to that tactic because it consists of well-educated elites on staff and committees of self-important academics and so forth - i.e., they see themselves as forward-thinking, tolerant, broad-minded, good little progressives. 

Squirrel Master's picture

Bubba ain't understandin dem big wurds!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

baddogmaine's picture

Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch believes the Buckeyes aren't going to get far unless Buford turns it around.

I don't understand this mindset. Obviously the team is better off if one of the three guys who is counted on to score does score. But from whence comes this idea that this team can win ONLY if Buford starts scoring? If Buford gets hurt do the Buckeyes turn down an NCAA spot because we can't possibly win? Or do we expect the guy who is getting paid a few mil per year to coach the team to try to figure out how to play without him?

Here's another quote, from Doug Lesmerises.

The Buckeyes seemed lax on a lot of their screens Saturday, which sometimes forced shooters, Buford included, into contested shots.

Nonsense! No one, including Buford, is ever forced into taking contested shots unless the shot clock is at two.

The problem is and has been that Buford IS hurt, or at least his game is hurt, and Matta has refusaed to make adjustments. He is running the same offense he has since he arrived in Columbus, which allows "shooters" to fire away even when the defense is in pretty good position. Coaching is establishing game plans that will maximize what is available AND not counting on what is not. Buford's shotting problems are not sudden and they seem to be not temporary. Matta's job is to develop an offense that not only does not force contested shots but seeks to eliminate them; and that does not depend on scoring from someone who is not scoring but whose shooting is just turning the ball over.

Will this work? The only way to find out is to develop it and try it. What we do know is that running an offense that includes lots of contested shots and even lots of open shots by Buford is putting us at a competitive disadvantage against good teams. If we try to change our offensive philosophy and that doesn't work either then I guess this wasn't our year, no matter how promising it started out. But continuing to try over and over what is not working (forget our record, what we are doing now is not working at the level it needs to) and expecting a different result is the sign of insanity. Or very lazy coaching.

Buford might have a good game tonight. He might have a good game against Whisky. That to me will change nothing. The first time he has a really awful night when it matters and Matta des not have a Plan B to shift to we will have cause to wish we had not let optimism overshadow reasonable precaution.

"Forced shooters into contested shots." That's what a high school coach might permit, not one of the highest paid leaders in the college ranks.




Baroclinicity's picture

But from whence comes this idea that this team can win ONLY if Buford starts scoring?

When Buford doesn't play well, we don't beat the tough teams.

At Indiana, he was 3-7fg, 0-2 behind the arc, 4pf, and 8 total pts.

Against MSU, he was 2-12fg, 0-2 behind the arc, and had 4 total pts.

At Michigan, he was 3-12fg, 0-3 behind the arc, and had 6 total pts.

We all know the game he had against Kentucky in the tourney last year.  And to be fair, he was 7-18fg with 15pts against Illinois. 

He had 20pts against Duke, 12 in the Indiana win, 11 in the Michigan win. 

Is this telling the entire story?  No.  Is it statistically relevant?  Without question.  Yes, we can win if Buford doesn't shoot well.  Is it likely?  No.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

baddogmaine's picture

Of course this is true - it will be very difficult to win if someone who shoots badly shoots a lot.  I am not suggesting that we can win if Matta continues to permit Buford to shoot and miss. What I am suggesting is that there are alternatives. What I've been trying to say recently is that if what we are doing is not working we can try something else.

 If you reduce the number of shots Buford takes you might be able to win even if Buford continues to shoot badly - make his bad shots a smaller part of the offense. I say this elsewhere - if your game plan is based on Buford scoring only 6 then you have a better chance of surviving when he doesn't score 15. If he is limited to 10 shots that's fewer misses he can contribute. Change the game plan.

The alternative is changing the player, and I don't see a certain way of achieving that. Do you?

btalbert25's picture

The only way to reduce his shots is to put his butt on the bench though.  He's going to keep firing the ball up there because well he always has.  Then if they lose because he spends 2/3 of the game on the bench people will be saying WHY DIDN"T THAD KEEP BUFFORD ON THE COURT.  Just kind of have to hope the kid makes a couple shots early, if he does he's going to play well and the team will probably win.  If he doesn't, he's no good anywhere on the court.  There are some kids who struggle on the offensive side of the ball sometimes but continue to play well on the other side of the court.  It seems like when Bufford can't score, he's basically worthless.  If he does score early, he's going to be good on D and rebounding and doing all the little things right.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think the word of the season should be accountability! Buford has no reason to be concerned for retribution of his play. Thad needs to sit him to hopefully get the point across that his inconsistant play is killing this team. I also think it is not just him that should be benched for a period of time, Smith Jr should get the bench when his play gets erratic. He very well could be the best lock down defender outside of Craft and can shoot. Smith and Buford need to figure out how to be more consistant with there play or this team will not make it past the sweet 16.

I do think Matta needs to pick a game, unfortunately there are no more cupcakes on the schedule, and just sit a few players. Give them rest and let them know it is not a detriment to them but they need to keep in mind that their roles are not guaranteed. Let the bench players get a chance to get the full experience of the game. We talk all the time about competition in football but there is no threat of this bench pushing the starters out.

I would really like to see a lineup of Craft, Thompson, Thomas (at the 3), Sullinger (4) and Williams at center. Just give it a try to start a game and see. Mix it up a bit. I think we will see Thomas shine even more at the 3 and see what size can do in the post. Thompson has the chops to be a really good defender and his length could distrupt these outside shooters that are killing us. I think thompson could do a better job on Paul tomorrow than Smith did.


I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Ethos's picture

ha! I said the same below.  Scary that we were typing that at the same time.  I agree whole heartedly.  The only way you motivate a starter, is to make him think his place on the team is always up for grabs.  Matta turned into Tressel, and kept a senior and other players on the field because he felt he owed them that.  Thats horse shit and highschool basketball stuff.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Ethos's picture

also I see you have them at the sweet 16, you have higher hopes then me.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Squirrel Master's picture

I say sweet 16 not because of how good they are. Moreso of their level of talent over the teams they could possibly meet in that first weekend. It will be similar to the last couple years. Their greater talent will get them so far, how far past that will have to be on the quality of play that we so far have not seen.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

Is it because he owed it to them or because when he put in guys like Thompson and Amir early in the season they really didn't do all that much.  I remember at the beginning of the year being jacked for Amir to be on the team.  He got some early PT and just didn't look good at all.  Certainly didn't look like the stud we thought he'd be. 

Plus, I think Thad has shown over time he's not scared to play freshman as long as those Freshman show what they can do.  Thomas was basically pretty bad last year but he gave him plenty of opportunities to at least show what he was made of. 

I think Thad has gone to the bench this year more often, earlier in games, and deeper than what he has done in recent years and no one is has really stepped up.  Thompson has shown flashes, I'm not too impressed at all with Scott, and Amir looked pretty good against Purdue I think, but overall no one has come in and put up the kind of play that makes me say wow, that guy has to get into ball games.

Ethos's picture

but thats the point!  His players that SHOULD be doing well according to him are doing awful.  So how do you motivate them to snap out of it?  Thats the thing, we've seen none of that all year except when they play a bad team.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Squirrel Master's picture

but Amir is looking better now and you have to believe that incoming freshmen need time to develop. I wish all players could be like sully but sometimes it takes a bit to grow. Amir has been playing well and I think this team needs to try something.

I hate to use this but this team is starting to become very Walrus like! Predictable at the very least. Teams know who you need to cover on defense and who you can attack on offense. They know Sullinger is not excellent guarding on the perimeter so they are dragging him out and making him a liability and not to mention once he is out there, there is no low post to keep them from driving the lane. Teams know that if you frustrate Buford early then he will have an off night.

How about trying something that will confuse the opponent every once in a while.

I think Weatherspoon has shown he can play when on the court. He can at least create his own shot.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

Here's the thing though.  If you bench craft, Sully, Thomas, or Bufford, which Thad did sit at least 3 of those guys at the same time very early in the Purdue game, there is no one on the floor looking to score.  So, I agree Thad can bench these guys to send a message, but are you going to defend that decision when it leads to a loss?  I agree, the bench can be a great motivation, but do you sacrifice seeding at this point in the season with a loss to Illinois by benching a couple of starters for guys who just won't produce? 

I know that not all freshman are going to come in and be stars, just seems like this year's freshman class, which was highly touted, is really having trouble getting used to the college game.  Other schools freshman, as well as Ohio State's teams in the past, haven't had that problem. 

Thad has gone to the bench more than I can remember, the guys getting that PT just haven't done anything to force the issue.  Do you really want to try that experiment now, when a loss could mean the difference between a possible number 1 seed and a lock to be a 3 seed?

Ethos's picture

In my opinion, once you are not a 1 seed, who cares what seed you are.  I'm not saying bench all of them, but bench the ones that aren't hot.  Craft can't shoot, but obviously defensively he is what you need and he doesn't play with a lack of motivation anyways.  I'm saying bench Bufurd and Smith for an entire game. 

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

btalbert25's picture

Guess it's all a matter of opinion.  Just don't want to fall to far and have to match up with UK in the sweet 16 again.  Lose a game screwing around and benching guys, then lose To MSU or early in the B1G tourney and a 4 seed is not out of the question, which means you play a 1 in the sweet 16.  I'd much rather be a 2 or 3 and match up against Duke or Baylor than have to play UK or Cuse in the Sweet 16.

Squirrel Master's picture

Kentucky would suck to play before elite 8 I agree. but as things currently are, playing Duke or Baylor in sweet 16 wouldn't ease my mind either! I have finally succumbed to the fact that this team as is does not belong with Syracuse and Kentucky. Just hope it can prove its better than the others! so far, not happening!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Squirrel Master's picture

Illinois could be the last chance for that! I say do it. If there already is a possibility the current lineup could lose to Illinois then why worry they could lose by trying something. At least you can learn if there is something that can be fixed or learn how truly flawed this team really is and hopefully fix it next season!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

pcon258's picture

honestly, i may be a huge minority on this, but i like the idea of playing seniors based largely on the fact that theyre seniors. that being said, i think that you're right in that burford should be threatened with the bench. but i think that as long as matta doesnt think that buford is slacking off in practice/games, i think he's paid his dues and deserves pretty solid playing time. but godamn i really wish he'd make a shot

Baroclinicity's picture

So who takes Buford's place?  Thomas can't get it done alone as we saw against Michigan.  I don't disagree with what you are saying, but there aren't many alternatives. 

I know what will come next... it is criticizing the lack of bench playing time.  But we have seen the bench more this year than last by far, and I don't really see anyone capable right now of filling Buford's shoes if we put him on the bench.


When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

slippy's picture

Buford only needs to get it going for this team to succeed because he never comes off the floor.


It's basically common sense.  You need contributions from everyone who is currently playing.  Since he plays almost 40 mins in close/big games, he needs to contribute.  If he played 15 mins a game it wouldn't be that big of a deal for him to contribute, but whoever took his place would.

baddogmaine's picture

If you want to play uptempo offense then everyone on the floor needs to be able to score. Even if Buford found his touch we would still be playing essentially 3 on 5 (since Craft and Smith are allowed to not score) and Buford's shots would still be contested, which would still be a problem.

The Buckeyes play sound fundamental defense, and no team that plays solid defense is helpless. Because of our defense we COULD go to an offensive game plan that does not require scoring from everyone, or at least not as much. If our target becomes 60 points per game instead of 70 we can get by with Buford scoring 6. He might not be happy but we could compete with anyone.

No one has seen OSU play Wisconsin-style of basketball, but there is no reason why we can't. The reality is that it can be effective - the Badgers have won a lot of games with far less talent than we have - they have a winning record against us with less talent. It's not pretty, but there are no style points in March - you win or you don't. If Matta insists on playing Buford 40 minutes a game and Buford can not be counted on for vlume shooting that is not also volume misses we may still be able to win with reduced shooting and reduced scoring from Buford by slowing tempo.

btalbert25's picture

Bufford needs to score, because when he doesn't he's a liability.  He doesn't play well overall if he isn't shooting well. That Purdue game he came out like a man possessed.  He was hitting shots, defending well, grabbing rebounds, and making nice passes.  He plays like crap against Michigan the other night and he can't even do something as easy as hit foul shots.  The guy is a 90% foul shooter and goes up and doesn't even come close to hitting one. 

If Bufford isn't scoring, he isn't going to be good on the floor at all and you almost are better off putting Thompson or someone else in there.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

In light of Urbz backing off Davonte Neal - allegedly because Urbz was turned off by something(s) he observed out of the Neal camp during the recruiting process - it will be interesting if Neal lands in South Bend.

Not to make too much of that one (potential) move, but even while having only mixed results at Notre Dame, Kelly has had a few disturbing moments there. I'm not sure how good of a coach he is, but Notre Dame might be a difficult project, at this point, for just about any coach. It wouldn't surprise me if Notre Dame takes an even uglier turn in the future.   

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Here's another quote, from Doug Lesmerises.

The Buckeyes seemed lax on a lot of their screens Saturday, which sometimes forced shooters, Buford included, into contested shots.

Nonsense! No one, including Buford, is ever forced into taking contested shots unless the shot clock is at two.

BAH!  As a former coach, player and now referee, most of the time, poor screen usage isn't the fault of the screener.  Its how the set screen is used.  The screener isn't allowed to move once his position is set.  If he (or she as this happens alot more in girl's basketball) does  its a blocking foul.  Using the screen properly is usually the problem.  Its the offensive player's responsibility to bring his defender TO the screen.  If it doesn't happen its not the screener's fault.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

tampa buckeye's picture

They rarely do screen on the ball which is a problem. I'm not even sure what type of offense they are running half the time. The game plan is to get sully touches down low but teams are taking that away and leaving guys like craft and smith wide open knowing they are not great shooters.
I think they need to run some sets with sully starting in the high post. Much harder to double with sully attacking from the foul line then the block. Just my two cents.

VestedInterest's picture

The easy answer that doesn't require a whole lot of thought process and reinvention of an entire offense is simply execution and hitting a couple damn shots. The percentage in the losses recently is all that needs dissected lol.

Bam_Childress's picture

You can't put everything on buford...its a combination of lack of depth and young talent developing more slowly than we thought.  I mean other "elite" teams in the country, when one of their guys is having a bad shooting night they put someone else in to lift the team up.  We can't really do that with thompson, scott, ravenal, or sibert because their either inexperienced, streaky, or just cant shooot.  We also have a much tougher scheudule than last year, and hopefully these loses teach the team something come march!

5 ft 9 in - 185 lbs - ALL HEART

Squirrel Master's picture

I agree. Which is what is so concerning next year when Buford is gone and most likely Sullinger. Thomas may also make a run at it so that leaves behind Craft and Smith as starters. Who is going to step up next year from this bench. Matta needs to not only think about this year but he needs to develop his bench to take over in future years. Get some of these kids into the game.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

BuckeyeSki's picture

Gronk: Party Enthusiast FTW. Well done Danny

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Poison nuts's picture

I liked that one myself.

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

osbucks9's picture

We just need to take a page out of Duke's book and get in the refs ear so we can get to the foul line late in games... Problem solved. 

Nick Buckeye's picture

"Former head coach Bruce Earle voiced his discontent......"  Former player Russell Anderson thinks something is off about this....

BuckeyeSki's picture

Dyslexia is a serious illness LULZ

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

The entire team looked pathetic Saturday and in my opinion, Buford tried to take control and get the team back on track and was forcing everything.  The entire team is to blame for the rotten court play of late.  I can't remember the last time I saw a Buckeye team so unfocused, fundementally unsound, and just plain horrid.  Matta needs to pull their heads out of their asses, slap them back into a reality, and get them back to playing fundementally sound basketball.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Ethos's picture

The only way to get those kids to remove their head from their behinds is to bench someone.  Nothing gets the attention of a starter more then benching him and putting in his replacement.  He should of done it at teh beginning of the season, and now its almost too late to do anything about it.  At least at the beginning of the season, we would of gotten some losses, and maybe motivated Buford and whomever else to pick their game up and pull their heads out of their respective asses themselves and earn their way back on the court.  

Now, there is no time left.   Matta put himself in this position and put the team in this position.  It's up to the coach to evaluate how the players are playing and adjust.  We've seen "increased" amounts of bench playing, but nothing that would make the starters think they were in any kind of jeoperdy. 


"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

osbucks9's picture

Start Thompson tonight over Buford then. Better to do it against Illinois than Wisconsin. 

Squirrel Master's picture

Start Thomas at the 3 and bring in Amir at center. I would prefer that then just swapping out thompson for Buford. Thompson also seems to play better at SG.

edit: another thought is how about moving Buford to the 2 spot? He played guard last year. then thomas at 3, sully 4 and Amir at 5. Just try anything for the love of god!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

RBuck's picture

Kind of agree, WB would get a lot of better looks and matchups at the 2.

Long live the southend.

Squirrel Master's picture

yep. Also I think his style of play is better suited at the 2. Slashing, screens and his length could help guard 2's better on D. Smith is talented and has earned the right to get PT but it doesn't hurt to mix it up. When I, a lowly fan without much bball experience, can predict things, imagine what the opposition and skilled coaches can do.

OSU's talent is through the roof good and compares to anyone outside of say Kentucky. but at some point quality of play must improve. We have seen developed players before in Turner and Lighty. No reason this bench couldn't get better. I just hope Matta is saving a few tricks for the tourney and may UNLEASH someone!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

tampa buckeye's picture

right now the bench suits wb the best.

Keith's picture

Even Oden's year at Ohio State was shortened by injury.  He missed the first part of the season still mending from the wrist surgery.   Won't forget the left handed free throws... 

OSUNeedles's picture

I was thinking the same thing, but damn was he a defensive presence! If Sully had half the defensive skills of Oden he would be a lotto lock... Sully has way more offensive versatility, but I loved watching teams be terrified by the thought of going into the lane on Oden. I was really hoping Amir would fill some of that role this year.

Bucksfan's picture

Kirk Ferentz is hiring his son?  More nepotism in the Big Ten?  Great.

Where the hell was Gordon Gee or any other NCAA critic when the sh*t was hitting the fan?  For all the ill-timed comments attributable to Gordon Gee, I'm sorry to say that these are just more of the same.  Thanks for nothing, President Bowtie.

btalbert25's picture

I don't know, would it really help the Buckeyes any for him to come out and be critical of or condescending to the NCAA, before their ruling came down?  Seems to me Gee running his mouth before Ohio State got their sanctions, would've led to more severe penalities.  It seems that Gee was in agreement with Smith and Meyer that there was no precedent for a bowl ban, so obviously his comments now are a response to the sanctions they received. 

I don't know if there ever is a right time to come out with comments about the NCAA, but it seems to me that doing so before they rule on your school's infractions wouldn't do much to help the situation.

Bucksfan's picture

I'm talking about right after the sanctions came out.  If he felt this was ridiculous, then we should have appealed.

Maestro's picture

First order of business, crush Illinois tonight.

vacuuming sucks

mclovin's picture

The problems are clearly not reducible to one or two or three things.  One issue that doesn't help things is where Buford fits into the lineup. Because of Smith's size, Buford is often guarded by taller, more athletic small forwards, and it is no surprise to anyone who has watched Buford over the years that he struggles with taller, longer defenders.  Matta's usage of Thompson in favor of Smith shows that he is clearly aware of this, but I don't think Thompson is effective enough yet at either end for this to make much of an impact.  I think that putting Williams in at center, which would move Sullinger to 4 and Thomas to the three, makes a lot more sense in terms of creating better matchups for us offensively.  Williams is obviously a project but he CAN block shots, which is something no one else on this teams seems to be able to do. 

Squirrel Master's picture

Sometimes the addition of a defensive player can help the offense. Also, Amir is not Lauderdale by any stretch! He can put in some baskets. Your analysis of Buford is correct. Perhaps he would flourish more at the 2.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

RecruitBuck's picture

Oh Gee. Us students love you, but sometimes you just have to shut up.

Bucks43201's picture

Oden is not making that much this season, (not that it matters), I'd feel bad for him even if he were making a hundred mil. --- bottom line is he can't play the game he loves due to unrelenting injuries. I hope and pray he recovers.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

BrewstersMillions's picture

Sad to say that an OSU Buckeye holds this honor, but Greg Oden might be the worst number 1 pick of all time. I don't think Portland was wrong at the time for taking him-7 footers do not come around often. Legit ones, anyway. Oden could have been a 18\12\3.5 block a game guy but his body let him down. What makes his pick even worse is the fact that OKC\SEA got the Durantula a pick later. Greg Oden is to Sam Bowie and Kevin Durant is to Michael Jordan.

southbymidwest's picture

Congrats Logan Schuss! Great game this past weekend.

timdogdad's picture

on the wwl it says devonte neal was supposed to announce at his elementary school with lots of children there. he didn't show up.  good call urb to can this recruit.   i like urb's thinking-kind of like belichick-if you're a primadonna, you ain't playing on my team.  what kind of player can't even show up for little kids?      

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Little late to the party, but:

Thanks for articulating my thoughts on the bb team. I am much more infomed on football, so I dont always have the vocab I need to adequately expess my thoughts and feelings on the subject. I am however trying to be an apt student! So, again thanks for saying why I am thinking outloud.

Not sure how I would feel if someone sick of the NCAA decided to use this as a reason to argue that "if it can happen tOSU, then a wrong needs to be righted until it hits our doorstep. "I think I would rather just put it behind us and not allow it to exist in the media cycle. I am very excited about Buckeye football--something I didnt think I would feel so soon. I just want to revel in that and all the good things to come. Let it go.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.