Monday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on January 21, 2013 at 6:00a

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone.

It's astonishing to think that King's "I Have a Dream" speech is younger than some of you reading this. As a nation, we may not always do the right thing at first, but we eventually do. Tocqueville put it best, "The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

If we continue to do as King implored, and judge others by the content of their character, we're doing our part.

STILL BULLISH ON SCOTT. USA Today's headline was brutal: Shannon Scott's awful shot costs Ohio State in loss to Michigan State.

With the Buckeyes trailing the Spartans by three with 7.9 left on the clock, Scott took an inbound pass from Deshaun Thomas and...

Prior to the play, Matta reminded his troops of Michigan State's strategy at the end of the first half, which saw them give two fouls on Ohio State's final possession leading to an off-balance clanker of a three from NBA territory. Scott raced up the court but the foul never came.

Shannon Scott will hear about that play from his teammates for a while – especially from Deshaun Thomas who looked like someone had taken his lunch money after the final whistle – but he's still the guy that entered the game with Michigan State leading 13-2 in the first half only to trigger a 15-0 run for the Buckeyes. Scott's still the only perimeter player that can force the action against zone defense or sagging man and he's still the same player that is averaging 8.56 assists and more than a steal per game more than Aaron Craft, Ohio State's all-time steals leader, based on 40 minutes of game play.

Scott's heave was ugly, there's no denying that, but it only cost Ohio State in the Saturday's loss if you consider going the length of the court to hit a three in the final 7.9 seconds to be a gimme.

Poor play from Amir Williams (1 point and 3 boards) and Lenzelle Smith Jr. (2-7, 6 points and 3 turnovers), and a lack of a second scoring option truly cost Ohio State a road game in the Big Ten that was there for the taking.

FLEEING THE HAT. A record 73 underclassmen were approved for the 2013 NFL Draft, up from 43 just 10 years ago, and 11 of them – or a full 15% of them – are from LSU.

The 11 are the most early exits from one school in draft history and include future Bengal Tyrann Mathieu, who sat out the 2012 season, punter Brad Wing, Cincinnati Princeton's Spencer Ware, and All-Name Team captain Barkevious Mingo. The group also includes backups and players that may not go until the fourth or fifth rounds, if at all.

Meanwhile, Nick Saban is putting together his game plan for the 2013 SEC Championship Game.

Orhian Johnson repped Ohio State one final time at the NFLPA Collegiate BowlJohnson rocked the Buckeye gear one last time.

AUDITIONING FOR THE LEAGUE. The all-star game circuit kicked off over the weekend with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game bringing annual oddities like three different helmets meeting for a photo or an East squad featuring players from New Mexico and a West squad featuring players from Virginia.

Ohio State cornerback Travis Howard and defensive end Nathan Williams participated for the West team in the East-West Game, helping to lead a defense that held Kansas State quarterback and Heisman trophy finalist Collin Klein to a 5-13 day (surely the fault of assistant coach Ron Prince) on the way to a 28-13 win Saturday.

Howard earned mixed reviews for his week of practice, while Williams, moved to inside linebacker for the game, appeared to struggle.

Another quarterback from the state of Kansas, Jayhawk Dayne Crist, led his National team to a 34-0 victory over Ohio State safety Orhian Johnson's American squad.

Next up: The Senior Bowl. Practices kick off today and the game takes place Saturday, Jan. 26. Defensive tackle John Simin will be in action for the Buckeyes, while offensive lineman Reid Fragel will sit out the game due to injury.

THE SUPERBAUGH IS UPON US. I'm not sure if you guys know this or not, but two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, will lead teams into the Super Bowl for the first time. Oh, you know about that?

Your rooting interest in this one is clearly with San Francisco as the 49ers feature four former Buckeyes in guard Alex Boone, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., linebacker Larry Grant, and safety Donte Whitner. Regardless of whether the 49ers come out on top or not, we're all winners here because the one man guaranteed to turn Michigan into a football juggernaut is coaching in the NFL.

MISC. Oregon promotes offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to replace Chip Kelly... Clutch... Cleveland native and former Buckeye assistant Mel Tucker tabbed as Bears defensive coordinator... The top 10 sports hoaxes of all time... Bill Cowher, Skoal man... PR Fail: Charged former president Graham Spanier front row at the Penn State-Nebraska game.


Comments Show All Comments

Killer nuts's picture

Glad to see you give Shannon Scott some love

Abe Froman's picture

I agree.  He missed a shot.  It was definitely an ugly one, but it was still just a shot.  I think most fans look on the loss as something to build on.  Don't get me wrong, it's really the only option.  In some of those games (close ones on the road) I often think that it is a great one to learn from.  Win or lose, but Learn.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Buckeyeneer's picture

Well said.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

BME_Buckeye's picture

The link on the sports hoax was a good read. I didn't know about the Ben Johnson doping but remembered the Marion Jones story. With the addition of Lance Armstrong to the doping users, I think the US needs to make a statement like other countries who catch athletes doping in the Olympics and send them into exile. I can't remember which counties do this but this might send a statement to American athletes who do put the country at shame cough cough Lance Armstrong to be more thoughtful about their actions. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


Denny's picture



PhillyBuckeye27's picture

"Poor play from Amir Williams (1 point and 3 boards) and Lenzelle Smith Jr. (2-7, 6 points and 3 turnovers), and a lack of a second scoring option truly cost Ohio State a road game in the Big Ten that was there for the taking."
Poor play from Lenzelle - isn't that the story of his season?????  AGAIN - how is he starting on this hoops team?????  And please don't tell me cause he's a great rebounder!

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

He's starting because he has experience in the system (mental capacity) and is a good defender. Most importantly, because he's our best option with least liability.  

Read my entire screen name....

IBleedSandG's picture

LSJr has been pretty awful lately. He had a number of lazy passes during the game. Sometimes I think the only guys that want to win are DT and Craft.
Amir looks like he'd rather be on the bench the majority of the time. He plays w/ zero intensity/emotion/fire.


Michael Citro's picture

Smith over the last 4 games:

3.25 turnovers per game
5 points per game on 27% shooting
7.5 rebounds per game's picture

Astonishing? I feel ancient. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I've never been a big fan of Jim Harbaugh for obvious reasons - he is from TSUN.  Having said that, you can't help but notice the man can flat out coach football at any level!  I am very glad he never accepted the job up north because they would be in MUCH better shape under him than under Flounder Hoke!

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

Jack Fu's picture

Well, he was born in Ohio, went to high school in California, and attended Michigan.

buckeyedude's picture

The Harbaugh Bros., like Urban Meyer, were both born in Toledo. We're onto something here.
Here's the link in today's Toledo Blade if you're interested:



osu07asu10's picture

I love Izzo's face when he goes to shake Thads hand...

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

What you cant see is Thad's face from the other angle - here it is...


Brutus's picture

Izzo is such a classy dude.  He looks almost disappointed that the game didn't end on a shot that at least had a chance.  His look is "Tough break. Sorry man, I've been there before." Now picture what that little twerp Crean would have looked like in the exact same situation.

Alhan's picture

Probably this:

or this:

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Poison nuts's picture

He's such a weasel...I literally can't stand the site of him.

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

Alhan's picture

You're welcome then :-)

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Poison nuts's picture

Upvote for the chuckle...

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

oregonianbuckeye's picture

What a ridiculous headline by USA Today. Yes, it was a poor decision, but placing the blame on one player (a guy who played pretty well overall) seems misguided and lazy. Thanks, Jason, for calling a spade a spade on this one.

RedStorm45's picture

Gotta call out Craft for missing a wide open 3 that would have given the Bucks the lead under 30 seconds to go.  He was 2-8 or 2-7 with a handful of turnovers, and Appling had at least 2 or 3 drives right by him in the 2nd half for a layup, no pick needed.  Free throws don't put Scott in that situation either.

Killer nuts's picture

You don't have to 'call out' anybody. There's tons of plays in a basketball game that can account for a 3 point difference. Craft wasn't the only one to miss a shot or get scored on. I'd argue that Craft gave us a chance by getting 2 huge steals late

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Foul shots, rebounding, and turnovers.  I feel bad for Scott because he made the last mistake, but it took the entire team to get into that position. 

Read my entire screen name....

okiebuck's picture

Jason, thanks for correctly pointing out that Shannon Scott did NOT lose the game. Williams, Smith AND Ravenel were all big reasons why we didn't come out of E. Lansing with the W. We do have a second scoring option in Q but the kid needs to on the floor for more then a few minutes here and there so he can get into the flow of the game. My take is that Thad would be smart to shake things up and go with; Craft, Scott, Thompson, Q and Deshaun, getting the bulk of the minutes.

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I completely disagree about Q.  He's slow, he turns the ball over and is not a good defender.  You add the scoring ability of Q on the court, but you lose the defensive capacity, transition game and mental capacity of Thompson, Scott, and/or Smith.  
I think Thad would be better off by trying to develop our post presence - Williams and Rav absolutely need to touch the ball down low more. They may not be great, but we need to at least show interest in a post game to present a weak scoring threat and also to keep the defense a little bit more honest and open up the dribble drive - big guys are all too willing to step out now.  I'm thinking that we could even move Lenzelle to a post every once in a while - something to get him in the game as he has not had the season I thought he would.  
Realistically, we all thought this team would have improved during the off season and its clear that the improvements were not as pronounced as we all hoped.  That's not to say that aren't improving throughout the season, but it may be too little too late.  My biggest disappointments have been the development of Q and Williams and the stagnance of Smith and Craft.  I've been very pleased with Thompson and Scott and Thomas has really shouldered the team.

Read my entire screen name....

Jack Fu's picture

To paraphrase Bill Simmons's "table test," right now Ross doesn't bring enough to the table to compensate for what he takes off the table.
We just need to accept this team for what it is: great defense (holding teams to .896 points per possession in conference play) at one end, and Thomas and a bunch of role players at the other end. The games are going to be ugly, but that's the way we'll have to play, with this roster.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

What I find most frustrating about this team is that we have 7 guys on the team who, on any given night, can have a hot hand and support the team with 15 points and everyone else can be 2-7 or 2-8 and we'd still be in the gae.  Realistically, all we need is one guy out of 7 to step up each game and it doesn't even have to be the same guy every game.  We can't consistently get one guy out of seven to step up on the offensive end.  

Read my entire screen name....

okiebuck's picture

I've only seen four games because we don't get the BTN on our cable system here in Tulsa but what I've seen of Q from an offensive standpoint is fairly positive. Even Dakich said during the MSU game; that he could go off for 10 pts in a hurry; which is what we need; another offensive threat. I cannot disagree with your other points; I too thought there would be a big improvement in Williams in year two but it has not happened. Also; like what I've seen of Thompson & Scott; especailly when they are running on out the break. 

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

BuckeyeChris's picture

"Regardless of whether the 49ers come out on top or not, we're all winners here because the one man guaranteed to turn Michigan into a football juggernaut is coaching in the NFL."
If Jim Harbuagh wins a Super Bowl (or two) and Hoke were to fail at scUM, does anyone not think Harbaugh won't be scUM's first call, in say, 2016?  Harbaugh, by my math would still only be in his mid-50s or so. Point being, the idea of Jim Harbaugh returning to/retiring at scUM is not out of the question to me. 

Doc's picture

If Harbaugh wins a Super Bowl or 2 he isn't ever going to be a college coach.  Especially in three seasons.  AACC had their chance two years ago and didn't get it done.  I don't see the scenario where he goes to A2 anytime soon.  Maybe in 10-15 years, but not 2016.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

BuckeyeChris's picture

Correct... maybe not tomorrow / 2016, but ..."Point being, the idea of Jim Harbaugh returning to/retiring at scUM is not out of the question to me."

TheHannimal's picture

Harbaugh's are both Toledo born.
I dont remember the source but I recall reading Jim had a falling out with Mich and was not going to coach there regardless.  The Superbowl, however, is certainly the nail in the coffin for his college hopefuls.

joel121270's picture

As much as I love the Buckeyes not sure if I can root for a team with a head coach from TTUN. Sure, I hope they perform awesome individually but I really can't stand Harbag from his AACC days. Yes, I should get over it but when I can't even stand to go into that God forsaken state (I live 15 miles from the NW Indiana/Michigan border) it's really hard.
Maybe I need to seek counseling?

Baroclinicity's picture

I'm sure we all need counseling.  I know I do... and I'm not sorry about it.

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

buckeyedude's picture

In a way, Harbaugh disrespected his own alma mater, so that takes him off my shit list and on to the good guy list. Plus I want to see some former Buckeyes show up big in the SB, so I'm going with SF. I don't like Ray Lewis and the Ravens.



Poison nuts's picture


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

scc8t's picture

Good game to learn from. Winning on the road is tough in the B1G. The only games that really matter are the ones in March.

Michael Citro's picture

Any number of plays made/not made cost Ohio State the game. Scott's shot was just the last one so it gets all the pub. I'm kind of haunted by a play when the game was 50-50. Scott came up with a steal and headed out on what would have been a 2-on-1 break. He was grabbed and lost control of the ball out of bounds. There's no call and the Spartans got an and-1 on the ensuing possession. Instead of up 2, the Buckeyes are down 3.

But, as I said, that's one play and there were plenty there to be made that were not.

My problem with the final shot isn't that he took it, or even that it was a terrible-looking heave. It was more that he just assumed the foul was coming instead of waiting for contact.

Also, he's been a very unreliable free throw shooter, so even if he expected MSU to foul, he's got to get that ball to someone else.

He'll learn from that and (I think) become an excellent player for Ohio State over the course of his career.


toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Even though there are four Ohio Staters on the 49ers, the coach still comes from the scUM. The Ravens coach played at Miami, OH, but there are no Buckeyes on the team. I think I will sit this one out.

nickma71's picture

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Too bad US law forbids the above.

Brutus's picture

This is going to be interesting.

buckeyedude's picture

Where are you going with that, Nick?



Doc's picture

Not. A. Good. Idea.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

RBuck's picture

It's astonishing to think that King's "I Have a Dream" speech is younger than some of you reading this.

Thanks for making me feel old.

Long live the southend.

Donny T's picture

Can't really blame Scott for the lousy shot. My question is, why did Matta have Thomas, the absolutely unqualified best shooter on the team, throwing the ball in, then running up behind the play? Seriously, Thomas should have been standing at the three point line, if nothing else, as a freaking decoy. Either way, he's in position to get a pass from Scott coming down the floor, or to take two defenders and leave Scott someone to pass to. Just an unbelievably bad play. Gotta put this one on Matta.