I'm hoping this will open a discussion about our Roundball Buckeyes, I'd like to know if people agree with me or certainly what your differing opinions are. As you will see, there are some advantages to having us non-writers stick primarily to reading because I can't say this will flow very well.
I realize that OSU is a football school but we are also a basketball school. The only school who can compete with us for having a top notch program in both sports is Florida. With that being said, I understand the argument that there are only 12 regular season games for football and therefore each game is that much more meaningful. However, the basketball team will play 30 regular season games which allows us to get to know them so much more before March Madness begins--and then we can watch them put it all together and make a run when it counts most.
The B1G is the best conference in basketball. I'm really looking forward to playing great teams like Michigan, Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota in conference play. (Isn't it refreshing to not have to hear about the SEC like we have to endure during football season?)
Here are some of my thoughts:
Deshaun Thomas is a SCORING MACHINE. He's the best pure shooter in our conference and he really makes it look easy. I read on here that someone said he was slow; I also notice that he is often the last Buckeye down the court but maybe it allows him to see the court better because I don't think it affects his play at all. His defense has improved tremendously and I believe we will have fun watching him in the NBA.
Aaron Craft is the leader of our team. His defense and ball distributing skills are great. I am not in the camp that we need him to be our #2 or #3 scorer. Let him focus on what he does best.
Lenzelle Smith, in my opinion, is very undervalued. He knows his role which is to step up and do whatever the team needs him to do that night. He scores, rebounds, defends, handles the ball well, and passes well. If I'm picking teammates, I'm picking Lenzelle. He's a quiet leader and I love watching him play.
Amir Williams has probably frustrated me the most so far this year but just because my expectations for him are so high. He just seems weak at times. And I think to go far in the tournament we need more of an inside presence which to me means we need Amir to have a breakout year. (Right now, as I'm watching the Bucks play Nebraska, he's looked as good as I've seen him so far.)
Sam Thompson can dunk...Laquinton shows so much potential...Ravenel is solid...Shannon Scott has surprised me the most this year in terms of how much he has improved since last year...how about Amedeo developing into a Diebler-like 3 point threat next year??
Another thing that really impresses me about our team is how unselfish they are! It seems like there are no ball hogs and they are all willing to make an extra pass to get a better looking basket. Deshaun included and I think it'd be very easy for him to worry about his stats and take as many shots as he can and not make that extra pass.
In summary, I would encourage you to get to know these Buckeyes because they are fun to watch, very talented, and they have two months to continue to improve before tournament time. We are very fortunate to have both a basketball team and a football team who consistenly compete at such a high level.
One last thing: I think Thad Matta is a tremendous coach.