...and by bad, I mean good, like Michael Jackson's Bad (ok bad example), like bad as in badass.
When you look at these "great coaches" at schools with considerably more blue blood than tOSU in the basketball program, like Kentucky, North Carolina, you see higher rated recruits brought in, you see rebuilding/reloading years... but what you don't see is those other coaches being able to coach-up their teams and get max effort from the guys like Thad Matta gets.
We have every reason to have had a regular season like Kentucky and North Carolina this season. Sure we knew we had 2 solid pieces with Thomas and Craft, but we lost a huge portion of of our team and our identity as a play from the inside first team with Sullinger. Frankly we were over-rated at the start of the season.
Thad, most years, won't have recruiting classes rated up with Kentucky and NC, but he gets his guys to buy in...I've not seen those blue bloods work on D like a Matta coached team. Sure a long athletic team like Kentucky had last year might be solid defensively, and with a athletic 7 footer patrolling the paint your D can put up solid stats even if your not a defense-first team, but virtually all of Thad's teams have bought in to playing their butts off on D. It doesn't matter if it's a team loaded with freshman with NBA talent (Thad 5) or in his not as talented teams. He will always get more out of his guys, and find guys like a Lighty and Craft to lead the way with D and demand max effort from their teammates.
Ohio State teams will rarely, match the UK's and NC's talent level or players star ratings man for man, but as long as we have Thad we will continue to compete with them and have our share of better seasons. If getting the most out of your players and getting them to play together is the best way to rate a coach. I'm not sure any team has a better one.
In the words of Michael: Who's Bad?