I completely agree with you. Craft was awesome, but I just think that athletically and offensively, it was too much to expect him to be "the guy." Craft couldn't carry the team. He really needed Tank, or Sullinger, to generate offense. Frankly, if I was disappointed, it would be in some of the other guys on the team. I think it will be critical for Matta to recruit well going forward, although iirc, you have a great incoming class.
As a Michigan fan, I will say straight up that Craft was an awesome basketball player. His defense was amazing, but then, that's obvious. I actually don't think he gets enough credit for his offense. The problem wasn't so much Craft. The problem was the rest of the team around him. OSU just has not had any real offense to speak of.
Some Buckeyes have lamented that Burke and LeVert didn't end up in Columbus. I'm not quite sure why Matta didn't recruit them. I guess there wasn't room for Burke. Part of Coach Beilein's genius is identifying under the radar talent. Having said that, I want to go in a different direction: Craft is one player that I wish had been at Michigan. With his defense and his discipline, he would have been a natural under Beilein. He wouldn't have been "the guy" as much as he was at Ohio, but with Craft as part of the Michigan team, the Wolverines would be much harder to beat. His defense would have helped Michigan tremendously, but with Stauskas, Robinson, LeVert, last year McGary, there wouldn't have been the pressure Craft had to carry the team offensively, and he would have flourished. Think of how Craft did with Jared Sullinger and DeShaun Thomas. Having strong offensive options and a post presence allowed Craft's gifts to shine. He just didn't have that this year.
Good luck with your incoming class. Matta will have the Buckeyes at the top again very soon. You will miss Craft, but time moves on.
From my perspective, there have been a number of good arguments for and against the Dayton fan in the GIF. On the one hand, Dayton is a tier 2 school, and they just beat OSU, the flagship university in Ohio. Of course the fan is going to be exuberant, ecstatic, and happy. On the other hand, he was acting like a jerk, and rubbing it in the face of the losing team as they went to the locker room. Of course he was over the line. You can make an argument either way.
I have two observations.
- First is that you can't do anything about this, the fan's douchiness is done, and being Dayton's mortal enemy is a waste of your time. It will be a long time before the basketball team plays Dayton again. And if you play them in football, they're just an unsatisfying snackie cake in early September. Let it go . . . he had his 15 seconds of fame, and they'll probably lose on Saturday. Check: there's absolutely no way they win against Syracuse.
- Second, remember this guy's behavior the next time OSU wins and you want to rub it in the face of the losing team's fans. Don't be that douche guy. Specifically, I know most of you hate Michigan. Fair enough. But whether you're in Ann Arbor or Columbus or your work place, and some other venue, don't be like the Dayton fan in the GIF. You should be better than that. I don't care whether you are a Buckeye fan or a Wolverine, you're at a big time, successful program, and being an obnoxious jerk is beneath you. Act like you've been there before. You have.
p.s. I'll bet you a tub of wings that Michigan doesn't troll OSU at Crisler next year with a video of Craft missing the last shot (against either MIchigan in the Big 10 Tourney or against Dayton in the NCAA Tourney.) Just sayin'.
p.p.s. I'm annoyed by the different font sizes, but don't see how to edit on the tool bar. Mods?
FYI, things look great for OSU tomorrow. Michigan has NEVER won against you in the Tourney. Here is Michigan's record vs OSU:
1998: Did not face OSU
1999: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals
2000: Did not face OSU
2001: Did not face OSU
2002: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals
2003: Did not face OSU
2004: Did not face OSU
2005: Did not face OSU
2006: Did not face OSU
2007: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals
2008: Did not face OSU
2009: Did not face OSU
2010: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals
2011: Lost to OSU in semifinals
2012: Lost to OSU in semifinals
2013: Did not face OSU
A win is a win. Matta and the Buckeyes do a great job in the Big 10 Tournament. I don't know if their record will ever be broken. I'm sure they'll all be very focused tomorrow against Nebraska.
For almost all other teams in the Big Ten, yes, stats decreased. Michigan however: 8 - 4 non-conference, or .667, 12 - 3 Big 10, or .800. Apart from being a Michigan fan, I have always thought that it makes sense to schedule difficult teams as part of the non-conference schedule. Playing Duke and Arizona in the non-conference month of December led to losses, but pays dividends in the long run. Izzo at MSU has long been a proponent of scheduling highly ranked opponents. This is also true for football, and OSU has benefited when it plays a more difficult schedule.
I am a Michigan fan, and I want as full of an investigation as possible. If Gibbons (or for that matter, anyone else involved in this affair,) is found guilty, I want to see them held accountable for their actions. Conversely, if they have been falsely accused, I'd like to see their names cleared and the different parties cleared of any charges.
The center of the whole thing is Gibbons and the woman at the party. My own suspicion is that Gibbons was at the very least guilty of bad judgement and inappropriate behavior. Potentially, his actions were worse -- but none of us know the details. The problem is that this kind of event typically reverts to "he said, she said," and a question of "who are you going to believe?" Without witnesses, and with judgement and recollection likely clouded by alcohol, the situation becomes murky. I suspect that Gibbon's expulsion is basically a statement by the University that "we believe you were guilty, but we can't prove it unequivocally in a court of law, so the most we can do is expel you from the University." Having a government investigation, with teeth, seems the best possible thing that can happen to clear things up, if they can be cleared up.
It would be helpful to be able to account for three factors in recruiting rankings:
- Class size.
- Number of top 100 rated recruits.
- How recruits fill needs.
I think most would agree that a class of 12 or 13 stacked with 2 or 3 five star recruits at the top might be more desirable than a class of 26 recruits made up mostly of 2 or 3 stars, with a few 4 stars. Unless you over-recruit (i.e., SEC & Alabama,) you are limited by the number of scholarships available.
I also think that some of the athletes at the very top of a class can have a disproportionate affect on wins & losses. Someone like Clowney is just in a different class. Even among 5 stars, he is a man among boys. As a Michigan fan, the hope is that Peppers is like that. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines covet Damien Harris for the same reason: a talent like that can make or break a class.
Lastly, you have to really recruit to fill needs across the board. When you do that regularly, and have depth at every position, you can afford to recruit "the best players available." When you lack depth, it is more important to recruit so that you have all positions adequately covered. Because of the learning curve, and the difficulty of predicting the play of future linemen, it is particularly important to maintain depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. What I'm trying to say is a solid 3 or 4 star is more important to a school at a position of need than a 5 star at a position where you have lots of depth. Of course, you always make room for monster players, but the secondary can't cover a substandard DL, nor can an excellent DL compensate for a crummy LB corps.
Ohio has a ton of talented players for Matta to choose from. Michigan was glad to get a few of them in Burke and LeVert, as they both were great fits for the Wolverines.
I'd camp out for good seats . . . if I was an undergrad, with no tests the next day, a good group of friends, and the right camping equipment. Those are the things great memories are made of. Hope they all get great seats.
Very sad to hear this news. Will definitely be praying for the family, especially for his father's health. I hope there is opportunity for recovery. It would be great for the buckeyes if he could take off a year or two and then come back.