A friend who's close to the OSU program told me that Craft was strongly suggested to Thad by Sully and other black recruits with whom he played on championship Ohio Red AAU teams. I for one am glad Thad listened, since no single player has been more valuable over the last 4 yrs. than AC. We humans tend to live by comparison in order to massage our egos through finding flaws in others. With that being said, I'd be almost disappointed if Craft didn't have a multitude of haters, since that would suggest people not seeing him for all that he is. Thanks Aaron for a great 4 yrs; and thank you even more for your erratic, ugly-ass jump shot, because without that flaw there's a slim chance that nobody would like you! . . . OH-
Just watched Cait Craft & the women's team dismantle #1 seeded Penn State in Women's B1G tourney. Cait went for 24 pts. and played like she read my previous post . . . just in case she did, I'm gonna challenge her to prove that she's as good as she played today by doin' it twice more so they can possibly win the tourney & the automatic NCAA bid. . . . GO "BUCKETTES!!!"
Ok, . . . so am I the only one that finds it to be more than a little interesting that Luke is assigned a co-coordinator every year since Meyer took over? Could it be that Urban knows that Luke's really a position coach, but calls him a coordinator, to honor a stipulation he accepted upon his hiring on as HC? . . . is Lenzell secretly boinking Thad's daughter? . . . is Cait Craft a starter because she's Aaron's baby sis . . . hmmmm . . . stay tuned for more "Tales From The Script"
(sorry folks, but it's Friday and I'm just practicing being drunk, for later tonite . . . GO BUCKS!!! . . . yee-Ha!!!!!!!)
Kids like Campbell are the ones that excite me the most. While he doesn't have the pressure of being deemed a sure-fire, can't miss, 8 star prospect that's sure to be a first ballot hall of famer; but has measurables (like 4.41, pre-Marotti) that are chart toppers, has won multiple championships which always helps, and most importantly of all . . .he WANTS TO BE A BUCKEYE!!! Starting college at 16 says he's probably good with the books, so welcome to the fold young "Buck."
Nut, you make some very good points, and I appreciate good insight which you clearly display. I especially like your referencing the "modern" game, of which coach Matta is a sterling example. "Old school" collegiate coaching was far more centered around strong fundamental growth and development of players by coaches who assumed an almost parental posture in the lives of their players. The products of these relational learning environs were team first mindsets that resulted in the iconic KY, UCLA, Indiana, UNC, Louisville championship squads of that era.
Today's coaches rely on getting more McDonalds All Americans than their opponants as a success formula, rather than the lost art of coaching kids up. As you said, Matta likely will "never get the kids that Calipari, Coach K, Boeheim and others get;" but by the same token he'll probably never grow the type of teams, comprised of lesser talents, that Greg Marshall and other "throwback" coaches will, because he won't do the work that they do.
There is NO excuse for Amir & McDonald being as anemic and unskilled after several years on a big-school team, except . . . coaching; or for Scott, Craft,Thompson and the bigs to be utterly inconsistent at the foul line, except . . . coaching. There's no reason for the Sully squad you referenced to be destroyed by KY's Harrelson, while Lauderdale sees his career end with fouls to give, in a 2pt. loss . . . except, coaching . . . and the list goes on and on, for like 10 years.
Moses took his squad to the brink of the promised land . . . but it was Joshua that finally won the big game . . . just sayin'
I've been a die-hard fan of this program since their last (and only) national championship; and have watched every team & coach since Fred Taylor, and in my opinion the title of this article should be " . . . can't overcome piss-poor coaching." Take away the "baker's-dozen" pastries that pad our schedule every year and you have a near .500 record, for a team with a "great" coach & numerous 4-star talents that seem to regress over their college years; a coach that never ever takes responsibility for losses, but regularly throws ill-prepared kids under the proverbial bus in interviews following losses like the last 2 games.
If I were to steal 3+ million dollars of taxpayer money from the state of Ohio, I'd likely spend the rest of my life behind bars, but Matta does it year after year and is hailed as a b-ball guru by Buckeye fans (many of whom are too young to have ever SEEN good coaching).
In closing, as I relinquish the floor to the hoards of Thad defenders who are dying to uphold his honor, I am of the belief that he is NOT an NCAA championship caliber coach, and the only thing that'll change my mind is a second national championship banner that he is responsible for winning.
What kind of foolishness is it to pay so much money to a coach that only produces also-rans?
If he can't win 20 after 13 cupcakes maybe folks 'round here will start a coaching search soon (I hope).
Well . . . I guess it's official . . . the bakery is closed for the season.
After feasting on "The Fighting Croissants" of Central Connecticut, and "The Battlin' Bismarks" of Morgan State, and "The Dunkin' Donuts" of Walsh College, the annual Thad Matta Baker's Dozen Pastry Festival--which guarantees 12 or 13 wins before engaging in B1G warfare,(and ensures that Thad's string of 20 win seasons extends through the Apocalypse) has now ended!
I, for one, am glad that the players don't have to bear the burden of being ranked in the top 5 nationally, when all you've done so far is win a pie eating contest. IMO they are right where they should be; with the schedule to allow them to EARN a top 5 ranking. To quote Andy Vance, "This will be a good chance for this team to see what it's really made of . . ."
While posters here & elsewhere will find ways to blame Ross, Scott, and in some cases even St. Aaron, what I saw against Iowa was a SYSTEM failure of our vaunted defense, as guys that we knew could shoot, were given consecutive uncontested 3's during the decisive run that broke our backs.
Matta has proven to be a very good teacher of defensive principles over the last decade or so. Now he gets a chance to prove whether he knows anything about offensive sets and strategies. Ross, in particular, needs iso's with half the floor open so that he can operate 1 on 1 where he can be nearly unstoppable, and Amadeo would benefit from more floor time.
This year's Buckeyes will win 20+ games and hopefully give fans a pleasant NCAA experience with the toughness gained through fighting their way back into B1G contention.
There's nothing quite like watching Thad Matta steal tax money on a Tuesday night! Team looks a bit sluggish early . . . probably had hangovers from gorging on the "Baker's Dozen" of cupcakes that Thad pads his record with every year.
Love the strategy of banishing Smith and Ross to the pine for their failure to make things happen on their own, with no semblance of offensive sets or plays run for 'em.
Do your best in the next game young men, 'cause you're doin' it all alone on offense.
Interesting viewpoints & rationalizations abounding on the site. Mine is simple . . . if Urban doesn't at least fire Luke, then he's got to bear the blame himself for:
1) being badly out-coached on both sides of the ball, and forcing guys like Guiton & Hall to watch as an injured Braxton floundered-away their last college football game, because he's been deemed "our best player", no matter what physical condition he's in.
2) The 12 yard cushion playin', punk-style, pass defense that's been played here for the last 2 years, as well as Herman's "Olio (fake spread)Offense" that lacks totally in imagination, thus making it just a half-step better than Senator Tress's was.
When a guy makes 4+ million per year, and subjects Buckeye Nation to consecutive humiliations at the hands of coaches with names like Dabo, that use their players in schemes that cause wins, there must be accountability for such epic faliures of strategy & preparation on the part of our staff.
This Orange 2014 Bowl has confirmed yet again, that The B1G is largely comprised of over-hyped Otterbeins, and that the "Urban Legend" is exactly that!
The reason I've singled out poor Luke, is because I saw Withers' attacking-style Carolina defenses, which were nothing like the Pop Warner-esque crap that we have now.
Philly's muff and Braxton's pick were more-so excuses than reasons for the loss.
It's time to put a product on the field that justifies all the money and balley-hoo that surrounds coach Meyer's brand.
Here's one good reason . . . Texas develops and sends a good number of "bigs" that impact their teams to the NBA while OSU; not so much. Otherwise the Buckeyes tend to do better as a program, and especially in March.
Not so sure about "Slam", since without lobs for dunks he has very little game, and seems unable to create off the dribble . . .and BTW, is Ross a senior? . . . if not he'll likely be a starter next year too.
How ever it plays out Buckeye B-ball should be fun to watch for at least 5 more years!
I'm wit'cha Dave, and in fact I've been somewhat perturbed over the last several years that our women's team has played in a manner that's a bit too "lady like", when the elite programs have moved on to a style that's more akin to the men's game.
I truly hope that coach K-Mc's experiences verses Stanford, result in a new toughness from our women's team moving forward. Truth is, I've sometimes wondered what our program might have become by now if former Buckeye coach, Tara V. had stayed at TOSU.
Bucks, Rufus, Maestro, R U, and practically every other poster here; all you guys are right on point with your observations and I'd like to thank Braxton for his tongue in cheek remarks that called-out the play calling down the stretch of this season.
As one that saw Herman's Iowa State offense at least 5 times, I've wondered for the last 2 seasons about the lack of creativity shown here, especially in light of having vastly superior athletes than at I-State. Could it be that the institutional and fans demand for excellence at TOSU are so great that it forces the coaches and coordinators into playing the not-to-lose coaching style that characterized much of Tressel's tenure, and was sickeningly apparent in the B1G Championship game this year.
The general tone of the comments here make it clear to me that I'm not the only one that saw the Buckeye coaches give-away our shot at a national title, by failure to trust in their own play-book and their players' ability to execute the plays to win the game against MSU.
In short, I believe our kids were cheated out of their shot at history this year because their coaches got "PUNKED" in the B1G game!!!
OH! . . .
IMHO Luke was a compromise that Urban was compensated well enough to accept, but would not have been a choice he'd make without coersion, which might explain Fickell's title of CO-defensive coordinator. Withers is clearly Urban's choice as evidenced by his added title of assistant HEAD coach. Luke was a good stop-gap choice when Tress departed, but wasn't prepared for the enormity of a program like TOSU as his first HC opportunity. Florida Atlantic would give him valuable experience and serve as a possible stepping-stone to returning to his alma mater as a favorite son who's also a seasoned head coach--win, win.
What I find to be amazing after all this time is how few in Buckeye Nation seem to understand that Ross's natural position is the 2-guard, not power forward. I just hope that he stays for 2 seasons, so that we can experience and benefit from the full range of this guy's offensive skill set. Thad has never had a player of Q's type (including Turner), whose "defense" is his ability to regularly outscore his man by 10 or more points, but I've seen similar talents like Columbus legend Dwight "Bo" Lamar and former OSU legends Gary Bradds & Dennis Hopson whose offensive prowess more than made-up for any defensive shortcomings they might've had. This should be a highly competetive and very entertaining Buckeye team, as guys like Ross and Amadeo D. are allowed to be themselves, along with the returning starters and freshmen.
It seems like Woody's ghost still roams the hearts & minds of the Buckeye faithful. From what I'm seeing in some of these posts, Wisconsin's "O" couldn't possibly run against their own defense since their backs are much closer to Hall's size than Hyde's. This logic also suggests that Boom Herron, Antonio Pittman, Giovanni Bernard or even our all-time golden boy Archie Griffin would all have been too small to succeed against the mighty "Whiskies!" Did anyone notice the size of the rbs that were shredding the #1 Buckeyes defense in our NC game verses Florida?
Please forgive my venting, but what I'm pointing out is that while the game of college football has taken on a more wide-open "speed centric" flavor, the traditional B1G mindset remains too popular among Buckeye fans, despite what we should have learned against SEC teams in our last couple of championship matchups. IMO Hall would probably have helped us win by 2 TDs rather than 1, against the badgers, since he's always run with attitude, which coupled with the intangible benefits of his recent success, might have produced another score or two.
Man, I'm happy to know that there are people out there that see the actual game that's played and not the one that local sports hacks Tell you you' saw. Matta is Randy Ayers in whiteface makeup. Both coaches are very good b-ball teachers, but horrid in terms of game planning, rotation, and in-game adjustments. Your comparison to Tressel was spot-on since both consume large quantities of early-season cupcakes in the interest of job security, and fall woefully short in contests that call for spontaneous decision making against bigtime comp.
Michigan is in the championship game because their coach is willing to sit a senior (or favorite), if it gives his team a better chance to win. Craft hit the proverbial wall after the Iona game, which everyone could see except Thad. Anyone on the inside can tell you that Ross could do everything he did in the tourney from the day he walked onto the OSU campus 2 yrs. ago! I'm not sure how much discredit the assistant coaches deserve, since a friend of mine who knows a couple of 'em, says that Dickerson or even Jent would run the program differently, and that we might have a legitimate offense with sets and plays other than the old Celtics, top of the key weave that they don't even use in Boston anymore. At any rate, I'm just happy that not everybody drinks the Matta kool-aid, and that some people can see that "March Thadness" is a major reason why Michigan is playing for what could be our trophy!
First of all, I'd like to throw Sarah's name into the hat and officially nominate her for the 2013 Jesse Jackson: "I'm-sure-that's-not-a-word-in-the-English-language-but-after-hearing-you-use-it-I-shall-henceforth-and-evermore-regard-it-as-one-because-it-so-much-more-accurately-expressess-the-exact-way-that-I-feel-about-what-you-just-said-than-the-words-that-we've-all-been-forced-to-use-before-you-said-it" Award, for her creation and usage of the hybrid word "Prummed." As you may know, Mr. Jackson has long been recognized as a pioneer in the field of mid-sentence verbal development and interjection.
Now . . . 'bout them Buckeyes--I for one am highly enthused with the possibilities for next year's squad to return to the Elite Eight and even beyond! The Craft / Scott defensive combo has shown itself to be a disruptive back court booger-bear for opposing guards, and a source of easy transition baskets for us. Sam Thompson has shown flashes this year of developing a case of Chicago b-ball swag, that will likely increase over the summer. My boldest prediction is that Q-Ross will more than make-up for the loss of "D-Shot's" scoring and shoot a higher percentage in so doing. Now, I must admit that I've wondered at times this year, if Lenzelle might not be Thad's daughter's "baby-daddy," which would help to explain his being allowed to remain on court through long periods of non-productive play, that sometimes seemed to be down-right detrimental to the team! I'm trusting that not only will HE improve, but that Amir will prove once and for all that he was named a McDonald's All American for something other than his outstanding work at the french-fry station--and thus he'll never again be known for just being "a mere Williams."
Finally, I believe that with Q, Amadeo, Sam, and two incoming freshmen that can shoot the 3, we might once again have outside scoring threats, which will give us the balance that we need to compete with top tier teams.
Things are lookin' up!!!
BD, I wholeheartedly agree that we were treated to a march that exceeded all expectations. Enjoy your Sonday, and then get stoked about the next phase of Urban revitalization!
Champions are the one who are just as comfortable in the 3 point dogfight, as they are in the 25 point laughers . . . taking on all comers, and coming on all takers! It's 'bout winnin' baby!