there was a time where Thad brought in this kind of freshman (the one and done kind).
Agreed, Thad used to bring in this kind of talent -- 06-07 being the pinnacle class, but that also took advantage of a down UK and IU. Sullinger also came specifically because of his Buckeye roots. I'd throw DeShaun and Russel in the same boat of being heavily recruited, but for whatever reason not in the same caliber as the top 5-10 in the country (I believe Russel was 13th). I'm not even going to through Laquinton on here because he never seemed to have 1 & done type talent, and would have benefited by staying at least another year, if not two.
Dropping 2 to supposed "cupcakes" is never a good look, but I don't think we can play the "we should be good at basketball because we should be" card. If you look historically at this program, Thad has made everyone forget about Randy Ayers, and the Bill O'Brian eras. Correct me if I'm wrong but other than the 2006-07 season, and the year with Lucas and Havlicek Ohio State has been a relatively upper-middle team, that produced 1-2 good players every few years (Jackson, Turner, Williams, Penn, Redd, Dials), and most are the product of maturity rather than fresh talent.
1. I think the Les Miles - Thad Matta comparison is fair, but I would also caution to be careful what you wish for. We can pay our coaches a lot of money, but so could Michigan football for the better part of a decade and we all know how that turned out.
2. Everyone needs to get it through their head that we're not Duke, or UK. The best comparison is Michigan State, except I would argue we are essentially the reciprocal of MSU (a basketball school with a good football program vs a football school with a good basketball program).
3. With that in mind, think about all the great MSU basketball teams in the recent past and what they had: Payne-3 year starter, Green - 4 year player, Valentine - 4 year player, couple that with kids like Gary Harris.
I guess my point is, it's easy to write off this team and rightfully so, but there has been little-to-know consistency within this program since Sullinger left. A lot of that blame can be with the coaches, but I don't think it can be stressed enough how much last years senior class hurt this program.