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OldColumbusTown


Member since 12 August 2011 | Blog

Helmet Stickers: 2,116 | Leaderboard

Voting Record: 1143 / 85

Favorites

  • SPORTS MOMENT: Being able to witness the 2006 game between #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan. It is something I will never, ever forget. Electric moment in time with a buildup that was second to none, and a game result to match.
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER: Braxton Miller
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER: Aaron Craft
  • NFL TEAM: Cincinnati Bengals
  • NHL TEAM: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • MLB TEAM: Cincinnati Reds
  • SOCCER TEAM: USA

Recent Activity

Comment 19 hours ago

I had seen just a few highlight videos before on Funderburk, but this is the first where I've seen him actually shoot or handle the ball.  I had thought of him as an athletic dunker with not a lot of skill yet, but the video posted here now has me VERY excited for his commitment.

His handle and shooting stroke will improve - those always do with high school kids.  A tall, lanky athletic player with handles and a pretty nice shot?  Yes please!

IF he is able to play as a stretch 4, and you can pair his athleticism and shot-blocking ability with Daniel Giddens?  LOOK OUT!

Comment 20 hours ago

I saw Jeff Boals' "BOOOM" on Twitter and figured it was an April Fool's joke.  But, Funderburk's Twitter says he has decided to be a Buckeye.  Hopefully this is legit!

Comment 31 Mar 2015

NFL talent-wise, I'd have to argue that 1995 was probably Cooper's most talented team, although '96 and '98 were right there as well.

Orlando Pace, Eddie George, Shawn Springs, Terry Glenn, Bobby Hoying, Ricky Dudley, Mike Vrabel, Ty Howard, Nicky Sualua, Rob Kelly.  All were fairly high draft picks, if I recall correctly, and many had stellar NFL careers.  When you look back on that team, it is amazing they couldn't quite get the job done against Michigan and in their bowl games.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

I agree, though it does feel like Thad has already noticed this and tried to change it.  The past few classes are more full of "shooters" than athletic specimen.  Guys like Delle Valle, Loving, Kam, and even KBD and D'Angelo this year are players with more skill than ready-made college-level athleticism.

In fact, I'd say if you look at the past two classes (this year's freshmen class and next year's incoming freshmen), Thad has done well to mix the two together - you have guys with great skill shooting the basketball and basketball acumen (Russell, KBD, Grandstaff, Harris), and you have the more gritty, athletic types (Tate, Bell, Mitchell, Lyle, Giddens).

Comment 30 Mar 2015

Well deserved honor for D'Angelo.  I don't know anyone who could foresee this type of freshman season from him, but he surpassed all expectations.  Good luck to him in anything he decides to do - he has earned the right to make this decision, and I hope he chooses exactly what he wants to do, regardless of any outside influences.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

I wouldn't say Michigan is winning year in and year out.  They had two good seasons, and came crashing back to earth this season.  Even without injuries they were nothing special this year.  

MSU, I would argue, does not recruit "classes full of those kind of players".  Tom Izzo typically gets the best players in the state of Michigan, and many times gets very high level players from all over the Midwest (Dawsen, Harris, Appling, Payne, Green, and so on).  He does take fliers on certain guys (usually sons of coaches) and allows them to develop over time.  Usually though his classes are full of top 50-100 prospects.

Wisconsin develops lower-level players by utilizing redshirts and then slowly bringing players along by giving them a little time as freshmen and slowly increasing their responsibility within the team.  There are exceptions to this, but mostly it is a program of development over time.  The problem with this is you don't get high-level prospects, and you go through lulls when your guys don't develop.  Also, they typically are at a disadvantage when playing against better athletes and good pro prospects.  Everyone wants to talk up Wisconsin after back-to-back Final Fours, but prior to last season Bo Ryan had gotten the Badgers to exactly ONE Elite Eight appearance and a total of 5 Sweet Sixteens (including the Elite Eight season) in 12 years.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

I'm not sure I agree with all these statistics either.  This "rule" affects Division I athletes/programs.  The NCAA and media do not care at all about Division II or III, let alone NAIA or JC.  According to Kenpom.com, there are 351 men's Division I basketball programs.  At a max of 13 scholarships per program, that is around 4,500 athletes, not 18,000.

Also, according to the NCAA study that is linked, only 237 out of the 604 transfers actually transferred within Division I.  That is, a transfer from one DI program to another.  That is just over 5% of DI basketball players.  Of the 237 transfers, only 46 transferred "up" to a better program, with the remaining athletes transferring pretty closely between lateral moves, or moves "down" to a lesser program.

This is much ado about nothing, considering the majority of the transfers are undergrads who do, in fact, have to sit out one season.  The NCAA basically considering 1% of athletes transferring with immediate eligibility to be a problem is ridiculous.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

I will say this - Thad goes after the big fish.  He invests time and resources into those guys, but only if they show mutual interest.  He got burned this recruiting class with Bragg and Kennard - two guys who talked up their interest in Ohio State because it was their chance at the big time.  But, as soon as the blue bloods came calling OSU's chances of getting them went from very likely, to slim and none.

THIS is why I can't understand those upset with Thad and the OSU basketball program.  Matta's teams have the talent and, mostly, the results you would consider normal for a blue-blood type program.  And, he's done it for 11 years.  His "bad" seasons result in 24-25 win years and his teams almost never get run out of the building, even by the best of opponents.  He does all this when recruits don't look at OSU as a blue-blood.  They see the results and Thad getting guys into the NBA.  They see Thad giving the ball to his best players and allowing them to showcase their skills as well as any other coach in the country.  They also see mediocre home crowds, little fan support in comparison to other top 10 basketball programs, and a program that takes a backseat to football in the eyes of the general fanbase.  The fact that Thad has sold this program to so many really good recruits is a blessing, and something way too many take for granted.

Matta has built OSU into a desirable place for recruits to go, because of what he can offer them - championship aspirations, possibilities of individual awards and accolades, and a chance at an NBA future.  But, when a recruit looks at OSU versus the attention and support they will receive at a blue blood program, quite frankly the comparison isn't even close.  THAT is why OSU doesn't just bring in any recruit they want, even major in-state talent.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

Go back and look at when Amir, Shannon, Sam, and Ross were incoming freshmen.  Compare them, as recruits, to Aaron White, Travis Trice, Traevon Jackson, Caris LeVert, etc.  None of those guys were more than a middle-tier 3 star recruit, AT BEST.

Can you imagine Thad Matta signing a class of White, Trice, Jackson, and LeVert (yes, I realize they are not all from the same recruiting year - this is just an example).  Those guys, combined, had probably 5 offers from Big Ten-level programs.  Combined!  Thad would have been a laughingstock here and everywhere else around Ohio.

Revisionist history always sounds better.  Those guys were late bloomers, some of which didn't really bloom until they were in college for a year or two.  Thad needed guys who he thought could come in and play right away.  As much as we all want to bash this OSU senior class, they didn't play all that badly as true freshmen and sophomores.  They contributed to a Final Four team and an Elite Eight team.  The issue is that they didn't improve years 1-4 like they should have, while the lower-tier Ohio recruits happened to improve immensely.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

This is where the confusion begins to build with many who question Thad's recruiting the past few years.  Ohio has ended up with many very good players, but the majority of those guys weren't thought to be "high major" players when they were in high school.  Thad goes after the best of the best.  If they show interest, OSU continues to show interest.  

Let's say OSU doesn't offer Potter, and he ends up at West Virginia as the next Pittsnogle/Kyle Wiltjer type.  People will be up in arms because here was a guy in OSU's backyard who they didn't go after.  This is similar to Traevon Jackson, Aaron White, Travis Trice, and so on.  However, by OSU going after Potter, who is not that highly ranked, you have people complaining that Matta is settling for lower class recruits when there are better players available.  It's a double-edge razor here.

Comment 30 Mar 2015

Underappreciated because he was a very good strategist and he got A LOT out of not so much talent.  However, in most cases he didn't have much talent due to his own accord - he publicly said he didn't want to go after surefire "pro's" because he wanted 4-year players.  If that is the case, why would any high-level prospect ever want to come play for you?

Comment 27 Mar 2015

I'd be all for this.. except I highly doubt he'd leave Arizona for Ohio State.  Arizona is level with or above OSU in terms of program prestige, and you could argue with the downfall of UCLA over the past 5-7 years, they are now without question top dog on the West Coast.  Miller/Arizona is right at the top in getting top recruits from California and the private Nevada academies, and Miller has already won with the administration as far as changing the culture there to get most anything he needs to be ultra-successful.

I would be completely shocked if Sean Miller ever leaves Arizona on his own volition, unless Kentucky, North Carolina, or Duke come calling.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

I LOVE the way Harris finishes in traffic at the hoop.  For his size, he has a unique way of contorting his body and finishing high at the rim while being contested.

This kid is a winner.  He's been starting on dominant Dunbar teams since he was a freshman, and playing AAU at the highest level.  There will be a learning curve for him to get acclimated to the size and strength of big-time DI players, but his quickness and burst with the ball take a backseat to no one.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

We agree on that - 24/25 wins and the resulting place in the conference, conference tournament, and NCAA tournament are not ideal seasons.  If it becomes consistent, then there is a problem.  Two years like this, being considered "down" years, is fine as long as it doesn't turn in to 5 or 6 in a row.  I do not foresee that happening under Thad Matta.  He has won with every group he's had, except for this senior group.  Something was amiss.  Now, with a new group coming in and new minds/talents for Thad and his staff to mold, I look forward to the successes that will be forthcoming.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

I'm not completely disagreeing here, but you can't just snap your fingers and expect OSU to become a blue blood program in basketball.  It happens over a long period of time, being a dominant team year in and year out to where kids see your program and automatically have interest because of the history of success.

Ohio State has great resources.  They have, like it or not, a very nice home arena.  They have sparkling new practice facilities.  They are close to being a blue blood, but not just because of the resources.  Prior to Matta, no high profile recruit would have looked at Ohio State and gotten a warm feeling in their tummy.  It was a mid-tier program who hoped to make the NCAA tournament.  They are now a step below blue blood because Thad Matta has changed the culture of the program into something that national recruits like.  

If Thad, God-willing, is able to coach for another decade at Ohio State and has similar success, I'd be comfortable saying Ohio State is a top 10/blue blood program.  It takes time to build to that level, and fans up in arms (not saying you are, but there are many) over back-to-back 24 and 25 win seasons is ludicrous.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

Sibert actually would have graduated after last season, if he had not transferred and had to sit out a season at Dayton.  I agree that one thing that needs to change is a legitimate rotation where the team/game is not dependent on 1 or 2 guys to do everything for the Buckeyes.  Matta used the bench much more this season overall, but it was a little too sporadic for my liking.

I do think Thad wants to play a lot of guys.  2006-2007 he played 9 guys regular minutes.  The problem is when guys get regular minutes but contribute almost nothing, much like what happened with Sibert his sophomore (Final Four) season.  Sibert was the 6th or 7th man the first half of the season, and was counted on to be a shooter, but only shot around 25% from 3 if I recall correctly.  Lenzelle Smith ended up passing him on the depth chart and Sibert must have seen that continuing the remainder of his career.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

Sure.  But Horford was Florida's best player and OSU had no answer for him.  Add to that the fact the Bucks were 2 for 21 from 3, or something of the like, and you can see that Thad Matta had his team right in position to win the title. 

I'll say again, as I've said many times on this site - for many Ohio State fans, it is national championship or bust.  That comes from our football culture.  In college basketball, if you are not Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, or Kentucky, it is really difficult for that to be your standard of success.  Whether people want to admit it or not, Ohio State is not a basketball blue blood.  They are one notch below that, in my opinion, and ONLY because of Thad Matta are they in that position.

From 1977-2004 (post-Fred Taylor/pre-Thad Matta), Ohio State basketball was 489-357.  That is winning at a 58% clip (17 or 18 wins, on average, in a 30 game season).  The program won exactly 2 Big Ten conference championships during that time ('90-91 and '91-92).  They advanced to 1 Final Four (since vacated), 1 Elite Eight, and 1 Sweet Sixteen in the time the tournament was increased to 64 teams.  This was not an ideal landing spot for many, if any, big time coaches.

Thad Matta wins - he wins conference championships; he wins conference tournaments; he wins NCAA tournament games.  He wins, and he does it with good kids and without any ounce of impropriety.  He's had two years in a row, with an overvalued class of senior recruits, where the season was not ideal.  OSU still won 49 games at a 70% winning percentage.  These are bad years.

Comment 23 Mar 2015

They lost to a defending national champion team that had 3 players selected in the first 9 or 10 picks in the 2007 Draft (Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and Corey Brewer) along with a bunch of other great college players (Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Chris Richard, etc.).

Comment 23 Mar 2015

Disagree, @ NutinPA.  Go down the rosters that Thad Matta has had in his 11 years, and you can see improvement in basically every player.

Everyone remembers what they want to remember, and that is normally weighted to the most recent.  This senior class did not turn out to be as good as what people would have liked, AND Aaron Craft did not develop into a dead-eye shooter.  Therefore, Thad does not develop players.  Even these seniors have developed - they just didn't turn into "lead" players but were forced into larger roles than their talent and ability were capable of.

Seriously, go down the list of players and look at what they were as freshmen, or even when they first came in at the start of their freshmen seasons and look at what they developed into.  Early on, you had Jamar Butler, Ivan Harris, Othello Hunter, then Turner, Diebler, Lighty, and Buford, then Lenzelle, Deshaun Thomas, Ross.  And that is leaving out A LOT of guys who improved tremendously during their time at OSU.

 

Comment 18 Mar 2015

It's difficult to make a "magical run" when you put together a top 5-10 type of regular season, on the average.  Thad's teams, as a whole, have done tremendously in the regular season, many times probably playing a bit above their heads as far as total record and conference record.  Then, they are seeded highly and much is expected, but they run up against a team full of tremendous athletes (Georgetown 2006/Tennessee 2010), or a bunch of highly recruited studs who didn't perform as expected in the regular season (Kentucky 2011), or a team who is a mid-major but plays like a high-major and is underseeded (Wichita State 2013/Dayton 2014).

At any rate, again it is hard to make a "magical run" when you are a top seed - when in reality, in a one and done scenario, it is all about matchups or sometimes one or two individual players who can beat you and the regular season is thrown out the window.  The only time OSU could have made an unexpected run in the tournament was in 2009 as an 8 seed, or possibly last year as a 6 seed.  Now, again, they have a chance as a 10 seed this year.

I don't care what seed you are - in my opinion, getting to the Sweet 16 is a success, if only a mild success when you are a 1 or 2 seed because the expectation is there.  Anything past that, especially a Final Four appearance, is a great season no matter your seed.

Edit: Thad's last real chance at an under-the-radar run in the tournament was at Xavier, when he unexpectedly led them on a magical run to the Elite Eight.  Thad has "it" - people just fail to grip the reality of how hard it is to have consistent success in the NCAA tournament, which he has also done.

Comment 17 Mar 2015

I've been banging the drum for a while now on my belief that this senior class has caused the majority of the angst with OSU basketball the past two years.  I agree with OBP - if you have 5-6 seniors on your team in college basketball and you are not a mid-major, then you likely have half your team full of underachieving players who cannot be counted on to lead a deep tournament run.

I believe this class had potential to do great things, based on the tools and name recognition/star rating they had when brought in.  Many even contributed quite a bit during the Final Four run, when they played bit roles but played those very well.  Unfortunately, that is what they are made for - bit roles, not guys you hitch your wagon to and expect to score big buckets, get important rebounds, or make the right decisions in crunch time consistently.  The "potential" never materialized, and then Thad Matta is left with the rubble of half his team, including the "team leaders", just being average college players.