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Member since 12 August 2011 | Blog

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  • 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.
  • NFL TEAM: Cincinnati Bengals
  • NHL TEAM: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • MLB TEAM: Cincinnati Reds

Recent Activity

Comment 16 Apr 2014

Picked baseball because it is on for the duration between now and then (and I love my Reds), but I think it is a combination of all.  CBJ in the hockey playoffs will make me tune in.  I'll watch some Saturday/Sunday golf when there is good competition going on.  NBA playoffs is a distant last, but some specific series are fun to watch at times.

I'm most excited though about the finish to the Champions League and most especially the World Cup.  A full month of soccer and hopefully some good results for the USMNT would make for a great summer.

Comment 09 Apr 2014

When you have the type of athletes OSU does at DB, there is absolutely no reason not to press at the line.  Unless you are blitzing a safety or have zero help over the top, it makes no sense to just give away yards in today's age of offenses.  Technique is extremely important, but when you have freakish athletes who can jam at the line and consistently stay with their man, it makes things that much more difficult for the offense.

I'm of the opinion that if an opponent can consistently beat your DB's deep over the top, you tip your cap to them.  But, if they consistently beat you on short, quick routes because that's what you give them.. shame on you.  Hopefully the extra pressure on receivers combined with a talented defensive line means more sacks and QB pressures, as well as more incompletions.  Too often last year this defense gave their opponents easy yards and made 2nd/3rd down manageable situations.  It would be nice to put other offenses behind schedule for a change.

Comment 08 Apr 2014

I've seen several "too early top 25" rankings for next year, and all have Ohio State just barely in the top 25, or right on the edge of getting in.  The thing about this next group is there is just so much unknown.  The turnover with AC, Ross, and LSJ all leaving means this will be a team that likely looks much different from this past year's team, but I assume many of the national pundits are thinking it will look much the same (based on returning a nucleus of Amir, Scott, Thompson, and Loving).

Comment 07 Apr 2014

I already admitted I'm biased, but I stand by the fact UK doesn't do anything special on offense.  By that, I mean they rarely run any set plays, they can't hardly shoot from the outside, and they get lost defensively quite a lot at times.  This may be one of the least well "coached" teams to play in the NC game in quite some time.

They may have the resume of an 8 seed, but when Cal decided to get out of his guys' way and let them simply play ball, they've shown off their considerable edge in talent.

Comment 07 Apr 2014

I'll admit I don't care for John Calipari, so I definitely want UConn to win, and picked them here to do so.

I do feel like everyone is declaring UK as the "team of destiny" but are maybe underselling what UConn has been able to do.  They've gone through quite a gauntlet themselves - picked by many to lose their opening round game against St. Joe's (and without a crucial and-one late in regulation they probably would have lost), they've beaten #2 seed Villanova, #3 seed Iowa State, #4 seed and national favorite Michigan State, and then #1 overall seed Florida.  That is an impressive list of programs they've beaten in succession.

Kentucky doesn't do anything special - they rely on their guards to penetrate and consistently beat their men off the dribble.  Once in a while they'll throw in a lob to a big man.  What is the one thing UConn has been so good at the past two games especially?  Cutting off penetration into the lane.  I doubt the Huskies will hold UK to 6 points in the paint (or whatever the exact number was) like they did against Sparty, but if they can force the Cats to shoot more than they'd like from the outside, I give UConn a great chance of winning tonight.

Comment 03 Apr 2014

Russell and Keita Bates-Diop are shooters, no question about it.  Both should have an impact next season, if only as shooters who can stretch the defense.  I do expect more than that from the two, though.  Add Kam Williams into that group as well - he's a flat out scorer.

The 5 spot cannot be worse next season than it was this year.  Even if Amir and Trey do not improve (which is unlikely going into their senior seasons), they'll still put up a few good performances here and there.

Loving showed flashes of great potential.  Normally you see a big jump from freshman to sophomore year, and that will especially happen with Marc because he'll be seeing a lot more minutes.  He can play the 3 or 4, and hopefully at times he'll be paired with Lee as the "small ball" frontcourt.

I'm not sure exactly what to expect out of Lee, but he does produce points and rebounds.  Add to that a change of scenery and sometimes guys just thrive in a new environment.  He, along with Thompson and Scott, are three experienced guys who will stabilize the team.

The wildcard is Jae'Sean Tate.  If he can get healthy in time to practice from the start during the fall, and utilize workouts to improve his shooting once his shoulder heals, I think he could really surprise people with his production.  He flat out dominated a few of the summer events this past summer on the AAU circuit.  He can attack the basket off the dribble.  He can rebound.  He defends.  He's a feisty player who will earn Thad's trust right off the bat, and again if healthy, I think he'll see a lot more minutes than what people are expecting.

Comment 03 Apr 2014

Russell looked really really smooth.  Love his quick release shot, which will help him immensely going forward against B1G defenses.  I also love that he was not shy or passive at all in the game - he took his shots fairly and attacked the basket when necessary.  Russell has played against top-level high school talent the past two years at Montverde and has shined in doing so.

Also extremely impressed with Myles Turner.  His post defense against Okafor was insanely good.  He probably could have been called for some fouls if it wasn't an AA game, but even with such a wirey frame he seemed strong in the post and also showed off a nice long range shot.  Almost every time both he and Russell were on the bench at the same time, they were sitting next to each other.  Cross your fingers on that one...

Comment 02 Apr 2014

I'm pretty sure Maryland has a recruit in the game as well.  At least they're good for something...

Comment 01 Apr 2014

I've read on several sites that Mickey has re-affirmed his commitment to OSU.  I do not know what the sources are for this, but I believe LGHL may have first had it on their site.

Comment 26 Mar 2014

I personally don't believe you can use national titles as a litmus test for how great of a coach someone is.  So Thad Matta doesn't have a title yet.  Does that mean he isn't as good of a coach as Jim Harrick?  Nolan Richardson?  John Calipari?  Gary Williams?  What if Indiana had won a title in 2002 against Maryland - would Mike Davis all of a sudden be considered an elite coach?

College basketball may be the hardest sport to win a NC (if you are not a blue-blood program), because it is so important to have the best talent, and then you have to win 6 straight games against other elite talent.  There is so little margin for error in order to win a NC, so naturally the best talent usually wins out.  Not always, but usually.

I'd say Thad is easily a top 10 coach nationally, and close to top 5.  I'd say Self, Pitino, Donovan, Izzo, and Coach K are the top 5, but much of that is based on historical performance.  OSU has outperformed MSU lately.  Same with Duke and Florida.  Maybe not this year, but everyone has down years (if you consider 25 wins down, I'd say Matta is doing fairly well...).  Look at overall talent plus performance of everyone, and OSU is right there at the top over the span of the last 10 years.

Comment 26 Mar 2014

Yes, as compared to many other guards Scott is decent at avoiding fouls.  However, compared to Craft he is worse.  That is the only comparison I am making.  Scott has a penchant for using his arms/hands a little more.  I don't expect him at all to be consistently in foul trouble or anything like that, but as the only true PG on the team, he's probably going to need to be on the floor 35-36 minutes per game.

Comment 26 Mar 2014

He definitely IS good, but he's going to really have to up the effort and intensity on the defensive end to become the trusted player in Matta's eyes that we all want to see.  I realize it is just high school ball and his team is dominant, but from the 3-4 games of Russell's I've seen televised, he doesn't bend his knees much on defense.  He'll have to really take pride in his performance on defense.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

For basketball, I don't necessarily believe playing the Duke's, Kentucky's, UNC's, Kansas's, etc. every year is that great a thing.  One or two of those top programs a year, yes absolutely.  And luckily, with OSU being involved in that preseason tournament classic starting next year, they'll be seeing at least one of those schools plus hopefully a top-level ACC team in the B1G-ACC Challenge.

Along with that, I think it would always be good practice to play 2-3 other good high-major programs each year (Texas, Georgetown, Marquette, Baylor, Tennessee, Memphis, Gonzaga), plus 2-3 really good mid-major schools who you know will have a chance at making the NCAA tournament.  For instance, this year we knew before the season started that Mercer would be a good team (barely missed out on the tournament last year and returned everyone), New Mexico would be good, Belmont, Davidson, etc.

Basketball scheduling is much more fluid each year, with games being scheduled prior to that season rather than 5-7 years in advance.  You can schedule teams who you have a pretty good idea will be good and give you a challenge.

Ideal type of schedule each year would be:  Top-flight programs (Kansas, @UNC), ACC challenge (Duke/Syracuse), good programs (@ Texas, Villanova, Memphis), and good mid-major (Belmont, Western Kentucky).  That is 7-8 possible tournament teams, mixed in with 7-8 sure wins.  This is what Michigan State does each and every year, and they are always better for it in the long run.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

Same here - I've seen Mathias a lot, and although he may not be a "take over the game" kind of scorer in college, he's someone who will grow into a consistent 10-12 ppg scorer (at least), just because he makes buckets.  He's the type of shooter OSU needs today, and based on the current roster and what looks to be coming in, he'd play right away...

Comment 25 Mar 2014

Completely agree.  And, with the potential of some really long, athletic lineups that Matta could put on the floor, you'd have to think they could play a pretty effective zone defense - getting deflections and a lot of hands on passes.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

True, but he was a fouling machine when put in that position.

Just another reason I think we'll see more zone next year.  Look at the guys leaving versus the guys returning, and look at the foul distribution.  Craft and Lenzelle were pretty good about not fouling.  Same for Ross, but that was more so because he at times allowed easier buckets in exchange for staying on the court and out of foul trouble (something the team desperately needed from him).  Now look at Loving, Scott, and you would assume as of now more minutes from Amir/Trey since Ross won't be around to mimic the center position in OSU's small lineup.  All of these guys are much more foul prone.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

I don't personally think we have to worry about Kam getting lost in the shuffle.  Even with this top-tier class coming in, only Russell is a true guard, and as of now the only true guards on the team are Scott, Russell, and Kam.  Sam is most definitely a 3 - his ball handling is nowhere near the level needed to play as a 2 guard.  Tate could possibly play some 2, but he's also more of a 3 or undersized 4 early in his career.  Plus, the labrum surgery may derail any attempts of him trying to really improve his jumper in order to play more guard.  That will probably have to wait another season.

From everything I've heard, Thad is very high on Kam.  Just watching him in warmups, I don't think there is any doubt Kam has/had the most offensive potential and dynamic ability with the ball in his hands on the team.  He's a straight up pure scorer.  I don't know where his defense lies, but as I mentioned in a different thread, I wouldn't be surprised to see some zone next year to offset the lack of individual defending ability of some the guys next season.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

Based on who is coming back/coming in as of right now, I'd guess it is very likely we will see zone at times next year.  I know Thad doesn't like doing that unless he has to, and next year he may have to.  If Ross is gone, and another big (Lee or Turner) is not added, Loving/Tate/Thompson/KBD are the options at the PF spot.  That is going to be a really difficult way to defend down low.  Not to mention, either Kam Williams or D'Angelo Russell is going to be on the floor at basically all times, and neither is known (yet) for their presence on that side of the ball.

Matta will not have the luxury of accounting for poor offense with stifling defense.  Scorers HAVE to be on the court next year, and the only way to do so is to put a guy or two out there who just won't be able to defend to Matta's liking.  The last time that happened with a team, we saw zone the entire year.  I don't think it'll go that far, but I'd be surprised to not see large chunks of zone sprinkled into the defensive gameplan.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

I would be highly surprised if Michigan is top 10-15 next year.  Assuming Stauskas, GRIII, and McGary all go pro, along with losing Jordan Morgan, they are going to really have to rely on LeVert and Irvin to be scorers, along with Walton and Albrecht.  I don't personally see that as a top-level squad.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

People are up in arms about Kennard... does anyone realize if Thad adds a VERY possible group of Bragg, Ahrens, and Giddens to already committed Harris and Mitchell, it will be one, if not the best, classes in the nation in 2015?

Then, look at the 2016 class in Ohio right now, and it is very possible Thad will bring in a great haul there as well.

The fickle "fan-dom" of Ohio State basketball is unreal at times.  10 years ago, people didn't even care about this team.  Thad starts recruiting with the top dogs, winning B1G championships hand over foot, reaching 4 straight Sweet Sixteens, then has a "down" year with 25 wins and 10 wins in conference, and everyone jumps off the wagon.

People need some perspective.  A kid like Ahrens is exactly what OSU needs, and there's a great chance they can land him if they offer (which I personally feel will be happening soon).  If Thad continues getting classes like 2014, as well as what he will more than likely get in 2015, and the doubters can go away once again, hopefully not ever coming back in the process.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

Being from a similar part of the state as Ahrens, I've heard some really great things about Kyle, both as a player and person.  He sounds like one of those guys who will improve your team both on the floor and off.  Hopefully he gets his OSU offer, and soon!

Comment 24 Mar 2014

I understand what you're getting at, but let's slow down a little here.  Let's not crown others as the masterminds behind Thad Matta's recruiting.  John Groce recruited Caris LaVert to OU, and after taking the Illinois job he liked LaVert so much... that he did not offer him a scholarship to Illinois once LaVert was allowed out of his letter of intent to OU.  Let's not paint too wide a brush here - everyone missed on LaVert, and the only reason he ended up at Michigan is because they had an opening late, and he was always known as a shooter.  Beilein will take those types of guys any day of the week.

Comment 21 Mar 2014

It's hard to accept this is the end for Craft in an Ohio State uniform.  I feel like I, as I'm sure many others do as well, have grown as attached to him as a player/representative of OSU moreso than probably anyone else ever.  He's an ordinary kid who has done extraordinary things in his time in Columbus.

I'd probably never consider this under any other circumstances, but if Craft makes an NBA roster, I just may have to get the NBA Direct Pass package next year.  It'll be hard to watch the Buckeyes next year without seeing #4 on the floor...

Comment 21 Mar 2014

Still look for a possible big man graduate transfer to OSU.  They've been in the conversation with several guys over the years, but never got one to decide on OSU.  I would not be surprised if this is the year (barring Myles Turner committing to OSU).  I've already heard the name Anthony Lee from Temple, who averaged nearly 14 ppg and 9 rpg this season.  He's considering a lot of schools including IU, Maryland, and OSU, with IU apparently the favorite at this point.

I would assume Scott, Russell, Thompson, Ross, and Amir (or Turner/transfer if either happen) will be the starters next year.  I think Kam Williams will be a huge addition as well.  Matta mentioned a few times this year that he thought about throwing him in there because the team needed scoring.  I don't know if he'll play strictly the 2 guard role, or if he'll play some point to have the ball in his hands.

Hopefully the freshmen come in ready to compete.  Russell, KBD, and Tate are all talented guys who could make huge contributions to the team next year, if healthy.  I doubt Bell will see much if any time, but who knows if his only competition is Amir and Trey.

Comment 17 Mar 2014

I think that could be the case for a lot of the guys on Dayton's roster.  All the prognosticators want to talk about is Dayton playing with a chip on their shoulder and with something to prove, but how many times do we see a team with that exact mentality fall flat because they are too hyped, too focused on proving themselves, rather than the task at hand as a team.