There were a few hoops happenings in the past week so we're keeping our promise of sprinkling in some news on the Buckeye basketball front in prep for the upcoming season.
Open Practice Set for October 25
Our man Bob Baptist reported today Matta will hold an open practice Saturday, October 25 - the same day as the pigskin throw down with Grandpa Joe's Nittany Lions. Baptist said a specific time has yet to be nailed down but expect the session to begin sometime between 4 and 6pm.
Maybe it's just me, but I think it's a shame that Matta is almost forced to have an open practice coincide with a home game in order to get a decent amount of folks to show up.
Regardless, I plan to attend because I want to see what Noopy Crater and Jeremie Simmons look like. I already know Buford and Mullens will be fixtures in the rotation but the emergence of either Crater or Simmons is a requirement if OSU is going to have a chance to finish in the top third of the conference.
Our spies on the ground indicate Simmons was mainly brought in to challenge Crater at the point because Matta plans to give him every chance to be the PG from day one. Matta's squads seem to get younger every year, don't they? Think about it, if Crater starts alongside Turner, Lighty, Mullens and Buford, that gives Matta a starting lineup comprised of three freshmen, one sophomore and a junior.
I'm also interested to see if Nikola Kecman looks like he'll hang out on the wings like a typical 6'8" Euro or if he has the makeup to help out down low. My gut says he won't give Matta much on the glass.
Lastly, I want to see how Dallas Lauderdale looks after a summer of working on his offensive game. Dude showed some promise at the end of last season and whether or not he can take the next step is just as important to this team as the aforementioned emergence of Crater or Simmons at the point.
The university announced yesterday single game tickets go on sale November 3rd including tickets in the OSU section for the contest against Notre Dame in Indianapolis in the Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase. Duckets to the showcase also get you a seat for the other half of the twin bill, Indiana versus Gonzaga.
With former Irish hoopster and current Miami Heat guard Chris Quinn scrimmaging against the Buckeyes all summer, Matta will need to account for the scouting report the Dublin native plans to share with ND coach Mike Brey.
Hoops Report Slots Buckeyes at #14
The Hoops Report offers a solid preview of this season's Buckeye squad ranking them 14th and going so far as to predict the possibility of a March run. Lots of things have to go right for that prognostication to become reality but if the talent can gel, anything is possible.