No, Ohio State Basketball is Not in 'Crisis Mode' But It's Perfectly Normal to Have Some Slight Concerns

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Chic'sGhost's picture

The same team coming back, that couldn't even make the NCAA field of 68 is ZERO comfort to me.  

Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.  

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jamesrbrown322's picture

If you want some comfort, I suggest you check out the 2007-08 team. They weren't good enough for the Tournament either, allegedly. I know that there's no Evan Turner on this team, but we could see a similar trajectory with this roster. The next 2 recruiting classes will be key to determining where the program goes from the crossroads at which it is currently standing.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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Sevenandcounting's picture

I'll have what he's having!

Because I couldn't go for three...

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dcbuck-i's picture

We also lost Tate down the stretch when it mattered most. Tate alone accounted for 17% of the team's points, 17% of rebounds, and 14% of the assists before going out. Other than assists, losing Tate's 17% of points and 17% of rebounds was greater than or equal to the TOTAL of the four freshman we just lost. 

We win one of the close games against tourney teams (Wisconsin or Maryland) and you can't even make this stupid comment. Returning a core of juniors and one senior and roughly 85% of the major statistical categories should make everyone feel ecstatic. This was not a bad team this year. In B1G play, we were the ONLY team not to lose to a team who finished below us. We beat who we should beat, we had a rough go against the best teams, and won two good games against Michigan and Iowa. That's quite a baseline to start from. 

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aznchipmunk's picture

I would add that losing KBD in the NIT didn't help... offensively, and even more-so defensively.

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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Ole Buckeye's picture

well, all teams lose players to injury, and all teams have some close losses they coulda won.  The basketball program is down right now, at least in comparison to where it has been in the last 10 years and also, more importantly, compared to the standard we would expect ofr a major sport at The Ohio State University.  I know Coach Matta wants the team to be better.... and I'll bet he's working hard to get it figured out. 

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HailChiefWahoo's picture

Nice points...why can't all Buckeye fans be this logical and rational with their opinions?

I came. I saw. I conquered.

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Sanantonefan's picture

I believe the key is in their development. If these 6 can continue to improve in the off season, this team will be much better. For example, players such as Kam and Bates-Diop made a great improvement in their game between freshman and sophomores years. If they make a similar improvement this off-season, and the other 4 do also, this team will be very good, especially if Loving can play more like he did at the end of the season for the entire year. I realize that is a lot of ifs, but that's why I believe this off-season is incredibly important to this program.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

And people call Tim Mr. Negativity LOL.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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Buckloving's picture

So what are you saying? You have some slight concerns" according to the article that was okay lol

bobbyd

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

Thad's been good but not great when it's counted most. Nice guy but nice doesn't finish first a lot in college hoops. Nobody has ever charged coach K or Izzo of being classy or nice but they'll forever be respected because they get the job done.  

Go Bucks forever

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Jumar's picture

Coach K and Izzo also lose in the first round of the tournament. Calipari also misses the NCAA tournament with a roster loaded with 5* recruits.

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

I'm in no way comparing Thad to Izzo or coach K. That's not even a conversation. Those 2 develop talent and win games they have no business winning, in years they have no business winning. Sure they've both lost early tourney games but their track record is ridiculous. When's the last time Matta's name was mentioned when discussing the nations top coaches? Not ever. TOSU deserves more. Calipari is a showman, nothing more.

Go Bucks forever

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dcbuck-i's picture

Funny you should say that. SI just had an article about the best coaches offensively in the past 10 years, and had our own Thad at #4 ahead of both Cal and Izzo. Recalling that Thad's teams have been better known for good defense, I'm assuming you're going to disagree with SI because it doesn't fit your narrative.

Those 2 develop talent and win games they have no business winning

Like Kentucky losing in the first round of the NIT in 2013? Like MSU losing to MTSU as a 2 seed this year?

It's really funny. Izzo and MSU won 19, 22, and 18 games in 2001-2004, which was...one year removed from their national championship. As recently as 2011 MSU won only 19 games. Something Thad has NEVER done, because he's won at least 20 games in every year of his career as a head coach. 

Better yet - I want you to look up who has won more games since the 2004-2005 season when Thad became coach at The Ohio State University, Izzo or Thad. Know what? I'll make it easy for you - Thad has won 320 games in his OSU tenure, while Izzo has won 317 games in the same time period. Amazing, right?

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CincyOSU's picture

Crazy facts....there's no place for such nonsense here. We only want raw, emotional, knee jerk reactions.

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The Pontiff's picture

cognitive dissonance is even better. 

Michigan and Ohio once fought over Toledo. Ohio Lost

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

I'll be amazed when SI writes an article showing all the national titles Uncle Thad has won. 

Go Bucks forever

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CincyOSU's picture

When's the last time Matta's name was mentioned when discussing the nations top coaches? Not ever.

Actually, he is CONSISTENTLY mentioned on the top 10-15 depending on the year and the publication.

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awlinBrutus's picture

lets not forget Matta had 2 teams lose in the first round to inferior small tier teams no less as well. I'm sorry but 2014 is a down year as well because of Dayton bouncing us. Can you imagine last year without Russell?

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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CincyOSU's picture

He's also been to two Final Four's as well. Teams get upset EVERY SINGLE YEAR in the NCAA Tournament...that's what makes it special. Sure it sucks being on the losing end of an upset, but you don't see these other schools grabbing the pitchforks over and UPSET.

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dcbuck-i's picture

In the last ten years, Izzo has had 3 teams not make it out of the round of 64 in the tournament, and one more that didn't make it past the round of 32. Thad has had 2 not make it out of the round of 64, 2 not make it out of the round of 32, an NIT Championship (that was a good team), and this year's exit. 

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FairfaxBuckeye's picture

Ohio State lost to a Dayton team that went to the Elite 8 in the tournament in 2014, beating a 3rd seeded Syracuse, as well.

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Jumar's picture

Ohio State lost to a Dayton team that went to the Elite 8 in the tournament in 2014, beating a 3rd seeded Syracuse, as well.

Syracuse is not located in Ohio so it is OK.

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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osudray's picture

Could you imagine 2006 without Conley? Oden? Cook?

What about 2010 without Turner?

To hypothetically take away a team's best player is just a ridiculous argument!

This years Cavs are going to win the east, probably don't make the playoffs without Lebron... food for thought

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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awlinBrutus's picture

I'm  surprised how partisan the pro matta crowd is here @ 11w.  The point  is, the last 3 years haven't been up to the expectations Coach Matta has created, imho. I don't see how anyone could disagree with that statement.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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My2Sons's picture

Thad has created, or we have?

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BuckeyeRealist13's picture

I think you answered your own question. Expectations Coach Matta has Created 

2x account suspension survivor 

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bucksfan92's picture

I don't think anyone is arguing that the last 3 years have been bad, but that doesn't mean you fire the coach who got the program to the level of consistency and expectation over the previous 9 because of it.  I think Thad is well aware of the importance of next season on both his legacy and tenure here.  Given his track record I think things will be fine.

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awlinBrutus's picture

I never said fire the coach. i'm just putting the blame where it belongs, on thad matta for the current state of the program. you can't blame anyone else.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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analyticalguy's picture

You're right, and if it continues, there is a problem to be fixed, perhaps by changing coaches.  But periodic "failure to meet expectations" happens everywhere in sports. 

Did the OSU football team "fail to meet expectations" this past year?  I believe most of our fans, players and coaches think so.  And with all the turnover, gridiron Bucks just may lose a couple games this coming season, which would definitely fall below the expectations of many fans.  Should Meyer be replaced if that happens?

Obviously Buckeye football is not directly comparable to Buckeye basketball, because in football we have a "blue blood" top tier program (and always will), while the basketBucks (not being Duke, Kentucky, Kansas or UNC), will likely always be a next-tier program, no matter who is coach, and so the expectations for basketball will generally (in all fairness) be less than for football.

My expectations for basketball this coming season ARE to make it to the Big Dance (with a record, obviously which will be worthy of it), winning at least one game there. A good season should also involve accomplishing at least one of the following: top 4 in the BIG regular season, semifinals in BIG tourney, and Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA. 

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faux_maestro's picture

I'm just as surprised by how partisan the anti-Matta crowd is.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing that the last 3 seasons have not been up to par. It seems to me that some people are just as blinded by their anti-Matta feelings as those folks claim the pro-Matta people are.

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

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JLBNYC's picture

Could you imagine 2006 without Conley? Oden? Cook?

What about 2010 without Turner?

To hypothetically take away a team's best player is just a ridiculous argument!

This years Cavs are going to win the east, probably don't make the playoffs without Lebron... food for thought

good point. particularly when it comes to basketball (e.g., where would Oklahoma be without Buddy Hield!?)

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

You can't take Russell out of the equation. He was part of the team. 

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faux_maestro's picture

Could you imagine the Celtics without Bird, or the Lakers without Magic? They never would have won the NBA championship. 

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

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Buck95's picture

Let's also remember the circumstances around those games.  In 2009, OSU was an 8 seed playing a 9 seed Sienna team, which is basically a "pick-em" type of game.  They lost 74-72 in 2OT.  And in 2014, a 6 seed OSU lost to an 11 Seed Dayton 60-59.  Keep in mind that Dayton had a chance to knock off the "big brother" Buckeyes and did so, then advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.  Perhaps Dayton was a bit under seeded there?

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cal3713's picture

And yet somehow you keep comparing these coaches in every post...

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

CB1010 - I've mentioned this in other discussions about Coach Matta, and I think it bears repeating in light of your comment.

Looking at the previous ten seasons (going back to '05-'06: Matta's first full season with OSU eligible for post-season play), and his post season record is not that dissimilar from Izzo, Williams and Coach K. His overall winning percentage is ahead of Izzo and Williams, and his worst season (this year's 21 wins) is also better than Izzo's (19-15) and Williams' (20-17) over the same period.  Even taking into account this year, Matta has as many Final Four appearances (2) as Coach K, and only one less than Izzo (3) and Williams (3).

Now factor in the fact that Matta has only been a HC since 2000: Izzo has been a Head Coach since '95, Williams since '88, and Coach K since '75.  So he is coaching very close to some legendary coaches, who have been doing it twice as long.

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/comment/reply/68691/2189696

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Jumar's picture

Way to bring the facts Navy.

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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NavyBuckeye91's picture
EDIT: Fact - there are less than 157 days until kick off.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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BuckeyeVet's picture

Here's Navy:

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."-Groucho Marx

Goals: Beat Michigan. Win the B1G East. Beat Michigan. Win the B1G CG. Beat Michigan. Win a Natty. Beat Michigan.

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analyticalguy's picture

B-b-b-but... the facts don't fit the #FireThad narrative

To take the #FireThad side for a moment  - when you look at Matta's career at tOSU in comparison to those other coaches, he comes out pretty good.  When you look at the past three seasons as demonstrating a downward trend, however, and what it means for Matta's CURRENT ability to guide the program successfully, there IS some cause for concern.  Three seasons isn't a great sample size, and "failure" can be explained away (one bad recruiting class, youth, underseeded Dayton, etc) but I have enough concern that I truly see 2016-17 as a potential watershed. Either (with a core of 6 top players returning) the team improves in some significant fashion, or it doesn't.  If it doesn't, then there is a problem.  I happen to be in the camp that thinks we'll see improvement. 

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awlinBrutus's picture

The last 5 years is a more appropriate timeline imo.

Izzo  29-8, 27-9, 29-9, 27-12, 29-6 Round of 64-1, Sweet16-2 Elite 8-1, FF-1

Ryan- 26-10, 23-12, 30-8, 36-4, Ryan/Gard 22-13 , Round of 64 1, Sweet 16 2, FF-2 Runner up 1

Chad Matta 31-8, 29-8, 25-10, 24-11, 21-14, Field of 64 1 Round of 32 1 FF 1 Elite 8 1 NIT 1

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

So you remove the Spartan's worst stretch and keep the Buckeyes'?  I suppose that's fair looking only at the last five years, but then why didn't MSU jettison Coach Izzo after '02-'04 when they only won 19, 22 and 18 games?  Coincidentally, that run of three less-than-stellar seasons came in Coach Izzo's 8th-10th seasons as HC at MSU.  That's just about where Coach Matta is in his tenure.

I also feel it's unrealistic to compare coaches who have been at this for dramatically different amounts of time.  Bo Ryan had been a head coach since 1984: Coach Matta's Senior year in High School.  Coach Izzo has been a head coach since '95, but started as a college assistant in 1979: Matta was in the 7th or 8th grade.  He has half the experience of these other coaches, and I believe he'll improve with experience provided his health doesn't deteriorate further.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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awlinBrutus's picture

who's talking about firing matta? unbelievable, can't converse without taking it there right? every time like children.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

AB, I wasn't implying that you were calling for firing him.  I totally understand what you meant by looking at the past five years.  I just think that's too short of a comparison, which is why I threw in the comparison with a similar period in Izzo's career, and posed a hypothetical question. Didn't mean it to come off any other way (there's a reason I don't Twitter). +1 to counter the DVs.  We can have a difference of opinion and a healthy debate without that stuff.  No need for the name calling though.
 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

'Chad Matta "

(BOL)

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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Buckeye Tyger's picture

Coach K and Izzo also don't have serious health issues affecting their coaching...

"Because we couldn't go for three." -Woody Hayes

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Sevenandcounting's picture

That is true, Nerlans Noel was hurt that year...Cal has won a championship, went to the finals, and lost one game all year (final 4 that year) in three different seasons...I'll take a missed tournament for those results.

Because I couldn't go for three...

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Jumar's picture

I'll take a missed tournament for those results.

Would you also take the sanctions when he leaves?

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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Sevenandcounting's picture

UK wont have sanctions, he just had to blow up programs to get to the top.

Because I couldn't go for three...

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dcbuck-i's picture

Also, I have no idea how you can say this:

Nobody has ever charged coach K or Izzo of being classy or nice

Maybe Coach K, but Izzo has always been a Grade A certifiable class act. He is always complimentary of other teams and players, has an active family and community life, and always carries himself with tremendous professionalism. There are very, very few OSU fans (let alone college basketball fans) that will say "I hate Tom Izzo because he is not a good person."

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BucksLover0214's picture

I totally agree.  Coach K has represented USA Basketball and Duke extremely well.  He doesn't like showboating, big whoop.  I would not say he isn't nice or classy.  I don't know what that person is talking about.

They hate us cuz they aint us!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

I see the Thad love is thick today. He's a nice dude; someone I'd like to have a beer with. But coaching an elite university? Na. He has health problems, he's rich; he just lost that fire in the belly perhaps. I appreciate what he's done and the warm and fuzzy memories about coulda shoulda woulda seasons which are aplenty being an Ohio sports fan. This is a chance to go get an elite coach while TOSU's brand is white hot (preciate ya Urban). I remember people still in love with The  Sweatervest even when it was clear the game had passed him by. Change is hard but it has to be done sometimes.

Go Bucks forever

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Fuzzy memories? I remember a lot of winning.

Game passed him by? He's still young by coaching standards.

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TraptnMI's picture

Age absolutely, but mentally, maybe not so young. Pain wears on the mind, could be quite the distraction. Time for a change.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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Nutinpa's picture

Wow.....selective memory much?  The game passed Tressel by?  His team was one game away (Wisconsin) from playing in the NC in 2010 and Tatgate from contesting in 2011.  Urban Meyer, despite all the gaudy statistics, has won, so far, just as many NCs at Ohio State as Tressel did.  Don't get carried away.

As for Matta....not sure where the game has passed him by.  I don't consider myself a Matta "apologist"....but I do believe he has earned the right, for now, to call his own future.  Those who disagree have their right to do so.  I would only say...."be careful what you wish for."

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TraptnMI's picture

Extremely well said. Chicago, my favorite city!

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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BornAndBredABuck's picture

I respect Izzo, but Coach K has ALWAYS been an arrogant dick. Now he's been caught out as a liar, too.

http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/2627911-krzyzewskis-apology-after-c...

"Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect." -- Woody Hayes

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

Yup fuzzy memories of "almost winning it all". Thad simply doesn't finished the job. No big trophies. None. And as for Tressel-he's a legend for the chip he brought us but he coached the subsequent teams like they were the 2002 version; Pryor running the exact same plays T. Smith ran even though they were totally different players. He dominated the big ten but was too stubborn to change with the times and the SEC. Someone mentioned Urban's 1 chip in Columbus. Cmon man those 2 in Florida didn't simply disappear just because we didn't like the result. My point is: Urban and other elite coaches will get upset from time to time but they've built up a lot of equity because of the banners they hang in the rafters. Thad simply can't remind us of the time he took us to the promised land.  We like to call ourselves the elite university in the B1G when it comes to the big money sports (football, men's hoops) and I believe we are but sparty is right there. Dantonio is recruiting the overlooked Ohio boys who will be difference makers and the gap is widening between the 2 basketball programs.

Go Bucks forever

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CincyBuck's picture

Izzo has always been a Grade A certifiable class act.

I couldn't agree more.  I met Izzo (and Draymond Green) in an airport, coming back from the Final Four in NOLA.  He approached me while I was waiting in line for a coffee, and commented on how good the Bucks were that year, saying that it was a "tough break" (I was wearing an OSU shirt).  We then talked for a few minutes about the schools, Big-10 sports, and the like.  He really couldn't have been nicer and more engaging.

In related news, Draymond is really, really, really tall.  Just an FYI... 

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buckmark1's picture

time will tell but losing 4/5ths of a consensus top 5 recruiting class is definitely a reason for concern. 

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aznchipmunk's picture

Let's all cry with Jordan and wipe our tears away with some laughter at this great 'shop.

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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cal3713's picture

Lyle was the only one smiling in the original pic too...

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aznchipmunk's picture

deep symbolism there, Cal.

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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O's Pancake Factory's picture

I cant help but feel like we marked time this year or maybe slid a little bit back with these departures. Even though they weren't tier 1 guys on the team, the heart and soul guys could be major players if they develop. Perhaps the forseeable lack there of is why we are in a new year, new me type situation again. Chad gets the year to work out the kinks but beyond that there has to be progress going forward, because no matter what way you slice it, these are his guys (ALL of them).

2002, Desert Heat & a Crystal Football....like it was yesterday. *12 years later* -> UNDISPUTED!

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Barfolomew's picture

Great writeup, Tim. All your points are spot on.

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OSUBias's picture

Big off season for player development. Obviously everyone needs to get much better if next year is going to be better than this year.

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ibuck's picture

Obviously everyone needs to get much better if next year is going to be better than this year.

I think they are already better--when Tate & KBD are healthy. Based on the way the remaining starters & Kam developed this year, this team would win games 3,4 & 5 this season. Move those 3 from L's to W's, and OSU would have been 23-10 and gets an NCAA bid. OK, so you can't get do-overs, but they have improved some.

But I agree that there's still plenty of work for them to do.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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jamesrbrown322's picture

There were signs of growth all over. Bates-Diop got better. Williams got better. Tate did, too. Even everybody's favorite player, Marc Loving, improved. If you didn't see that then I have a hard time believing you watched Ohio State play all season.

Amen. As a team, they certainly improved over the course of the season. However, there was a big gap between the Bucks and teams with top 25 talent. Some of this can be attributed to inexperience. Some of it is simply the fact that the players still needed even more time ti actually improve, not just gain experience. OSU simply was not a top 25 type team, and that has become such a rarity during Matta's tenure. I'm still optimistic for next season and look forward to seeing some changes and improvement. Lyle is going to be all-B1G performer before he leaves, and I think we'll see the Marc Loving for which we've all been waiting.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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ibuck's picture

I think we'll see the Marc Loving for which we've all been waiting.

Marc could make 1st-team All-B1G next season, and some posters here would still not be satisfied, because they don't like his face, or expression, etc.

I'm fairly happy with the way he played games down the stretch, and he was instrumental in getting OSU wins, or even keeping them in the game.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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CptBuckeye24's picture

There seems to be a culture issue within the program. It could be a variety of thins going on, but maybe the younger reserves simply didn't buy in.

The lack of effort and the sloppiness on the court at times this season was very concerning. I think that parlays into the culture issue. I certainly agree this team improved but inconsistent effort is a coaching issue. I think you could argue effort has been a problem for the past few years. Any which way you put it, Matta has to take ownership and move forward with recruiting the right guys and develop talent.

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11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Great wrote up, as always. Until these players come out and say why they're transferring, we'll never know. Maybe it's Thad's fault, maybe it's theirs. But Thad has earned the respect where a knee jerk reaction of #FireThad is over the line.

Everyone thinks that if you fire the head coach you immediately get an Urban, but they forget that first you might get a Fickell (no disrespect, Fick). Spoiled and short minded fans are too common and too loud.

If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

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huffdaddy's picture

Whether this is a huge deal or just a bad look depends on why the exodus happened. if it was: I am not getting enough playing time and/or the coaches are riding me too hard, then it's a bad look but fine for the program. if it was: this program is going in the wrong direction and I better bail out while I still can - that's a big deal.

And I doubt any of us are going to know the answer unless some of the current players speak up (and I don't see why they would).

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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KD_Bucks11's picture

Obviously, anytime you have two or more transfers in the same year it is going to raise some questions.  However, I am going to choose to look at the positives.  There was some improvements from guys towards the end of the year.  The biggest I saw was from Loving after Tate's injury.  In my opinion, Giddens is definitely the biggest loss, but it is hard to get playing time when you foul anything that moves.  Harris is just too small for Big Ten basketball, and he was always struggling to finish (except the dunk against Florida), and Mitchell had no offense, and I felt he was always trying to look cool playing basketball instead of just making an easy pass.  All that said, next year will be a big year for Ohio State Basketball and Matta.

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Mostly Gray's picture

I think if we want to be critical of our coach, we should focus on his ability to evaluate talent and recruit players.  I do not have enough information yet to decide if there's something wrong or bold and correct with these releases but I am curious to learn what he saw in their respective skill sets and how they would compliment one another on the court.

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TheShookster's picture

Excellent article Tim.

I think Thad probably "assisted" in showing these guys the door.

I think Thad has done the right thing here, a good step to getting back on track. The onus does not completely fall off him though, as it was his staff that recruited the 2011 and 2015 classes.

Next season is huge. With the starters returning (plus Kam), plus Potter, Funderburk (Wesson and Johnson too PLZZZZ) I think next season will be WAY better than this one.

He ain't even stretch doe!!

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

If Thad knows Wesson and Johnson are also in the fold for 2016, then I could see this as a possibility (Thad helping these guys out the door).  

From Thads limited comments, he wished them well, but also said OSU will move forward with guys who WANT to be here and see the opportunity at tOSU as a privilege. Former players echoed this sentiment (except for Della Valle).

Maybe we were right and there needed to be culture change. Strange thing is, these guys competed hard with effort.  The complaints about effort last season mostly surrounded Loving (early in the year mostly), as well as Lyle, KBD, and Thompson periodically disappearing from games. 

Id hate the think Thad was loyal to the older guys over the younger guys who tried hard (at least during games).  They were role players, yes, but they played hard. I appreciated that.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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aznchipmunk's picture

Maybe Matta reads all of your tweets.

Maybe Matta reads 11w.  Makes you think.

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

If that's the case, I'm not in good standing....lol

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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aznchipmunk's picture

Good thing you're not applying to be an assistant grad!

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

No doubt Chip......All I really wanted was just a team that cares and plays hard every game, and a coach who can make in-game adjustments as the game flows.

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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aznchipmunk's picture

I agree with you bro'  Our time will come.

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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buckeyepastor's picture

On the plus side, in reference to those that left it could prove to be addition by subtraction.   And we still have the core of the team, those that produced most of our points.   

But no matter how incompatible those who left may have been with the program, going into next season with a supporting cast that is just about all new from the previous year's (and back to square one with bringing them into the program and the system) is a big step back.  It may precede a big step forward for OSU, but not without first being a significant step back.   

Every coach, even the great ones, have a recruit or two from time to time that just doesn't work well with the program.   That's inevitable.   But to have it happen with 80% of a recruiting class is just not a good sign and CANNOT happen again.  If it does happen again, whether you want to fault the recruiting decisions or the coaching or the team culture, the buck stops with the head coach.   If these 4 departures are not filled with upgrades by Matta and the program, 2016-17 could be his last season with OSU.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

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analyticalguy's picture

I disagree about there being a "step back" with these departures.  Mind you, I'm NOT suggesting that it's necessarily a step forward (although it could be with the right additions). These were all first year players.  The players who will replace them will all be either first-year players, or, if there is a grad transfer, s player new to tOSU with experience elsewhere. The core group who returns - the 5 starters and the 6th man - can be expected to improve 9although that's not guaranteed). The only way the team takes a step backward is if a) the core returners regress; or b) there aren't new players (however inexperienced) who aren't capable of stepping in to fill the key roles played by those leaving at the level they produced this past year, especially 1) a solid big man; 2) a back-up point guard; and 3) at least one more wing.  As I said, these needn't be immediate "upgrades" over those who left - they could be equally competent inexperienced freshman (which is who they'd be replacing).  The improvement should come from the core 6 to improve the team. Any upgrade at even one other backup position would be a bonus.

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Hovenaut's picture

May we live interesting times.

Continued support for Thad Matta and the basketball program.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

There are times where the worst thing that can be spread is misinformation

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

May we live interesting times.

Funny how the Chinese consider that phrase an ironic curse. ;-)

We often scrutinize UFM's coaching staff, and rightfully so, as any athletic program is only going to be as good as its staff of coaches. I'm wondering if Coach Matta is being served equally well by his own staff.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Funny how the Chinese consider that phrase an ironic curse. ;-)

Right up there with "Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true."

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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jwh7's picture

It is clear that this freshman class was over rated. Giddens was the only one that had a chance to be aBig10 caliber center, but much work required. Think there are a couple of things at work here. 1. Matta is challenged physically and it might have an impact on his coaching performance and this staff is not one to be doing much delegation. 2. Dickerson and Paulus need to be considered for re-assignment out of the program. Neither is getting coaching or recruiting results. 3. Strength and conditioning is not on par to where it needs to be. Buckeye teams lack strength and power resulting in soft play...Bucks rarely win recruiting battles. A change here is a must.Losing these players hurts the brand from a perception standpoint, but Matta has a real opportunity to get some quality kids who want to grow and play for O-state. The 1 and done and leaving early has hurt this team. Keeping a quality kid through the senior year is rare. Concentration on recruiting Ohio first is critical. Meyer goes national and can get away with it because he gets the very best players and Matta does not have that luxury. I like Matta. He's a winner, his kids rarely get in trouble and he has class. Let's let this play out and see it as an opportunity to not only upgrade the roster but the coaching staff. Go Bucks

buckeyboy

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0H-10's picture

Fair & balanced perspective, JWH! Thanks.

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

Also agree, 10. Good take by JWH.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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0H-10's picture

BTW- I took you up on the recommendation of Pat Conroy- really enjoying My Reading Life presently. Some of his stories of his dad hit real close to home. Thanks!

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

You're welcome, 10! Hope you find Pat Conroy's writings as cathartic as I have.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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ibuck's picture

Things often are not simple.

Dickerson and Paulus need to be considered for re-assignment out of the program. Neither is getting coaching or recruiting results.

There's a balance between changing asst. coaches and the new players they have and are recruiting. 

Matta is challenged physically and it might have an impact on his coaching performance.

Thad will probably be the first to admit when he cannot physically do the job. Is that the situation? I don't think so, but it's hard for a fan to know for sure. I'm pretty sure Gene Smith is satisfied with Matta's ability to do so.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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SilverBullet76's picture

Thad more and more is starting to remind me of one John Cooper.. Cooper to took Ohio State to new levels, recruited talent but could never quite get over the hump of the big game.. As a matter of fact Cooper started the rise of what is now the best program in the country.. With that being said towards the end that didn't matter and with Thad what's he's done 4 or 5 years ago to me doesn't matter... What Matta is doing is setting up deniability when this team comes out next year and plays like hot garbage because there is no continuity/talent... It's a shrewd move and may yet save his job but hopefully it doesn't and the university sees past his shenanigans.. This program has been mediocre to bad for a full 4 year graduating class and there is no hope just like with Cooper towards the end.. The question is who blinks first Thad or Gene???

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dcbuck-i's picture

This program has been mediocre to bad for a full 4 year graduating class

In 2012-2013, OSU was in the Elite 8. Please, don't make it more than it really is. Izzo, Calipari, Coach K, Roy Williams....they all have had their own 2-3 year "slumps." Izzo has 3 years where he hasn't even won 20 games. You think Sparty nation is calling for his head?

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SilverBullet76's picture

Might I also add that another comparison between Cooper and Thad is Cooper started losing top Ohians to other schools.. Mainly ttun the same thing is happening now where Trey Burke who went blue and now the best player in Ohio Xavier Sampson who Thad didn't even offer is going ttun.. Thad recruting efforts have been piss poor to say the least..

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dcbuck-i's picture

Trey Burke was in the same class as Shannon Scott, and both were point guards who were going to sit behind Craft. Scott was Mr. Basketball in Georgia and was ranked in the top 30-35 nationally. Burke, depending on the recruiting service, was in the 85-100 range. 

People need to make up their minds. Either you want Ohio players who aren't ranked as high as out of staters Thad recruits, or you don't. Can't do both.

Simpson is literally ranked 1 spot (both nationally and in Ohio, #68 nationally and #6 in Ohio) ahead of Funderburk, who is #69 and #7. I'm assuming there's a reason THad didn't offer him. Just like Kennard didn't commit to OSU because he grew up a Kentucky fan. Just because a recruit grows up in Ohio doesn't mean they are automatic OSU recruits, ESPECIALLY for basketball.

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0H-10's picture

You keep making sense DC. I'm not sure that works around here.

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dcbuck-i's picture

I do what I can. I make a living creating analyses based solely on facts and numbers so supporting my opinions with anything less would be a disservice to myself.

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awlinBrutus's picture

why would you, he won a championship and has 8 FF's in 18 years.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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BlockO's picture

I mentioned this same thing in another post but got blasted for this comparison. Good coaches and recruiters but mediocre when It counts.

"faith seeking understanding” (fides quaerens intellectum)

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0H-10's picture

^This is just the worst.

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collards's picture

they miss chris jent

Collards

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TraptnMI's picture

Absolutely! Jent was apparently the only consistent developer of player personnel specifically the bigs and it shows. Matta is a ghost of himself buying time with his past accomplishments. You see mattas proteges doing great by not using Mattas offense. I can't remember when the Bucks were blown out so many times in one season and to be so inconsistent and never gelling towards the end of a season. No wonder the second team got the better of the starters in most practices. Matta must be stubborn in his ways. One has to evolve and try new things if your old school shit isn't working any more. This is what got him here, bread and butter and forever he will think in the box! The downward spiral wouldn't be tolerated in the football program.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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jawbreaker's picture

Jent did wonders for Craft's shot ;) 

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TraptnMI's picture

You must admit a coincidence of shakiness in development soon after Jent left the program. Or not.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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ibuck's picture

Trapt, I can see how you use these opinions to reach your conclusion, but disagree with your points. Many of us did see a team gelling down the stretch, beating NCAA-bound teams iowa & um, and losing 2 of their best players. Where's the evidence that reserves beat the starters most practices? Yep, Matta IS stubborn: players have to work hard both on and off court, be of good character, go to class, play defense hard, etc. AND he is trying new things, like the Matta Shooting School, and focusing more on recruiting Ohio. And these transfers may be evidence of new ways, too. BTW, Coach Cooper was tolerated at OSU for 13 seasons, losing to UM or the bowl game, or both, for nearly all of them.

However, we do agree that there is still work for OSU coaches and players to do. 

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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GrayDay's picture

Very good article, thanks.  My biggest concern after yesterday was really Matta's health.  Some speculated that the string of exits could have been reaction to internal knowledge that Thad may soon retire.  Surely hope not, and I still think he's both a great coach and representative of OSU.  No mention here that health is a concern, and glad that is so.  Would be nice to hear Thad comment about state of the program soon, but has he said anything or has anyone observed anything regarding his health progress?

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mr.green's picture

why would his health matter to players who are not starting?  May be hard for some to believe, but if he were to go we would actually hire a replacement and if you are sitting on the bench now, wouldn't that be an opening?  I don't buy this argument at all: Go sit out a year because the coach may leave next year. huh?  

I hope Thad stays for another 10 years. Be patient Buckeye fans. 

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CincyBuck's picture

There are recruiting debates, too, and the majority of those relate to what some would call a lack of recruiting in the state of Ohio. But the reality of the situation is Ohio is a state flooded with talent and Ohio State can't sign all of the good players.

I didn't know this was one of the criticisms levied at Matta.  But this rebuttal is definitely accurate.  Luke Kennard comes to mind as only the most recent in-state talent that chose an out-of-state school over OSU (a school that, from an objective perspective, is a more prestigious basketball program).  And I don't recall anyone complaining about out-of-state recruits when we went to the Nat'l Championship with Oden/Conley/Cook.

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SilverBullet76's picture

Because at that time out of state recruiting actually was working in favor of tOSU.. It's not working now and hasn't been for a good while..

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CincyBuck's picture

I agree that recruiting has been a mixed bag for the Bucks.  I'm not sure I agree that the lack of in-state recruiting has anything to do with it.  If I recall correctly, Evan Turner was from the Chicago Area, Patient 0 was from Louisville, and Q Ross was from...  somewhere in the South?  Without those guys, our situation would be far worse.

Granted, Amir Williams didn't pan out.  But no Ohio-raised player on the roster beat him out, either.

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444 SEAT's picture

dcbuck-i 6 minutes ago

This program has been mediocre to bad for a full 4 year graduating class

In 2012-2013, OSU was in the Elite 8. Please, don't make it more than it really is. Izzo, Calipari, Coach K, Roy Williams....they all have had their own 2-3 year "slumps." Izzo has 3 years where he hasn't even won 20 games. You think Sparty nation is calling for his head?

Izzo also plays the best teams in the country.  Thad knows his teams are not good and that is why he refuses to schedule the big boys, hell he won't even schedule Dayton, Xavier or Cincinnati because last year and this year all 3 would have most likely beaten Ohio State. 

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dcbuck-i's picture

This year we had the B1G-ACC challenge against 1-seed UVA, 9-seed UConn, and 4-seed Kentucky. Last year we played Louisville, UNC, and Marquette. The year before, Marquette, Maryland, and Notre Dame. MSU has at most one more good game scheduled per year than OSU, but most years it's very similar. The early season tournaments skew this also. 

Are we really resorting to the schedule argument for our own team? That's supposed to be reserved for SEC fans critical of the OSU football schedule.

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BuckeyeBull's picture

Didn't Ohio State just play UConn, Kentucky and Virginia this year? Louisville and UNC last year?

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444 SEAT's picture

Just because a recruit grows up in Ohio doesn't mean they are automatic OSU recruits, ESPECIALLY for basketball.

This is what annoys me, when people in Ohio think it is a god given right of passage for a recruit to go to OSU if they are from Ohio.  Like Jordan Hicks back in 2009, #1 recruit in Ohio, #2 nationally I believe, some moron report asked him, "how does it feel to be turning your back on Ohio State?"  Jordan said, wtf?  Are you serious?  The kid wasn't from Ohio originally and this report is like, well your from Ohio so Ohio State deserves to get all the Ohio kids they want.

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ibuck's picture

Some Ohio State fans followers feel entitled to get all Ohio recruits, even if they grew up a fan of another school. I also get annoyed by people with entitlement issues, whether they are players or fans.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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bucknutz18's picture

Three biggest keys for next season:
1. Lyle and KBD take the next step - both of these kids are NBA talents who just need some fine tuning and hard work to take that next big step.  I could see Lyle exploding next year as he matures and works on his fitness and jumper.  KBD has a little of that ole' Loving in him, so I hope he can step up to be a leader of this team.  He's an upper classman now, but some kids just arent leaders - and that's fine if they can still positively impact every game.  KBD disappears much too often.    
2.  The development of Tate's jumper.  If Tate goes alongside Craft, Scott, Thompson etc. and doesn't develop a jumper, he will have already reached his potential on this team.  Great role-player who rebounds and hustles, but doesn't have a natural position which hurts us defensively.  We can't have a 6'4 player guarding some of these bigger 4's in conference play.
3. Strength and Conditioning.  unfortunately i don't see this improving (it never has) unless Thad makes some tough staff calls and changes are made.  Lyle needs to get in much better shape so he can at least look like he's trying to play some defense.  Loving/KBD need to gain massive amounts of weight/muscle.  One of them will need to play the four, and they need some mass to be able to bang down low in the B1G.

The nice thing is that with a core of Lyle, Williams, Tate, Loving, KBD and Thompson, none of the incoming true freshman will be asked to start right away (unlike the last two seasons).  Funderburke, Potter and Bell will provide plenty of frontcourt depth.  Potter and Funderburke are already more polished on offense than any of the big men we had last season.  Bell and Thompson (especially) are solid rim protectors who can rebound.  The key here is Markell Johnson and/or a grad transfer guard who can backup/play alongside Lyle.  We are a definite tourney team if we can add one more guard.  If we are NIT bound next year, then Thad deserves the heat he will undoubtedly receive.    

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tcm1968's picture

The thing that still doesn't sit well with me are the comments D'Angelo Russell made. His comments were directed at everyone but the five freshman. Guys like Scoonie Penn ( who never played for Matta) and guys like Mark Titus ( who played for Matta almost a decade ago) keep saying things like the Freshman class didn't want to work and felt entitled to playing time. Those opinions are fine but on the surface who should I trust more? A guy who never played for Matta and a guy who played for him a decade ago? or the guy who was on the team last year and basically blasted the entire team ( but Kam Williams) for the same things Scoonie and co are blasting the Freshman for. It just feels deeper then these kids transferring.

I don't think OSU basketball is in crisis mode but I'm not so sure Thad isn't....

And I suppose it's what sports fans do but it just gets frustrating reading over and over that these five kids weren't the answer but the 2 kids coming in next year are... Potter looks like a project and if you read any comments from Funderburke he says things like he wants to play small forward. Just leaves us with very little depth at PG and Center ( today)

"They want me to be able to step out and shoot 3s," Funderburk said. "They want me to play the position I want to play, which is the small forward, because I know I'm probably not going to grow anymore. At the next level I'm thinking ahead. I'll play center in high school, as far as where I want to be in the NBA, it's a 3 or a stretch 4."

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averagejoel419's picture

I don't trust D-Russ unless he has the video to prove it

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IronPastor's picture

419 = Winning!!!

GEAUX BUCKEYES

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SilverBullet76's picture

Don't forget Lyle basically said the same thing..

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vwhiegs57's picture

Urbz should teach Thad on how to recognize a recruits Character as a person. Then, no more entitled little bratz who don't want to work for it!

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Max's picture

What people don't realize - and I didn't til I did some bracket research this year - is that aside from a handful of teams, *everyone* misses the tourney once a decade.  Kansas, Duke, Michigan St, Wisconsin, and Gonzaga all have 18+ year streaks going.  After that?  VCU, Cinci, and UNC with 6.  Prior to this year OSU was ahead of that crew with 7.  Let that sink in a little before your expectations of making the tournament every year color your vision.

That being said, three players from one class exiting is cause for extreme concern, especially when at least one of those players was becoming a fan favorite for his frenetic play.  Was it the writing on the wall, or a deeper issue?

Many have talked about Matta's health being a factor in the decline of play (my dad has also noticed on Matta's weight relative to a few years ago).  Today the Plain Dealer has an article about needed to make some changes with the assistant coaches, and how the good ones in the past have moved on to head coaching jobs, but the "rest" have been hanging around for a while without similar expectations.  Matta was known to be good with centers and big men.  Now that he's coaching from the bench instead of on the court, he probably needs to think about getting someone in who can be more hands on in the post.

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steve-OH's picture

I gotta admit, I only got half way through this. TL;DR version maybe? 

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

You missed out.  It's a well-written article and worth your time if you're a Basket Bucks fan.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Blackcoffee's picture

I read mention of how Maryland jettisoned about 4 players from one team a couple years ago and were able to reverse their downward trajectory bringin a couple new guys and transfers, coach at Maryland said Matta was doing the best coaching of his career this year which was another way of saying he saw major obstacles in thiss young bunch to get wins, coaches do sometimes talk to each other

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Blackcoffee's picture

historians will refer to this as the great basketball purge of 2016

got turkish coffee?

Go Bucks!

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The Pontiff's picture

Can we all just talk about subject matter that is less divisive than the state of Buckeye Basketball like politics?

Michigan and Ohio once fought over Toledo. Ohio Lost

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pdan46's picture

That was an excellent analysis of Buckeye Basketball! Thank you!

I would add that Funderburk and Potter may be upgrades over Giddens and Mitchell, although I really liked Giddens potential, at least defensively and as a rebounder.  Also, I wonder if Lyle's comments after the loss to Florida were a catalyst for the departures of the 3 Freshmen and possibly also Thompson's NBA thoughts.  I watched nearly all of the games this year and I was struck by the Lyle's potential but also by the fact that he seemed to stop playing at times, often not hustling. This is ironic because in his comments after the FL game, he questioned the character of his teammates and their work ethic.  Harris and Giddens especially seemed to play angry and determined against Florida and tried to lead a comeback.  Mitchell always played that way.

It may be a blessing that the 4 Freshmen departed.  It may allow Matta to develop this team differently, perhaps even saving a scholarship or two for the future.  In any event, I trust Thad Matta to do whatever it takes to bring us back to relevance in College BB. He is simply a great Coach!  But, Thad, it wouldn't hurt to get these guys  into the weight room on a regular basis!

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IronPastor's picture

I would say Funderburk is already an upgrade to a certain extent over Giddens because he can actually catch passes, and shoot.

GEAUX BUCKEYES

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BuckeyeRealist13's picture

There's fan's that want Thad Matta fired time now, and then there are non idiots who understand Thad Matta deserves a chance to get himself out of this little rut. Losing a combined 6 ppg off of last years roster doesn't make me want to fire anyone. 

2x account suspension survivor 

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jpfbucks01's picture

Losing these 4 guys is not a crisis but in relation to the definitive slip in performance the last 3 years and the Russell comments it simply looks bad on the surface and raises suspicions about chemistry and culture.

Many on here have wanted to blame these guys as not willing to work hard or may be malcontents for playing time.

First, this is at best conjecture since no one has said anything, and at worst simply doesn't pass the eye test. Giddens, Harris and Mitchell if anything showed on the floor a willingness to work and play hard and hustle. They may not have had great results, but each was considered hard workers. Grandstaff was the only one who looked like perhaps he was not a hard worker.

Had Matta thought they were bad seeds why did her start each of these 3 multiple times and play them 13-15 minutes a game? Unless they had significantly different attitudes and performance in practice I don't see any of these 3 leaving because they were afraid to work hard.

Complaints about playing time - this may have some substance but frankly we don't know. Players like Loving, and Lyle were often sighted by fans as lazy, bad attitudes, indifferent, heck Lyle even admitted as much when Matta chewed him out 1 game, so perhaps these guys who left (who granted didn't perform well), were upset about sitting behind guys who seemed to not care or work hard but had more talent - so this is possible but unknown. 

In the end though, everything about a program falls on the HC's lap. Regardless of the cause, Matta is paid very well to overcome these problems

1) if the guys were not as good as they were ranked that falls on Matta for doing a poor evaluation during recruiting and bringing them in at all, you can miss on 10-20% of your class and be okay it happens, but to miss on 80% of your class is incompetence

2) if the guys expected more playing time (unjustifiably based on their demonstrated ability), then he failed to "unrecruit" them well enough to reset that expectation

3) if the complaint about playing time had to do with them being upset about playing behind malcontents/lazy incumbents (potentially Loving, Lyle and Thompson), then that is still on Matta for not taking corrective action to address the returning players and reward/encourage the hard workers enough

4) If these guys failed to pan out due to lack of competent coaching/development it again falls on Matta/staff

In the end, you cant go from winning 80% of your games, winning multiple conference titles and making deep runs in the tourney and rarely being beat badly (only around 5% of our losses from 2005-2013 were by 10 plus points) to suddenly, for 3 straight years, winning only 61% of your games, finishing middle of the pack and making quick exits or no appearence at all in the tourney with a significantly higher number of bad losses (closer to 15% of our games over the last 90 games) ,,,,and lose nearly an entire top 10 class

and not expect significant justifiable criticism.

If this is roster management by Thad then so be it, but i dont want to here anymore whining about Bama and his use of the same process, but i think  a change of staff may be warranted as well, ie purge an assistant or 2

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Best comment yet......

"In the end though, everything about a program falls on the HC's lap. Regardless of the cause, Matta is paid very well to overcome these problems

1) if the guys were not as good as they were ranked that falls on Matta for doing a poor evaluation during recruiting and bringing them in at all, you can miss on 10-20% of your class and be okay it happens, but to miss on 80% of your class is incompetence"

This is what I've been trying to convey....thanks for putting into words what I could not at this point...

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Great article, Tim.  Thanks.  I posted this in one of the Forum threads, but figured I drop it here as well. Doug Lesmerises' piece this morning is worth a read.  http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2016/03/one_change_that_could_be_...

Ohio State basketball doesn't need a change at the top. That doesn't mean Ohio State basketball doesn't need a change.

So let's be direct - I think Matta should change up his staff and I think there's a decent chance he does.

Matta has worked with nine assistants in 12 seasons at Ohio State, meaning only six have moved on from the Buckeyes. Of those six, four went on to be college head coaches (John Groce at Ohio and Illinois, Alan Major at Charlotte, Archie Miller at Dayton, Brandon Miller at Butler) and one (Chris Jent), went back to the NBA where he had coached before.

That's some upward mobility. 

The mobility has stalled a bit. 

Jeff Boals has been on the staff for seven seasons, Dave Dickerson for six and Greg Paulus for three as a full-time assistant, though he served as the video assistant for two years before that.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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KevinJ's picture

I read that earlier, it's a good article and brings up some good points on the current assistant coaches.

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buckzilla1's picture

Thanks Navy, now I have to look in the mirror and find out what is wrong with me. Doug Lesmerises saying the same thing I have said is not where I want to be.

Zilla will no longer comment on Basketbucks until July 2016..

This Corona ain't no bologna! Do your part to flatten the curve, the life you save may be one of your fellow Buckeyes!

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0H-10's picture

Thanks Navy! I absolutely agree with this take on the BasketBucks. 

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buckzilla1's picture

I still stick by what I have said. 8 wins against 6 cup cakes excluding Northern Illinois and Kentucky that had a combined record of 130 wins and 134 losses including Northern Illinois and Kentucky. 6 big ten wins against Penn State x2 (16w-16L) Rutgers x2 (7w-25L) Nebraska (16w-18L) and Illinois (15w-19L) that's 14 wins. Losses to UT Arlington, La. Tech and Memphis to go along with the padded schedule. I saw a team that didn't differ much from last years quitters. I say Thad is a hell of a coach but, my naked eye says that if he is planning for next year then why not go all in and develop everyone including your freshman?

Anyone remember the 10 years Ben Howland spent at UCLA? 7 out of 10 years in the dance, 3 final fours and 1 of those was a runner up and he got the gate for his lack of control for the program. My naked eyes tell me that we lack a lot of development and that tenacity or leadership in coaching/support roles. "Ohio State basketball is simply not Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky or Kansas. It's just not, and the sooner more people realize that the better." Why the hell not? We were on our way. I don't agree with this statement and never will. Sparty seems to be driving to achieving both sustained success in Football and Basketball and we are certainly in a better position to recruit and pay for the best assistants/recruiter/support staff then them. Bottom line for me is this, Thad needs to look in the mirror, evaluate the program and fix what he can, including his own self to get him and this team back to where he was when it appeared he wanted to be the best coach in the land.   

This Corona ain't no bologna! Do your part to flatten the curve, the life you save may be one of your fellow Buckeyes!

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Buckeyeman's picture

The sooner people realize we are not kansas, duke, unc, or kentucky is the minute we are ok with a mediocre basketball team. People act like it isnt OK to be good at both and you have to specialize in one sport. I know people are going to say "well kansas, UNC , duke, and kentucky arent as good as Ohio State in football." This is true. The difference is our basketball team does get top 10 classes and does have the money to pay top dollar for a coach. Our basketball team has the fanbase and facilities to be top notch. Let me know when kansas football gets a top 5 recruiting class. Thad deserves next year to put his plan in place and right the ship, but the assistants don't. 

My 2 cents on this is Thad told them their playing time wouldnt be any higher next year because of the guys coming in and a grad-transfer PG. They didnt like this so they left. I also think they feel slighted because they busted their butt in practice but saw loving and lyle loaf around but still get good minutes. Thad isnt dumb an he knows what its like to win, so he knows what it takes to win. He put this team against his best and new they were never going to be good enough. He let the kids know what he thought and they didnt like it. 

Go Bucks

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SilverBullet76's picture

The day I start excepting mediocrity from a university such as the one I love the Ohio State is the day I'll die... That's surely what alot of Thad(apologist) want to do and you know what that's fine no hate from me.. But imo Thad's best days are behind him in every way coaching wise.. From recruiting to development to motivating he's been terrible for 3 years straight..

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bucknutz18's picture

It's not expecting mediocrity.  It's called realism. 

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ek68's picture

Tim, thanks for the explanation. I believe Thad will right the ship. Go Bucks!!

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AlwayzABuckeye614's picture

i hope he can land a PG in next class. Lyle is NOT a PG at all

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Barnsey69's picture

I picked a hello of a day to quit sniffing glue...

Obviously having that many dudes leave at once does not look or smell right, but since Giddens, Mitchell, & Grandstaff were all AAU buddies, perhaps it was group discontentment. Doesn't really matter...they gone.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, the Uncomparable  Joe Burrow, and home of The Ohio State University Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

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SaltyD0gg's picture

I think the worst part is that there hasn't and won't be any explanation.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

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SilverBullet76's picture

Mark my words.. If Thad comes out and has another piss poor season which is certainly NOT out of the realm of possibility the truth will come out..

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BuckeyeRealist13's picture

Silver - You said "another piss poor season". When was Thad Matta's first piss poor season? lol

2x account suspension survivor 

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BuckeyeRealist13's picture

Salty - Are there rumors as to something Thad Matta did wrong? I thought the reason was because they didn't want to sit the bench and wanted a chance to start elsewhere. 

2x account suspension survivor 

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36buck's picture

The issue isn't why Mac type players left with the exception of giddens who was limited but why they were offered.   Need better scouting and recruiting

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Buck95's picture

Grandstaff originally had at least 8 offers including Oklahoma and Texas A&M.  Giddens had at least 14 offers including Arizona, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland and A&M.  Mitchell was offered by at least Baylor and A&M.  Harris was probably the most lightly recruited of the four, but he still had like 7 offers including Dayton and Xavier.  All of them were 4 star recruits (Mitchell was a 3 by some, based on his HS injury history).  And you're questioning why Matta offered them all too?

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Rjf429's picture

The writer of this article should apply for the job of Public Relations Advocate of OSU Basketball. I hope he gets paid something for glossing over so many facts. Interesting how he and no one else making comments ever mentioned Matta's "floor" coaching, which at best is mediocre. There have just been too many critical games, over his career here, where he has been out coached by better floor coaches. Even with OSU's best teams, their final tourney loss had a lot to do with game time, poor, in the moment adjustments and coaching decisions or lack of them. Matta "out classes" all opposing coaches of top teams and we shou;d be proud of that, and he gets "out coached" by them also. The writer says Matta develops talent and mentioned Evan Spencer. I remember being at the first game Spencer dressed as a Buckeye. Without doubt, just watching him warm up you could see that even as a freshman,  he was the true thoroughbred on the court. Yet, Matta -payed other freshman more and really didn't play him until later in the season after Spencer's former high school coach publicly let it be known that Spencer was disillusioned with OSU and lack of playing time and was contemplating leaving. Then, immediately Matta played him and the rest is history. And more recent recruiting: What happened to Kennard, who went to Duke after OSU spent three years intensely going after him. OSU desperately needed a PG. Matta had to take Harris in the end, a very good 5'9" guard. But, not the caliber guard needed immediately. So, he makes Lyle a PG Evan though Lyle is a natural 2. Remember how Craft committed. He wasn't even offered a scholarship until a few months before signing day and that was only because Craft decommitted from Tennessee as result of the Pearls barbecue NCAA violations. Recruiting Craft was luck. Mitchell"s brother bolting from football and Mitchell decommitting, getting hurt and after all that, Matta takes him back. That was an exercise in recruiting a highly ambivalent recruit. Remember how we got our former center, Williams. Matta couldn't land the high school kid out of Dayton after Sullimger committed to OSU. THE KID FROM dayton went to MSU and eventually took them to the final four. There are many ways to view Matta's recruiting and not all are favorable to him even though historically, recruiting has been his greatest strength. Throughout this past year his post game comments seemed to subtly blame the 18-21 year old kids for the loss and when they won, Matta was quick to accept coaching credit for a win. In their final game against Florida the the level of unraveling was all there to see even though we all tried to dismiss it. Florida played against five guys who wore OSU uniforms. But, they were five guys and they were not a team at anytime during that game and that buck stops with the assistant coaches and ultimately the head coach pure and simple. Assistant coaches have been essential to Matta's success. Many have gone on to be great college head coaches. Paulus is not one of them. Why didn't coach K make him part of his staff? Maybe that's where Matta should make a change. Paulus is largely invisible during games. That was never the case with the Miller's and others. Big problems at OSU. Not little ones as the writer would like us to believe. I hope Matta stays at OSU. He's a rare breed. He is a gentleman and he runs a clean program unlike most known coaches. I'll settle for us not ever contending for a national championship in exchange for his core values. But, Matta should be the primary object of criticism for the slippery slope OSU is on and glossing over what has just happened is not smart going forward. This is crisis time.

TeaTime

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Buckeyeman's picture

Evan Spencer? I agree with what you are saying though.

Go Bucks

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BELLEFONTAINEBUCKEYE's picture

No, crises time is after reading all that craziness, I had no clue that Evan Spencer was a two way athlete!!

IMADELOUSYPICKS

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CincyOSU's picture

Two things -

1) Paragraphs...they are your friend.

2) You criticize ppl for making excuses for his failures, yet you hypocritically do the same things with his successes.

Other than that, even though I disagree with most of what you said, you at least made a few good points. While I'm still a Thad supporter, the next two years are make or break.

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Rjf429's picture

Yes, I know what a paragraph is. 

You seem to think that being consistent is the objective. I think dealing with inconsistencies effectively is the objective. There are all sorts of inconsistencies in OSU's basketball program. That's reality. My inconsistent comments don't make me any worse or better than the reality I am addressing about the program. I personally think Thad is tired for whatever reasons and a consequence is inconsistency with coaches, players and as a team. I hope he makes it work better in the future. But, in my opinion he deserves to be taken to task at this point. He is failing and I hope he stops the slide downward. He's a very worthy person and has done a lot as a coach and a person to demonstrate his worth. And value to OSU and its fan base.

TeaTime

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bucksfan92's picture

Being able to look back on yesterday through a different lens than living through the supposed body blows of 3 guys leaving in a day, I disagree that the "foundation" has been shaken.  All the guys who left were role players, not significant contributors, the foundation of this team is still intact.  This is beginning to take on more of an impatient "me first" move by guys who found out they had to work harder than they thought just to keep up in big time college basketball.  I also believe that Thad has earned the benefit of the doubt when you look at the level of consistency he has achieved here.  Yes the last 3 years have sucked, but I like what I see in Tate, KBD, Lyle, Kam and even Loving when he is focused.  I also think Thompson will come back more focused after he finds out where he stands in terms of the NBA.  The sky is not falling, the program is not crumbling.  Transfers happen every year, and after a disappointing year, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing that those who didn't contribute as much as expected to are moving on.  

For those of who want some kind of explanation - I don't understand what purpose you think that will serve.  I guarantee you this was not a 1 way street, Thad most likely helped these guys with their decisions, maybe with a nudge or 2, and there is no reason at all for OSU to say anything but, thanks for the year and good luck in the future.  Fans are certainly not owned any kind of explanation or further details.  

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Osusam77's picture

I get it that the sky is not falling. But the key question is why are these players leaving and what does it mean for the program from a culture / team standpoint. It isn't about how good OSU BB will be next year or how much talent we lost. The question is why and what is going on. I will not take a position on the quality of Matta's coaching or his successes. I'm not smart enough and you can argue both sides. He clearly has a great track record, but is trending the wrong way. But this exodus may have nothing or everything to do with Matta and his coaching style, player development or coaching staff. None of us know. I just want to have some understanding why and what is happening behind the scenes. What are the players saying in confidence? It can't be seen as positive from a recruiting perspective and will this put the program into a slower process of getting back to former glory.    

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

Dumb take I'd like to see no more of: the notion that it's fine all these players are transferring because "they were just a bunch of 2-point-a-game guys anyway."

Here's something I've noticed over the years: players can get better between their freshman and senior seasons! Maybe not so often at Ohio State lately, but it happens! Denzel Valentine averaged 5 points a game as a freshman, and had more scoreless games in Big Ten play than double figures games. 

Also, keep in mind that if Lyle doesn't stay for four seasons, we will have another no-seniors team in 2018-19 (well, there's Bell too, I suppose). So Thad will no doubt get another mulligan next year ("too many freshmen"), and he'll have another one lined up for 2019. Let's hope we can squeeze in some quality wins in between.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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bucksfan92's picture

players can get better between their freshman and senior seasons

And my take on this is that these particular players don't understand that and don't want to wait and/or put in the time and effort required.  IMO it's a consequence of the instant gratification world we live in. 

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RBuck's picture

We're OK. We're OHIO STATE.

Sooner or later it all gets real.

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jpfbucks01's picture

From my perspective no matter why these guys are leaving (unless it is home sickness or something similar), then it still falls on Matta and his staff

1) Players were not as good as advertised and hence Matta is "managing the roster" same as Saban by running off current "lower" players for potentially better new ones - this means Matta and his staff did a lousy job of evaluating them as recruits. It is okay to miss on maybe 20% of a class, but 80% is incompetence

2) players are griping about playing time that is not warranted by their displayed ability - this is either doing a bad job of expectation setting (un-recruiting them) or not doing a good job of improving them as the year went on

3) players are griping about playing time because they feel starters in front of them are complacent/lazy even if more productive while they are busting their tails - this means either Matta allows lazy/complacent guys play regardless of effort (think of the criticism of Amir, Loving and Lyle to some degree this past year and Russell's comments) and/or does not recognize effort by lower performing guys enough to keep them engaged and bought in

4) players are malcontents in general - should have been discovered during recruitment

5) player don't fit Matta's style - then why recruit them

6) players don't like Matta's style - either change your style or do a better job setting expectations

Matta is the 7th highest paid coach and hence rewarded very well to deal with exactly these kinds of issues

I am not ready to throw in the towel on him, but this along with Russell's comments and the easily observed Amir and Loving moping, points to a desperate need to change the culture and maybe members of his staff

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

A good take on the situation Tim, not bad for such a negative guy.  :P

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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WiliestBuckeye's picture

Great article Tim, agree with every point you made, felt like I wrote it myself while reading it. 

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

We shall see what happens......time will tell.......

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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aznchipmunk's picture

how firm thy friendship...........

Proud graduate of THE Online State University.

Become a 12th Warrior today!

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Ohio1St81's picture

Let me ask this in seriousness, it's not meant to be snarky - If this isn't a crisis, what would be? What would you consider a crisis for the Ohio State basketball program? 

11W User Map: https://goo.gl/mxUeyX

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

Remember when Randy Ayers was the coach and we had players arrested for criminal activity?  Remember when Jim O'Brien was the coach and he was let go amid all the controversy that he gave a recruit some money (I believe the kid was from Croatia or Serbia and was in bad shape financially in a war torn country, never did play for the bucks but that is still a no-no).

Or maybe not, I'm an old guy and I do remember those low points.

So anyway ... that would be crisis, not when 87% of your offense is coming back, only one senior, and some great looking freshmen coming in.

Just my two cents O81 ... and you get what you pay for LOL.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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faux_maestro's picture

A real crisis would be winning fewer than 10 games twice within a couple of years, players breaking into cars in a campus parking garage, players shooting at each other, a coach setting up a player to live off campus with a woman who paid the players bills, a coach making cash payments to a player he was recruiting, and finally being put on probation. Out of that history, Thad had us as a conference champion within 2 seasons and playing for a national championship within 3.

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

Great post F_M!

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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jpfbucks01's picture

I guess maybe some of us have different thresholds for crisis, sub 10 wins and guys getting arrested is a fairly easy bar to make.

especially considering we have been sub 10 wins only 2 time in the last 39 years - 1995 when Ayers ironically had lost an entire recruiting class and had guys getting arrested. and in O'Brien's first season taking over from Ayers.

We have won at least 60% of our games in 25 of the last 39 years or virtually 2 out of every 3 years, and won 66% of our games in 19 of those years or essentially half, that said anytime we start creeping below 66% we should be concerned and in his last 90 games Matta is 61%, 60% even this past year and now lost 80% of a recruiting class.

Last year marked only the 3rd year since O'Brien's 2nd season back in 98-99 (18 years ago), that we won less than 64.5% of our games

so i would consider now to be borderline crises, next year will be a water shed

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rick's picture

That article was just what the doctor ordered, I'm ready to renew my season tickets now!! Go BUCKS!!

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Knarcisi's picture

Late to the party, but here's my concern ... That's 2 big recruiting classes that were a big miss by Matta and this staff. The last being the Williams, McDonald, Scott, and Thompson class. The Turners and Sullingers are one time in 5 year guys. Sometimes you get 2 like Oden and Conley. I said this year that Mitchell and Giddens didn't look like MAC talent. Also that Harris had a very sloppy 2nd half of the season, and Granstaff couldn't guard a parked car. Probably best they're gone so we don't suffer another three years, but this program stands some serious questions on the assessing and developing of talent. 

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

I suppose you're going to bring up Trey Burke any minute now ...

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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Knarcisi's picture

UV to counter your DV, as someone doesn't get the italics. 

In all seriousness, here's my problem with that:

1) We didn't recruit Burke because we had Scott. Only problem was, Scott was the same type of player as Craft. Only some much room for defense first point guards who are not good shooters or scorers. 

2) Also, Sullinger came to us. JJ already played here and seemed like he was at every home game. We never had to go see him play and never saw Burke. Lazy recruiting. He was right down the road. 

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

LOL thanks Big K appreciate that ... yeah was joking around but oh well.

Your points are well taken.  Even though I was kidding, missing out on him did kind of sting.  Can you imagine how much better the team would have been?!  What might have been ... *sigh*

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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Knarcisi's picture

I know. We all saw him play as a freshman in college. Anyone that saw him play in high school would had obviously seen that. 

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faux_maestro's picture

There was lots of lazy recruiting then. Wasn't Burke's only D1 offer (or at least his only major conference offer) from Penn State, who he committed to until he flipped to Michigan? A Michigan team that wasn't far above Penn State's level?

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

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2morrow's picture

I see all of the comparisons to Izzo, Coach K, Calipari, etc... The big difference in my mind is that regardless of how you compare them, they all have won National Championships and Thad has not. How many 20 win seasons, or B1G championships, or tournament runs would we give for just 1 NC in the past 12 years? 

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

I get your point 2M but your question is if Thad Matta was the Gene Chizik of the basketball world would we be happy?  Say he won a NC in his second season then was 12 - 18 for the next ten seasons?  I'm thinkin' that would not go over so well.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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xrox's picture

"Everybody's favorite player, Marc Loving."

Everybody raymonds Loving?

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Hugh_Sweeney21's picture

I honestly think that with Tate in the lineup down the stretch that OSU would have had a decent shot to beat MSU one time out of three tries. I have confidence in Matta right now, but if OSU fails to be in the top caliber of the Big Ten again, then I think he's on the hot seat for the following year.

P.S. I live in the Cleveland area and think bringing in Markell Johnson would be HUGE, I believe he's even better than a 4-star rating, amazing to see in person

Best Damn School In The Land

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Chicagobuckeye1010's picture

I'm hoping Thad can turn this around but this whole situation is ugly. I'd be willing to give him a long (2 year) leash but I believe u have to have a chip to escape the guillotine. 1 year, then off with his head. 

Go Bucks forever

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Plccbly's picture

Not so fast. Thad is a good coach. Best we,ve ever had. Fred Taylor is revered but was not as good as Thad. It helped that he had the best players by far when he won it all. Jerry Lucas, John Havlichek are probably the two best to ever play at TOSU. if they could have left early there goes our NCAA Championship. And how much fun was it to watch Evan Turner. This year's team had talent. Still won over 20 games and was one quality win away from the big dance. Last six games we were 3 and 3 and the losses were all to MSU. Probably the best team in the land at that time. Too many problems to mention. Poor defense, lack of intensity on the offense, pitiful transition play and poor work ethic. Many times we saw Loving and or Lyle make a bad play at the offensive end of the court and just stand there and watch the opponent run down to the other end of the floor and make an uncontested basket. Unlike Tate who always fought and often rebounded his own misses with a put back score. A true warrior. And lastly no team chemistry and the absence of a leader. We will never know but there seemed to be a lack of chemistry by the coaching staff. If part of the problem is Thads health he needs to get that corrected as did Urban. We know Thad is capable. Get back to basics, just like in football defense wins ball games. 

Plccbly

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UrbanCulture's picture

Matts had never made the final 4 without at least three 5* recruits on the roster.

dont see us landing those types of recruits any time soon, but hope he can prove me wrong 

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jralvarez's picture

I appreciate Tim's bball articles, but if this isn't polishing a turd.... I don't know what is.

Perspective my ass.

There is not one writer @ 11w, or any fan, that will ever convince me that Giddens was giving it all he had, and was part of the solution, not the problem.

However, Loving's loafing slack butt, Lyle's terrible defense & pouting, and how the other frosh w/little or less PT view their behaviors, might be a problem.

I have ZERO faith in Matta ever achieving the type of success he had in the first 5 years.... ever again.  He can no longer pick off IU & MI's talent since they have a pulse, and since we can bank on NOT getting OH's best talent, I fail to see the light at the end of this tunnel....

I have perspective.  Why not trying to field a basketball team that actually gives flying fuck about OSU & whether they win or lose...

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Oaktreepmc's picture

One thing I think most people are overlooking is the great assistants Matta has had throughout his career that are now head coaches elsewhere. I truly believe that a lot of his past success has to do with his assistants and not Thad, especially when it comes to developing talent. There is a very good chance that all of these defections aren't so much about playing time as it is their belief that they aren't being coached up to improve. There was little to no improvement from this team from game one through the end of the season. We are all aware of last years senior class that showed very little improvement over their 4 years at OSU. This all has to be laid at Matta's feet and I truly believe that next years team won't be anymore impressive than this years, meaning we'll all be here next April talking about the same concerns. And while I'm on my soap box, why can't this program be a basketball powerhouse too, an elite program. Matta is paid over 5 million a year and there isn't another program in the country that has more resources available to them than those here at Ohio State? I think not! What's missing is an elite coach, it's not Thad Matta, period.

Peter M. Carusone

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jpfbucks01's picture

To my mind next year is the water shed

although we lost 4 guys we still as noted have the top 6 back (assuming Thompson does in fact return) and the excuse of experience needs to stop

Loving will have played in 67 games with 54 starts, Tate 63 games and 44 starts, Thompson 65 games and 38 starts, Bates Diop 66 games 33 starts, Lyle 35 games 31 starts and Williams 70 games and 2 starts.

Thats 356 games and 201 starts collectively. Add to that that Bell now also has played in 23 games and the lack of experience no longer holds. They will be a team that even if none of the freshman contribute much will still have 1 SR, 4 JRs, 1 RS SO and 1 True SO in the top 7 guys

No excuses, this team next year needs to finish no worse than 3rd in conference, win 75% of its games IE win around 25 games or more prior to the NCAA tourney and be seeded 5th or better in the NCAA tourney and advance to at least the 2nd rd.

Anything less than that with this much experience back should be considered failure and no real improvement over the trend of the last 3 years and should be serious grounds for potentially replacing Matta

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jpfbucks01's picture

slight addendum, Loving is actually 102 total games played with 54 starts, missed the 35 he played as a reserve as a frosh.

that makes total games 391 instead of 356

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