Real Pod Wednesdays: The Importance of Retaining Al Washington, A Huge Week for Ohio State Basketball and Which Five-Stars Will Break Through in 2021

By Dan Hope and Colin Hass-Hill on February 17, 2021 at 11:30 am
Al Washington

The Ohio State football program got some good news last week, and the Ohio State basketball team is entering a huge week.

We start this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by discussing the football news of the week, led by Al Washington's decision to stay at Ohio State rather than become the defensive coordinator at Tennessee. We also discuss the three new hires Ohio State made last week – Todd Fitch and Paul Rhoads as analysts and C.J. Barnett as director of player development – and why each of those hires make sense for the Buckeyes.

In the second segment of this week's show (beginning at 24:45), we shift over to the hardcourt to discuss a massive week ahead for the men's basketball Buckeyes, which starts with a Thursday night game at Penn State but is headlined by a hugely anticipated rivalry game on Sunday afternoon, when Ohio State will host Michigan in a matchup of two teams currently ranked in the top four nationally. What must the Buckeyes do to beat Michigan, and could the looming threat of the Wolverines lead to a letdown in State College? We discuss all of that as well as what the Buckeyes must still do to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

We then shift gears back to football for the third segment of our show (40:55) for a discussion about the mostly unproven group of 14 five-star recruits on Ohio State's roster. Not including the two established stars of that group, Garrett Wilson and Nicholas Petit-Frere, we discuss which five-stars we are most confident will start playing like five-stars in 2021 and which ones the Buckeyes most need to step up this year.

Finally, we answer a pair of listener questions (54:20) about the importance of recruiting vs. player development vs. X's and O's and about what creates the elite culture that is so often referenced in Ohio State's football program.

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