Real Pod Wednesdays: James Laurinaitis is Back, Ohio State Basketball Has An Abysmal January and the Football Buckeyes Land Another Big Transfer

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on February 1, 2023 at 1:10 pm
Chris Holtmann

Ohio State football got two pieces of exciting news over the past week, but Ohio State’s basketball struggles went from bad to worse.

We talk extensively about both sports on this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, starting with Ohio State football. While it’s a quiet National Signing Day for the Buckeyes in that they are not making any additions to their high school recruiting class of 2023, they made news on Friday when they announced the return of former Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis to the program as a defensive graduate assistant.

We discuss the impact Laurinaitis could make for the Buckeyes both on the field and on the recruiting trail, then pivot the conversation to discussing the state of Ohio State basketball after a 2-7 month of January. Is this season still salvageable, and will Chris Holtmann be coaching for his job in February and March? We discuss what’s gone wrong for those Buckeyes, what needs to happen if they’re going to earn their way back into the NCAA Tournament and why we’d still be surprised if Ohio State made a coaching change this year.

After learning in the midst of recording this week’s episode that Davison Igbinosun had committed to Ohio State, we boomerang back to football to talk about the value of adding the former Ole Miss cornerback. Finally, we spend a few minutes discussing our ranking of Ohio State’s top 10 quarterbacks of the 21st century.

The full rundown for today’s show:

  • 0:14: Today is National Signing Day, but it doesn’t feel like it for Ohio State
  • 1:04: Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class is a good class, but a little short on top-end star power
  • 7:26: Hiring James Laurinaitis is a no-brainer that could pay dividends on the field and in recruiting
  • 11:53: It’s way too early to call James Laurinaitis the next Brian Hartline, but you can see the upside
  • 14:55: We wouldn’t have guessed a month ago that we’d be talking about Ohio State missing the NCAA Tournament, but that’s where we are
  • 16:50: Ohio State went from losing close games to losing games soundly, which makes this more than just a slump
  • 20:06: The Buckeyes’ laundry list of issues in January included rebounding, ball movement, shooting and defense
  • 23:15: Bruce Thornton, Zed Key and Justice Sueing among Buckeyes whose performance has declined
  • 32:02: Does Ohio State have a talent problem or a coaching problem? Can’t pin it on just one
  • 34:43: Is Chris Holtmann coaching for his job right now? We still think he’s likely to be back next season
  • 45:24: Ohio State has two winnable games this week against Wisconsin and Michigan, but 1-1 seems more likely than 2-0
  • 48:04: OSU women’s basketball had a bad week too, but should soon get the boost it needs from Jacy Sheldon’s return
  • 49:54: Landing Davison Igbinosun and Ja’Had Carter is a big boost for Ohio State’s secondary
  • 54:31: Ohio State shows it can adapt by being more aggressive in the transfer portal
  • 56:46: How our individual ballots compared to our full-staff ranking of OSU’s top 21st-century quarterbacks

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