PATIENT 0 DROPS HISTORICAL ASS-WHIPPING ON RUTGERS. What more can be said about D'Angelo Russell at this point? There are only so many ways to say, "Dang, that dude is silky."
Russell dropped 23 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds in a 79-60 detonation of Rutgers last night. (Some other young grasshoppers chipped in solid performances too.) FoxSports.com's Zac Jackson pointed out the historical significance of Russell's performance:
It's just the fourth triple-double in Ohio State history, the first in a Big Ten game and the first by a freshman. The 6-foot-5 Russell posted the first triple-double by a Buckeyes player since Evan Turner had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Nov. 2009 against Lipscomb. Turner had two triple-doubles that month; Dennis Hopson had the first triple-double by an Ohio State player in 1986 vs. Akron.
Mind you, this orchestration went down in front of a reported 17 NBA scouts. Russell, afterwards, was his typical, chilled self:
Russell also asked if he models his game after anyone. "Steph Curry. I've got a long way to go." #buckbk— Bob Baptist (@BBaptistHoops) February 9, 2015
Russell, however, ranked his feat behind his team's achievement. From Jerry Carino of MyCentralJersey.com:
“It's a great feeling,” Russell stated regarding his triple-double. “More importantly, I'm just glad we won. Just to be in the same category as those guys is just a blessing. I feel like I've been flirting with it all year and I finally got the chance to do it and we got the win and that was more important to me.''
Don't think Thad Matta was about to roll the scarlet carpet out for his talented youngster, though:
Love this Thad Matta quip about D'Angelo Russell's triple-double: "The two turnovers were unacceptable." pic.twitter.com/MsvbLTpEfz— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) February 9, 2015
That's just good, hateful coaching right there.
MORE 2015 EXPECTATIONS. At this point, I'd be more shocked if a preseason poll didn't list Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the country.
And while preseason polls are and forever will be intrinsically worthless, I do enjoy a gander at potential playoff foes (assuming, obviously, Ohio State is #blessed enough to return to the tournament).
Here's ESPN's preseason FPI Top 5:
- Ohio State
(The top three teams in ESPN's 2014 preseason FPI? Florida State, Oregon, and Alabama.)
I ain't got no quarrel with LSU, and a postseason tussle with the Warlock in Miami would make for some fine theater. Baylor, though? Baylor doesn't make my heart thump.
For me, the program I most want to see crushed under the feet of the Slobs is Florida State. The second is Ole Miss.
PLAYING HURT IS NOTHING TO JACOBY BOREN. In case you were in need of a reminder football players are a tougher breed than most, there's this from Bill Rabinowitz of Dispatch.com:
Ohio State linemate Pat Elflein inadvertently had driven an Alabama lineman into [Jacoby] Boren’s legs in the second quarter of the Sugar Bowl. With Boren vulnerable, Crimson Tide linebacker Trey DePriest pushed on Boren’s chest, contorting the center’s legs in ways they’re not supposed to move.
Boren missed the next play — an Ohio State touchdown — and was back for the next series and finished the game.
“We used to get into it back in high school, too,” Boren said, referring to his days at Pickerington Central and DePriest’s at Springfield. “I wasn’t too happy about it, but we ended up winning the game. I guess we got the last laugh.”
It's a shame Knighthood isn't a thing in America, because if it were, I think the Boren family tree would be in line for a knighting. Just a tribe of absolute nail-eating bad asses.
It's also interesting how recruiting works out. I remember when a lot of people were devastated about Trey DePriest leaving Ohio, but I wouldn't trade him for any of Ohio State's current linebackers. (I guess that's another chapter in Kirk Barton's famous book, Come to Ohio State or Lose to Ohio State.)
MAURICE CLARETT WILL GRADUATE FROM OHIO STATE. Maurice Clarett is still out there in the world doing his thing, and is only a mere two years away from attaining his Ohio State degree, which would tickle my fancy to see.
"They opened up their arms to me and said, 'We'd like you to finish your degree' ... they've even offered to help me out with funding."
Clarett says he'll take most of his courses online -- since he travels a lot for work -- but says, "I'm very hopeful everything will work out."
Meantime, Clarett says he's hitting his stride in the business world -- "I formed a company with a guy out of Oklahoma. He has a Ph.D in Polymer Science. He's a whiz in the packaging industry. We distribute pallets and other packing material."
It's going to be wild in, like, 2044, when Maurice Clarett, packaging magnet, is one of the world's richest men.
SHANNON SCOTT REMEMBERS DEAN SMITH. Legendary coach Dean Smith died yesterday. Usually, when most people of power die, there's a "Well, actually" part to their biography most people don't know about. But not Dean Smith, who was seemingly beloved by every player he ever coached.
One thing I didn't know — other than Jim Delany played for Dean Smith — was the first black scholarship player at UNC, Charles Scott, is the father of current Buckeye Shannon Scott:
Always treated me like one of his own pic.twitter.com/uJULC1rkug— Shannon Scott (@3SScott) February 9, 2015
If reading about Dean Smith's awesomeness if your thing — and why wouldn't it be? — here's solid good anecdote about Smith and "doing the right thing," as my dad would say.
THOSE WMDs. Breaking: Urban rocked the Buckstache in high school... I do not want to party with Gregory Sullivan of Westerville... The most common job, state by state... Michael Bradley's dirty Olimpico... Beast Mode forever.