Skull Session: Basketbucks at Crossroads, Cardale Jones' Favorite Play, and Vonn Bell's Bad Batman #Take

By D.J. Byrnes on March 29, 2016 at 4:59 am
Thad Matta may want to skip the March 29th 2016 Skull Session

Daniel Giddens, a big man with talent, dropped a bombshell on Monday when he requested his release from the program in which he enrolled last June. He might not be the last freshman out the door, either.

Thad Matta built Ohio State basketball, but there's valid criticism facing him. The NBA's ridiculous one-and-done rule kneecapped college basketball and it's will always require some luck to win a 68-team tournament, but it seems like disorder reigns at the Schott right now.

Some hard questions need to be asked. It's negligent to pretend everything is fine. Matta knows this, but I do question if he'll want that undertaking. He's only 48(!), but his health problems are well-documented. If I were a millionaire with a bad back (among other things), I'm not sure where the drive to coach a mediocre youth basketball team would come from.

If Matta quit today he'd leave Ohio State better than he found it. Nobody would begrudge him, even without the championship. He earned that.

But something has to change, and it's up to Matta to figure it out. If he can't or is unwilling then we've officially reached the ceiling of the Matta era. I doubt Gene Smith expects Final Fours every year, but he will demand a semblance of stability. 

ICYMI: Instead of working yesterday I submitted myself to query via an "Ask Me Anything." Idiot writers look down on their readers, but y'all keep it real with me and I'm forever grateful. I don't deserve this full-time job, but you're damn straight I'm going to keep pulling this slot machine's lever until security hits me with a taser. 

 CARDALE JONES' FAVORITE PLAY: EVERYONE GO DEEP. When I saw Cardale Jones' upcoming appearance on Gruden's QB Camp teased with "Cardale's favorite play!" I joked to myself it was obviously "Everyone, go deep!" 

I actually wasn't far from the mark:

I love this clip because Cardale impresses Gruden with his command of terminology and concepts. It's easy to see how NFL teams will fall in love with him once they realize he's more than a strong arm and a bad tweet.

Browns fans: How do we feel about Cardale to the Browns? RG3 may already be the best QB of the expansion era, but I have a better chance of passing an FBI background check than RG3 does of surviving a 16 game season behind Cleveland's offensive line.

I like Hue Jackson, but I still feel like Cardale to Cleveland would end in disaster. The idea of the hometown kid coming to Cleveland to save the Browns is fool's gold.

BUT LET'S JUST SAY FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT IT DID HAPPEN... Cleveland wouldn't even claim LeBron James anymore. It might not even claim America or Earth by that point either. 

 VONN BELL: GREAT SAFETY, BAD HERO PICKER. Vonn Bell came to Ohio State as a five-star prospect and left as a likely second-round pick.

Though the 2014 Orange Bowl may seem like it was a decade ago, Vonn Bell hasn't forgotten about Sammy Watkins. 


I wanna rematch with Sammy Watkins. He got me my freshman year at the Orange Bowl. I always told him that I'm gonna get him back when I get older. 

I too took some losses my freshman year, so this made me relate to Bell. Unfortunately he squandered that good will a few paragraphs later:

I like Batman -- he's my favorite. He's not with super powers. He's like a scientist, but he's always outthinking everybody and everything. So he got every angle. He's just like a normal human being. You would never know, just wears a suite. Bruce Wayne is a smooth guy and he's just very tough to beat. I like his instincts and his IQ. 

*Adjusts hater's monocle* That's a bad internet opinion, Vonn. Let me fix it for you.

Bruce Wayne is routinely bested by the least successful member of ICP so please stop stroking his genius. You know why Batman vs. Superman sucked? Because an actual fight would last 15 seconds. It'd be like making D.J. Byrnes vs. Mike Tyson two hours long when everybody just wants to the six-second clip where my soul leaves my body through my shattered jaw.

"He's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight." - Lt. James Gordon

Seriously, that's the tripe we get shoveled about Batman while he's doing parkour like he's high on PCP. Batman fans deserve Ben Affleck.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if NFL teams dropped Bell a letter grade over a red flag like this. As we know, this is a league that takes masked men in skin-tight uniforms very seriously. 

 POLICE, WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS ONE? It looks like I failed to deliver the good Easter Sunday #content. I have no excuse for failing to unearth Eggzekiel Elliott before now.

If Eggzekiel hits the weights this summer there's no reason to think he won't get 1,200 yards behind the Slobs this fall. He's now my darkhorse in the running back derby.

 BRAVE MARIONAIRE #TEEN PLEADS OUT. Remember that brave Marionaire #teen that showed up to Mohawk High School with a loaner car, two fake aides, and gave a speech to a government class as "the youngest state senator in Ohio history"?

Things got hectic for our hero on Monday, yet he went out with defiance like Charles Vane.


SYCAMORE, Ohio — A teenager who toured an Ohio high school while posing as a state senator has pleaded guilty to impersonating a peace officer.

Prosecutors say they'll recommend probation for Marion resident Izaha Akins. The 18-year-old pleaded guilty Monday to the felony charge.


His attorney said Monday that Akins is sorry for the negative attention he brought to the school, but he's glad it pushed schools to improve their security procedures.

No word yet on what charges Mohawk High School will face for getting hoodwinked by a #teen, but for Mr. Akins' sake I hope that felony will come off his record if he behaves during probation.

If it were up to me he'd get a medal. 

 OSU RESEARCHERS UNLOCK UNIVERSAL NEGATIVE SENTIMENT LOOK. I could've saved Ohio State millions(?) in research money by connecting them with my parents, who spent my childhood wearing this look.


COLUMBUS, Ohio—Researchers have identified a single, universal facial expression that is interpreted across many cultures as the embodiment of negative emotion.

The look proved identical for native speakers of English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language (ASL).

It consists of a furrowed brow, pressed lips and raised chin, and because we make it when we convey negative sentiments, such as “I do not agree,” researchers are calling it the “not face.”

The "Ya Done Goofed, Kid" Face
via The Ohio State University

Negative emotion across the board there, but ol' dude second from left looks like he shit himself in a work meeting and is currently reverse-engineering every poor life decision that led him to that moment...

... Not that'd I'd know what that looks like or anything.

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