Skull Session: Ryan Day Seeks Efficiency Over Changes, Justin Hilliard and CJ Saunders Seeking Sixth Year, and D'Angelo Russell Takes Dwayne Wade's Torch

By Kevin Harrish on November 22, 2019 at 4:59 am
The helmets are covered in leaves in today's skull session.

Today, in great photoshops...

Anyone notice a particular human missing from that graphic?

Word of the Day: Ineluctable.

 EFFICIENT > DIFFERENT. Ever since he got the job, folks have been pestering Ryan Day about what he's going to do to change the program that's been among the elite of the elite for quite literally as long as I can remember. 

There's no way he's not roll-his-eyes sick of the question at this point, but he still answers it like a champ.

In his short tenure as head coach so far, Day has found that people want to label him, find out exactly who he is, and compare him to legendary predecessors like Meyer, Tressel and Earl Bruce. “People want to put us in a box,” Day says. “But you can’t.” He gets frustrated because he’s not doing anything drastically different or trying to be unique, he’s just being true to himself. For example, he still runs the Power play, a traditional yet effective run play that all three of those former coaches used during their respective careers at Ohio State.

“It’s being efficient as opposed to how are you making yourself different,” Day says. “I think a lot of that has to do with how secure you are as a leader. People want to know, ‘What’s different? What’s different? What’s different?’ And then all of the sudden, maybe you start taking on a personality that isn’t yourself because you’re trying to prove yourself and then you’re not secure in your own skin.

“For me, this is who we are. We have a culture. We work at it very hard. And we’re efficient at it.”

So basically, "I'll change whatever I want, but we're not just out here changing things for fun."

Personally, my most favorite change so far is the decision not to get shelled by an unranked Big Ten team on the road. I'm a huge fan of that move.

 FUTURE SIX YEAR SENIORS. In a world where it seems like most players arrive in Columbus expecting to be in The League after just three seasons, it's looking like Ohio State might have itself a pair of sixth-year seniors next year.

Read into those comments however you would like.

To me, it sounds to me like Hilliard fully expects to be eligible and healthy next year, but there may be some hangup in at least one of those areas for Saunders.

I don't know how it's all going to shake out, but having a sixth-year player on both sides of the ball would sure be one hell of a way to add some veteran leadership to a team that's looking like it'll be pretty young next year.

I mean, damn. Six years is long enough to see two different players come and go.

 HOLTMANN TALKS DAY. Chris Holtmann set the bar pretty damn high when it comes to debut seasons by finishing second in the Big Ten after an absurd 17-2 stretch in the middle of the 2017-18 season.

Ryan Day's first year is going even better than that, and Holtmann has certainly taken notice.  

I remember not too long ago thinking that Jim Tressel/Thad Matta was the best football/hoops coaching combination Ohio State ever had (Thad's peak was under Tressel, not Day).

It was probably true at the time, but it might not even be a full year before Ryan Day and Chris Holtmann claim that crown.

 SIX-YEAR-OLD'S DREAM. Ohio State's athletic rosters are full of folks who were absolutely born to do what they do and have spent their entire lives working on their craft.

Turns out, so is the band roster. Head drum major Konner Barr has been training and preparing for his role since he was six years old.

No lie, I had similar aspirations when I was six. After visiting my sister and her boyfriend at Ohio State, I proudly told my parents that I was ready for college already because all you did was eat pizza and play video games, and I was already good at that.

They wouldn't let me go then, so I spent the next decade honing my craft. And you bet your ass I was an expert by the time I was of age. I was so good at pizza and video games that I even stayed five years instead of four.

 D-LO IS THE NEW D-WADE. With Dwayne Wade officially out of the game, there's a new face to the Way of Wade brand – D'Angelo Russell is taking up the torch.

I'm the furthest thing from a sneakerhead, but if they start pumping out signature D-Lo kicks then ya boy might become one real quick.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A doctor saves a man's life by sucking urine from his bladder for 37 minutes in a mid-flight emergency... Inside the hunt for the bartender who disappeared after appearing on people’s court... How do you prove you're innocent if you're on death row?... A woman stumbled into a side hustle that’s resulted in hundreds of free Amazon products, worth tens of thousands of dollars... French court rules that ducks may keep on quacking.

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