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Comment 19 Jul 2019

They wouldn't likely attract a top 2020 PG but they could probably sign someone like Farrakhan or Tate.  I was expecting they'd take Penn but he evidently hasn't grown and improved as they'd hoped.  They won't get a top flight recruit but someone would probably be interested in sitting a year and then having the inside track on starting as a Soph. If the plan is for a 2020 sitout xfer in the Spring, that would bring experience in 21-22 when they'd be eligible, I think that and a top 2021 PG would be fine. 

They cannot wait and take a sitout-xfer in 2021 or they couldn't play until 22-23.  MERC is what graduate xfers are commonly called because they can play immediately and typically for only one year.  I don't like waiting and bringing in all newbies at PG for 21-22, or the drop-off will be extreme.  You never want to have zero experience coming back at PG or C IMO, particularly PG.

Guys who test the draft "waters" as Sophs almost never stay for 2 more years, barring injury.  It is a bellwether that they are on their way out. IMO they need to sign a starting-caliber C in November.  Considering Andre will be out of eligibility having them both leave together is very very likely.  Not many kids wait until they are ready or think about coming back to win championships - we wish they would but it is not reality.

Waiting and thinking a great C will show up on the merc market, or that a great PG will in 2021's merc market is not good planning.  There aren't many sure things - IMO TX TK was lucky and an exception not the rule.  WE almost ended up with Daniel Giddens, who is still "all airport" and has never produced as even a decent backup.  Those are the types that end up in that market.  Replacing Kaleb with a Giddens-esce talent or Carton with a Dakich?  No thanks.  The staff needs to be more proactive than that. Walker and Sueing are fine talents.  So a 2020 sitout xfer PG would probably work out.  But expecting great mercs at C or PG is iffy.  There may be only 1 decent one and they may have no interest in your program.  It is a big risk, IMO.  Better to bring in high school talent earlier.

Comment 18 Jul 2019

With the other cogs we have lined up, AD and KW(at PG), would be a huge drop-off and not a good scenario IMO.  I really don't want the staff to keep relying on mercs ( and those two were not top-of-the-foodchain-mercs ) to bail out poor class balance anymore.  They don't have the "cupboard was left bare" excuse the 4th year into a program rebuild.

They must "plan ahead" better at PG and C.  You can add 2-4 guys pretty easily and they are mostly plentiful in numbers every year.  But merc Cs are not - look at how they struck out trying to add one this past off-season.  They found a solid 3/4 sitout xfer, but whiffed on Cs and had to hope Diallo would develop and contribute fast.

I think their plan is to add another sitout PG next Spring ( find the best PG xfer in the post 19-20 season portal IOW ).  But that presumes they haven't used up all their ships and that a good-great one ( like Walker/Sueing ) does want to xfer to us.  Neither are "givens".  But probably their plan right now - since they are not looking at any 2020 PGs.  IMO, they should have prioritized C ( once Kaleb tested the waters ) and PG ( knowing Carton is a 2&d ) in this class.  Particularly after adding Sueing to the roster this Spring.  2/3/4 are pretty stocked with young talent/potential and some experience.  1 is set for 2 years but bare after that.  5 is okay for 19-20 but then a huge ? for 20-21 right now.

But they seem determined to overflow the wing even further and "wait" on the looming PG dearth.  That could work, but IMO they cannot wait until Spring to fill Kaleb's large CHASM.  That has to be filled this FALL and needs to be filled with someone that isn't too big a drop off from Kaleb.  It is almost impossible not to have some drop-off, but IMO we are poised for a NC contending season and I'd hate to see lack of emphasis on replacing Kaleb as the reason it ends up not materializing.  PG and C need to be planned-for ahead, they aren't easily found in any given class or xfer/merc market.  You usually end up with dregs if you count on it.  IMO

Comment 18 Jul 2019

I know this was over a month ago, but I think many expect that you can either oversign by a bunch or wait and recruit/sign kids in the Spring and they'll just WAIT for you.  That just isn't reality.  Not only will Keon choose 8/8, but Loveday and Key will both be signing in November - long before Kaleb declares and "probably" long before you know if anyone else is leaving early.

I agree with your prognostications that they'll end up having 3 openings for this 2020 class in-total.  But they really only have 1 now and a second "99% sure" in that Kaleb has his mind on making $ in 2020 - NBA or elsewhere.  But we won't KNOW until April/May and unless someone else announces an intention to leave before that we couldn't SIGN more than 1-2 in November.  Expecting that top flight BIGs will wait until Spring or that anyone else will is just not reality.  Most talent signs in November, of the ones that don't they usually have their finalists narrowed down by December anyway.

Look what happened to us this year.  The staff waited to start recruiting Cs until well after Potter quit.  The rumor is they only really started looking in January when they heard LeDee was talking about bailing as-well.  That led to "hoping" to sign the #260 ranked player in the country and a 3* prospect.  I was a proponent of signing Diallo because I like his upside ( 7'8 or so wingspan and actual athleticism for a guy that tall 7' though now reportedly 6'10 by tOSU ) and thought we had to add some depth after losing 2 projected C backups in less than a year.  I also feel Young is a 4 and disappears when having to play 5 so he should not be asked to play there much if any.

If you wait until you KNOW how many ships you'll have it is way way too late to sign top talent.  You can find 3rd string 3 star projects that late but we need much better than that to replace Kaleb.

I don't see them signing Loveday AND Key.  Both would be targeted for C here and both are likely early signees.  I'll be happy when they sign ONE C in November, no way they get two.  Loveday is about the "floor" of what I'd want - as this is a spot for a starter.  Loveday is a tad skinny/soft for B1G C - at least as a frosh but he may be the best we can attract at present.  I'd prefer someone like Mark Williams or Garcia or Kessler or even Ware.  I'd like the staff to offer and pursue more Cs in this class, so they can sign a good one come November.  Key is like Hugley to me and not the caliber we need.  Kalkbrenner is a bit too skinny like Loveday.  I wish they'd recruit Kessler hard, he is my fav in this class, and look at Hunter Dickinson ( scUM just started recruiting him hard recently ) and maybe Xavier Foster 7' from IA ( get Carton working on him maybe ).  Need a really good C. 

Only have one sure open ship.  If they decide to oversign for a wing, that should only be a GREAT ONE and can't be at the expense of a C,  IMO.  No way they over-sign by 2 early(sign 3 total).  Crean isn't our coach!  ;)

Comment 18 Jul 2019

With well over a dozen offers to wings - and counting - and the now dire need for another C to replace Kaleb, I think it is clear they intend to over-sign by 1 in the November signing period.  They are so intent on taking a wing - and a C is much more important/needed.  I think they'll wait to take a PG until the Spring ( they'll choose from the sitout-xfer market at that time IF someone else besides the Wesson brothers leaves early ). 

They need a starting-caliber C and a PG who will return in 21-22 so they don't have only frosh at the position.  Having just brought in T50 Fs Liddell and Gaffney, and bringing 14 point 6 rebound xfer Sueing in 20-21 to replace Andre, I'm not sure why they are so fixated on adding another wing.  They have young guys at the 2 in Luther and Duane, and the two PGs can help out there as well, and a TON of guys can play the 3 in 20-21 like Sueing(probably expects to start there after his production at Cal as an underclassmen), Jallow, Gaffney(wants to play the 3 in the NBA even at 6'9), Ahrens, Liddell(has the skills though likely the starting 4), Luther(in 3G mode which is likely a fair amount). 

How much PT could a 2020 wing expect to get?  Why sign another wing when getting PT for all these guys will be tough as-is?  I thought taking Sueing would stop the pursuit of wings and Fs until the 2021 class.  But the staff keeps offering more and more in 2020 instead.  I'm for adding talent anywhere, WHEN YOU HAVE THE OPEN SHIPS, but the C will be in a bind without Kaleb next year and with Walker and Carton leaving the year after they have to think about adding a PG to get them "indoctrinated" in the system.  Having all of your PGs be complete newbies is just not smart.  Expecting that Diallo will be ready for a big role as a Soph ( we all hope so but he is so raw and coming off injury so who knows when he'll blossom ) is also just not reasonable.

With only 1-2(I think it safe to count on Kaleb going pro after having tested the waters - almost all who do leave the following year regardless of "readiness") openings IMO they should sign a C early and use Kaleb's on a xfer-sitout PG.  Only consider a Spring wing if one leaves unexpectedly by then.  IMO, 2021 will have plenty of great wing prospects - starting with Branham in-state - and that is the year to take two instead of over-extending in 2020 and causing more PT issues/discontent on what could be a special team with a great 2020 C added.

Comment 18 Jul 2019

Do you realize that Kaleb shed about 70 lbs between the end of his h.s. JR season ( he was around 340 in reality ) to when he started Fall practices at tOSU his frosh year?  That is a ton of weight.  I agree that he'd have been better off getting down to 250/255 sooner than his JR year here, but he did put a lot of work into getting down to the 270-280 range already.  So cut him a little slack at least!  I hope he'll up his rebounding and 2pt FG % a fair amount ( IMO 6.9 and 55% are not that impressive for a big body C ).  But some are a bit harsh on him for what reason I don't get.  He is pretty darn good already and should make a big stride as a JR.  I only wish he wasn't so set on turning pro.  We'll miss him A LOT on what otherwise will be an extremely good team next year.

Comment 01 Jul 2019

Kalen came in at 6'7 174.6 lbs in the T100 weigh-in, so he is much skinnier than 195 lbs listed by some.  Lots of kids that skinny look like "dears" at that level.  Has good form on his jumper and lots of potential though!

Comment 14 Sep 2016

The hoops teams should ALWAYS award any otherwise-vacant GIAs to walk-ons every year.  They know it is a one year ( possibly renewable ) deal and whenever they can they should reward those players.  If they sign 2 more in 2017 class - and no one bails early - then they just stop getting them next year.  That is what happened to Titus.  He got one as a Soph but then didn't ( as they filled up to 13 ) his last two years.  No harm done.  Likewise then asst coaches son Peters also got one that same year as a Soph and then no more after that.

Football is a touch more tricky as you cannot re-deploy one of the 85 counter ships mid-year ( aka 2nd semester ) for early enrollees UNLESS the 85 counter graduated already.  So depending on if the walk-on is graduating in December, or how many incoming kids you promised could enroll in January, you may or may not be able to dole all empty ones out to walk-ons.  They did this season ( to the two 5th year SR linebackers ) because they are already graduates so they can give theirs up in January for two early enrollees like Myers and Dobbins.

Hoops doesn't deal with mid-year enrollees, typically, so there is no issue with giving a walk-on a ship for a year.

Comment 09 Aug 2016

"1-Lyle, 2-KBD, 3-Loving, 4-Funderburk, and Thompson, Potter, or Bell at the 5."

Slowy McSlowerson.  This team needs to add speed, not size and lack of speed.  Part of the problems of last season were that playing 3 guys who should probably all be 4's ( McLovin, KBD, Tate ) at the same time meant very bad lateral movement/defense and slow on D.  Loving is a 4 period!  He isn't even an above average quicks 4.  KBD can block some shots with his length but is not a fast player and is consistently beaten on the wing when he plays it.  He can play the 3 on offense ( something Loving cannot do ) but his D is that of a 4 as well.  Tate is an enigma because his gritty gutsy D can be effective at about 4 spots ( 2-5 ) and he has played some low post in his first two years here.  He is fast enough to guard at 2 but it would be better for him to play mostly 3 or 4 on D.  On offense, he is by far more effective inside and again really plays best at 4 on that end with his effective "garbage" inside game - and I mean that as a compliment as many cannot play inside at all ( Loving shies away from contact for instance ) while Tate is a warrior in there despite his lack of length.

So that proposed lineup is whack.  KBD cannot play the 2G.  NO WAY.  He is slow at 3 let alone at 2.  It would be suicide.  Add that Loving is a slow 4 and you want him to play the 3.  NOPE!  Even last season, when we only had Lyle in at G it was with Tate at 2 on D 99% of the time.  When Tate was out then 2 Gs were IN almost always.  Because KBD and Loving NEVER played any 2 and CANNOT.  I do think Derek can play some 4 and 5.  But I don't see this all 6'7+ in 2-5 lineup.  KBD and McL are not ET!  They are lumbering bigs who can shoot 3s.  Not quick lithe wings who are fast enough to guard PGs, like ET was as a JR.  Even KBD's blocks were mostly from behind.  Why?  Because he lost his man and that was his only chance to recover - block the shot from behind him.  The D needs to be much better and IMO that means playing smaller lineups and more mins for Tate and the 3 Gs in-general - not LESS.

Comment 08 Aug 2016

Tosa, interestingly he isn't making official visits to Cal, UNLV or AZ.  Some report they are eliminated as a result - but I guess he could visit them on his own dime as they are all much closer to LV than the 5 he is visiting - other than maybe Oregon.

I like that we get the first visit and NEED a marquee talent.  You would think that what D'AR did on an otherwise mediocre team would be appealing to some kids - not wanting to just be another NUMBER at the elites like KY, KAN, DUK...  but be THE MAN at a near-elite program instead - showing skills to the scouts and positioning for the draft.  tOSU offers that for sure!

I think we are in decent shape with Brown and Eastern because TM is selling them on a vision of being the PG here.  I know Eastern has cooled on MSU, dropped them in his F5 tho he could change that if they heat up on him again - because they wanted him as a wing.

Comment 08 Aug 2016

Tate is the heartbeat of this team and program.  I don't see how you could possibly bench him to start the game.

I do think that Kam needs to start at 2G though and add some quicks to the lineup.  Starting the 3 Fs last year caused the team to be too slow on both ends.  Add that Kam is our best outside shooter by-far and probably second best worker/hustler on the roster to Tate and I think he deserves to start as a JR.

McLovin should come off the bench.  I know he led the team in mins and scoring but his efficiency ( FG% ) was down and he still doesn't hustle or dive for loose balls or play with any intensity at all.  I don't think that changes as a SR.  So I think Matta should send a message by having him play a lesser role this season.  Show the newbies that sleep-walking up and down won't get rewarded.  IMO, KBD has taken too much after McL and not enough Tate has rubbed off on him.  I want some fire lit under the butts of KBD and TT.  Maybe benching McL does that!  IMO, there is still hope for those two to GET IT.  There is none for McL to.

I like that Lyle has trimmed down - I think some of his inconsistency last year was due to being a bit heavy still for a PG.  Better conditioning could really make a huge difference and have him lead in pts and mins as a Soph.  In fact, I worry that he'll be a 2&d now and the only returning Gs in 17-18 will be SR Kam and JR Jackson.  Which is why I think TM and staff should be looking to sign 2 Gs in this 2017 class instead of just ONE.  The backcourt is THIN already and if we lose Lyle it will be miniscule.  The college game is still a Guard oriented one and I don't know why we are stockpiling BIGs that can't ALL PLAY and going with 3 total Gs so much?  Tate can play some 2 on D, but it isn't a great idea to keep forcing that.  The team needs more quicks and adding Kaleb doesn't exactly help that - speaking of needing to lose LBs bigtime!  I like Kaleb's hands and potential.  I just think the staff NOW needs to add Gs and not extend offers to 4/5's like Jericho Sims?  I like the offer to OH talent in Young, but I think we'll end up with at least 4 openings in this class so I'd like to have all other offers and energy be toward getting 2 guards - at least one that can play some PG in case Lyle does go pro.

Comment 27 Aug 2015

There is such thing as a medical redshirt, it isn't semantics.  A medical redshirt is applied for if a player gets hurt and played less than 25% of the games.  You may mean that in this case he doesn't have to apply for a medical because he hasn't burned his regular redshirt year as he played as a true frosh.  So sitting out all games - for medical reasons or not - is the non-medical redshirt.

They used to call one an "academic redshirt", the one where you don't play a single down all season.  But they dropped the academic moniker off of it for some reason - no idea as the NCAA-holes do all sorts of things for no good reasons.  They do still call it a medical redshirt if you play in a few games and then have a season-ending injury.  You have to have doctors vouch for it and thus why it is still called a medical redshirt.  And it is true that if you already used a redshirt ( medical or regular ) and get hurt again they will grant a second one if it medically vouched that both injuries were legit.

Technically a medical redshirt means you could not return to play that season after the injury.  There have been cases where the player could have returned in reality, but playing that last game or 2/3 ( say a bowl game ) would have cost them a year so they sat out anyway.  I know that David Lighty was ABLE to play before the end of his med redshirt year in hoops.  But they didn't want to blow the redshirt so they held him out anyway.  I'm sure that happens a lot!

Comment 12 Aug 2015

IMO the players and staff want them to come in as frosh as ready as possible to play and impact and help.  Playing their 4th season for their local h.s. isn't that likely to produce such results.

Just look at how READY D'AR was from playing two prep school years against top flight national powers.  I know he also played top flight AAU competition but he has mentioned being so lost in Prep School at first as a major part of why he worked so hard and was so ready as a frosh.  That has to be playing a huge part in this equation with TM and staff.  These prep schools probably have more intense and better competition in their daily practices than playing aginst local h.s.'s in OH would be for Potter and Funderburk.  I think it is a good idea for both.  If they were #1 in their class BIGs like Jared that would be different.  But they are not that highly regarded and the year of academic and athletic "challenge" could be a great thing.


Comment 04 Aug 2015

That is Days.  I sat behind he and Nikola Kecsman, and who I think was Kecsman's brother, at a game 2 years ago and recognized Kecs ( introduced him to my girlfriend who like him has had several knee operations ) and he said former-player Eddie Days was next to him so I introduced her to him too!  hahaha 

They were both very nice and cool and didn't seem to mind me bothering them too much - I should have gotten a pic but didn't want to impose that much.  I told Kecs it was too bad his knee didn't allow him to play more here - he said it was good to be on the team anyway.

Comment 03 Aug 2015

IMO, those listing MM at 2 or Loving at 2/3 just are way off.  Loving hasn't played even one second at 3 so far his first two years and that won't change.  He is too slow defensively to guard 3's and thus limited to playing 4.  Tate and KBD ( who backed up Sam at 3 last year predominantly ) have the flexibility to play either 3 or 4.  McLovin doesn't.

Tate played 3rd string PG last season when we used one in blowouts, so he can play 3-4 of the 5 spots really.

I'm not convinced yet that the 5'9 Harris can play a lot of mins at point at this level, particularly as a frosh.  As a 10-15 minute sub his first year I can buy.  So I still think Lyle starts and plays most of his mins at PG.

The 2G and C spots will likely be battled over all year.  We may see a nearly 50-50 split at both.  Matta is particularly fond of platooning at C.

PG Lyle

2G Kam or Austin


4 Tate

5 Giddens or TT

Comment 03 Aug 2015

I think Tate will lead in scoring.  He's the second returning scorer to Loving and I don't see Marc adding that much as he'll likely be coming off the bench.  Meanwhile Tate kept getting better as the year went on and averaged over 10 in B1G play.  I think he'll up that to 14-15 with increased PT and improvement - that one sees in Sophs.

2nd will be a difficult fight between Lyle and KBD, IMO.