Comments about St. John Arena from the televised Ohio State MVB National Championship match w/BYU

From announcers Kevin Barnett & Paul Sunderland:

(Added on to discussing Buckeye sports moving to the Covelli Center upon it’s completion)

I’ll tell you what, I love this arena. St. John Arena. The feel in here. The upper balcony. The wooden seats. This is a beautiful place. I would, I would want to keep it. Look, I normally don’t like old buildings, right. It has a great feel. Reminds me of the old, the old Chicago Stadium. The seats were deceivingly tight. That place was a dump. This place looks much nicer that that. Built in 1956. Home to Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and oh so many others on the basketball side.

What am I thinking?

  • I have no idea what I am going to write today. To begin with I have to type the following words: The Buckeyes lost to Rutgers last night in the opening round of the BTT.
  • Which Big Ten telecast member, interviewing a Rutgers player after the game, asked if he thought at any time the Buckeyes didn’t want to be there? Or a question along those lines?

Was it Stephen Bardo? FWIW, it doesn’t matter who asked. The fact someone did says it all. Which leads to Thad Matta being non-commital when asked if the Buckeyes, if invited, would participate in the upcoming NIT tournament.

What’s worse than one fork stuck up your nose?

The answer is two. : )

  • I’m a positive person, overall. Especially where Buckeye sport teams are involved. Our men’s basketball team failed this season. There weren’t enough overall wins, conference wins, or quality wins.

The team lost quite a few close games. Why the Buckeyes lost those games is an issue which needs to be addressed this offseason.

  • Will you watch Ohio State if it does participate in the NIT? I will. But I won’t be upset if Thad, his staff and his players decide not to. I think they’ll decide together whether they want to or not and go from there. Whichever way the program goes I’ll be supportive.
  • First year players CJ Jackson & Andre Wesson have done good things recently for their team. Each needs to be given credit for that.
  • What’s the secret to upgrading a team’s ability to accurately shoot free throws?
  • I read a tweet by 11W’s Tim Shoemaker which stated:

That’s good news. JaQuan has a lot of ability. I think if he asks the question “How good of a player do I want to be before my career is over?” and then goes about providing the answers this off-season, that’s a great look for him.

  • Ohio State will be minus Marc Loving from the current roster when the 2017-2018 season begins. The Buckeye roster picks up, hopefully, a healthy Keita Bates-Diop, adds redshirt Derek Funderburk and then will, also, include two freshmen, Westerville South post Kaleb Wesson and Hargrave Military PG Braxton Beverly.

But on the heels of the Rutgers loss there are those who are already transmitting a sense of impending doom in 2017-2018.

If that’s the reality those who feel like that inhabit, then they are welcome to it.

It’s fact fans transfer their emotions upon their teams. A percentage of Buckeye fans are spitting venom today, and have been for awhile, at Thad Matta and his program.

That same percentage of fans would not like it if what they are doing with their lives was judged by the same standards they think it is their right to use against their favorite college team.

I want Ohio State to win as much as the next person. I want the Buckeyes to win the conference or finish in it’s top tier every season. I want the Buckeyes to participate in the NCAA Tournament every season. I want Ohio State to earn a trip to the Final 4 once every four seasons. I want Ohio State to win a national college basketball title every decade.

I’m 55 years old. I’ve lived through being a Buckeye hoops fan through the ups and downs of 45+ years of Ohio State basketball seasons and eras. I appreciated the basketball program when it’s winning and loved it when it’s been less than stellar.

Fans don’t have to enjoy the seasons/periods when the Buckeyes aren’t providing pure thrills.

Try walking a tread mill mile or five in Thad Matta’s shoes.

Try running a few sessions of line drills in the player’s Scarlet and Gray Nikes.

Whatever fans think of Ohio State’s current men’s basketball program it seems evident to me fans don’t give much thought about the factors involved in playing the game of college basketball at a high level.

A very high percentage of Ohio State basketball fans will never read the words I’m writing today. I accept that. To be read by a large audience is not why I write this blog anyway.

If you do read my words, though, please try to go beyond a knee jerk reaction in what you feel about the current edition and the near future of the Ohio State’s men’s basketball program.

At some point accept every season or period is not going to meet the high standards we would all like to watch the program earn.

  • I think that’s all I need to say for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ohio State Buckeye, Braxton Beverly. Observations. Opinions.

—The ghost is all about the players—

———– —————–

|—Braxton Beverly—|

_____________

Short and sweet opinion of Braxton Beverly, for those who don’t want to read all the way through.

I like Braxton Beverly as a player and think he’s a solid pick up for Ohio State who will do nothing but pay dividends throughout his career in the Scarlet and Gray.

He’s in the mode of a PG who can score if needed. My feeling is his intelligence is the very best attribute Braxton will bring to Ohio State. He’s always where he should be and is making sure others are, too, as it is within his power to do so.

If you like players who know the game plan and help teammates do their thing, then Beverly is your kind of guy.

Besides intelligence, Braxton’s creativity, competitiveness and steady leadership are other positive attributes he’ll bring to Ohio State starting next season.

Offensively, he’ll beat you any way a defense will let him. He can handle defenders who play up on him or lay off him. Either way, Braxton has the skills and mind to defeat those challenges.

Defensively is where, I’m sure, there are questions to be answered by him when being effective versus high level NCAA Division One hoop teams are concerned.  He has the lateral quickness to defend out top. He competes on that end of the floor, looking for advantages to gain but I don’t have a sample of his facing the big bodied athletes who roam the Big Ten courts to provide any answers as how he will do against them.

See more guesses at the end. I’ll provide grades and/or an assessment of some kind for his skills.

——–  ——–  ——-

Venue. Carmichael Arena on the University of North Carolina Campus.

Opponent. University of North Carolina junior varsity team. I talked to a father of one of the JV players. He told me the UNC JV team players gets two years to participate. They do not practice against the UNC varsity team but they are all competing in hopes of being invited to be a part of the varsity team at the end of that time.

Play sequences. Observations. Opinions.

(Listed in chronological order from the start of the game to the finish)

Braxton is a starter for the Hargrave Military Academy Post Graduate team.

Pre-game shooting stroke:

Opinion – Braxton Beverly’s shot is like any other player who’s spent thousands of hours practicing on it in backyard, driveway, playground and indoor courts. Growing up in Kentucky and loving the game of basketball a kid naturally picks up a basketball and shoots and shoots and shoots. His jump shot reflects that love and dedication.

These photos show perfect form. Straight up and down al the way through from hand on ball preparation through his release at the top. Notice what I have to share about his jump shot throughout the list of plays below.

——–  ————–

–1st half–

-Missed a (left) three.

-Missed a drive (left).

-Fouled driving right. 2 FT shots. Made both. (Observation – He doesn’t miss FTs)(Observation – Uses left hand or right hand to finish when driving the ball)

-Rebound & go. Pushing the ball. Middle. Full speed pull up three is good.

-Defensive communication…”Who’s got who?” “Matchup. Matchup.”

-Assist on an inbounds play.

-Pick and roll. Right of the lane with his big man. Waited. Initial read didn’t provide a passing angle to the roller. Kept his dribble. Penetrated the lane. A left to right diagonal pass got his big a scoring opportunity at the rim. He was fouled, earning two free throws.

-Defending a fast break. Defensive communication. “I got ball.” I got ball.”

-Off the dribble at left of the free throw line, froze his defender, blew by for a left hand layup.

Observation – Braxton kept his dribble and hesitated and aligned his body in an eye blink with an almost imperceptible fake that told his defender he was going to stop and pop a jump shot. Instead, as soon as the defender reacted Braxton kept going and got an easy bucket.

Opinion – A real beauty of a move. The type you develop from games likes 21 and two on one contests.

Observation – Braxton is even keeled (under control) and engaged on floor at all times. His facial expressions and body language never change and he’s constantly talking to teammates before, during and after plays as needed.

-Missed a three (right).

-Assist – Moving left, pass is thrown diagonally left to right to a cutter for a dunk.

-Missed a pull up two.

-Missed a (left) three.

Observation – It’s a staple of Braxton’s manner when moving off the ball to see him adjust and give a teammate an easy lane to deliver him the ball. He finds creases to get himself an easier shot before he receives a pass.

Everything he does on court involves read and react. He only stands still when there’s a reason to do so. I began to notice this aspect after watching him purposely drift one direction or another a number of times while attempting to take advantage of small break downs in the Hargrave offensive pattern.

Assist – UNC JV was using a 1-2-2 half court trap defense. Waited, drew defenders, went over top of the traps with the pass.

-Drove through the 1-2-2, shot and was fouled. Makes both FTs.

Opinion – I bet he’s converting just above or below 90% of his FTs. He’s Mark Price like in that regard.

Opinion – Former Georgia Tech & Cleveland Cavalier PG Mark Price is a actually a good comparison for Braxton Beverly. I’m not suggesting Braxton is a player of Price’s level, just that their styles are the same.

Observation – Braxton is Hargrave’s on court organizer.

-Assist – Goes over the top of the UNC trap again for the assist.

-Missed a three (right) with :05 left in 1st half.

—-  ——  ——

Braxton’s 2nd half effort got his team started. Braxton earned open shots as the clock began ticking. He impressed.

-Fast break one on one. Took the defender left of basket and turned him, twisted him, and tangled his feet up and Braxton finished in front of the rim for two.

-Jab step left. Drove right. Open 10 foot pull up two went down.

(UNC 50 Hargrave 46 with 18:30 left in the 2nd half)

-Catch and shoot three (right) goes down.

-Missed catch and shoot three near the last one he took. Braxton gets catch and shoot shots off with a lightning release. He’s prepared and ready to bang it. No wasted motion at all. Catch and it’s gone.

Opinion – His prep work to catch and shoot the ball off before a defender can react is an example of why he’s effective as a player. He knows there are small increments of space versus reaction time to use to his advantage. He’s got those experiences itemized and catalogued. When he needs them he knows where they are located. He’s like the man who has all the tools he needs organized on hooks and in drawers, so they can easily be put to use.

-Turnover on a drive.

-Pick and roll drive down the middle for a made two.

-Turnover above the FT circle. Off ball defender pokes and dislodges the ball which results in points for UNC JV on the other end.

UNC 59 Hargrave 55 w/12:50 to go.

-Missed a three left.

Hargrave 69 UNC 66 with 7:52 left.

-Catch and shoot three goes down (right).

-Assist. Two on one Hargrave fast break – Caught the ball on the move in the left court. Stayed left, kept dribble. Got the angle he wanted and made a left handed bounce pass to his teammate for two points.

(Our Buckeyes sometimes seem to not know how to run a fast break. Braxton knows how.)

-Steal on the baseline—>outlet pass—>earns two points for his team on the offensive end.

-Assist. Three on one fast break. Middle of the floor on the dribble. Made the bounce which hit his teammate in stride for two. Took the easy play.

Hargrave 87 UNC JV 76 with 3:15 left.

-Assist on a three. Under two minutes left. Penetrated and drew the defender, kicked the ball out diagonally from mid lane. Textbook play.

———– ———-

Grades for his skills…

Basketball IQ – A+

Athleticism:

…..Strength – B – Braxton’s not quite Aaron Craft strong but he can handle himself. You can’t knock him off his base.

……Fitness – A+ – Braxton was on court for 33-35 minutes of the game and moved at full blast the entire time.

……Agility – A – Whatever you throw at him he has an instant counter to it. His body control gets the space he needs.

……Leap – B – He’s not an above the rim guy. He gets up quick, fast and high on jump shots.

……Speed – B – He can go where he wants to. Not slow by any means.

…….Quickness – B – His feet are really good. He’s not lightning quick but good enough.

Dribbling skills – A+ His knowledge and application of the use of changing speeds is unerring. Operates at a high level with either hand.

Passing skills – A – Braxton’s abilities in this area underscore the fact if his teammate is open he’ll get the ball to him. It’s my opinion he’d not shoot the ball an entire game if he saw continual opportunities to give the ball up to teammates who’ve made themselves available for scoring opportunities.

I was thinking how well he and Kaleb Wesson would mesh together on the same side of the floor. Both are very smart players and think ahead and make great reads. Put them together and the would make a good duo.

Shooting skills – A – He took his share of shots and not once sniffed making a poor choice to take a bad shot. Everything comes within the offense. Beverly is a deadly catch and shoot off the ball shooter.

His free throw shooting ability will prove to be as good as anyone Thad Matta has ever recruited. Jon Diebler comes to mind.

Defensive ability – Incomplete. If I had to label him I would say C+. I didn’t see anything that led me to believe he’s a defensive stopper, where Aaron Craft’s attributes as a defender are the comparison. Neither is he lazy or ever out of position.

Big 10 comparison – Stylistically, the healthy Spike Albrecht.

Outrageous comparison – Mark Price.

Overall grade – I’m not going to go with a letter grade because I’ve not seen him play in  person enough to do that.

But I do feel with a player like Braxton you have to look at the overall package. On offense, good things happen when he has the ball. Defensively, he’s where he’s supposed to be giving smart effort.

In my opinion, Braxton can get a lot of good things done and comes into the Ohio State program as a mature young man who’s prepared himself to contribute right from the start.

My thinking tends toward the idea he’s going to surprise Buckeye fans with the level of his effectiveness on court.

Braxton Beverly’s a coach on the floor.

Go Buckeyes!

 

 

 

 

 

Fight. Scratch. Claw. Hopes for the end of this season.

Was reminded by a huge Buckeye fan just now of what I hope to see from Ohio State’s team in the remaining four regular season games, Big 10 Tournament contests, and wherever the program ends up for the post season.

Starting with the Nebraska game at home early this evening.

  • Intensity on Ohio State player’s faces.
  • Defensive stances. Sounds of the rubber on shoes screeching as feet move on defense. Voices that call out picks.
  • Bodies in flight to get to rebounds. All opportunities exhausted to win the ball.
  • No blood. No foul.
  • Hand slaps. Communication during and between the flow of the game.
  • A rush to pick up fallen teammates.
  • Up and down bench. Hand claps. Cheers. Rowdy support.
  • Great choices made. Strategy employed.
  • Follow through on shots attempted.
  • Runs answered with runs.
  • Attention paid to coaches during timeouts.

Play that honors the privilege of wearing a Scarlet and Gray uniform.

 

.                                

 

After the Michigan State game…10 things….

1st thing – Hope the Buckeyes get Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament. On a neutral floor the Buckeyes can go 2-1 against that team.

2nd thing – Buckeyes didn’t get it done at the Breslin Center. Too many mistakes.  The 10-0 run by Michigan State stretching from the end of the first half through the beginning of the 2nd half did not help Ohio State’s chances to win.

3rd thing – This is not the type of 2016-2017 season I wanted, as a fan, to be a part of. But it is what it is. I don’t accept it. The Buckeyes don’t seem to be accepting it, either. These guys are trying hard but it’s obvious, as a group, they don’t have that extra gear to drop into.

4th thing – I love Kam Williams. He’s a super representative of Ohio State. Kam has ability. He puts the time in and goes way past that, too. I admire his dedication. His role is to score and, especially, to hit threes to help open up space for front line Buckeye teammates in the lane. I’ve been pleased to see him go to the basket when defenders run him off the line. Got to do that.

Kam’s FG% is .402 this season on 254 shots. Compare that to a .443 FG% last season on 244 shots.

His three point percentage is .381 this season as compared to .443 in ’16-’17. He took 119 threes last season and currently is sitting on 118 shots this time.

(Those season stats are incomplete because the current season is not complete)

Williams, essentially, in 27 games has been given opportunities to score that equal those he had last season in 35 games.

I have a lot of confidence in Kam Williams’ scoring capabilities. Catch fire, Kam, scoring the ball in the remainder of this season. You can do it. I’ll root for you along the way.

5th thing – Marc Loving had 24 points and was 8/14 from the field & 4/8 on threes in Ohio State’s losing effort at Maryland. Loving had 22 points and was 7/13 from the field & 3/7 on threes at Michigan State. The Buckeyes need his production the rest of this season.

6th thing – JaQuan Lyle not being on the floor for injury and family reasons has given CJ Jackson more of a chance to show what he can do. Jackson just needs a few more of his three ball attempts to fall and a few less turnovers per game. I appreciate Jackson’s energy level on the boards and he’s making shots in the lane here and there, too.

7th thing – Speaking of JaQuan Lyle, it was fantastic to see him on the floor last night versus MSU and I was pleased JL had a nice game earning 10 points/7 rebounds/5 assists in 28 minutes. I think we see JaQuan in a Buckeye uniform again next season. I’m all for that, if so. Players progress at different rates. JaQuan Lyle is still progressing forward as a 2nd year Ohio State player. He has a long way to go but that’s the challenge, right?

(Prayers/thoughts still for JaQuan’s sister and Keita Bates-Diop’s brother, Kia)

8th thing – Foul trouble kept Trevor Thompson from adding another double/double to his collection last night against the Spartans. Think about how far Trevor has advanced this season. He averaged 17.9 minutes per game last season. This season Trevor is on court 22.9 mpg. His points per game scoring average has risen from 6.5 to 10.6 while his FG percentage has gone from .522 to .561 and his FT percentage has hovered around .750 while already earning 20 more foul shots. His rebound average has lifted to 9.3 from 5.1 while often grabbing missed shots out of his area. Thompson has already surpassed last season’s blocked shot with 44 compared to 42 all last season.

I can’t help it. I’m looking to next season at this point. Add five more minutes per game to Thompson’s account and I am firm in my belief his numbers will transform positively again.

Add in the ability Kaleb Wesson has. Calculate his overall effect on the Ohio State team. Ohio State’s offense at the rim will carry a great level of quality with it all 2017-2018 season. That alone will take pressure off the perimeter players and open up lanes to the basket.

Remember, when Thad Matta teams have had a thumper in the pivot position, they have been at their best. The tag team of Thompson & Wesson would represent a strong duo.

9th thing – How will you think of this season in the years to come?

There’s no way to see this season as anything other than disappointing.

A miracle championship run in the Big 10 tournament to reach the NCAA Big Dance would still leave a regular season, up to this point, where there are more questions to be asked than there have been answers provided.

The main question I have is how much of a positive difference, in terms of wins, would the healthy presence of Keita Bates-Diop have provided?

The second question I found myself continually asking is how strong of a leadership core does this team have? Past that, what level of leadership will the Buckeyes have next season?

10th thing – Ohio State hosts three out the next four games to end it’s regular season conference schedule. They are 3-3 at home and 2-6 on away games. They can still reach .500 in conference which would require going 4-0 hosting Nebraska, Wisconsin and Indiana and traveling to Penn State. It’s a tall order seeing Ohio State has lost four of it’s last six games.

***I guarantee a win at home versus the Hoosiers as I will be attending that contest. : )

Go Buckeyes!

“I’d like to be remembered just for being a team player.”

“When I look at my career at Ohio State, I asked myself, ‘Do I feel I did the best I could do, did I accomplish many of the things I wanted to do?’ The answer was quite simple. Yes, I did.”

Ohio State’s Jim Jackson, announcing on May 6th, 1992, he was foregoing his senior year at Ohio State in order to turn professional.

2017 season in perspective through a different window/Prayers for the Lyle, Diop & Tokes families

I’ve been wanting to write and comment on Ohio State’s season.

The last time I published something was after Northwestern had won (74-72) it’s 1st game in Columbus since 1977.

Since then:

  1. Ohio State picked off Minnesota at home, 78-72.
  2. Was dealt a disappointing loss, 85-72, at Iowa.
  3. Lost a close one at home, 77-71, to Maryland.
  4. Won at Michigan, 70-66.
  5. Defeated Rutgers at home, 70-64.

For Ohio State to win the game at Maryland tomorrow would give the Buckeyes a shot of adrenaline. I’ll watch that game but I will now see it’s outcome through a different window.

That window came into perspective today.

After becoming aware of the news from the Ohio State family that both JaQuan Lyle’s sister and Keita Bates Diop’s brother are experiencing serious health issues, I’m reminded the game of basketball holds little importance in comparison to the gift of life.

Each of our lives is a miracle of timing and subject to a myriad of interconnected circumstances.

The probability of you existing at all comes out to 1 in 102,685,000 — yes, that’s a 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes!

http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-the-odds-of-being-alive-2012-6

Human beings are fragile. Somehow we have life today but any day past this one is not guaranteed. Each time we breathe, each time our heart beats is yet another miracle to be thankful for.

Life is to be cherished.

In this immediate time I’ll be thinking of and praying for both the Lyle and Diop families and for anyone associated with the Ohio State men’s basketball program.

I would love for Ohio State to walk onto the floor at Maryland tomorrow afternoon and win a game for their two teammates and the uncertainty in crisis both of their families are going through.

But in truth, I don’t have a care in the world if Ohio State wins that game or not. There’s something much larger involved.

My thoughts will be with JaQuan Lyle and his sister (I don’t know her name), and JaQuan’s entire family.

My thoughts will be with Keita Bates-Diop, his brother, Kia, and Keita’s entire family.

Both of those young men are today experiencing a difficult part of what life consists of.

Not a single one of us escapes these events. My best goes out to all involved in their passage through.

**********************

While I’m at it I’m going to go ahead and mention the need for prayers, too, for the family of deceased Ohio State student, Reagan Tokes. I don’t know a whole lot about the situation but I do know her death is a tragedy. Cares, concerns and mercy to the Tokes family.

 

 

Wildcats claw Bucks 83-72 – Story of 02-24-77 game (link from the Lantern)

 

Tex Winter was Northwestern’s coach.

It was Eldon Miller’s 1st season as Buckeye head coach.

Jerry Marifke had 20 points and Tony Allen 18.

Marifke was subbing for Wildcat star Billy McKinney, who was out of the game with an injury.

Standout line from the article: “The Wildcats won the game at the free throw line…”

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/APA/Ohio/SharedView.Article.aspx?href=OHI%2F1977%2F02%2F25&id=Ar00100&sk=9EB4E07A

Kelvin Ransey, in what was an excellent freshman season, had 21 points for Ohio State and Jim Ellinghausen scored 18.

The Buckeyes had lost every home game that season up until that point but defeated Wisconsin in OT inside St. John Arena in the very next game to provide Buckeyes 1st year head coach Eldon Miller.

————— _————-

By goodness, Hell must have frozen over today because Northwestern defeated Ohio State in Columbus.

Congratulations to the Northwestern Wildcats.

 

 

St. John Arena, February 1990 Buckeye game hosting Louisville propelled Ohio State to NCAA Tournament

The 1989-1990 season was Buckeye basketball all time great Jimmy Jackson’s freshman season in a Scarlet & Gray uniform.

Jackson, Mark Baker, Jamaal Brown and Perry Carter lead their team to the NCAA tournament that season where eight seed Ohio State won a one point game, 84-83, in overtime over Providence in the opening round and then lost a 76-65 2nd round contest to a #2 ranked UNLV, which featured players of the quality of Larry (Grandmama) Johnson, Stacey (Plastic Man) Augmon, and Greg Anthony, who is now a CBS employed basketball analyst. All three of those guys were quality NBA players.

The Buckeyes competed strong in that game but in the end couldn’t hang with the Runnin’s Rebels, the eventual NCAA national champions, after they defeated Duke in championship game 103-73.

I bring this particular season up for it’s similarities, in some respects, to the current challenge this season’s Ohio State team finds itself in.

Midway through the 1989-1990 conference season Ohio State was 8-9 overall and just 4-5 in conference and were in the middle of four game losing streak before defeating Northwestern inside St. John Arena 101-77.

The term “bracketology” wasn’t part of hoops tournament conversation until the mid 1990s but if it was the Buckeyes would have been located on the lower side of the dreaded March Madness “bubble”.

After Northwestern, Ohio State hosted 15-3 & 10th ranked Louisville in St. John Arena on February 4th, 1990.

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/APA/Ohio/SharedView.Article.aspx?href=OHI%2F1990%2F02%2F02&id=Ar00905&sk=54E71766

The Buckeyes won it 91-88 in OT and went on to be invited to the 1990 NCAA Tournament.

That Ohio State win over Louisville was credited with changing the trajectory of the Buckeyes’ season from one destined for the NIT to one who earned it’s way into the Big Dance with a 17-13 overall record that was, also, 10-8 in conference.

There are, of course, differences between Ohio State’s current team and the 1989-1990 squad. The current Buckeyes stand at 12-7 overall and 2-4 in conference, but are on a two game winning streak where three of it’s next four games will be played on home court. All four of those teams in that vein are listed higher in the conference standings with the culmination a home contest against current conference leader, the 5-1 Maryland Terrapins.

Big Ten Standings (January 21, 2017)

http://www.bigten.org/library/stats/mbb-confsked.html

The essential fact to know about about this season’s Buckeyes is that it isn’t even on the March Madness “Bubble”

But, like the 1989-1990 team, if it wins inside this quartet of contests it can start to show up on such lists.

Three wins and one loss would get Ohio State to .500 in conference with a 5-5 record.

Starting with Sunday’s game with visiting Northwestern, those four games come and go quickly. Three days separate all four crucial matchups.

(H) Northwestern on the 22nd || (H) Minnesota, the 25th || (A) Iowa, the 28th || (H) Maryland, the 31st.

I’m rooting for Ohio State to play hard and well all four games. Sometimes things don’t go your way. But it helps to make your breaks.

For example, the 1989-1990 team was down 17 points early in the 2nd half after giving up a 10-2 run to the Cardinals. However, they didn’t give up, and finally tied the score won it in overtime.

Ohio State’s defense turned up the intensity and that was the key to the win. PG Mark Baker (15 pts/5 steals), starting his third game in a row, and Perry Carter (20 pts/13 rbs) and Treg Lee (Ten 2nd half pts), supported Jimmy Jackson’s 21 points, who, with 16 seconds left in OT, tipped in an Alex Davis baseline jump shot to provide the final three point difference.

Those Buckeyes didn’t give up despite being down by such a large margin.

The 2016-2017 Ohio State team will see good things happen for it, too, if it  refuses to give in to the challenges it faces.

Go Buckeyes! Beat Northwestern!

___________ _____________

 

Ohio State 1989-90 season schedule and results

W: 17, L: 13; Big Ten: 10-8/6th (H: 12-2, A: 3-6, N: 2-5)

W/L Opp.  OSU(#)-OPP(#)

11/15 L !vs. DePaul   53-71

11/27 W Mount St. Mary’s   102-63

12/1 L #vs. N.C. St. 54-68(19)

12/2 L #vs. Oklahoma State  59-81(23)

12/9 W American University 74-64

12/18 W Robert Morris 78-51 12/21

W South Carolina 59-46

12/27 L %vs. LaSalle 62-74(20)

12/28 W %vs. New Orleans 74-66

1/4 W Indiana 69-67(9)

1/6 W @Iowa 79-73(20)

1/11 L @Michigan State 68-78

1/13 W Wisconsin  68-53

1/18 L @Michigan  88-90

1/20 L @Minnesota  78-83(22)

1/25 L Purdue 66-78(13)

1/27 L @Illinois 81-92(10)

2/1 W Northwestern 101-77

2/4 W Louisville (ot)  91-88(10)

2/8 W Iowa  98-80

2/10 L Michigan State  75-84(23)

2/15 W @Wisconsin  68-58

2/18 W Michigan   64-61(5)

2/24 L @Purdue  70-75(9)

2/26 W Illinois  86-80(19)

3/3 W @Northwestern  95-86 3/8

L @Indiana  66-77

3/10 W Minnesota   93-83(19)

3/15 W *vs. Providence (ot)   84-83

3/17 L *vs. UNLV  65-76(2) (#) Indicates AP ranking

! Preseason NIT,
# Tournament of Champions, Charlotte, N.C. % Sugar Bowl Classic, New Orleans, La. *NCAA 1st and 2nd Rounds, Salt Lake City

_________________ __________________

Photo by Rebecca Mugler/The Lantern

Picture caption – OSU junior center, Perry Carter, puts pressure on Louisville’s LaBradford Smith during first half action Sunday in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes defeated the 10th ranked Cardinals 91-88 in overtime.

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/APA/Ohio/SharedView.Article.aspx?href=OHI%2F1990%2F02%2F05&id=Ar00102&sk=1A6F7228

 

Ghost “Miracle in Nebraska” next morning edition – “We’re starting up a brand new day”

With 0.06 seconds left on the clock, Ohio State’s Marc Loving converts a baseline in bound pass from CJ Jackson into a layup, two points and a Buckeye win.

Photo found here: http://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/mens-basketball/ohio-state-stuns-huskers-on-last-second-layup/article_7fd6b5fb-d1bf-5a47-a9f3-c3f56bbd1da2.html

Thoughts on the 2nd win in a row by the Buckeyes. One game at a time.

  • As Marc Loving has recently stepped into his senior role this season he has really played well. I’m glad he said this:

I believe it was Marc’s way of saying “Back off. I’ve got this.” Leaders have to be willing to be unpopular if they are going to properly do their job.

For him to say that shows Marc Loving cares. Words into action, I think, by Marc.

(I’ve enjoyed Loving’s recent use of the bounce pass. Trevor Thompson got himself a nice dunk last night off of one)

  • Nebraska was without it’s 6’7, 235 pound rim protector, Ed Morrow, last night. The Buckeyes were without Keita Bates-Diop. Call it even.
  • Dave Bell came in and did his job last night. A lot has been said in recent years about the quality of coaching Ohio State provides. But when the 9th player on the team comes into a game and produces on multiple levels, that says a lot. I’ve said it before, Dave Bell is my favorite Buckeye. He’s always ready. I celebrate that. Fans have to give the coaching staff credit.
  • If you haven’t noticed, JaQuan Lyle is turning into a pretty good PG. I’ve noticed lately he’s continuously making the effort to get things done for his teammates. Driving the ball at the defense. Using his eyes to see the court. Making the pass that is there. Taking much better shots and making them. Controlled effort.

Last night I noticed the communication Lyle used to get his team to organized and move in synchronicity. Talking. Hand gestures. Being direct.

I like what JaQuan is doing for his team. In turn, he’s improving as a player.

  • How about that rip steal by Andre Wesson? A sign of things to come.
  • CJ Jackson – The pass.

Is the above statement by Thad Matta what is called basketball IQ?

  • Jae’Sean Tate. Before and during the game, Nebraska and it’s fans loaded up on reminders for him about the floor slap from last season.

Jae’Sean’s answer to all that was to ride back into Pinnacle Bank Arena and help lead his team to victory.

Tate’s late in the game recovery of a missed Cornhusker shot by diving in front of the Nebraska bench, grabbing the ball and calling a timeout was indicative of his perseverance all night.

  • Trevor Thompson likely set a record last night for games with accumulated stats of 10 points and nine rebounds. I kid, but if at the beginning of the season you would have told me a hum drum game for the Indianapolis, Indiana would have shown those numbers I would have taken that at a moment’s notice.

Thompson is capable of more. I’m concerned he might not stay and play next season at Ohio State but think he can only prosper in a large way if he does return for his senior season.

Loved his POWER DUNK from last night and everything else, too. Don’t take Trevor for granted, Buckeye fans.

  • Kam Williams – Give me the aggressive Kam Williams who finishes at the rim a couple times a game and I’m a happy guy. His shot will drop when it does but those layup attempts are something he has to take. Kam delivered on a couple versus the Cornhusker and could’ve have at leat one more that I can think of.
  • Micah Potter is going through an adjustment period to the college game but I appreciate his effort. He’s willing to put himself out there and make mistakes.  His attitude is great. He’s willing to talk to teammates on court.  I feel he’s going to be a really nice player for the Buckeyes as he matures.

Looks like Dan Dakich appreciates Micah Potter.

____________  ______________

I’ll end this by making this observation. This Buckeye team has taken all the criticism leveled at it at the beginning of the Big 10 conference season and continued to work to improve.

Ohio State has improved. This group of players deserves to feel good about itself. Last night’s win at Nebraska affirms Ohio State has made it to the corner and is ready to make a turn.

Sunday’s upcoming game against Northwestern represents the Buckeyes’ right to declare they’ve taken control of this season. Win against this 4-2, currently tied for 2nd in the conference, Wildcat team and suddenly the 2016-2017 Ohio State Men’s basketball season has the ability to turn into a Brand New Day.

“We’re starting up a brand new day” Go ahead and do that, Buckeyes!

“Paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain
How could it be that what you need the most
Can leave you feeling just like a ghost?

 

Brand New Day
Sting
How many of you people out there
Been hurt in some kind of love affair?
And how many times did you swear
That you’d never love again?
How many lonely, sleepless nights?
How many lies, how many fights?
And why would you want to
Put yourself through all of that again?
Love is pain I hear you say
Love has a cruel and bitter way of
Paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain
How could it be that what you need the most
Can leave you feeling just like a ghost?
You never want to feel so sad and lost again
One day you could be looking
Through an old book in rainy weather
You see a picture of her smiling at you
When you were still together
You could be walking down the street
And who should you chance to meet
But that same old smile you’ve been thinking of all day?
Why don’t we turn the clock to zero honey
I’ll sell the stock we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day
Turn the clock all the way back
I wonder if she’ll take me back
I’m thinking in a brand new way
Turn the clock to zero sister
You’ll never know how much I missed her
I’m starting up a brand new day
Turn the clock to zero boss
The river’s wide we’ll swim across
We’re starting up a brand new day
It could happen to you,
Just like it happened to me,
There is simply no immunity
There’s no guarantee.
I say love is such a force if you should find yourself in it
You need some time for reflection
You say, baby wait a minute, wait a minute
Wait a minute, wait a minute
Wait a minute, wait a minute
Turn the clock to zero honey
I’ll sell the stock we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day
Turn the clock to zero Mac
I’m begging her to take me back
I’m thinking in a brand new way
Turn the clock to zero boss
The river’s wide we’ll swim across
Starting up a brand new day
Turn the clock to zero buddy
Don’t wanna be no fuddy duddy
We’re starting up a brand new day
I’m the rhythm in your tune
I’m the sun and you’re the moon
I’m the bat and you’re the cave
You’re the beach and I’m the wave
I’m the plough and you’re the land
You’re the glove and I’m the hand
I’m the train and you’re the station
I’m the flagpole to your nation
I’m the present to your future
You’re the wound and I’m the suture
You’re the magnet to my pole
I’m the devil in your soul
You’re the pupil I’m the teacher
You’re the church and I’m the preacher
You’re the flower I’m the rain
You’re the tunnel I’m the train
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
We’re starting up a brand new day
You’re the crop to my rotation
You’re the sum of my equation
I’m the answer to your question
If you follow my suggestion
We can turn this ship around
And go up instead of down
You’re the pan and I’m the handle
You’re the flame and I’m the candle
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
We’re starting up a brand new day

Ohio State at Purdue/Sunday 3:30 game – A Popeye win is a win is a win.

I might stop watching the Ohio State women play. I viewed the @MSU game from the past week and the Buckeyes were blitzed.

Get a chance this morning to watch this @Purdue game and in the 1st quarter OSU game 3/15 from the field and trail the Boilermakers 20-6.

Buckeyes began game 0-8 from the floor. Kelsey Mitchell starts 0-5.

Now 22-6. Those Boiler shovels are active.

Tori McCoy hits a shot. Purdue 22-8. Mitchell hits a three. 1st points at 12:00 minutes in.

Buckeyes now at 34-29 by hitting 11-12 free throws in the 2nd quarter.

Buckeyes 6 points/7 turnovers in the first quarter & then 28 points/2 turnovers in the 2nd quarter.  Boilermakers lead 36-34.

Buckeyes were way more active in the 1st half. Especially around the basket. I’m enjoying seeing freshman Tori McCoy progress. She looks much more comfortable now as compared to the beginning of the season.

_______  __________

Mitchell hits an on the move two to start the 3rd quarter. Mitchell hooks up with McCoy on a long range assist at the rim. Alexa Hart is active on the glass and puts back a missed Kiara Lewis layup attempt.

Purdue guard Ashley Morrissette has the nickname “Steady Eddy Morrissette”  That’s great.

Purdue gets multiple shots in one possession and eventually ties the score at 40.

Ohio State & Purdue with matching 6 point runs to start the 3rd quarter.

Boilermakers 48 – Ohio State 47 at end of the 3rd quarter.

(Reading the post game stats I see Kelsey Mitchell made just 3-17 shots after hitting just 4-18 shots in the loss at Michigan State.  Mind boggling. But Mitchell is still making a borderline respectable .431 of her shots from the floor this season and is .363 on threes. She has taken 673 total shots this season. Almost 200 more than the next level Buckeye shot taker, Asia Doss, who has taken 477 shots.)

Tori McCoy obliterates two shot attempts by Purdue’s #10 Andreona Keys. McCoy got the 1st one pretty good from behind. The ball dropped in front of Keys. She picked it up. Dribbled once, backed up and banged into McCoy to clear space to shoot. Keys went right up with the ball again and McCoy knocked the shot with extra force that time. Messages being sent in that exchange.

This game resembles bowling. Players are both the pins and the ball. There’s a lot of flying in to the mix going on and a lot of players hitting the ground.

Another remarkable stat connected to Kelsey Mitchell. She has made 34-35 free throws in conference this season. That’s something else. A lot of edges, angles and details are part of Mitchell’s game. Not sure I have a handle on them all.

It’s a 50-50 contest with 7:42 left in the 4th. Mitchell just hit two tech free throws after Purdue’s Andreona Keys complained to the refs about the fouls not called on Tori McCoy on the plays above I just described.

Sad showing by both teams from the land of three. Both teams combined are 3-23 from beyond the stripe.

Tie game at 54 w/3:59 left.

Sierra Calhoun makes a three for the Buckeyes.

Commentator states “This game has the feel of an overtime game.”

Sierra Calhoun with a great rebound for a defensive stop by the Buckeyes. Under two. Now the Boilers ball again.

Purdue with just 18 points in 2nd half which means Buckeyes have only scored 22. A slobber-knocker type of game?

Mitchell to Cooper top of key. Mavunga seals off D in lane. Cooper ignores it. Drives and dribbles ball out of bounds. Wow. Not a good end of a possession out of the timeout.

Buckeyes put Purdue on the foul line. Dominique Oden makes one and then the second. Buckeyes 57-56. Mitchell to Mavunga under the hoops. Two points, for a 59-56 lead. Nice pass. Strong finish. Twenty seconds left in the game.

Morrissette misses a three. Ohio State ties up Purdue on rebound w/7.8 seconds left. Purdue timeout.

Doss with ball out of bounds. Mitchell picks Stephanie Mavunga’s defender at half court. Rest of Buckeyes headed away from the basket. Mavunga breaks free. Recieves the pass. All alone Mavunga hits a layup for the final score of 61-56. A road win for the Buckeyes which is always a precious commodity in the Big Ten.

A win is a win is a win.

I yam what I yam what I yam.