Basketball Archives – 2008

Mark Titus States His Case for the NBA
April 12, 2009 9:30 pm EST

We don’t make a regular habit of plugging other web sites here at, but sometimes you enjoy something you find on the web and want to share with our readers.  Mark Titus, a little used walk-on publishes a blog called Club Trillion (this is what you get in the box scores when you play for just one minute 1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0) and recently wrote a letter declaring his interest in the NBA .  Check it out on his website.


Mullens Says He is Leaving – Turner Says He is Staying
March 26, 2009 8:00 pm EST

It comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following the basketball team this season but freshman B.J. Mullens is leaving after one year.  Mullens will forgo his final three seasons of eligibility at Ohio State and enter the NBA draft, he announced in a statement issued today by the school’s athletic department.

“After long consideration I have decided to enter my name in the 2009 NBA draft,” Mullens said in the statement. “This was not an easy choice because I love (Ohio State), but the many positive reasons for moving on outweigh the many good reasons for staying.”

I did not feel like he played as if he wanted to be there so I say good luck and good bye.  I have been a fan of Buckeye basketball since 1971 and I have grown tired of these 18 years coming in and thinking we are just a stepping stone.   want someone I can cheer for four years.

Evan Turner may be trying to make it up for me.  He is spending his spring break back home in Chicago but word from the windy city is that he plans to return for his junior season.  It is possible he might  enter his name in the NBA draft, if only to get a better idea of his standing with NBA teams. He could then withdraw it before the June 15 deadline and not forfeit any of his college eligibility.  The deadline for early entry in the draft is April 26.


The Dance is Over – Buckeyes Lose to the Saints
March 21, 2009 1:15 am EST

Ronald Moore hit a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in the second overtime – from the identical spot he made one at the end of the first OT.  The second shot gave Siena the 74-72 win and sent the Buckeyes home from the NCAA dance.  OK, be honest, do you really think it was better to get into the NCAA tournament?  Or are you like me and believe their play only deserved another trip to the NIT where they could get more home dates and maybe even repeat as champs.

Moore’s two clutch shots advanced ninth-seeded Siena (27-7) into Sunday’s second round where the Saints will meet Louisville, the tournament’s top team. The Cardinals moved on with a 74-54 win over No. 16 seed Morehead State.

Evan Turner missed a leaner from 15 feet that would forced a third OT for the Buckeyes (22-11), who blew an 11-point lead in the second half of regulation.  Siena came into the tournament with a higher profile for a small school after shocking Vanderbilt in the first round last March. The little college from upstate New York returned a veteran squad that was given a solid chance of beating one of the Big Ten’s powers.

Siena committed 22 turnovers and made just 6-of-23 3-pointers, but Moore, who was only 4-of-13 from the field, hit his two big shots when it mattered most.  Once the final horn sounded and Siena had moved on for a date with the Cardinals, coach Fran McCaffery wrapped his arms in around his point guard and carried him off the floor as the Saints fans, outnumbered by the thousands, chanted “Ron-ald Moore.”

The Buckeyes had everything going their way. They were playing just an hour from home and they had the size, strength and stature on their side. It didn’t matter to the Saints, champions of the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference, who stormed back from a 41-30 deficit in the second half.  Ohio State also had the second largest enrollment of any team in the tournament with 52,000 students.  Siena was the smallest school, having only 3000 students.


Ohio State Manages a #8 Seed in This Year’s Big Dance
March 15, 2009 7:15 pm EST

Once again, the NCAA committee proved these post-season conference tournaments means very little to their selection process.  I guess the runner-up in the Big Ten is only worth an 8 seed.  And what about the #1 seeds?  Only one of them won their conference tournament, the others were not even in their semi-finals.  I think perhaps the committee had their selections done on Friday night, and were just enjoying the town and the food the rest of the weekend.

However, we do not want to take away what a great job our Buckeyes did over the weekend.   They started against Wisconsin, a team they played once, but lost to during the regular season.  Down by 7 with less than five minutes to go, the scarlet and gray found a new gear and pulled ahead with a clutch 3-pointer by Jon Diebler and the free throw shooting of point guards PJ Hill and Jeremy Simmons.  Evan Turner scored six points and P.J. Hill made three free throws as the Ohio State men’s basketball team closed the game with a 14-3 run in the final five minutes and defeated the Badgers 61-57 in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal.

Then came Michigan State.  OSU had lost twice to them this year, and most people had the Spartans slated in the finals and maybe a #1 seed.  Although it was close in the first half, the Buckeyes took advantage of poor showing by MSU and built a 17 point lead.  They were in complete control and showed the nation that they have plenty of fight in them with the 82-70 win.

In the Big Ten Championship game, the Buckeyes (22-10) played great for the first 30 minutes and even had a six point during the second half.  But E’Twaun Moore made three three-point baskets in less than 2 1/2 minutes midway through the second half to turn the tide of a close tussle and rally Purdue to a 65-61 victory in the title game.


Buckeyes Will Return to the Big Apple Next Season
March 11, 2009 5:00 pm EST

Ohio State will open the 2009-2010 men’s basketball season by playing host to first and second round games in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, according to the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, Va.  The newspaper reported that James Madison, located in Harrisonburg, is likely to play the Buckeyes in the season opener in Value City Arena.  Regardless of whether Ohio State wins or loses the first two games, it will play two more games in the tournament the following week in Madison Square Garden in New York.  Tournament dates, sites and teams have not been announced.


Turner, Buford, Mullens Honored By Big Ten
March 9, 2009 7:30 pm EST

Ohio State sophomore Evan Turner, a 6-foot-7-inch guard from Chicago, was named 2009 First Team All-Big Ten by the league coaches and media, the Big Ten Conference office announced. Turner is the 47th Buckeye all-time to earn the award. The Buckeyes have had a first team member in each of the last four seasons.  Turner led Ohio State in nearly every statistical category this season. He topped the Buckeyes in scoring (16.8 ppg.), rebounding (201/6.9 rpg.), assists (112), steals (50), minutes (1,044/36.0 mpg.), field goals made (165), free throws made (201), offensive rebounds (48) and defensive rebounds (153).  He earned the league’s player of the week honor three times and led the Buckeyes in scoring in 15 games, reaching 10 or more points 24 times and 20 or more in seven games.  He was the only unanimous first team selection by both the coaches and league media.

Freshman William Buford, a 6-5 guard from Toledo, Ohio, was selected as the conference freshman of the year. He led all league rookies with an average of 11.1 points a game, earning one player of the week award along the way. He finished third offensively among his Buckeye teammates and scored the second most field goals (124) and third most 3-pointers (38). At the foul line he led the team in shooting percentage making 37-of-40 charity tosses (92.5 pct.).   Ohio State has earned five Big Ten freshman of the year honors since it was first introduced by the league in 1986. Buford joins fellow Toledo native Jim Jackson (1990), Greg Simpson (1993), Michael Redd (1998) and Greg Oden (2007).

B.J. Mullens, a 7-1 center from Columbus, was tabbed the league’s sixth man of the year. He played in 29 games, starting two. He came off the bench to average 9.1 points a game while scoring on 65 percent of his field goals (111-172) to set an Ohio State freshman record for shooting accuracy. He lead the conference in both overall and league only (78-111/.703) shooting percentage this season. Mullens averaged 4.8 rebounds and blocked 33 shots, second on the team.


Victory Seals 20-Win Season and Likely an NCAA Bid
March 8, 2009 8:15 pm EST

Every year since he has been a Head Coach, Thad Matta’s teams have won at least 20 games, and that should be enough to secure a spot in the big dance this year.  They next play Wisconsin in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.  A win in Indy would all but seal that invitation.

This team has overcome a lot considering they had no seniors, last their captain early in the season to injury, lost their promising young forward after one game to an ACL injury, and had the back-up point guard quit in the middle of the 2008-09 campaign.  The problem with this team is they are not very consistent, they can beat anyone if they are hitting their threes, but they can play like the same team that lost to Northwestern in Evanston, and almost lost again at home to end the regular season.  Maybe they can get some rest this week and have a strong Big Ten tournament.

In addition, the women’s team that won the Big Ten regular season, and today beat Purdue to win the Big Ten tournament and secure a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.


1999 OSU – St John’s Game to Air on Big Ten Network
February 27 2009 10:30 pm EST

Back when Ohio State’s starting point guard wasn’t a junior college transfer, they actually made it to the Final Four.  Most recently in 2006 with the services of Mike Conley Jr.  A new episode of The Big Ten’s Greatest Games makes its debut at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 3rd. Ohio State punched its ticket to the 1999 Final Four with a thrilling 77-74 victory over St. John’s. Scoonie Penn scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists to help the Buckeyes get past Ron Artest and the Red Storm. Michael Redd scored 20 points for OSU.  Do you think they will show Coach O’Brien dancing after the game?  The game precedes the network’s live 9:00 pm telecast of Ohio State at Iowa.


Wisconsin Continues To Own the Buckeyes at Home
February 14 2009 11:45 pm EST

Greg Oden couldn’t do it, Matta has failed four times, and now every member of the 2008-09 squad is winless at the Kohl’s Center.  On the bright side, only seven teams have managed to come in to Madison and leave with a win in that building.  I guess that full week to prepare for Wisconsin wasn’t enough time for the Ohio State men’s basketball team to master the game plan.  The Buckeyes have not won in the building since 2000.

The 24th-ranked Buckeyes shot better than 50 percent from the field for the eighth time in 10 games, but their 19 turnovers and the 15 offensive rebounds by the Badgers doomed Ohio State to a 55-50 loss.  Wisconsin seniors Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft scored 17 and nine points, respectively, and combined for 15 rebounds, including eight offensive boards, as the Badgers won for the fourth time since a six-game losing streak.  Evan Turner led Ohio State with 23 points, including 15 in the second half.

Ohio State (17-6, 7-5) had a four-game winning streak end and fell to fourth place in the Big Ten. The game was the first of a pair on the road for the Buckeyes. They play at Northwestern on Wednesday night.


Turner Named Big Ten Player of the Week
February 7 2009 11:30 pm EST

The Buckeyes play their second top 20 team this week and with to wins, they are back in the thick of the Big Ten race. Evan Turner made seven free throws in the final 64 seconds to seal the victory over #19 Minnesota 64-58 Saturday night for the Buckeyes’ fifth win this season over a ranked opponent.  The last two came this week, with the Buckeyes (17-5, 7-4 Big Ten) beating Purdue (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) 80-72 on Tuesday night.

Despite a very slow first half, Turner finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Jon Diebler and William Buford each scored 11 points and B.J. Mullens had 10 for Ohio State. The Buckeyes won their fourth in a row while improving to 5-4 against ranked opponents.

Keeping it close for Minnesota, Blake Hoffarber, scoreless in the first half, tossed in 19 points — on six 3-pointers and a foul associated with one of those made 3s — for the Golden Gophers (18-5, 6-5). Damian Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds.  The Buckeyes never trailed after a 10-0 first-half spurt, but had to scratch and claw down the stretch to hang on to the lead.

Minnesota had won the last two meetings with the Buckeyes, including a 68-59 win at Williams Arena on Jan. 3. The Golden Gophers outrebounded the Buckeyes 42-30 in that game while collecting 15 offensive boards. But they held only a 38-31 edge Saturday night.

If the Fighting Illini can defeat Purdue at home Sunday afternoon, the Buckeyes will be in a tie for second place in the Big Ten standings.  As Michigan State is in first place, two games ahead and holding the tie-breaker with the Buckeyes, they pretty much have the Big Ten championship sealed.  But if the Buckeyes continue to play they way they did this week, they should find themselves in second or third place at the end of the season.


Turner Named Big Ten Player of the Week
February 2, 2009 4:00 pm EST

Ohio State’s Evan Turner has been named the Big Ten Conference’s men’s basketball player of the week for the second time this season.  Last Saturday, Turner had a career-high 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds in a 93-81 victory over Indiana, his fifth double-double of the season. Earlier in the week he had 24 points in a win over Michigan.  He is shooting 51.6 percent from the field this season and averaging 16.6 points a game. Last week he shot 69.5 percent from the floor and 91.3 percent from the foul line


Ohio State Defeats Michigan … Again
January 17, 2009 11:00 pm EST

Since Tressel came to Columbus the football team has been successful 7 out of 8 games.  The basketball team has been pretty successful against the Wolverines as well.  With the their 65-58 win last night in Ann Arbor, Coach Matta has won 8 out of the last 9 contests versus the Maize and Blue.

Last night though it was not looking good as they were down late, but the Buckeyes outscored the 25th-ranked Wolverines 17-3 over a seven-plus-minute stretch, then holding off a barrage of desperate three-point attempts by the Wolverines in the final 40 seconds to secure the win.

Turner scored 21 points and freshmen William Buford and B.J. Mullens had 15 apiece to lead Ohio State (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten), which added Michigan to its list of ranked teams that it has beaten away from Value City Arena. The Buckeyes won at the University of Miami and against Notre Dame in Indianapolis.  OSU shot better than 50 percent from the field for the third straight game despite the fact that their two leading scorers, Turner and Jon Diebler, were a combined 5 of 16.

Buford turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play to regain the lead for Ohio State, 45-44, with 6:15 left. After Douglass’ three-pointer, a dunk by Mullens and a sweet, driving finger roll from the wing by Buford put the Buckeyes ahead to stay.

Manny Harris scored 21 points to lead Michigan (13-5, 3-3), which dropped its second straight game. The Wolverines lost Wednesday at Illinois, where Ohio State plays Tuesday.


Crater Quits Team
December 28, 2008 3:00 pm EST

2008 is not ending the way the Buckeyes would like, can it get any worse.  First Lighty goes down with a broken foot, then they lose by 28 points to West Virginia.  This was with their worst home loss in 11 years.  And now, the backcourt gets thinner as backup point guard Anthony Crater, at his request, was released from his scholarship.

“We appreciate the contribution Anthony made to our program. We wish him the best,” coach Thad Matta said in a statement issued by the athletics department.

Crater and Matta did not return messages seeking further comment, but Crater’s former AAU coach, Carlos Fordham of Flint, Mich., said Crater was unhappy that Matta “was not living up to” promises he made to Crater.   Crater, who made an oral commitment to Ohio State in November 2006, was told when he was recruited that he would be the starting point guard after Mike Conley Jr. left the program, Fordham said.  Crater also was told by Matta last spring that the acquisition of junior-college guard Jeremie Simmons “wouldn’t affect his playing time,” Fordham said, because Simmons was “coming in as a combo guard, a backup, because they needed another shooter in the program.”

Simmons has started all 10 games at the point and averaged twice as many minutes as Crater.

Fordham said Crater has been pondering leaving for two weeks but likes his teammates and did not want to distract from the team’s undefeated start.  Crater has mentioned South Florida, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and Notre Dame as schools to which he would be interested transferring, Fordham said.


Buckeyes Fall Hard to Mountaineers
December 27, 2008 8:00 pm EST

We knew the winning streak would not last forever, but I don’t think anyone thought they would fall this hard  The nation’s longest winning streak was stopped at 14 games as West Virginia University won their second game within a matter of an hour.  The football team defeated UNC 31-30 today.

The Buckeyes(9-1) had trouble making shots for most of the game and had their vaunted zone defense picked apart in the second half in losing for the first time this season, 76-48 to West Virginia this afternoon before the first sellout in Value City Arena this season.


OSU Continues To Be Prefect this Season
December 20, 2008 3:00 pm EST

The ‘Force’ must have been with them …..

Turner had 12 points and a blocked shot, and Simmons had four points, two assists and two steals in a 24-8 run that answered Iona’s 7-0 start to the second half that gave the Gaels a 31-28 lead.  Turner finished with 21 points and Jon Diebler 16 to lead No.17 Ohio State (8-0), and freshman William Buford had eight of his 10 points off the bench in the second half.

Seven-foot freshman B.J. Mullens started in Lighty’s place, giving the Buckeyes a bigger starting lineup than they had in previous games. But Mullens and 6-8 Dallas Lauderdale played in tandem only for the first 4:13 of the game and for the first two minutes of the second.

After Iona captured six of the first seven rebounds and scored the first seven points of the second half to take the lead, coach Thad Matta replaced Mullens and Lauderdale with Buford and Kyle Madsen. They stayed in the game for the entirety of the 24-8 run, which gave Ohio State (8-0) a 52-39 lead with 10 minutes remaining.  Iona did not get closer than seven points after that.  Turner took Lighty’s spot on the baseline in the 3-2 matchup zone defense.

Ohio State has the longest win streak in the country, now at 13 games going back to last years run in the NIT tournament.