Basketball Archives – 2011

Buckeyes Defeat Syracuse – Dancing In The Final Four
March 24, 2012 10:00 pm EST

The only thing worse than the officiating in OSU regional final game with Syracuse, was those overhead camera angles offered by CBS.

Jim Boeheim falls to 1-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament against Big Ten opponents as OSU prevails 77-70 in the 2012 East regional final in Boston.

Jared Sullinger recovered from first-half foul trouble to score 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Lenzelle Smith Jr added 18 points and only one turnover, while Deshaun Thomas scored 14 points with nine rebounds for Ohio State (31-7). The Buckeyes made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 68 seconds and finished 31 of 42 from the line.

Boeheim didn’t like several of the fouls called. He picked up a technical for objecting to a foul in the first half, and he escaped another in the second half despite shouting his profane complaint across the court. At one point, he turned to Jeff Hathaway, the chairman of the NCAA selection committee who was sitting near the Syracuse bench, and made his case in person.  Wasn’t he getting enough favorable calls in the game?

Afterward, Boeheim gave a snide “no comment” when asked if the officials hurt the flow of the game. A statement from the officiating crew chief said Boeheim was given a technical for being out of the coaching box and gesturing about a call.

Ohio State beats a #1 seed in the tournament for the 2nd time in school history. The Bucks also did so in 1999, when it beat top-seeded Auburn, 72-64 in the South Regional Semifinal. That Ohio State team lost in the Final 4 to Connecticut. The Buckeyes improve to 2-4 all-time when facing a No. 1 seed.


One State Has Four Teams In Final Sixteen
March 21, 2012 7:30 pm EST

For the first time in NCAA tournament history, four of the teams in the Sweet 16 are from the same state.  It wasn’t Florida, or North Carolina or Texas, but the great state of Ohio.

Ohio is the first state to ever have four teams advance to the Sweet 16, where nearly every resident will have a team to root for this weekend. Ohio State and Cincinnati face off Thursday in Boston. Approximately 30 minutes after Xavier plays Baylor in Atlanta on Friday, Ohio will play North Carolina in St. Louis.


Gonzaga Victory Returns Buckeyes To Sweet Sixteen
March 17, 2012 5:00 pm EST

It has been an eventful week for our Basketball Buckeyes.

Sunday finished off the Big Ten Tournament.  Ohio State lost to Michigan State, but it was a high caliber contest.  They may have lost the championship but it may have better prepared them for the Big Dance.

DeShaun Thomas was the star of the game for their first round game.  The Buckeyes drew 15-seed Loyola Maryland for their second round game and the Greyhounds kept it close most of the night.  Ultimately, OSU won the game 78-59 and DeShaun had his best game as a Buckeye.  To start with, he had a career high 31 points, as well as a personal best 12 rebounds.  He even added two blocks for good measure.  If he can keep this up, he would be in line for the tournament MVP should OSU run the tables.

For the third round, the Buckeyes were matched up against the tournament perennial Cinderella Gonzaga Bulldogs.  They still play with a chip on their shoulder and I have no idea why.  This one went back and forth, in fact with 4:05 remaining, the score was tied at 61.  Yet the Buckeyes put it in another gear and ultimately pulled away for a 73-66 victory.  This time it was Aaron Craft day.  He had 17th point starting out the second half at a time when the Bucks pulled away.  He also managed his first every double double as he dished out 10 assists as well.  Who will be the star of the next round game?


MSU-OSU To Face Off After Buckeyes Destroy Wolverines
March 10, 2012 7:00 pm EST

For the second straight night, Jared Sullinger put this team on his shoulder’s and carried Ohio State to victory.  The 77-55 win over Michigan will put the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament final for the third straight year.

For the second straight game, DeShaun Thomas and Aaron Craft also did their part in supporting roles. Thomas was 10-15 shooting including two 3-pointers and Craft had 6 points, 4 assists and held Trey Burke to 1-11 shooting, which basically ended any hope Michigan had to compete in this contest.

Also for the second game in a row, the Buckeyes were able to clear the bench, so let’s hope that will provide a lift as they will have to play their third game in as many days on less that 24 hours rest.

The victory sets up a rematch of last Sunday’s season finale with Michigan State.  The winner may be in line for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, depending on the outcome of some of the other conference championships.

With the win over Wisconsin, Tom Izzo is one of just two coaches that have defeated Bo Ryan three times in the same season.  The other was Bruce Weber while at Illinois.

Michigan State has not won the Big Ten tournament since 2000.


Win Gives OSU Share Of Regular Season Crown
March 4, 2012 6:45 pm EST

It may have been Jared Sullinger’s birthday, but day belonged to senior William Buford as he hits the game winner with 1 second on the clock.

The Buckeyes came back from a 15 point deficit in the Breslin Center.  I would have not have predicted that. That is the great news.

Based on some strange tie-breaker rules, OSU finds themselves as the #3 seed in the Big Ten tournament.  Although they have a better overall record than the two Michigan schools they are tied with, somehow they fall below them in the tourney brackets.  But the way the brackets look, the match-ups are favorable, so that is the good news.

Every Buckeye fan is pleased with the come from behind 72-70 victory over the Spartans but there was one thing that was very obvious.  The second half comeback was done while Jared Sullinger was on the bench.  Evan Ravenel played solid defense and strong offense, scoring 7 points and making all three of his free throws.  But what is time on the court really showed is how strong he can play and how much room for growth Sullinger has.  Translation, Jared is still playing a weak game.  That is the bad news.  We know he has the tools, it is time for him to open up the tool box on our opponents.

We can hope that the Buckeyes take this momentum into the Big Ten tournament and then the Big Dance.  Go Bucks.


Northwestern Comeback Comes Up Short
February 29, 2012 11:00 pm EST

OSU still has a chance to play for a regular season tie for the conference.  Who saw that coming?

Sophomore Jared Sullinger had his best game in a long time with 18 rebounds and 22 points, including the game winning basket with 3.1 seconds to break a 73-73 tie. Point guard Aaron Craft used his quarterback skills to loft a perfect pass to Sullinger to under the bucket and the result was a 75-73 Buckeye win in Evanston.

Northwestern scoring leader John Shurna also had 22 points but it was not enough for the Wildcats who are still trying to get into the big dance.  Now they will likely need a few wins in the conference tournament.

Now the conference regular season crown will come down to the final game against Michigan State Sunday afternoon.  Can Sullinger bring it on the road once more.


Buckeye Loss All Too Common For 2011-12 Team 
February 26, 2012 8:30 pm EST

Today’s loss to Wisconsin was microcosm of this year’s season.  No teamwork at the end of the game when it was desperately needed, a star player did not have a star moment, they did not lower the hammer when they had the chance, and they could not make a 15-foot free throw to save their life.

It would be so easy to do a season in review type article right now.  After all, many goals of the season ended tonight.  There will be no Big Ten championship.  There will be no #1 seed in the big dance.  There was no undefeated season at home, and when it comes down to it, it is not the road losses that hurt the Buckeyes this year, it is the home defeats.

Start with the big man in the middle.  Jared Sullinger is a great player, and someday he will be playing in the NBA.  Time will tell what his career will be like but his career as a Buckeye is over.  He has mailed in this season since someone stepped on his foot and during a game this season and they rushed him to the hospital for x-rays.  OSU needed a big man today, he was a candidate for that roll and he came up short.  6 rebounds in 33 minutes (compare that to the 5 Evan Ravenel had in 10 minutes) does not get us what we needed.  At one point, he took a shot and was actually on the Wisconsin side of the floor before it fell off the rim into the hands of a Badger player.  0-3 from the foul line will never be acceptable. And perhaps the reason the visitors walked out with a win may be due to the fact that their center nailed a key three-point basket when the game was on the line and Sullinger missed his three-point at a time late in the game when you were left thinking “why is he taking that shot”.

William Buford was another candidate to be our star today.  After all, this was his final game at home and there were 20 NBA scouts on hand to watch him play.  He started out pretty well going 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from the stripe early in the first half.  But going 1 for 8 the rest of the game left the fans praying for just one or two more baskets those last 30 minutes of today’s contest.  It would have been great to see him go out the hero but it was not meant to be on this night.

However, no fan will look at this game without pointing to the 10-19 from the line.  Champions cannot afford to shoot like that, even at home.

OSU ends the regular season with two road games, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all end at home.  At this stage it looks for likely the Buckeyes will finish fourth in the regular season, meaning they will have to face the Spartans in the semi-finals of the Big Ten tournament.  Raise your hand if you think this team is playing well enough to beat Izzo two times in the next week and a half.

Perhaps this sounds a bit on the bitter side, but I am 48 years old and I have had season tickets for OSU basketball for 41 years and there were a lot of losing seasons in there.  I mean a LOT of losing, and there is way too much talent on this team to be 23-6.


Win Hopefully Puts Buckeyes Back On A Championship Track 
February 21, 2012 9:30 pm EST

In the opening 16 minutes against Illinois, Ohio State was 16 of 19 from the field (84%) and 5 of 7 (71%) from behind the arc.  Brandon Paul managed just 2 of 9 shooting, a far cry from the 43 points he had in the first meeting this season against the Buckeyes.

Deshaun Thomas scored 19 points and Ohio State shot lights out they entire game in route to an 83-67 victory over Illinois.  The win keeps them on pace with Michigan State and Michigan atop the Big Ten standings.  Ohio State was 65% from the field for the game.

William Buford had 17 points, and Aaron Craft added 11 to go with five assists.

The Buckeyes (23-5, 11-4) stayed on the heels of Big Ten leader Michigan State with three games remaining. The sixth-ranked Spartans are 11-3 in league play heading into a game at Minnesota on Wednesday night. Ohio State will visit Michigan State in the regular-season finale on March 4.

Ohio State improved to 18-1 at home this season, coming off a 58-48 loss at Value City Arena to Michigan State on Feb. 11 that ended a 39-game, home-winning streak. In their most recent game, a 56-51 loss to No. 17 Michigan on Saturday, they shot 38.8 percent.


Buckeyes Play Big In The Barn 
February 14, 2012 11:30 pm EST

If Ohio State is going to win the regular season Big Ten title, it is not going to be an easy road.  Four of their last six games are on the road, and five of the six teams are predicted to make the tournament right now.  Fortunately, they started this stretch run in the right way be defeating Minnesota 78-68 in Williams Arena.

At one point, the game was tied 12-12 and at that point the Buckeyes went to work. Scoring 21 straight points, at many times playing 3 or more subs in the line-up, they really pulled away to a lead that they never really let go.  William Buford lead all scoring with 24 points, which of course was 20 more points than he managed during the loss to the Spartans. Great to see him back on track.  Jared Sullinger added 23 points of his own, aided by 10-12 from the free throw line.

Aaron Craft, along with his 5 assists, had 6 steals.  This is the third time this season, he has managed that feat.

The win was great for the team and keeps the Buckeyes on track to win another Big Ten title this year.  But as a lifetime Buckeye fan, it is hard for me to ever watch a game in Williams Arena and not be reminded of the events of 40 years ago.  Almost to the day of that fateful game when the OSU team was beaten and brutalized after a 50-44 victory over Bill Musselman’s Gophers.  It was the beginning of the end of a great coaching career for the late Fred Taylor, and the lack of proper punishment for those involved is a black eye on the entire conference.  Remembering that night


Badgers Comeback Falls Short 
February 4, 2012 4:30 pm EST

For the first time since 2000, OSU leaves the Kohl Center victorious. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was 8-0 against the Buckeyes.  Last year, OSU had a 15 point lead with 13:00 minutes to go when Jordan Taylor took over and led the Badgers to a win.

This year was a new year. Jared Sullinger scored 24 points and William Buford hit a critical 3-pointer in the closing minutes to seal a 58-52 win for the scarlet & gray.

Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points and Buford added 11 for the Buckeyes (20-3, 8-2), who will remain in 1st place in the Big Ten.

Sullinger also had 10 rebounds. The Badgers had no answer for Sullinger early on. He scored the Buckeyes’ first nine points, consistently getting the best of the player assigned to defend him, Jared Berggren. Sullinger finished the first half with 16 points.  One area that fell short was the bench as the OSU bench players scored zero points and just 3 rebounds.

The 24 points by Sullinger gives him 1,000 in his career.  William Buford’s 11points gives him 1,766 in his career and moves him past Jay Burson into 7th place on OSU’s all-time scoring list.  The Buckeyes have now won by double figures in 17 of their 20 victories this year. 14 of their wins have been by 22 or more points. Ohio State’s 22.0 average margin of victory is #1 nationally.


Nittany Lions No Match For Ohio State 
January 25, 2012 9:00 pm EST

The Buckeyes returned to #3 in the coaches poll and #4 in the AP poll after all the upsets this past weekend. And they had no problem dispatching the Nittany Lions in Value City Arena as they post a 78-54 victory.

Jared Sullinger led the home team with 20 points and 13 rebounds in only 27 minutes of court time. Everyone got playing time in this one and everyone will be well rested when the Wolverines come to town Sunday and 1st place on the line.


Buckeyes Get Dominant Win On The Road 
January 21, 2012 10:15 pm EST

OSU has had no problem winning games at home, including a 22 point victory over Duke this season.  But they have struggled on the road including losses to Kansas, Indiana and Illinois.  They came into Lincoln in need of solid, statement type victory.  Do you think a 79-45 win over the Huskers fits the bill, most definitely.

William Buford scored 15 points, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas had 14 apiece, in the Buckeye blowout.

The Buckeyes (17-3, 5-3) swept their games against Nebraska by a combined total of 65 points.  At the same time, thanks to some upsets this week, they move into a three-way tie for first place in the conference with Michigan and Michigan State.  However, they will now begin to face the meat of their Big Ten schedule.

Thad Matta coached his 400th game tonight and with the victory has a career record of 309-91 over 12 years as a head coach, which includes a 207-60 record in eight seasons at Ohio State.  Also, Buford continues up the OSU scoring chart, now in 8th place.  I could stay on pace to move past Herb Williams but it appears now he will not catch Dennis Hopson.


1. Dennis Hopson ………………………………………………2,096
2. Herb Williams …………………………………………………2,011
3. Jerry Lucas ……………………………………………………1,990
4. Kelvin Ransey ………………………………………………..1,934
5. Michael Redd …………………………………………………1,879
6. Jim Jackson …………………………………………………..1,785
7. Jay Burson …………………………………………………….1,756
8. William Buford …………………………………………………1,713


OSU Rights The Wrong Of New Years Eve 
January 15, 2012 7:00 pm EST

Several good things happened Sunday afternoon and the least of them was the fact that OSU dominated Indiana 80-63.  After scoring the first basket to take a 2-0, the Hoosiers started turning the ball over, leading to a game total of 16 turnovers.  A few minutes later, the Buckeyes were ahead 20-9 and Indiana was never able to get the score much closer than that the rest of game.

OSU’s 35-14 halftime was largely due to the game high and career high 28 points scored by Lenzelle Smith Jr.  He scored the final basket of the half as the clock was running out which gave him 18 first half points, outpacing the entire Hoosier team.  It was clear Coach Cream’s plan was to use Smith’s man to double up Sullinger and Lenzelle made them pay.

As great as it was to revenge the New Year’s Eve loss in Bloomington, it was even better to see the team play with a lot more intensity.  That was something they lacked in the embarrassing loss to Illinois last week.  One game does not a season make so let’s see if they can do this again Saturday when the team travels to Nebraska.

But the best part of the afternoon was when Urban Meyer announced his coaching staff at halftime.  Not only did the newly hired men get recognized but it opened with the crowd booing AD Gene Smith when he stepped on the court.  He tried to calm the crowd by saluting the great first half performance from the basketball squad, but nothing helped including when stooped to attempting the common lead-in chant of O – H!  The boo birds continued to fly and once he handed the mic over to Meyer, Smith ducked behind the row of photographers which had formed a line on the court.  Very well Gordon Gee, the ball is in your court now.

The win was Ohio State’s 36th in a row at home, the second-longest streak in program history.


Wildcats Dispatched To Begin Conference Play
December 28, 2011 9:15 pm EST

To say the Buckeyes had no problem defeating would be an understatement.  All 13 players on the OSU roster saw playing time and 10 of them saw 8 minutes or more.  William Buford led all scoring with a career high 28 as the Buckeyes had no issues in defeating the Wildcats 87-54 to open conference play.

At the 13:59 mark in the 1st half, it looked like a typical game with Northwestern.  Slow down offense, low scoring, try to keep it close.  Then the Buckeyes found the range behind the arc and the game and started their first run of the game.  Jordan Seibert hit 3 of 4 on 3’s, as did Buford. Sibert’s 3 ignited a 13-0 rally as the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0) held the Wildcats scoreless for 4:36.  OSU never slowed down as they started substitutions, yet no matter who was on the floor, they were able to keep up the scoring pace.

Northwestern (10-3, 0-1) came into Value City Arena with a lot of confidence after a solid pre-season schedule, but the caught the Bucks at a bad time.  They will try to turn it around against Penn State on the 1st.


Nationwide Arena The Site OF OSU’s Latest ‘Home’ Win
December 17, 2011 3:15 pm EST

The Buckeyes extended their home winning streak to 33 games even though they played at Nationwide Arena. Overlooking that technicality, William Buford scored 18 points leading Ohio State as they started out 11-0 and never slowed down as the defeated Miami (Ohio) 69-40.

Deshaun Thomas added 15 points and Jared Sullinger 11 for the Buckeyes (12-1).  Julian Mavunga led the RedHawks (3-7) with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

On their first possession, Buford fed Sullinger with a bounce pass behind the defender for an easy layup and Ohio State was off and running. Buford hit a 3, Thomas scored on fast-break layup, Sullinger scored again on a short jumper and Buford was on the receiving end of Craft’s assist to make it 11-0.

The RedHawks were scoreless for the first 4:16, missing their first four shots with two turnovers.

After the Buckeyes hit five of their first six shots, they went into a malaise — missing 16 of the next 22.

They led 26-17 at halftime, a lead that was narrowed to just seven after Josh Sewell hit a layup for the RedHawks to open the second half.

But Ohio State sprinted away by scoring 15 of the next 17 points.

Craft was the ringleader, at one point stealing the ball from a Miami guard and going coast-to-coast for a layup. Another time he dived into cheerleaders to save a loose ball and flip it to Sullinger. Craft also assisted on three baskets in a span of a little more than 2 minutes.

All of a sudden the Buckeyes were up 43-23 and the lead was never again in doubt.

One of the loudest cheers of the night came when LaQuinton Ross, a highly touted recruit who sat out the start of the season while straightening out academic problems from high school, drilled a 3-pointer on his first possession in an Ohio State uniform.

Mavunga, the leading scorer and rebounder in the Mid-American Conference and one of just three players in the nation averaging more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, had eight of Miami’s 15 field goals. The RedHawks, playing their third game in six days, struggled most of the night on offense, hitting just 33 percent of their shots from the field and going 2 of 14 on 3-pointers.

Mavunga proved he could play with Big Ten players, however.

“I love Mavunga,” Coles said. “He came out and said, ‘What about me? I’m going to have 10 rebounds, block Sullinger’s shot and get 20 points.’ We just didn’t support him.”

Coles was denied his 350th career win. He is 349-294 in 22 seasons, six at Central Michigan and the last 16 at Miami, where he owns a 257-209 record.

The Buckeyes improved to 11-0 in home games this season and 78-2 against nonconference opponents in Columbus under Matta.

With the Big Ten season just around the corner, Ohio State seemed as if it were hitting on all cylinders.

“We all forget how young this team is,” Matta said of his club, which has only one senior (Buford) and one junior (reserve center Evan Ravenel). “As I told the guys, we’ve got 18 (conference) battles coming up.”
Buckeyes Survive Bone Bruise and Defeat Gamecocks
December 17, 2011 3:15 pm EST

Once again, the story is not the 74-66 victory over South Carolina, but the health of their All-American star Jared Sullinger.  Sullinger left after only six minutes of action with a foot injury. Results of the X-rays showed no fracture in the foot. Still, team spokesman Dan Wallenberg said it was too soon to know when Sullinger might play again.

Ohio State (10-1) was able to secure the road win largely due to the career afternoon from Deshaun Thomas.  He had a career-high 30 points while William Buford added 17 including a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left to finish the Gamecocks.

With the win, Coach Thad Matta reaches the 200 mark, the third Buckeye coach to do so, with only 58 loses.


OSU Gets 31st Straight Win At Home
December 14, 2011 10:00 pm EST

The Buckeyes started a bit slow but had now problem dispatching USC-Upstate and get back on a winning track.  At the 6:41 mark in the first half the Spartans were leading 21-17 and OSU seemed out of sync.  But they finished the half with a 20-7 run and never looked back on a way to an 82-58 victory.

He did not start, but Jared Sullinger returned to the line-up for the first time in three games, logged 25 minutes of play and managed another double-double.  DeShaun Thomas led the team with 23 points, while Aaron Craft added 5 steals.

The recorded attendance was 13.559, which reminded me of all the years the capacity at St John Arena was 13,589.  This game, in spite of having only 37 students there, would have been so much more fun and exciting across the street.  Thank you, Andy Geiger.


2011-12 First Loss Comes in Kansas
December 10, 2011 6:00 pm EST

Jared Sullinger came to Ohio State, destined to be an NBA star in the making.  For more than a year Buckeye basketball fans have enjoyed his play on the court and his personality off the court.  I look forward to the next contest when he returns.  There is no question the boy has ‘game’.  The question I keep asking is when will he become a man?  I am sure it was a team decision, not his to sit out the Kansas game.  I just wonder how this will be viewed by the NBA scouts.  After all Kansas’s Tyshawn Taylor played through the pain. Jared Sullinger did not.

The Jayhawks’ starting point guard had a career-high 13 assists despite a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his right knee, helping Kansas to a 78-67 victory over the Buckeyes, Sullinger missed the second consecutive game because of back spasms.

William Buford had 17 of his 21 points in the second half for Ohio State (8-1), which was playing on the road for the first time this season. Deshaun Thomas added 19 points.  But it was not enough to defeat Kansas which has now won 47 straight times at home against non-conference opponents.

I realize that a win now means less than a win in March, but don’t you always want to play with the goal to be #1.  As a life long Buckeye basketball fan it was a bit disappointing to see how we lost, but I trust Coach Matta is making the right choice for the season, not the one game.


Former Guard Brent Darby Dies
December 6, 2011 3:30 pm EST

When I think of Brent Darby, I remember his great performance against Duke in the 2003 ACC-Big Ten Shootout.  Back then, the match-ups were staged so that the ACC would win every year.  Now the conference is not deep enough to challenge the Big Ten.  So in 2003, the Buckeyes were matched up against the Blue Devils in Raleigh and Darby’s 35 points almost single-handedly elevated OSU to an upset victory.

Unfortunately, his health became an issue for him since he left the scarlet and gray.  Corwin Jones, Darby’s brother said he had been suffering problems from blood clots in his body for more than a year.  Brent died unexpectedly today at age 30, more than likely from the clots.  The doctors were never able to determine the cause for the clots.

According to reports, Darby underwent surgery in the past 12 months implant a filter to break up the clots before they reached his lungs. He also had surgery to remove a large clot from his leg.  Originally he was taking blood-thinning medication but stopped taking them back in August saying he was feeling better.

Darby went to a Detroit hospital last night complaining of pain in his back and legs and was sent home after seven hours, Jones said.

“We told them his history of blood clots. They didn’t X-ray him or anything. They sent him home in a wheelchair,” Jones said.

“He came back later because he was hurting too bad. Another doctor did an X-ray and he had blood clots in his legs from the waist down. He stopped breathing.”

Jones said doctors surmised that some clots entered Darby’s lungs.

“We’re waiting for an autopsy now,” he said.


OSU Triumphs Over Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
November 29, 2011 11:45 pm EST

Former Buckeyes Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr, DaeQuan Cook, Evan Turner and Michael Redd were in attendance and received a loud ovation as they were introduced.  LeBron James and Dwyane Wade strolled in and even without a PA introduction, they were greeted with a chorus of boos.  That set of reactions was probably justified, and fortunately that was the last time the Buckeye fans would need to boo the rest of the night.

Duke had only played in Columbus one other time. In the only other meeting, the Blue Devils won 94-89 in double overtime on December 30, 1964, in St. John Arena.  After this last defeat, it may be another 47 years before they want to come back again.

Jared Sullinger scored 21 points and three others scored in double figures as #2 Ohio State started with an 11-0 lead and never looked back in rolling to an 85-63 victory in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.  The Buckeyes (7-0) never trailed and Duke was never able to mount a rally to get it much closer than 20 points in the second half.  Austin Rivers had 22 points and Mason Plumlee 16 for the Blue Devils (7-1).

William Buford scored 20, Deshaun Thomas 18 and Aaron Craft 17, as the Buckeyes gave the Big Ten a 4-2 edge in the conference matchups. Craft also had eight assists and five rebounds and set the defensive tone for OSU.

“We were taking great shots,” Craft said of the Buckeyes, who shot 59 percent from the field and made 8 of 14 3-pointers. “It all started with Jared inside. That just opens everything else up.”

The Buckeyes won their 29th in a row at home.  Also, in the game, William Buford moved to 8th place on the all-time scoring list with 1656 points.

“Sometimes you just get your butt kicked,” said Krzyzewski, who said his young team appeared tired.

“I’ve had my butt kicked before,” Krzyzewski said. “We’ve kicked some butt. Tonight my butt’s sore.”


Everyone Gets Big Playing in Rout over Jackson State
November 25, 2011 10:00 pm EST

It may have been a result of playing four games in eight days, or it may have been a bit of tryptophan, but the Buckeyes started slowly before William Buford scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as the Buckeyes routed Valparaiso 80-47.

Aaron Craft had 15 points and eight assists for the Buckeyes (6-0), Jared Sullinger had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Deshaun Thomas scored 12 points.

Sullinger is already looking forward to the game against Duke next Tuesday.

“We know the team coming in here on Tuesday night,” said Sullinger, who also had five assists against Valpo. “And we know the team we have coming in here on Tuesday night. It should be a good battle.”

Jay Harris led the Valparaiso (5-2) with 18 points.  Kevin Van Wijk, a 6-foot-8 post from the Netherlands, came in averaging 17.8 points a game but was held scoreless with four fouls. Second leading scorer Ryan Broekhoff was averaging 15.5 points and had just seven.

Ohio State has won 28 straight games at Value City Arena, matching the third-longest home streak at the school.


Everyone Gets Big Playing in Rout over Jackson State
November 18, 2011 11:15 pm EST

At one point early in the game, Jackson State was leading 11-10.  Then in a blink of an eye, the score had swelled to a 28-11 lead for OSU and the Buckeyes never looked back. Jared Sullinger had 20 points and 11 rebounds in little more than a half and the Buckeyes used the 18-0 run to put the game away on their way to an 85-41 win.

Deshaun Thomas, William Buford and Jordan Sibert each had 11 points for the Buckeyes (3-0), and all 12 players on the roster saw action, with 11 scoring and all 12 grabbing a rebound.

With the Buckeyes picking up 23 points off Jackson State’s 16 turnovers, they took control and never looked back to build a 46-17 lead at the half. Aaron Craft had only two points, but he finished with four assists, five steals and one basket in 17 minutes.

“Being the point guard and guarding the guy who always brings the ball up the floor, it’s kind of my job to set the tone on defense,” Craft said. “Everyone sees me as I start off, so if I’m slacking the rest team has a tendency to maybe not play as hard. One thing we had to do was get us going, get us up-tempo and the best way to do that is to get some steals on defense, to get some easy baskets, and we were fortunate enough to do that.”

The victory was Ohio State’s 25th in a row at home, the fourth-longest run in school history. The longest streak was 50 in a row (1959-64 during the Jerry Lucas-Gary Bradds era), followed by 30 in a row (1990-92 with Jimmy Jackson) and 28 (2006-07 behind Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr.).


Buckeyes Hold Off #8 Florida Gators
November 15, 2011 10:15 pm EST

If only they could have done this with Oden and Conley in 2007.  Mike Conley Jr, was in attendance tonight as the 2011-12 team moves to 2-0 with an 81-74 victory over the team that defeated them in the championship game five seasons ago.

William Buford scored 2, Jared Sullinger added 16 points, Deshaun Thomas had 15 and Aaron Craft 13 points and seven assists for Ohio State who took control late in the first half and never looked back.  By scoring 13 of 18 points at the end of the half, the Buckeyes took a 35-32 lead.  They scored the first five points of the half for an eight-point edge and never let the Gators cut into the lead.

Ohio State has won eight of the 12 meetings, but the Gators captured the big one. They beat the Buckeyes 84-75 to clinch their second straight national championship on April 2, 2007.

It was Ohio State’s 24th consecutive victory at home. The Buckeyes are now 69-2 against non-conference opponents in Columbus under coach Thad Matta.


2011-12 OSU Cagers Hit the Hardwood For the First Time
November 6, 2011 4:00 pm EST

William Buford, our only senior this year, topped all scoring with 17 points as he led the Buckeyes to a 95-49 win in an exhibition game in Value City Arena. Buford had 17 points, Jared Sullinger 15 and Jordan Sibert added 15 off the bench. Sam Thompson topped the four freshmen who debuted with nine points in 17 minutes. Brad DuPont and Ryan Burrell had 13 points for Walsh.

Following the game, Coach Thad Matta commented:

“Obviously we got to see a lot of guys play today which was good for us. I challenged the guys at halftime to defend a little bit better. I thought we did that holding them to 21 points in the second half. This team has a long way to go which I told them, but on the same token I think there are a few pieces of the puzzle that are pretty good for us already.”


Student Tickets Sold Out
October 22, 2011 7:15 pm EST

Usually it takes a Justin Timberlake concert to sell out tickets this fast. Ohio State student season tickets for the Buckeye men’s basketball team sold out in 45 minutes Saturday. A total of 1,400 tickets, all in the lower bowl of Value City Arena, were ordered online by students starting at 10:00 am.

Based on demand, additional seats in the Terrace Level of the arena will be made available for student season tickets. Students on the waiting list will be contacted by the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office next week and offered these reserved Terrace Level seats.

The 10 games in the season ticket package include Florida, Duke and eight Big Ten Conference home games.


Buckeyes Are #3 In Pre-season Poll
October 20, 2011 4:00 pm EST

The North Carolina Tarheels took 30 of the 31 1st place votes to secure the top spot in the first coaches poll.  Kentucky had the other vote and landed at #2.  Ohio State was number 3.

North Carolina returns a core of top players, including sophomore forward Harrison Barnes. He and three of his teammates, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller are among the 50 players to appear on the Wooden Award’s preseason list.

Ohio State, defending champion Connecticut and Syracuse fill out the ESPN/USA Today poll’s first five. The Buckeyes have excellent talent returning in Wooden preseason candidates Jared Sullinger, William Buford, and Aaron Craft. Rounding out the coaches’ top 10: Duke, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Memphis and Florida.

North Carolina will meet unranked Michigan State in the Carrier Classic on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day in San Diego, and President Barack Obama is expected to attend.


Matta Losses Top Freshman Candidate
September 26, 2011 3:30 pm EST

Today it was confirmed that freshman LaQuinton Ross won’t be eligible to play this season. Ross had been enrolled at Ohio State and working out with the team while the university was involved in an appeals process, but the NCAA ruled he is a designated non-qualifier.

Rated as the No. 44 best player by in his class, the 6-8, 195-pound Ross cannot remain on scholarship if he stays in school and will not be permitted to continue working out with the team.  He has returned to his home in Jackson, Miss.

Apparently the combination of his grades and ACT score were below NCAA standards.

Ohio State will kick off practice October 14th.


Diebler Says Goodbye To Portland During Strike
August 5, 2011 6:00 pm EST

Jon Diebler trusted that his agent knew what he was doing.  The former Ohio State guard said he has signed a one-year contract to play for Panionios in Greece’s top league next season. He reports to training camp August 28th.  The contract does not allow him to opt out if the NBA returns to work. Diebler was a second-round draft choice of the Portland Trail Blazers in June.

“We looked at the Blazers roster this year and just felt like it would be good for Jon to go to Europe,” said his agent, Lance Young.

Diebler said he also wanted to play somewhere that “provided a nice situation for my wife,” Caitlin, whom he married in June.

“It’s exciting for us,” he said. “We’re going to live in Athens, and I’ve heard it’s beautiful there.”


Lauderdale Joins Polish Team
July 30, 2011 7:45 am EST

Dallas Lauderdale has signed to play the 2011-12 season with PGE Turow in Poland.  They finished second in the Polish League last season to earn one of the 16 spots in the qualifying rounds for the Euroleague.  Two teams will advance from qualifying to the Euroleague.  The team David Lighty plays for has already qualified for the 24-team league.


Lighty Will Start Professional Career Overseas
July 9, 2011 9:30 am EST

David Lighty confirmed what we heard on the airways two days ago … he signed a contract to play with Cantu of Italy.  According to the team, the contract does not include an escape clause. Lighty clarified that in a text message, saying he can leave for the NBA after the first season with no penalty or for another European team if a buyout is paid.

The former Ohio State player, who was not selected in the NBA draft June 23, had participated in minicamps in Atlanta and Phoenix before the NBA lockout went into effect last Friday and was optimistic of being signed to a training-camp contract when the lockout ends.  But Lighty said earlier this week that the guaranteed contract offered him by Cantu trumped any understanding he has so far from NBA teams, which are prohibited from signing or making offers to free agents until the lockout ends.


Assistant Coach Resigns
June 17, 2011 7:00 am EST

With all the off-season news surrounding the football program, you knew it was only a matter of time before we heard from the round-ballers.  Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta has a vacancy on his staff to fill  Brandon Miller, who has been on Matta’s staff for six of his seven seasons at Ohio State, resigned yesterday, an athletic department spokesman confirmed last night.

Miller informed the players of his decision, spokesman Dan Wallenberg said. Wallenberg said Miller resigned to spend more time with his wife and sons Mason, 3, and Michael, 2.  Miller did not immediately return a message seeking comment last night. He was attending the wedding of former Ohio State player Jon Diebler.

Miller, 32, played for Matta at Butler and later joined his staff at Xavier before accompanying him to Ohio State in 2004 as director of basketball operations. He held that position for two years and was video coordinator for one year before returning to Butler in 2007 to become an assistant coach.  He returned to Ohio State in 2008 as an assistant.

It will be interesting to see if new hire Greg Paulus will have a change in his role now. Paulus was hired three weeks ago as a video coordinator.


Schedule Updates for 2011-12 Campaign
June 16, 2011 8:30 pm EST

Ohio State will play four Big Ten opponents once in men’s basketball next season because of the addition of Nebraska to teams’ 18-game conference schedules. The Buckeyes will play Penn State and Purdue only at home and Iowa and Minnesota only on the road, the Big Ten announced. Dates and starting times of all games are scheduled to be announced in August.

The official times and one more game still to be decided, this is what the non-conference schedule looks like:

Nov. 11 – Wright State
Nov. 15 – Florida
Nov. 18 – Jackson State
Nov. 21 – North Florida
Nov. 23 – Virginia Military Institute
Nov. 29 – Duke
Dec. 3 – Texas-Pan American
Dec. 10 – at Kansas
Dec. 14 – South Carolina Upstate
Dec. 17 – at South Carolina
Dec. 20 – Lamar
Dec. 22 – Miami University (at Nationwide Arena)


Greg Paulus Hiring Is Official
May 31, 2011 8:30 am EST

Ohio State announced former Duke guard Greg Paulus has been hired as the video coordinator for the men’s basketball program.  Coach Matta had recruited Paulus back in high school.  Greg will be primarily responsible for breaking down team and opponent video for scouting and analysis, according to the release.  Perhaps he will have some ‘extra’ insight for the Buckeyes match-up against the Blue Devils.


OSU Will Match Up Against Duke
May 18, 2011 7:00 am EST

Admit it, when you got your bracket in March, the first thing you noticed was that OSU may have a path to the championship which included Kentucky, then North Carolina, then Duke, and finally Kansas.  It looked like a tough challenge (and we didn’t even get past the first level) but it would have been a super ending to a great season to play all those basketball powerhouses.

Well, the loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 ended the run, but we soon heard that the 2011-12 Buckeyes would get a road game in Kansas which will be a real treat.  Now the Big 10-ACC match-ups have been announced and OSU will face Duke.  And the best part of it is that it will be the Blue Devils heading to Columbus for the November 29th contest.  Duke has the most victories in challenge history with 11 (11-1), followed by both Wake Forest (9-2) and Maryland (9-3).  With six victories in the 12 years of the challenge, Wisconsin has the most wins of any Big Ten team.

Here is the full slate:

Tuesday, November 29
Miami at Purdue
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Illinois at Maryland
Michigan at Virginia
Clemson at Iowa
Duke at Ohio State

Wednesday, November 30
Indiana at N.C. State
Penn State at Boston College
Florida State at Michigan State
Virginia Tech at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Nebraska
Wisconsin at North Carolina


Seniors Sign with Agents
April 29, 2011 9:00 pm EST

All three former Ohio State players who hope to play professionally next season have retained agents to deal with NBA clubs on their behalf as they prepare to work out for teams before the June 23 draft according to the reports on the Internet.  Jon Diebler signed with Lance Young of Washington D.C. Dallas Lauderdale signed with Brecksville, Ohio-based Mark Termini, who also represents former Buckeye Kosta Koufos. David Lighty signed with Joel Bell of Gaithersburg, Md.

Lighty is projected as a mid-second-round pick in the latest mock draft on

Also, Ohio State’s opening game of the 2011-12 season will be November 11th against Wright State, the Fairborn, Ohio, school announced. The game will be part of the Global Sports Shootout that also includes games against Florida, Jackson State and North Florida.


OSU to Play Kansas in 2011-12 Season
April 25, 2011 6:30 pm EST

At the end of the regular season this past year, the Buckeyes and Kansas Jayhawks were considered the #1 and #2 teams in the country.  The two teams will square off in the 2011-12 campaign.  Ohio State visits Allen Fieldhouse December 10th.  The Buckeyes went 34-3 in 2010-11, won the Big Ten regular-season (16-2) and conference tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 as a #1 seed. Kansas holds a 5-3 all-time series record against Ohio State; the schools last met December 23, 2000, a 69-68 KU win in Columbus, Ohio.


NCAA Men’s Tournament Returns to Columbus
April 24, 2011 8:00 pm EST

The Ohio State University Department of Athletics and Nationwide Arena will host the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second and Third Rounds in March of 2012. Six early-round games of the 2012 tournament will be played at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus March 16 and 18 with four games contested Friday (3/16) and a pair of matchups Sunday (3/18).

Tickets for the 2012 NCAA Tournament games in Columbus are currently on-sale only to Columbus Blue Jackets and Ohio State Men’s Basketball season ticket holders. Those eligible to purchase tickets were sent an email from the CBJ or OSU athletic ticket offices. If eligible, season ticket holders are limited to the purchase of four (4) tickets. The deadline to purchase is Sunday, May 15.  All Session Ticket Prices are $255 or $225 depending on seat location.


6th Year for our Buckeye50 Basketball Page

Hard to believe but we begin our 6th year of coverage for the Ohio State football at Buckeye50.  The website started two months before Coach Tressel and our cager coverage basically started as Coach Matta made his debut.  Although it was disappointing to lose in the 3rd round two straight years, things again look promising for the upcoming season.

In a year the Buckeyes made it back to the Sweet 16, we drew 1140 visitors, which was an increase of 27% from the previous season.  Yet we think we can do better and hope that the 2011-12 we bring a record number of Buckeye Basketball fans.  Be sure to tell us what you want to see.