Basketball (M)

Ohio State Basketball: Breaking Down Buckeyes’ Options at Guard in 2014-15

The backcourt the Ohio State basketball team trots on the floor in the 2014-15 season will look drastically different than it has the past four years. The frontcourt has seen the likes of Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, LaQuinton Ross and David Lighty shuffle in and out over that time span, but the one constant was always Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. at the guard spots. Of course, Jon Diebler was also a major part of the guard rotation early in Craft’s tenure. Clearly, losing Craft leaves a formidable hole on the roster. He was the best defensive player in the nation and often controlled games from that end of the floor, created opportunities for himself and others with his penetration and was an extension of Thad Matta on the floor. As for Smith, the lefty was certainly inconsistent at times during his career, but he provided solid defense, three-point touch and underrated rebounding. In fact, Smith’s ability to crash the glass will be the part of his game that is missed most in Columbus, especially when Amir Williams is on the floor at center. So, what will the backcourt look like in 2014-15 for the scarlet and gray? The primary holdover is Shannon Scott, who has played his way into Matta’s rotation with Craft-like defense, quickness in the open floor and the ability to get to the rim off the bounce. He will have a much bigger responsibility on both ends of the floor without Craft and will probably be more comfortable in a defined point…

Ohio State Basketball: What Trevor Thompson, Anthony Lee Will Bring to Buckeyes

The Ohio State basketball team lost Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross to either graduation or the NBA this offseason, but Thad Matta has nearly 14’ of reinforcements on the way. While much of the excitement surrounding the program has understandably come from the No. 6-ranked recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports, Matta addressed a serious area of need through the transfer market. Big men Anthony Lee and Trevor Thompson both recently elected to take their talents to Columbus. Lee comes via Temple, where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds a game in 2013-14. He was a double-double threat every time he stepped on the floor and gave the Owls a formidable rim protector on the defensive side of the ball. Lee is such an important addition for the Buckeyes because Amir Williams has failed to live up to his McDonald’s All-American potential in his three years on campus. While Williams has flashed moments of brilliance, Ohio State needs a consistent big man in the physically grueling Big Ten. It was actually the departing Ross who led the team in rebounds per game last year, and the graduating Smith was a close third. The team as a whole was 216th in the country in total rebounds a night with Ross and Smith, so Lee’s prowess on the boards will be absolutely critical. Lee also fits in nicely with the group of incoming 2014 recruits. D’Angelo Russell, Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop are the expected impact…

Buckeyes add another transfer big man in Thompson (The Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Virginia Tech’s Trevor Thompson, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, says he’s transferring to play at Ohio State.Thompson will have three years of eligibility remaining, most likely sitting out a year to begin playing in the 2015-16 season.On his Twitter account, Thompson posted, ”Well it’s official I’m a Ohio State Buckeye.”Thompson is the second big man to transfer to Ohio State recently. Anthony Lee, a 6-9 forward, said late last month that he would graduate from Temple to transfer to Ohio State to play his final year next season.Thompson, the son of former major-league baseball player Ryan Thompson, played in 29 games last season for the Hokies, starting in 10 while averaging 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds.An Indianapolis native, he had also considered Indiana and Purdue.Trevor ThompsonRyan Thompson

Ohio State Basketball: Grading D’Angelo Russell’s McDonald’s All-American Game

There is no better way for Ohio State fans to put the disappointing 2013-14 college basketball season behind them than to look forward to the future. McDonald’s All-American D’Angelo Russell will be a primary part of that future. Russell was a participant in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago. His East team fell 105-102, but the individual performances of the players are far more important than which team wins when it comes to high school all-star games. Russell did not disappoint. The 247Sports.com 5-star prospect finished with 11 points, four assists and two rebounds in 15 minutes of action, although he did turn the ball over two times. Don’t let the two turnovers worry you, though, because there is always going to be an inherent level of sloppiness at any all-star game. However, they were the only thing that prevented an “A” from being handed out here. Russell was fantastic in the first half, but only played sparingly after intermission. Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that may have been because he had to fly to New York City in the game’s aftermath to rejoin his high school team at the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Tournament. According to Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch, one person that Russell impressed during the game was former Big Ten superstar Jalen Rose: The most notable part of his performance was his court vision and…

Ohio State Basketball: Final Report Card for Buckeyes’ 2013-14 Season

The Ohio State basketball team that had such high expectations coming into the 2013-14 season saw its campaign crash and burn in shocking fashion in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Dayton. The Buckeyes and Flyers traded baskets and momentum down the stretch, but Vee Sanford had the last laugh when he hit what turned into the game-winning shot over Aaron Craft’s outstretched hand. Craft’s attempt at the buzzer rolled off the rim, and Ohio State fans everywhere immediately turned their attention to spring football. With the season officially in the rearview mirror, let’s hand out some final grades for the 2013-14 Buckeyes. Begin Slideshow

Buckeyes get needed help inside with transfer Lee (The Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State has confirmed that Temple big man Anthony Lee is transferring to play for the Buckeyes.The 6-foot-9 Lee, set to graduate from Temple in May, would be eligible next year for one season.Lee averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Owls last year. He adds an inside presence for the Buckeyes (25-10), who were often overmatched in the paint with 6-11 junior Amir Williams and 6-8 Trey McDonald combining for 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.The Buckeyes have scholarships to give after the graduation of Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., and with leading scorer and rebounder LaQuinton Ross and sub Amedeo Della Valle leaving the program to pursue pro careers.Sports & RecreationAnthony LeeThe Buckeyes

LaQuinton Ross gives up senior year at Ohio State (The Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State’s leading scorer and rebounder, is giving up his senior season to pursue a pro career.Ross, a 6-foot-8 junior from Jackson, Miss., averaged 15.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game while leading the Buckeyes to a 25-10 record last season that ended with a second-round, 60-59 loss to Dayton in the NCAA tournament.He scored at least 15 points in 18 of the last 26 regular-season games and hit double figures in 17 of his final 19 games overall.Ross becomes the second Buckeyes player in a week to leave the program early. Substitute guard Amedeo Della Valle announced late last week he was withdrawing from Ohio State after his sophomore season to play pro ball in Europe.Sports & RecreationBasketballCOLUMBUS, Ohio

Amedeo Della Valle leaves OSU to play pro ball (The Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Thad Matta has announced that sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle is leaving the team to play professional ball in Europe.Della Valle, from Alba, Italy, notified the Buckeyes staff of his decision on Saturday.Beloved by fans for his scraggly mop of curly hair, Della Valle was expected to be a valuable reserve next season.Della Valle averaged 3.6 points a game over two seasons at Ohio State. He appeared in 48 career games, 33 last season as the Buckeyes went 25-10, losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State Basketball: Final Report Card for Buckeyes’ 2013-14 Season

The Ohio State basketball team that had such high expectations coming into the 2013-14 season saw its campaign crash and burn in shocking fashion in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Dayton. The Buckeyes and Flyers traded baskets and momentum down the stretch, but Vee Sanford had the last laugh when he hit what turned into the game-winning shot over Aaron Craft’s outstretched hand. Craft’s attempt at the buzzer rolled off the rim, and Ohio State fans everywhere immediately turned their attention to spring football. With the season officially in the rearview mirror, let’s hand out some final grades for the 2013-14 Buckeyes. Begin Slideshow

Dayton Newspaper Burns OSU with ‘THE University of Dayton’ Headline

No one is harder on Ohio State than the state of Ohio. Being a perennial powerhouse is a double-edged sword, and Ohio State felt the wrong end of that blade Thursday night. The Buckeyes—a collegiate-sport juggernaut with a penchant for reminding everyone they’re the only thing that matters in Ohio—lost a 60-59 nail-chewer to the University of Dayton in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It was the biggest upset on a day of upsets, and Dayton newspapers were quick to give Ohio State its due comeuppance. The Dayton Daily News was one such paper, laying into the Buckeyes with a simple yet elegant smackdown in the headline of its Friday edition. Judges? Grab the aloe vera. They’re getting burned out here. This is the one downside to being the single annual powerhouse in your state. You win constantly, but the moment you lose to an in-state school you won’t even deign to call a “rival,” you will be dragged through nine miles of broken glass and Aaron Craft jokes. You win some, you lose some, Buckeyes. At least half of the nation won’t personally hold you responsible for losing them a ton of money or anything. Aaron Craft doesn’t foul. He improves you through physical contact. Follow @Dr__Carson Read more Ohio State Basketball news on BleacherReport.com

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