"College Basketball" tag

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…

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

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

OSU’s Aaron Craft’s Defeated Image Leads to Hilarious Photoshop Memes

Ohio State and Dayton delivered an unbelievable finale in the opening game of the 2014 NCAA tournament, featuring the image of a defeated Aaron Craft lying exhausted on the floor. That’s when the Internet took over. With mere seconds on the clock and trailing 60-59, the Buckeyes’ star guard, Craft, took the ball up the court to attempt a game-winning shot. It clanked off the rim, sealing the Flyers’ upset victory. That’s when hilarity ensued. The Score’s Josh Gold-Smith tweeted this challenge of sorts: Twitter answered in kind. Here is Craft chilling out with Breaking Bad’s Huell on a pile of cash, via Twitter user Quentin Holtz: Poor Simba is worried about his buddy (Twitter’s Rob Perez): Let’s take a look at that with a more Hakuna Matata feel, via Joey Anguiano: The Dan Patrick Show’s Paul Pabst illustrates life isn’t all bad: SB Nation’s Nick Fasulo has Craft worrying about TPS reports: We are more worried about his legs. How do fans feel about this? (via The Whistle): Finally, this Twitter user sums things up with some Key and Peele, which is always nice. We might as well end by doffing our cap to Craft who was an absolute dynamo throughout parts of the game, dropping 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, also adding five rebounds, four assists and four steals. His play in the waning moments of the game had most fans thinking his last-second shot might actually save Ohio…

Aaron Craft’s Place in Ohio State Basketball History Safe Despite Shocking Loss

College basketball fans would be hard-pressed to script a more heartbreaking way for Aaron Craft to end his college basketball career than what we saw against Dayton in the NCAA tournament Thursday. In the round-of-64 game, Craft hit a reverse layup in the lane after contorting his body around a much larger defender to give Ohio State the one-point lead. For a brief moment, he was a hero. However, Vee Sanford answered right back for the Flyers and hit what ultimately proved to be the game-winning shot. The fact that Sanford’s shot came over Craft right before the Buckeye guard missed his subsequent attempt at the buzzer only makes the ending that much crueler. It is easy to get caught up in the moment as sports fans and declare that Craft’s failure to hit the final shot and come through on the defensive end in the waning moments should impact how he is remembered. What’s more, the point guard coughed the ball up five times against Dayton and didn’t control the tempo of the game like he typically does—something that was magnified by the NCAA tournament stage. Letting this loss impact your opinion on Craft’s Ohio State legacy would be a mistake, though. Just like we didn’t crown him the clutchest Buckeye of all time when he hit the game-winning three against Iowa State in last year’s NCAA tournament, we aren’t going to let this one contest paint him in a negative light. If we are talking Ohio State history,…

Aaron Craft’s Legacy Won’t Be Impacted by Early 2014 NCAA Tournament Exit

Perhaps what you’ll remember about Aaron Craft is the missed layup against Dayton in the NCAA tournament round of 64 as time expired. Or maybe you’ll remember the ball bobbling out of his hands against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament days before, as he went to attempt a game-winning shot. Maybe you’ll choose to remember that there was something about Craft that sort of annoyed you. He was too squeaky clean. Too beloved by certain media members. Too technically sound, not athletic enough or exciting enough. If any of the above is how you choose to remember Craft, well, you really missed the point. No, Craft wasn’t a great athlete. He always had a limited offensive game (the 10 points per game he averaged last season was a career high). He too often was given the stereotypical label of “scrappy,” the default designation for a white player whose athleticism isn’t great but one who still manages to play well. And, yes, play-by-play announcers would fawn over him. His leadership. His defense. His determination. His effort. His old-fashioned style. His team-before-individual mentality. But maybe they fawned because all of those things were true. Then again, people could get a little carried away praising Craft. Somewhere along the way, he became Tim Tebow Lite. You don’t have to look far to find “Craft burnout.” From Ken Pomeroy: Here’s Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports: We end with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated: Could you enjoy watching Craft…

Biggest Challenges Ohio State Faces in NCAA Tourney Matchup vs. Dayton

Ohio State faces a nightmarish challenge from Dayton in their much-anticipated matchup in the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes finished fifth in the Big Ten this year, and while they may not have the offensive firepower of some of the top teams in the tournament, they are known for their dominance on defense and their ability to shut opponents down with frequency. However, Dayton will be among the most motivated lower seeds in the tournament. The Flyers get a chance to play an in-state power opponent, one that they have wanted to play for several years. They finally get their opportunity to confront the Buckeyes, and it’s in the NCAA tournament. Here are the biggest challenges Ohio State faces in its NCAA matchup with Dayton. Begin Slideshow

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