All the big Ohio State news in one helpful place.
"LaQuinton Ross measured in at 16.3% body fat...highest of any prospect."
-Jodie Valade, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Uh oh. LQR looks to have been a bit, um, unprepared for the NBA combine. Ross's 16.3% body fat was nearly 3% higher than any other prospect at this year's combine. He weighed in at 239 lbs., despite playing his junior season at 220.
Ross, who averaged 15.2 PPG for the Buckeyes this past season, declared for the draft following OSU's exit from the NCAA tournament. The move surprised some, given Ross's streaky play in 2013-14, but the small forward cited supporting his daughter as one of the factors in his decision to head to the NBA early.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Ross for a workout on Monday. He will need to seriously impress in the coming weeks in order to have a shot at being drafted anywhere near the first round. Ross has certainly shown flashes and streaks of the talent necessary to play at the next level, but his already-inconsistent perimeter defense won't be helped much by the recent weight gain.
"We sell as many as we can through our allotment, but we know there are thousands and thousands of fans who are buying them from other sources."
-Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta
The Big Ten lost close to $4.5 million in unsold bowl game tickets last season, according to The Gazette. That loss reflects a trend across college football--conferences eating the cost of tickets that their member schools must buy, per agreement with the bowls.
Ohio State, for example, was required to purchase 17,500 tickets for the Orange Bowl matchup with Clemson. OSU barely managed to sell 6,000, despite the Orange Bowl itself posting attendance of 72,080. Fortunately, the B1G pay structure is such that the conference evenly distributes bowl surpluses to each school, and itself, after expenses. This way, no one school absorbs the deficit incurred when fans go elsewhere to purchase tickets.
This trend has thankfully sparked some reform within the conference. B1G officials have accepted a pay structure that gives a smaller overall payout while reducing the number of tickets that schools are required to purchase and expected to sell. Schools have also negotiated claims to better seats within the bowl stadiums, in order to make buying through the university a more appealing option than purchasing through a third party vendor, like StubHub, or buying from the bowls' ticket offices themselves. Previously, schools were mostly limited to upper-deck (or otherwise less-desirable) seats, an important factor in the purchasing decisions made by fans.
The B1G also released their bowl agreements for the next decade or so.
"My preseason semifinal matchups are No. 1 Alabama vs. No.4 Oklahoma in a rematch of last season's Sugar Bowl and No.3 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Florida State in the Rose Bowl."
-Jerry Palm, CBS Sports Bowl Expert
In the college football world, it's never too early to start projecting--next years draft class, potential recruits from the class of 2021, bowl projections--fans all know the drill. In that spirit, at least one expert has the Buckeyes making an appearance in football's version of the Final Four this year.
The matchup against Florida State would certainly be an intriguing one--how would a revamped Buckeye defense fare against a potent Jameis Winston-led attack? What will Winston's production be like now that his favorite target, Kelvin Benjamin, has departed for the NFL? Will the Publix--er, public--ever get to see a matchup between these two historically great programs?
No matter who the Buckeyes face in the late stages of the season, the pressure will be firmly on Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller to finally get it done when it really counts. The Buckeyes faltered last season when it mattered most, needing only to hang onto a 10-point 2nd-half lead to advance to the national title game, and failing to do so. Beating the incumbent national champs in the semifinals would go a long way towards healing that wound.
"This is what the Ohio State locker room WILL look like. #waterwall"
-Ryan Ginn, Buckeye Sports Bulletin
From FOTHL Ryan Ginn comes an intriguing look at the football team's new digs:
The upgraded locker room will feature a "water wall" (not to be confused with Nebraska's waterfall).
Urban Meyer and co. are certainly no slouches when it comes to recruiting players and keeping them happy. A flashy locker room might not impact the product on the field, but it certainly can't hurt when vying for the attention of the best 17-year-old players in the country.
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