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Why is this news?: Ohio State men’s soccer tops the Big Ten, women’s basketball routs exhibition opponent

Plus, why Cardale Jones is suited for his role, and where Sam Thompson is headed next.

Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa fights off a Maryland defender Saturday.
Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa fights off a Maryland defender Saturday.
The Ohio State University

"At the beginning of the season, we talked about doing something special and these kinds of games you always want to play. You want to beat the big boys. They’ve won national championships and we just wanted to prove that we could play with them."

-Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa, via Mariesha Gibson, The Lantern

The Ohio State men’s soccer team has moved up to have sole possession of first place in the Big Ten Conference standings, following a shutout victory over Maryland. Junior forward Yaw Amankwa, a Maryland native, scored the Buckeyes’ only goal at the end of the first half. The win also marked the 100th victory at the soccer team’s home at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, and was Ohio State’s first against Maryland since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten.

Overall shots were 13-9 in favor of Maryland, but Chris Froschauer, Ohio State’s goalkeeper, had five critical saves on the night.

The men’s squad, which had been ranked No. 23 nationally entering the match, has climbed up to the No. 17 spot with a 9-5-2 overall record. The team had been on an eight-game winning streak which was snapped at Rutgers last week in a 1-0 loss.

Ohio State is 4-2-1 in conference, and with 13 goals, is one point ahead of the co-No. 2 Rutgers and Northwestern, who both sit at 4-3 in conference. Surprisingly, Indiana, who is ranked No. 19 nationally, has fallen to the No. 5 spot in conference.

Unfortunately, with Ohio State’s two conference losses coming against Northwestern and Rutgers, the Buckeyes will need to win or tie against Michigan Wednesday in their final regular season game in order to stay at the top of the conference standings.

The Big Ten Tournament is scheduled to start Saturday with a play-in game with the NCAA Tournament following starting Nov. 19.

"But Jones will be your quarterback. Cardale is back to save the day. It’s kind of his thing."

-Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com

Having been pulled from his starting spot in favor of J.T. Barrett, junior quarterback Cardale Jones was relegated back to a familiar spot on the bench. However, with news that Barrett was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated on Halloween, Jones finds himself in another familiar spot of "last quarterback standing."

With Barrett suspended, and senior (former) quarterback Braxton Miller still unable to throw the football, Jones once again finds himself in the same situation he was at the end of the 2014 season, when Miller was still hurt, and Barrett left the Michigan game with a broken ankle. Once again, Jones is the only viable option. The question is, will Jones again lead the Buckeyes to purely dominating victories against Ohio State’s remaining opponents?

Jones’s performance for much of this year has been troubling, and made many question Urban Meyer’s decision to start him over Barrett in September. Moving Barrett to the red zone position was an improvement, but that further solidified Barrett’s argument to be the full-time starter.

This situation is also good for Jones, given that he knows, at least for the Minnesota game, that he will not be replaced by the next guy on the bench. He has the opportunity to play his game, knowing he will take all snaps from each series, and that the offense will not be changed from one play to another as a new quarterback comes in.

Still, the rest of the offense--the line, receivers and even Ezekiel Elliott--never seemed to be totally in sync with Jones, and seemed to gel much better with Barrett at the helm.

Given the new situation, it is not entirely improbable that Miller could become the red zone guy, given that Barrett relied on his legs to score in many cases, and Miller’s legs are perfectly fine. He’s had 2-7 yards on 30 carries thus far this year, and has improved markedly over the past few games as the offense has settled. Miller still hasn’t thrown a pass this season--14 months after his last surgery--so we are left to assume that he simply can’t fill that void.

"This is another stop on the way to the ultimate dream of playing in the NBA. I’ll spend the majority of my time in the gym. I look at this as another opportunity to get better."

-Former Ohio State small forward Sam Thompson, via Justin Breen, DNAinfo

Sam Thompson is not giving up on his dream of playing in the NBA. Thompson was selected with the seventh-overall pick in the NBA’s Developmental League Draft Saturday by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Detroit Pistons’ D-League affiliate.

Thompson, who was a four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Charlotte Hornets and attended their training camp in August. He was waived by the Hornets last week. The 6’7", 200 pound small forward averaged 10.2 points and 3.9rebounds per game during his senior season, but was more famous for his GIF-worthy slam dunks that brought excitement to what was at times an unexciting Buckeye squad.

Though Thompson was a great athlete at Ohio State, he was never a fantastic shooter on offense--something he plans on developing during his time in Grand Rapids.

Mike Irvin, Thompson’s former AAU coach, thinks Thompson will have a bright future in the NBA: "The D-League is just a stop for Sam. Sam is already an exceptional defender. He will use the D-League to polish up his offensive skills and become a better scorer. Once he does that, he will do 10-plus years in the NBA."

Training camp began today, and the Drive’s first game is scheduled for Nov. 14.

Former point guard Aaron Craft has been very successful in the D-League, and was named Defensive Player of the Year for 2015. Amir Williams, who also graduated from Ohio State this past year, was selected in the sixth roung of the D-League draft by the Houston Rockets’ affiliate team with the No. 6 overall pick.

"I think it’s a great thing, knowing that we have depth on our team and knowing that we have a lot of people to go to. It’s amazing because each person can do something special on our team."

-Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, via Jim Massie, The Columbus Dispatch

In their only exhibition game of the season, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team crushed the Division II Ursiline College Arrows by 52 points.

All 13 of the members of the Buckeyes’ roster played in the game, and seven scored in double-figures, which is a relief, considering the roster was somewhere between seven and eight players for the majority of last season, and starters rarely got off the court. Senior guard Ameryst Alston scored a team-high 17 points for Ohio State, and Alston and sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell each had eight assists. In all, the Buckeyes shot 54.7 percent from the field.

The Buckeyes forced 33 turnovers, and scored 46 points as a result. Ursiline couldn’t match, scoring only six points off 13 Ohio State turnovers. Still, head coach Kevin McGuff saw areas for improvement, including rebounding and defense.

The Buckeyes are set to open up their regular season against the second-ranked team in the country in South Carolina Nov. 13 before facing the three-time defending national champion and No. 1-ranked UConn Huskies in their second game of the season. Ohio State also faces third-ranked Notre Dame early in the season, and has another top-ten team on the Big Ten schedule with No. 6 Maryland.

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