That's something that in my mind I think often about. There are times when if you're a little bit down and out, you're saying, 'OK, we're continuing to get better.'"
- Ohio State men's basketball coach Thad Matta via Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com
Even with Ohio State's 71-63 win over Northwestern on Tuesday night, it's likely the Buckeyes aren't heading to the NCAA Tournament unless they win the Big Ten Tournament. While the Buckeyes are likely to see their seven-year streak of making the NCAA Tournament come to an end this year, Thad Matta knows that this year is important in developing his young team. Even with the team playing inconsistent basketball throughout the year, each player has had their moments of playing really good basketball, which leaves plenty of reasons for optimism.
When looking at the pieces Ohio State will have going forward in the next few years, it's easy to see why Matta is excited for the future. Freshman JaQuan Lyle had big shoes to fill in replacing D'Angelo Russell this year. At times the pressure has gotten to Lyle, but he has been strong over the past two games. Daniel Giddens has the tools to change the game on the defensive end, but still needs work offensively. Jae'Sean Tate is undersized for his position but provides the grit that can spark a team. Add in some of the talented recruits that are headed to Columbus, and the future is bright for Ohio State in the near future.
"I'm a big proponent of a July dead period from start to finish -- nothing allowed. Let the (high school) players go enjoy their families before they get ready for a very long season. Let the coaches enjoy their families as they get ready for a very long season."
- Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer via Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch
Earlier this week Ohio State's 2017 recruiting class got a boost with the verbal commitment of four-star defensive tackle Haskins Garrett. Even with Ohio State holding the top 2017 recruiting class according to Rivals and 247Sports, head coach Urban Meyer isn't in favor of more access to recruits via text messages. Currently coaches and staff members are not allowed to send recruits text messages, but it is being discussed at the NCAA committee level if the ban should be lifted. Currently coaches and recruits can message via social media, but with that both have to have the other's permission to do so. That isn't the case with texting, where if a coach or staff number knows a recruit's number they can message them, even if the recruit doesn't want them to do so.
While there is an early signing period in basketball, Meyer is against there being one in football. Meyer is also in favor of there being a dead period in July in terms of contacting recruits. The major reason Meyer is against schools being allowed to contact recruits in July is because they are getting ready for a long high school football season, and he would rather see players and coaches be able to relax and spend time with family. Given Meyer's track record in recruiting, even with more restrictions being placed on contacting recruits, it's still likely he is going to post one of the nation's top recruiting classes each year.
"That's all we talked about after Maryland. Enjoy this win tonight, but we've got to quickly turn the page because we've got a very challenging situation in Iowa City awaiting us. It's a really difficult place to play. They graduated some great players last year, but they have an excellent system that they run. They just plug some new kids in and keep it moving. They have that next group that's young that's going to be special for them."
- Ohio State women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff via Jim Massie, The Columbus Dispatch
After their second win of the year against the defending Big Ten champions, it's easy to see how the Ohio State women's basketball team could be excited after knocking off Maryland in Columbus on Monday night. The celebration of the win was short though, as Ohio State hits the road tonight to take on Iowa. The Buckeyes currently sit at the top of the Big Ten standings, but they know that being the first place team brings with it an even bigger target.
Coach McGuff knows how hard it is to leave Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a win, especially since he is 0-2 in Iowa City in his time with the Buckeyes. Add in that win over the seventh ranked Buckeyes would boost the case for an NCAA Tournament bid for the 15-9 Hawkeyes, and a tough task for Ohio State has become even more difficult. That's why McGuff told his team to savor Monday's win for a short time but to quickly turn their focus to Iowa. Tonight's game is the first of two straight road games for the Buckeyes, who travel to Penn State on Sunday afternoon.
"Obviously, there is still some fire in us because we dropped two big games there to start the Big Ten, and we're not going to forget those games, and we're definitely excited to get another chance at them. They're top of the Big Ten, and they're going to defend their title, so I'm sure they're going to come at us just as hard."
- Ohio State men's hockey forward Mason Jobst on playing Minnesota via Martin I. Colman, The Lantern
Ohio State's men's hockey team opened up their Big Ten schedule in December with two overtime losses at Minnesota, and now they'll be looking to extract some revenge when they host the Golden Gophers this weekend at the Schottenstein Center. This weekend's series against the Golden Gophers will mark the end of Ohio State's six-game home stand. The Buckeyes have alternated losses and wins against Penn State and Michigan State in their first four games of that time at home. Now after a weekend off to regroup, Ohio State will be hoping to close the gap on a Minnesota team that has lost three of their last four games.
Ohio State will be hoping to do something against Minnesota that not a lot of other Big Ten foes have been able to do against the Golden Gophers, and that's put the puck in the back of the net. So far in conference play this year, opponents have only scored 31 goals against Minnesota, which is the lowest total any Big Ten team has allowed. The Buckeyes will need goalie Christian Frey to continue his hot play, after the goalie was named the Big Ten's Third Star of the Week two weeks ago for his performance against Michigan State. Currently Ohio State sits fourth in the Big Ten, and will hit the road next weekend to take on Penn State.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Uber will be delivering puppies tomorrow in Columbus.
- Admission to the Columbus Zoo will be free on Monday.
- Even John Oliver hated Coldplay performing at the Super Bowl.
- Great, now we have vaping in Congress.
- Peyton Manning poked fun at Eli about his brother's Super Bowl reaction.