“D'Angelo Russell will be playing to get a little better, while other former Ohio State Buckeyes will be playing with eyes on a new job.”
The NBA offseason is in full swing, with free agency starting on Friday, July 1. After that frenzy is over, the NBA’s Summer League is set to start on July 8. This is typically when rookies, as well as players that might have been in the Developmental League or overseas get their chance to showcase their skills in hopes of making it to training camp with one of the 30 teams around the league. A handful of Buckeyes will be participating in the summer leagues in Orlando, Las Vegas, and Utah.
Along with the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, former Buckeyes participating include Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, and Deshaun Thomas. Thompson and Thomas will be together with the Charlotte Hornets, and Scott will be playing with the Phoenix Suns. Thompson spent most of last season with the Grand Rapids Drive and the Delaware 87ers of the D-League, where he averaged 7.8 points per game. Thomas was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs back in 2013, but has not seen an NBA floor. He’s had a decent showing in the D-League with the Austin Spurs, averaging 14.7 points per game last season. Scott, like the two aforementioned former Bucks, has spent his time in the D-League, but with the Raptors, where he has shown flashes of success.
Along with the players mentioned above, we should be expected to hear from LaQuinton Ross, as well as Aaron Craft at some point before things tip off.
“The Cowboys plan to make rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott a workhorse.”
Simply put, big things are being expected out of Ezekiel Elliott this season. The expectations seem almost too high. Zeke is certainly a great player, but the NFL game is much different than college for a handful of reasons. With that said, Elliott is expected to have up to 300 carries this season, which would be just as much as any NFL running back. For reference, Adrian Peterson led the league last season with 327 carries. But if there’s anybody that can handle that workload while being effective on every play, it’s Elliott.
Now, how realistic is it that he will get the ball that many times? The Cowboys and those around the organization have had nothing but extremely high praise for the former Buckeye. And while it does have to be remembered that he’s a rookie, if they try to use him in a similar fashion they did DeMarco Murray, 300 might not be that unrealistic. When Murray had that monster 2014 campaign, he carried the ball 392 times. It’s possible that they might be more inclined to give him the ball more as a younger, fresher back. But don’t be surprised if they also ease him in early, before putting that load on his shoulders. Either way, we should expect a nice rookie year out of one of the best running backs in Ohio State history.
Four Buckeyes named Pre-Season All-Americans by Sporting News
It’s that time of year when we’re seeing pre-season award and All-American nominations, and just like last season, there are plenty of Buckeyes receiving honors. Today, Sporting News had four Ohio State players earning honors, with two landing on their first-team All-American list, and two on their second-team All-American list. The first team players included offensive guard Pat Elflein, and linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Both are considered NFL talents, and should have a big impact on the Buckeyes this season on their respective sides of the ball. Expect them to back up this nomination.
The second team players include quarterback J.T. Barrett, as well as punter Cameron Johnston. Barrett finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting his freshman year, and split much of last season with Cardale Jones, before finishing off the season strong. He could certainly work his way to a first-team spot by the end of the season. Johnston was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, and is undoubtedly one of the best punters in the nation. All in all, while this year’s team doesn’t have the same hype around them as last season, it should still be a damn good one in Columbus.