"I'm getting better every day with that. I held onto plays a lot last year. And I know that's what held me back, and held my teammates back a lot. Now in open gym it's a totally different mindset."
- Ohio State guard JaQuan Lyle via Bill Landis, Cleveland.com
In what has been an offseason filled with transfers for the Ohio State men's basketball team, there has been a big big highlight so far. Last week at Chris Paul's CP3 Elite Guard Camp, JaQuan Lyle crossed up former Indiana guard Victor Oladipo and hit a step-back jumper. Oladipo immediately recovered and hit a game-winning jumper, which Lyle will remember because Oladipo recovered quickly and didn't let the previous play get to him. Now Lyle is hoping to incorporate Oladipo's quick recovery into his game, as he knows if Ohio State is going to be successful he has to have that next play mentality.
One of the most obvious things that Lyle struggled with during his first year with the Buckeyes was his confidence. At times Lyle looked unstoppable, and is one of only a few players in Ohio State history to record a triple-double. At other times Lyle was invisible on the floor. With a year under his belt, Lyle is looking to become more consistent this season. With a talented core coming back this season, Lyle knows that even more will be expected of him this year if Ohio State hopes to make a return to the NCAA Tournament. So far in the offseason Lyle has been working hard on improving his game, so if the growth continues it'll hard to deny the Buckeyes a spot in next year's tournament field.
Three Buckeyes named to Sports on Earth's College All-Breakout Players Team
Matt Brown of Sports on Earth released a list of college football players who are likely to breakout this season, and on that list were three Ohio State Buckeyes. It shouldn't be a surprise that so many Buckeye players were included on the list, with the amount of new starters Ohio State will have this fall who will be hungry to make a name for themselves. Only one offensive player from the Buckeyes was included on the list, and that is wide receiver Noah Brown. After breaking his leg in August, Brown will head into this season fully healthy. With the loss of receivers Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall to the NFL, Brown will be expected to come up big in the passing game for Ohio State this season.
Two Buckeyes from the defensive side of the ball were also included on the list, and both will have big shoes to fill this fall. Defensive end Sam Hubbard will take the place of Joey Bosa, while Malik Hooker will likely be counted on to cover some of the losses in the Ohio State secondary. Ohio State fans have already seen some of what Hubbard can do, as he registered 6.5 sacks last season, and more will be expected from him this season. Hooker hasn't seen nearly as much time on the field as Hubbard so far during his Ohio State career, but that doesn't mean he can't be a big contributor for the Buckeyes this season. After playing just two years of football in high school, Hooker has had some time to develop his game, and that could show this year.
"During Game 7, Dave's room is next door to mine and he was literally in there cheering like a cheerleader. After the game he was out in the living room knocking everything over. It was crazy, but it's been (52) years since they won anything so it's about time."
- JaQuan Lyle on Dave Bell's Game 7 reaction via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch
It's been a week and a half since the Cleveland Cavaliers took home the NBA title, and according to his teammates, there was no bigger Cavaliers cheerleader than center Dave Bell. It's easy to understand why, as Bell is a Cleveland native. While Bell has been around for less than half of Cleveland's 52 year championship drought, it didn't take away from his excited when LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers ended the pain and suffering of Cleveland fans. Following the Cavaliers winning the title, Bell has posted numerous pictures on Instagram about the win, including one of his locker in Ohio State's locker room, which is next to the permanent one assigned to LeBron James.
The title wasn't celebrated by all of the Buckeyes though, as Marc Loving says he is a Los Angeles Lakers fan. JaQuan Lyle was actually rooting for Golden State in the series, but that was more because he didn't want Bell's team to take home the title. Even though the Cavaliers completed the historic comeback on June 19th, many of Bell's teammates say that he is still talking about the title, and after years of Cleveland sports misery it's easy to see why. Even though there is still plenty of summer left, Bell is likely to continue celebrating the title, and it's hard to blame him if he doesn't want to stop anytime soon.
"I grew up going to the Horseshoe with my great uncle, who has passed away, and I'd sit there every game and listen to the radio broadcast....So it's exciting for me. It's emotional, and it's something that I look forward to a new challenge with."
- Matt Andrews via Eric Crawford, WDRB.com
The Ohio State University IMG Sports Network will have a new voice this fall. After taking on play-by-play duties for the Louisville Bats, as well as Louisville's women's basketball team since 2010, Matt Andrews is on his way to Columbus not only become the sideline reporter during Ohio State's football games, as well as becoming the play-by-play voice of Ohio State's women's basketball and baseball teams.
Andrews is no stranger to Ohio State though, as he is a graduate of the university. In his younger years, Andrews used to frequent Ohio State football games, coming to Ohio Stadium with his great uncle. Even though Andrews has been the voice of Louisville's minor league baseball team since 2010, he is still worried about how he'll do when calling Buckeye baseball games. Over the years Andrews has said he has improved at letting the broadcast breathe, but it's still tough to not clutter up the broadcast too much. At least after Ohio State's growth of the baseball season this year, he should have an exciting product to call next season.
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