“He’s 17. I’ve had to have some patience, but Musa’s development has been good for us and important for us and I’d say that’s probably been most surprising.
Let’s face it, expectations aren’t super high for the Buckeye basketball team coming into the 2017-2018 season. However, as the team preps for their exhibition game on Sunday versus Wooster, and their official season opener against Robert Morris on Nov. 10, there are bright spots for new head coach Chris Holtmann’s young squad.
One of those bright spots is apparently true-freshman Musa Jallow. Over the summer, Jallow reclassified from a 2018 prospect to a 2017 prospect so that he could be a part of Holtmann’s first class in Columbus. The 6’5 guard might not yet be able to vote, but reports are that he is already more than capable of holding his own physically with more seasoned college players.
So much so, that Holtmann had to convince a recruit’s parent watching practice recently that Jallow actually was only 17. The head coach credit’s Jallow’s dedication, especially to his diet, for allowing him to compete at the collegiate level so quickly.
At Big Ten Media Days, senior forward Jae’Sean Tate also talked up the 17-year-old. “He’s the best rebounder we have at this point,” Tate said. “He crashes the glass like nobody I’ve ever seen and he always gets his hands on it.”
So, while this might not be the most successful season in terms of wins and losses for Holtmann and his team, it should be successful in getting the talented group ready to compete in future seasons. However, when you consider that last year’s Buckeye team lost eight games by two possessions or less, this year’s iteration might not be as far off as we are all projecting.
As is always the case under Kirk Ferentz, the Iowa Hawkeyes are a “pro-style,” hard-nosed football team that will look to grind out long drives on the ground, dominate time of possession, and keep the score as low as possible. For this strategy to be successful, the Hawkeyes must be able to control the line of scrimmage, whether they have the ball or not.
Based off of what we have seen thus far this season, that will likely be a tall order against both Buckeye fronts. While quarterback J.T. Barrett deservedly got most of the headlines following Saturday’s historic victory (including from us here, here, here, here, here, and here), the OSU defense, and specifically the defensive line, were just as instrumental in the comeback as the fifth-year senior signal-caller.
Despite the kick-coverage team and an untimely turnover putting the Buckeyes in a quick 14-point hole, the Silver Bullets held the Nittany Lions to just 2.6 yards per rush on the game, including 14 tackles for loss.
Conversely, despite odd spells of absence from leading rusher J.K. Dobbins, the OSU rushing attack more than doubled the vaunted Penn State ground game (201-91), even though the Buckeyes trailed until the last 1:48 in the game. In fact, Dobbins was just three yards away from equaling PSU’s team output, and Barrett actually bested the Nittany Lions by four yards.
If Iowa is going to use its traditional strategy of keeping games close and playing “smash-mouth football,” they are going to need either an extraordinary effort to beat the Buckeyes at their own game, or for the Buckeyes to come into Kinnick Stadium on a post-comeback high, unprepared for the task at hand.
At this point, neither seems likely.
“As Meyer kept his voice steady while obviously steaming, announcing a belief that no team should play more than two road night games per season, I wondered ... Is Ohio State being too nice to the Big Ten about this?
When Urban Meyer got to Columbus, he quickly began molding the Buckeye program in his own image, and one of those changes was to try to get as much attention on his program as possible. One of the ways that he did that was to embrace primetime games, breaking the long held OSU tradition of noon kickoffs.
However, as the status of Ohio State’s program has continued to climb, they are a coveted draw for whatever television network has the rights to their games, meaning that more and more, the Buckeyes are playing under the lights.
While undoubtedly Meyer enjoys the exposure and recruiting advantage that primetime games allow, the coach has been vocal lately about the strains that the games, especially increasingly on the road, put on student athletes. So, Lesmerises put together an all-encompassing look at Big Ten night games, from what TV contracts allow, the history of conference night games, and more.
The article is a great look at the business and negotiations that go into a decision that most fans never take the time to think about.
STICK TO SPORTS
- “The Simpsons” will be visiting Ohio State on Sunday’s episode.
- What is the most read book in your home state?
- Start Christmas shopping now with the best pre-Black Friday Amazon deals.
- Everything you need to know about this week’s Congress vs. Silicon Valley hearings, but were too embarrassed to ask.
- The “Moulin Rouge” musical will have a pre-Broadway, world premiere in Boston this summer.