"Been a rough 24 hours for our program,"
— Thad Matta on the family emergencies of JaQuan Lyle and Keita Bates-Diop, as reported by Adam Jardy (Columbus Dispatch)
Family emergencies will keep JaQuan Lyle and Keita Bates-Diop away from action this weekend as Ohio State travels to College Park, Md. to take on No. 21 Maryland.
Lyle’s sister is having complications after giving birth to a child, and Lyle was able to get back home in Indiana on Thursday, according to Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch. For Bates-Diop, his brother collapsed during a basketball practice on Thursday; Bates-Diop was able to get back to Illinois on Thursday evening, as reported by Jardy.
Our thoughts are with both the Lyle and Bates-Diop families.
“Not to be outdone, the Buckeyes have the second-best offense in the country, averaging just over four goals per game and they have the best power play in college hockey, clicking at an incredible 28.8 percent.”
— Ohio State’s student sports radio President and The Lantern reporter Miles McQuinn on OSU hockey (The Lantern)
Hockey season is starting to heat up as teams make the push for a bid into the NCAA Tournament. Right now, Ohio State is on the outside looking in—but they have a couple big opportunities to get back into the tournament picture.
The Lantern’s Miles McQuinn broke down his thoughts on what the No. 20 Buckeyes can do on the homestretch to help get themselves back into the top 16 picture. First, McQuinn notes that the work has been cut out for OSU. No. 5 Minnesota comes to town this weekend fresh off a beatdown delivered to No. 10 Penn State. Even though the Gophers are a top five squad, the Buckeyes bring their own elite rank in the scoring and power play departments. Right now, OSU is averaging 4.08 goals per game (second best in the country) while allowing an average of 2.66 goals per contest. The Buckeyes lead the nation in power play conversions, scoring on 32-of-111 (28.8 percent) attempts.
For OSU to get into a top 16 position, wins this weekend would help go a long way. To catch the Buckeyes in action against the Gophers, you can tune into Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. on Friday. The rubber match on Saturday will also be at 8 p.m. and can once again be seen on BTN.
“When it comes to the 2018 class, the Buckeyes aren’t fighting an uphill climb, but it is fair to say that Meyer and his staff will have more questions to answer when pitching prospects than they did a year ago.”
Ohio State has already reeled in three commits for the 2018 class, but the recruiting pitch this time around might be a little more trickier than before.
Ben Axelrod from Landof10.com wrote about how Urban Meyer’s 2018 class might be his most important class yet as head man in charge of the Buckeyes. The 2018 class follows a legendary 2017 class that featured a litany of five-star and four-star recruits from the top high schools and prep schools in the nation. Another problem Meyer may face on the recruiting trail is explaining 1) what went wrong in the 31-0 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl loss against Clemson and 2) the constant revolving door for position coaches.
The past two recruiting classes had the benefit of seeing a national championship win and subsequent mass exodus to the NFL Draft—both great marketing tools for Meyer to reel in the next great high school prospects. The question now: can OSU get back to the same level as they were a couple years ago? Ohio State is already an elite program in the country, making it to 2⁄3 of the college football playoffs. However, with great recruiting classes, talent, and past successes comes great expectations.
So far, the debacle to the eventual national champions Clemson and reshuffling/ reloading of the coaching staff hasn’t thrown off the 2018 prospectus too much. Two five-star recruits in Emory Jones and Jaiden Woodbey have committed to OSU for 2018, as well as four-star Brian Snead.
But like anything, only time will tell if Meyer and the Buckeyes can pull off the same magic in 2018 as they did with the 2017 recruiting class.
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