There’s no other way to put it: The 2017 Ohio State men’s basketball team is bad. After entering the year with NCAA Tournament hopes, the Buckeyes find themselves ahead of only Rutgers in the conference standings with three games left to play, and will miss the tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2003-04/2004-05. While there are many reasons for the Buckeyes’ poor play the past two seasons, a lot of the heat (from the fans perspective, at least) has centered on Head Coach Thad Matta.
On this edition of The Hangout in the Holyland, Matt Brown and Colton Denning discuss whether or not Ohio State should fire Matta at the end of year, and whether the Buckeyes can improve heading into the 2017-18 season. (Matt’s column earlier this week on how that might happen is a good reference point).
Ultimately, the guys each make an optimistic case for keeping Matta, and the reasons for it, including:
- His status as arguably the best coach in school history
- The Big Ten being down enough that the Buckeyes aren’t that far behind other schools
- How strong recruiting in the state of Ohio —particularly in the class of 2018— can help turn the program around
The guys also try to rank just how good a job Ohio State basketball is, and discuss the precedent for college basketball coaches having a second run of success after a few down seasons.
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