“With Ohio State basketball coming off of the worst season of the Thad Matta era, and its first season under 20 wins since 2003-04, some things need to change.”
- Bill Landis, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Landis lists accountability, defending, floor balance, social media, and recruiting the five changes that Ohio State should make moving forward in order to fix the basketball program. Some of these might sound a little surprising like social media, but there’s a method to the madness. As far as accountability, Landis would like a better balance between, “Yanking a guy quickly at the risk of losing that player's trust, and leaving him in so long on a day that he just doesn't have it to the point that it's detrimental to the team.” Defending is self explanatory. They have to be better, and more consistent there.
As far as floor balance, he feels that Trevor Thompson skipping his senior season to be a plus, to unclog the middle of the floor. His reasoning is that he and Jae’Sean Tate like to score from the same part of the floor, which makes sense. I would argue that varying point guard play also played a role there, though. For social media, it combines with recruiting. The football program does great with this, and it’s made a difference in helping bring players to Ohio State. Basketball can improve there, which would help recruiting some. At the end of the day, better recruits will be needed.
“There's one team out there that should serve as the ideal example for what Ohio State can still be under Thad Matta.”
- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
The 2012-13 Ohio State team is that team. They won the Big Ten Tournament that season, and were 2nd in the regular season. That team was highlighted by Aaron Craft, DeShaun Thomas, Lenzelle Smith, and LaQuinton Ross. It was an exciting group that had a perfect splash of talent, none of which turned out to be NBA players.
That team lost in the Elite Eight to Wichita State, but were a great group to watch. Thomas, who was one of the best scorers in Indiana high school basketball history at third all-time, was able to get the Buckeyes points when they need them. Aaron Craft could dish the pill and defend, and the rest of the cast was able to hold their own, and even step up at times when they needed it most. While it wasn’t the most talented Buckeye team we’ve seen, they meshed well together. If the Buckeyes can get similar pieces, it could help lead the turnaround.
“The NCAA tournament has been held annually since 1939, but there was very little madness in that first March.”
- The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State helped create what has become the favorite time of the year for many in sports. The NCAA Tournament has been held every year since 1939, and Ohio State basketball coach Harold Olsen helped create what was then an eight-team tournament. Olsen felt the NIT had an arbitrary selection process, so this was his, and others answer.
Ohio State made the first tournament field and knocked off Wake Forest and Villanova. They would eventually be knocked off by Oregon in the first championship game, which was played at Northwestern. Over the years, the Buckeyes have 31 NCAA Tournament appearances, which is up there with programs like Michigan State, UConn, and Arizona.
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