Jared Sullinger, a 6'9" 280 lb. monter with the footwork of Fred Astaire and the hands of Jerry Rice
The Ohio State basketball team has always taken a backseat to Buckeye football. That just might change. A new era has been established under Coach Thad Matta and his battling Buckeyes.
Thad has proven to be an awesome recruiter, able to draw the best talent from the Midwest and other parts of the country. Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, Mike Conley, Kosta Koufas, Byron Mullen and Evan Turner all have NBA mailing addresses.
Coach Matta can definitely assemble the talent. However, the question remains: Will he one day win it all? Time will tell.
In order to win it all, there are some things we feel Coach Matta must do. He must develop a bench. The Buckeyes have good overall length. The Buckeye guards are 6-foot-6 with the exception of frosh phenom Aaron Craft, who is 6-foot-2.
The real problem lies inside. Jared Sullinger might be 6-foot-9, but I doubt it. Dallas Lauderdale is 6-foot-8 with very long arms, and both bigs are over 260 pounds (which is good). Foul trouble will be a problem and Lauderdale, as a senior starter, still hasn't quite figured that out. He must show greater maturity and stay on the floor.
Matta must figure out a way to get more minutes from his bench. The talent is there, but he must learn to trust it. As the Buckeyes enter conference play he has gone to a seven- or eight-man rotation. That will prove to be a problem as the season progresses.
The Buckeyes have a talented freshman class with DeShaun Thomas, "Mr. Basketball in Indiana", Jordan Sibert, Lenzelle Smith Jr., J.D. Weatherspoon, and the aforementioned Mr. Craft. They will play pivotal roles in the future of Buckeye basketball.
Basketball has certainly changed some things on the O.S.U. campus. Some people say Evan Turner was almost as popular as Terrelle Pryor. That hasn't happened in Columbus since the days of Havlicek and Lucas.
Next season, Thad has another "bumper crop" headed to Columbus. It appears that Buckeye basketball is in pretty good shape.
David Lighty, savvy 5th year senior and captain.
David Lighty is a proven performer that gained an additional year of eligibility due to a foot injury. David has become a much better shooter, and he may be the best on-ball defender in the country. He can and will defend every opposing player on the floor.
At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Mr. Lighty may take the Buckeyes to great heights.
John Diebler, 6'6 small forward will leave as the all time Big 10 leader in 3 point goals
Jon Diebler has been a valuable cog since day one. The greatest scorer in the history of Ohio high school basketball is now living up to the expectations.
He is now demonstrating he can put the ball on the floor and create his shot on occasion. He still needs to work on that, but he has made steady improvement each and every year. He is also underestimated as a defender. Pretty good athleticism. Probably an Erick Piatkowski or Kyle Korver at the next level.
William Buford, the 6'5 Silent Assassin. Can score with the best!
"He will kill you!" This man scores in so many ways. He alone with Diebler, Lighty, Sullinger, and frosh DeShaun Thomas are capable of 30 point games at any time.
That is why I love this team. You never know who is going to get you, but someone is going to. William Buford is a 6-foot-5 junior with tremendous potential! Hopefully, he'll remain in Columbus another season.
Dallas came to Ohio State rough, rugged, and raw. After three seasons he is still rough, rugged, and raw, but you've got to love him.
He plays hard and defends. With a 7-foot-4 wingspan, he causes a lot of problems for people at the bucket. It also helps that he is a muscular 260 pounds.
He's a liability late in close games because his foul shooting is abysmal. You've got to love his attitude. He'll probably play overseas after this season. I can't picture him playing in the NBA, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.
It is obvious that Aaron Craft has spent a great deal of time in some "funky" gymnasiums. This young man "has game".
He is better than I ever expected. He's got a grittiness about him that you love. He's never intimidated, and he's going to play his game. Something is beating in that chest cavity!
He's an exceptional lock down defender. He's a cross between a Scott Skiles and a John Stockton. Maybe he's not as good as those two yet, but he's got plenty of time.