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.