Ohio State’s Aaron Craft: Best Distributor in College Basketball?

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I believe the best compliment you can ever give a point guard is “excellent distributor.” I asked Ohio State “1” Aaron Craft what he thought of the term at Big Ten media day.

“I’ll take any kind words I can get,” he responded.

Craft has had the benefit of playing with a marquee player in Jared Sullinger; giving him a strong force to work the ball inside to.

“Playing with a guy like Jared, and a guy like Evan Turner (NBA overall #2 pick in 2010) in the summer, makes us better. It’s a lot more fun and you always now what you’re going to get.

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#2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks: everything you need to know

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The eastern and western outskirts of what we call “the Midwest” will meet on Saturday in the prime time national semifinal game. The 2008 national champion Kansas Jayhawks will meet the 2007 runner-up Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2012 Final Four.

Let’s break it down!

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Is #2 Ohio State the Best Team in All of College Basketball?

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As we put the finishing touches on another season of non-conference play in college basketball, we can take stock of where a lot of programs are, and where they are not.

In the Big Ten, the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes are clearly the class of the league. Yes, Wisconsin and Michigan are also ranked and we know they can ball. The Indiana Hoosiers are way better than any of us anticipated. Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Northwestern could all be solid, or they could all be NIT. All of these teams have struggled putting away the scrubs, while OSU blows all their scrub opponents out of the water.

I think the Buckeyes aren’t just the best team in the conference, but also the nation. Why because now they have an Aaron Craft to complement a Jared Sullinger.

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#1 Ohio State Buckeyes get Serious Scare from Northwestern

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Earlier this college basketball season, NU took the #1 (and then undefeated) Ohio State Buckeyes down to the final minute, and lost by just one in Evanston. And today the Wildcats had a lead on the #1 in both polls Buckeyes, but couldn’t close the deal.

A day after Northwestern senior Juice Thompson put the point in point guard (breaking the Big Ten Tournament single game points record held by Purdue Boilermakers Brian Cardinal), the Wildcats struggled substantially with their offense. Sure, part of that was the game plan, slowing tempo and limiting possessions.

But part of it was ineffective shooting; and the result was a 67-61 overtime loss. Still #1 vs. #8 games in the Big Ten Tournament are not supposed to be this close and exciting.

By Paul M. Banks

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Point Guard Aaron Craft Emerging as Star for #1 Ohio St.

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Last night, a national audience on ESPN saw the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes win their most important conference home game over the #12 Purdue Boilermakers in a game that was never even remotely close. A main reason why is freshman point guard Aaron Craft, who took home player of the game honors during the broadcast.

His box score wasn’t all that impressive, but it truly featured a little bit of everything.

This followed a game in which the Buckeyes came back from a big second half deficit to defeat the Illini; a game in which Craft harassed Demetri McCamey, one of the best point guards in the nation, into by far his worst shooting game of the season.

And this follows Craft’s Big Ten Freshman player of the week performance (1-17-11), a week in which he produced14.5 ppg, 56% fg, 60% 3pt.

By Paul M. Banks

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Profiling #4 Ohio State’s Phenomenal Freshmen Class: More than Jared Sullinger

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After his dominating performance at #11 Florida yesterday, there’s been a lot of buzz about Buckeyes big man frosh Jared Sullinger, not to be confused with his older brother J.J. Sullinger who also played for tOSU.

And neither is to be confused with J.D. Salinger, author of “Catcher in the Rye,” although I have made that mistake on occasion. As big as this year’s Ohio St. freshman class is, next year’s will be giant as well.

Thad Matta, head coach of fourth-ranked Ohio State, added a fifth member to the 2011 class of recruits with the submission of an NCAA National Letter of Intent Wednesday by Amir Williams, a 6-foot-10 inch, 220-pound center from Birmingham, Mich. Williams’ addition to the class strengthens a group of high school seniors already rated by analysts as a Top 10 class nationally.

So when Sullinger‘s one-and-done there will be plenty of reinforcements.But what about this year? How good are the Bucks rookies? At Big Ten Media Day I sat down with OSU senior center Dallas Lauderdale to discuss the freshest batch of players.

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