Ohio State signs two top 100 prospects

ohio-state -cheerleaders

The Ohio State Buckeyes signed of Marc Loving and Kameron “Kam” Williams to Letters of Intent.

Loving, a 6-foot-8-inch, 215-pound forward, is considered one of the Top 100 players nationally by several recruiting services. He was the 2012 Associated Press Division I Co-Player of the year in Ohio as well as earning all-district and Three Rivers Athletic Conference Player of the Year accolades.

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Preseason All-America Hoops Team Released; Buckeyes Sullinger Only Unanimous Choice

jared sullinger

The Big Ten conference as a whole may take a step backward this college basketball season, but their star power will remain high this hoops season. The AP All-American preseason first team was released a few short hours ago, and the league made a very tremendous impact on that very short list.

Ohio State‘s Jared Sullinger was the only unanimous choice of the 65-member national media panel. The Badgers Jordan Taylor is the only senior.

Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Terrence Jones of Kentucky and Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, three sophomores, round out the rest of the team.

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Big 10 Hoops Media Day: Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue

tom crean

Thursday was Big Ten basketball media day, and with it came a set of special quotes and soundbites. Sure, this day is all about college basketball message control. The Universities and SIDs trying to manipulate the information they want you to have, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting and articulate statements out there.

When you get all the coaches and some of the top players in one conference room, you’ll have lots of gems. In fact, I’m going to do a separate post or two on the Michigan State Spartans Tom Izzo. but here’s some of the better non-Izzo soundbites.

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Big Ten Basketball Season to Take a Small Step Down This Year

Jared Sullinger

Since 2009, we all saw this coming. Back then Big Ten basketball was dominated by a large group of sophomores that would only raise the conference profile higher to it’s peak in 2011. And we knew that once that group was gone (Kalin Lucas, Talor Battle, JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Durrell Summers, Demetri McCamey etc.) the next year would see the conference take a small step backward.

Taking a look at the list of players who appeared at this year’s conference media day only verifies that fact. Preseason player of the year, and 2012 NBA Draft lottery pick Jared Sullinger was slated to appear, but did not come to Chicago due to a midterm, according to one Ohio State SID official. (So I guess those of you who believe in the sanctity of academics over athletics won this round?)

To me that was the scoop/story of the day right there, even though it was an afterthought exchange mentioned in passing. When the conference POY is supposed to be here, but isn’t, kind of overshadows the rest of the day’s events, eh?

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Identifying Ohio State’s 1st Potential Loss

thad matta

Ohio State is still #1 and the last remaining unbeaten in college basketball. However, following their narrowest of escapes against a much less talented Northwestern team on Saturday night; it’s pretty obvious they’re not going to run the table this year. Last week we explored the chances of it actually happening; now we’ll look at where they might pick up that first L.

By Paul M. Banks

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#1 Ohio State BARELY Survives Northwestern

ohio state buckeyes

Well, it’s going to happen sometime. Just not tonight. I’m speaking of course about the #1 team in all of college basketball, the Ohio State Buckeyes finally losing a game at some point this season.

Heading to Northwestern seemed like a cakewalk for the Bucks as the Wildcats have suffered two awful losses already to the Illini and Wisconsin. And they would be sans their best player in John Shurna.

But it didn’t end that way. NU took the lead on more than one occasion late in the first half, and trailed by just two at intermission. Perhaps most stunning was the fact NU had +6 rebounding margin for the first 20 minutes.

Apparently, Thad Matta’s halftime speech wasn’t enough to get his team to pull away though, as Ohio St. fell behind again during the closing minutes of the second half. NU had a couple chances to win it in the final minute, but came up just short. Drew Crawford’s half court buzzer beater was wide left as time expired, and the Buckeyes won 58-57.

By Paul M. Banks

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#1 Ohio State Stays Unbeaten; Skate by Illini in Champaign

To paraphrase Dean Martin’s timeless lyrics and apply them to college basketball: “Everybody loses a ballgame sometime, everybody gets defeated somehow.”

And on paper, it appeared Ohio State’s trip to Assembly Hall meant “that sometime was now.”

We know that OSU is the #1 team in the Big Ten (after all, they’re #1 in nation), but many experts (including ESPN’s Dan Dakich) believe Illinois to be the second best team in the conference. So it makes sense that a road game against the Illini would logically be the hardest game left on the Buckeyes’ schedule.

By Paul M. Banks
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Ohio State will soon be #1 in College Basketball Polls

ohio state cheerleader

The great American poet Cornell Haynes once posed this existential query:

“What does it take to be #1, two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers.” In slightly more recent history, another local wordsmith named Kanye West stated “number one can’t put nothing above that. You deserve a verse from me, we’re going to party like it’s our anniversary.”

Today, the Ohio State Buckeyes, among favorites to win the Big Ten, now looking like serious contenders for a national title, are living these lyrics. With the Florida State upset over Duke, the polls will later today deem the Buckeyes the new rulers of college basketball.

OSU fans, I hope you run these two rap references into the ground, exactly like I did in 2004-05 when Illinois was #1 for most of the season. It’s pretty rare for the same school to assume the #1 ranking in both college football and college basketball, but OSU is about to pull it off.

But again, this is the same school that (along with the University of Florida) played for the national title in both college basketball and football.

Here’s what some of the stars of the team had to say:

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

jared sullinger

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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#4 Buckeyes Add #2 Rated Center to Top 10 Recruiting Class

ohio state cheerleader

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. But 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.

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