April 19, 2014

Buckeyes Survive Late Press From Iowa

thompsoniowaFresh off their home victory against the previously undefeated in-conference Wisconsin as well as close losses to Indiana and Michigan State earlier in the season, the Iowa Hawkeyes were looking to draw more Big Ten blood in Columbus to show they belong in the discussion of Big Ten contention. They nearly did so behind a flurry of offensive rebounding and a very effective fullcourt press that took a 24-point deficit and trimmed it to just four with 1:29 remaining. But, the Buckeyes used balanced scoring and solid shooting to hold off Iowa in the Schott by a 72-63 count.

At the outset, Iowa set the tone by dominating the offensive glass. In fact, it carried throughout the game as Iowa dominated the boards by a 40-34 margin including a stunning 22 offensive boards and 24 second chance points. There were multiple possessions with second, third, and even fourth chances to score as Amir Williams, Deshaun Thomas, and Evan Ravenel were unable to stay in front of their men on the glass as they fell victim to the tall and athletic Iowa frontcourt. The 6’8″ Aaron White (6 offensive rebounds) and 6’7″ Melsahn Basabe (4 offensive rebounds) led the effort. It’s not the first game where we’ve seen the Buckeyes, who lack size with the exception of the 6’11″ Williams, struggle in this facet, and it remains a concern going forward, for a lack of effort as much as a size disparity. Amir finished with zero rebounds, and he had this to say following the game, ““The fact that I had zero rebounds is unacceptable. I am better than having zero rebounds in a game so that will make us lose games. I have to try to get around seven rebounds a game.”” I couldn’t agree more. [Read more...]

“You are completely screwed” – B1G Buckeyes

Let me get this out of the way: Coming into the game, I thought the Buckeyes were going to lose Saturday night. Yes, in the ‘Shoe, in Urban’s first home night game with all of the recruits looking on in front of a packed house. I did. I thought that Ohio State’s banged up line-backing corps did not match up well with a very mobile quarterback in Taylor Martinez in tandem with a very shifty and quick running back in Rex Burkhead. For the most part, I was wrong. Martinez was held to 40 yards rushing and aside from Burkhead’s 73-yard run, he too was held in check.

But 63 points!?!? Though I cannot remember the source, there was a comment on Twitter that made me laugh out loud: “After seeing the score, Jim Tressel woke up wondering how in the world Ohio State kicked 21 field goals.”

As hysterical as the comment was, it really made me think about the new era that this program has entered. Good, bad or indifferent, there is no arguing what Tressel did for this university over the past decade but his coaching style is the antithesis of Urban Meyer’s. A fundamentally sound team that was capable of hanging 63 on Nebraska would have never happened under Tressel’s watch. Though under that same watch, the holes in the defense would never happen either. Buckeye Nation is now staring at a very talented and exciting, young team in the face. We all have the joy of watching this team grow up before our eyes, but remember what comes with youth – stupidity. I am not talking about the tweet from Cardale Jones, but taking chances as a football team. So the growing pains will be there and for some of the impatient, it can be quite a roller-coaster complete with pictures at the end.

With great risk, comes great reward and as Andy Staples put it so eloquently in his article following the Buckeyes win in East Lansing “You are completely screwed.” He of course is talking about the Big Ten as a whole and Urban’s innate ability to previously recruit such talented individuals in a conference much superior to the Big Ten.

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NCAA Basketball: Buckeyes Play Down to Iowa, Crush Them Anyway

Last night the Buckeyes took on a 7-10 (0-5 Big Ten) Iowa team at home in Columbus and seemed intent on playing down to their opponent.  The game wasn’t even close, because the Buckeyes have so much more talent than Iowa, but it wasn’t a performance befitting a number one team.  In the end, the Buckeyes crushed the Hawkeyes 70-48.

Why was I so down on the Buckeyes even as they won big?  The Buckeyes forced 22 turnovers from Iowa.  They looked really unselfish loading up 18 assists in the box score.  The big problem for me was that the Buckeyes committed 20 turnovers themselves.  It was a lot of sloppy passing in transition probably as the Buckeyes were feeling the game was in hand.  Still, bad habits are hard to break.

No player embodied this more last night than Aaron Craft.  Craft was all over the court.  He is an ankle biter and he seemed to be stripping and stealing the ball every other possession for a while there in the second half.  Craft ends up with an amazing seven steals, but he almost matched that with his five turnovers. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Cavs Record an Illusion, Figuring out Jaguars, OSU vs. Iowa

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Statistical look at the Cavs season so far:  “Just like the Heat, the Cavaliers record is also a bit of an illusion. Unfortunately for fans of the Cavs, the won-loss record actually overstates how good this team has been. Currently the Cavaliers’ efficiency differential is -2.8. Such a mark is consistent with a team that will win about 34 games across an 82-game season. And that mark — prior to the games played on Thursday night — currently ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference. So although the Cavs would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, the team’s efficiency differential (a better predictor of the future than won-loss records) indicates this team will not be in the playoffs when the season ends.”   [Dave Berri/Huffington Post]

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Buckeye 12 Pack- Off Week Edition

An off week for the Buckeyes could have meant an off week for the 12 Pack, but NO! We will not take the week off. What follows are my 12 keys to the season.

No. 1- Mid-season offensive MVP: Terrelle Pryor. I’ve been tough on Pryor. Actually, I’ve been tough on those who wanted to anoint him the Heisman favorite at the beginning of the season. To be fair, I was also tough on national writers who use faulty logic to tear him down. The truth is that Pryor has made significant progress this season. He has completed 67% of his passes, and isn’t making big mistakes with the ball. His deep passes aren’t wounded ducks, and he is hitting the medium range out-routes well. He only runs with the ball when he has to, and is averaging more yards per carry this season.

No. 2- Mid-season defensive MVP: Chimdi Chekwa. With all the injury trouble in the secondary, Chekwa has been the rock. He takes away the opposing team’s biggest threat every week. He’s also a corner that isn’t afraid to stick his nose in and help stop the running game. [Read more...]

Ohio State Handles Business Against Iowa

Evan Turner proved why he is one of the top players in all of college basketball on Super Sunday.  More on that in a minute.  A day after Michigan State dropped their game against Illinois, the Buckeyes to create a tight race in the Big Ten. After Sunday’s action the Buckeyes are 18-6 overall for the season and 8-3 in the Big Ten.  The top of the field now looks like this.

  1. Michigan State 19-5 (9-2 Big Ten)
  2. Wisconsin 18-5 (8-3)
  3. Ohio State 18-6 (8-3)
  4. Illinois 16-8 (8-3)
  5. Purdue 19-3 (7-3)

Minnesota follows at number 6 with a 5-5 record before it just gets worse.  The Buckeyes went out and did exactly what they needed to do taking care of their home court in the last three games against Minnesota, Penn State and now Iowa. [Read more...]

Open Thread: Iowa @ Ohio State – Winner to the Rose Bowl

IowaOhioState.jpg

The Iowa Hawkeyes come into the Horseshoe after suffering their first loss of the season to the Northwestern Wildcats at home last weekend.  During that disastrous game for the Hawkeyes, they also lost their starting Quarterback for at least the rest of the regular season – local and former Mentor Lake Catholic QB Ricky Stanzi.  Redshirt freshman James Vandenberg takes over the offense.  The Hawkeye offense had been struggling the past few weeks with Stanzi and will surely find it difficult to score this afternoon against a stout Buckeye defense which is really clicking coming into this game.

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#16 Buckeyes Trounce #11 Nittany Lions 24-7: “Best Win in a Long Time”

Ohio St Penn St FootballWhat a game, what a win and what an incredible series of events for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Just 24 hours ago, this team supposedly lacked an identity offensively and needed to win back-to-back games against top 12 teams in order to take home the Big 10 title. In the end however, #4 Iowa’s upset defeat at the hands of Northwestern along with #16 Ohio State’s absolute pummeling of #11 Penn State, the Buckeyes are in the driver’s seat for the Rose Bowl.

Coming into the game everyone and their mother knew that the scoreboard battle would be decided by the play of the quarterbacks. Daryll Clark had been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country, let alone the conference, while Terrelle Pryor was only three weeks removed from his four-turnover meltdown against Purdue. For the first time in 2009 however, Ohio sports fans were rewarded for their patience and devotion as the Pryor and the Bucks absolutely tore about the Lions on the road. All this prompted a text from my dad late last night declaring this as the “best win in a long time” and that is very hard to ignore for this program.

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