April 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting…OSU heads to Final Four, and Jamison could re-sign with Cavs

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.

Buckeyes outlast Syracuse, head to Final Four: “Lenzelle Smith was a stone cold killer in the 2nd half with 16 of his 18 points after taking an early shot to the head and Sullinger overcame early foul trouble (7 min 1H) to add 15 of his 19 in the final 20 minutes as the Buckeyes imposed their will on a foul plagued Syracuse squad that too often settled for quick shots.

After Brandon Triche bombed a triple capped an 8-1 run cutting the OSU lead to 55-54 with 6:46 left, Sullinger scored five straight points and Smith drained a trey giving OSU a 62-55 lead with 3:16 to play. The Orange could get no closer than 70-67 when they were in foul mode and and the Buckeyes just kept stroking free throws.

The Buckeyes owned the glass 37-22 with Willie Buford (9) and Deshaun Thomas (9) leading the way. Sullinger added seven. And how bout Amir Williams? Much love to that kid tonight.

Forced into nine first half minutes after Sully and Ravenel had picked up two fouls apiece, Williams gave the Buckeyes three points, four boards and two blocks in an insanely clutch stretch. He did miss three of four free throws and turned it over twice but to be thrown into that situation – hat tip to you kind sir.

Aaron Craft fouled out with :49 left but was his normal pesky self with five points, four boards and four assists. He was also once again the clear leader on the court ordering players around, shouting encouragement including a well placed, “Amir! Dunk that MF’r”.  [Chris Lauderback / Eleven Warriors]

Celebrating a trip to the Final Four from Louisville:  “The most improbable, incredible and fulfilling three-week run of my life as a U of L basketball fan has resulted in the Louisville Cardinals being the first team to punch their ticket to New Orleans and the Final Four.  Celebrate however you will this evening, but please, please celebrate. Again, we all deserve this. Let’s win this whole thing. Go Cards.”  [Mike Rutherford / Card Chronicle]

Options for Browns at WR: “Now that we have your attention, and you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, we are in no way advocating that the Browns draft Keenum. System guys like Keenum don’t fit in the NFL, just look at Colt Brennan’s career if you forgot that fact. But the thing is, Keenum wasn’t out there on offense all by himself. Someone had to be catching all those passes. And that’s where the Browns come in as they need all the playmakers they can find on offense. The Cougars have a trio of senior wide receivers that put up big numbers in 2011

  • Patrick Edwards, with 89 receptions for 1,752 yards and 20 touchdowns
  • Tyron Carrier, with 96 receptions for 958 yards and five touchdowns
  • Justin Johnson, with 87 receptions for 1,229 yards and 12 touchdowns

We wouldn’t want the Browns to use a first- or second-round pick on one of these guys, not with Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright potentially available, but Edwards, Carrier and Johnson clearly can catch the ball when it’s thrown to them. The guy that intrigues us the most is Johnson. At 6-foot-1 and 223 pounds, he has NFL size, comparable to current Browns wide receiver Greg Little and Notre Dame’s Floyd, who are both listed as 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds.” [Red Right 88]

Antawn Jamison could be back in Cleveland next season:  “With that being said, it’s not totally out of the question that they re-sign Jamison to a cap-friendly contract starting around $5 million. The Cavs would have to be clear with the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder that they are committed to Tristan Thompson as being the starter at power forward next year.

If Jamison would agree to come off the bench and continue to mentor young players like Thompson, it wouldn’t be totally outlandish for him to return.  If he thinks he can still earn a starting job elsewhere, go to a team that has a good chance at going deep into the playoffs or get paid way more than the Cavs would be willing to offer, then wish him luck and send him on his way.

The Cavs could be a playoff team — should be, actually — next season if a consistent wing scorer and another quality big are added to the mix. Jamison loves playing for the Cavs. They love having him. It might make more sense than one realizes for him to return.” [Bob Finnan / The Morning Journal]

Here’s where I said yesterday the Buckeyes would beat Syracuse by seven points:  “Even in this tournament, Aaron Craft, William Buford, Deshaun Thomas, and Jared Sullinger haven’t all had good to great games at the same time. If they can tonight though, despite everything that’s happened this season, they go to the Final Four.  Personally I think it happens, and I got the Buckeyes winning by seven tonight.”  [WFNY]

Louisville beats Florida, punches ticket to Final Four

You might not have had this in your bracket, but Samardo Samuels had it in his. Louisville headed to Final Four after beating Bradley Beal and the Florida Gators on Saturday.

Recap from the AP via USA Today:

Rick Pitino nudged out Billy Donovan for a spot in the Final Four on Saturday when his Louisville team finished the game on a 23-8 run for a 72-68 victory over Florida in the West Regional.

Chane Behanan hit the go-ahead basket with 1:04 left for fourth-seeded Louisville, then after two Cardinals free throws, Florida’s Bradley Beal and Erving Walker each missed chances to tie.

The seventh-seeded Gators (26-11) fell in the regional semifinals for the second straight year, while Louisville (30-9) will go to the Final Four for the ninth time, and the second under Pitino

Russ Smith led Louisville with 19 points and Behanan had 17. The Cardinals played the final 3:58 without point guard Peyton Siva, who fouled out.

The Gators shot 8 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half but didn’t make one in the second.