Over the last week Adam Borland has taken the time to give in depth previews of the returning Ohio State Buckeye stars. If you’ve missed any, I’ve listed them below, be sure to check them out….
Each of them brings their own unique skill set to the floor which is what makes them so much fun to watch. They know their roles, play them well and play more like a team than just about any other team you will watch this season. When it comes to college basketball these last few years teams are typically constructed like pick up squads. Find the most talented guys throw them together then fill in around any way you can, with little regard for chemistry. While Thad has gone that route in the past he always seems to do so while still holding the true to the team concept one way or another. Even in the famous “Thad Five” class that featured Oden and Conley he had David Lighty. A glue guy that held everyone together with toughness and eventually stuck around campus for five seasons being a leader and coach on the floor. During his final season he was an influential force on the current crop of players that will lead us this year. His work ethic and team first attitude are carried on by all four of the young men that will lead the Buckeyes this season.
What I’m excited for this year is to see these four guys that brought an enormous amount of fun to campus last year continue to grow as a team and deliver on the promise that we fans see in them. Despite the contention last season that college basketball was in an era of parity the Buckeyes rolled off a 24-0 start last season and putting up a staggering 13-2 record against tournament teams during the regular season. If you want to look further into the stats you’ll see both on paper and in terms of team chemistry and having all the puzzle pieces fit correctly. The Buckeyes were the dominant team in college basketball, but when your star player is playing a rugged, below the rim game instead of a high flying or three point bombing show it’s not as sexy to call that team dominant.
It doesn’t matter though. Those of us that watched the Buckeyes last year know what we have in Columbus. A well constructed team, a mixture of stars and role players all with varying skills and roles. And it’s awesome. In all honesty the biggest weakness we potentially have this year is lack of inside height. We have two freshman tagged as centers on the team this upcoming season in Amir Williams and Trey McDonald but in the final exhibition tune up they only played a combined 19 minutes and went 1-2 from the free throw line so from a physical standpoint that area will be our biggest weakness. Jared Sullinger is a great inside presence but he’s only a generous 6-9. The other missing key will be all of the intangibles that David Lighty used to bring. Admittedly they were a huge part of this team the last few years, but the culture that has been created during his time on campus is one I believe that will live on in the group we see tip tonight.
I’m excited for another fun year for the Basketball Buckeyes, let me know what you’re most excited for @hewls