Possible trip to Houston? Want to know why the Buckeyes have a serious shot at making it to the Final Four this season? Look no further than last night. While blowing the Bulldogs of North Carolina-Asheville out of the arena, they demonstrated two characteristics that have defined this season thus far: 1) defense and 2) unselfishness. While OSU's non-conference schedule hasn't exactly been murder's row, they're undefeated, and have done so by overwhelming teams on the defensive end. It's not like the Buckeyes have made this run via a slow, overly defensive (Wisconsin-esque) style of play though. This team is putting up points, and the best part is, it comes from different sources every night. Some nights Jared Sullinger goes into beast mode and takes over the game inside the paint, other nights Jon Diebler gets hot from long range, while still other games Lighty or Buford use their athleticism to lead the team. The Buckeyes have a lot of different scoring options, and I didn't even talk about guys like Craft and Thomas. This team is unselfish, they get it to the hot hand and they play solid defense. Bring on the B1G!
Close the books on Duron. There have been lots of rumors floating around that Duron Carter wouldn't be coming back to Columbus next season. Besides the fact that he has shown interest in numerous big time programs, there has been speculation that the Buckeyes may not want him back. According to Duron's tweets, this is more than just a rumor. Two days ago he tweeted this:
"People stop asking me questions about O state.... ask them..."
Then today he added to that thought with this:
"I wanted 2 go back..... even with the 3.0 rule.... they never offered me... so even if i wanted to go back i cant.... sorry."
So there you have it. Seems like we need to move on, even though it kills me to think what he could have been. Be prepared to hear rumors start circulating about him heading to Kent State now.
Even more coaching news. Luke Fickell is being heavily considered by Miami (Oh) to replace Michael Haywood, who headed to Pitt. There is no official word yet, but it appears he may be a finalist for the job.
"According to a source with knowledge of the search, Buckeyes co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell and Cornhuskers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson have emerged as leading contenders for the Miami of Ohio head coaching vacancy. The source would not go so far as to say that the two are finalists for the position, rather stating that both 'are among a handful who are definitely in the mix.”
Be careful Buckeye Nation. Oversigning has been a very hot topic this week. ESPN put together a great piece on the subject earlier in the week that in many ways singled out the SEC, and help legitimize the complaints that many fans have voiced for years. Not only that, but the website oversigning.com has become a very popular destination this week, especially for Buckeye fans. In fact, a few days ago they posted a comparison of Arkansas and OSU's classes over the last five years, which showed that the Razorbacks have signed 36 more players over that period of time. Great stuff, and I like that it is finally finding some time in the spotlight.
My only worry is that OSU could be singled out because of how outspoken the fanbase is on the subject all over the web. For instances, Matt Hinton's latest article makes it look like Buckeye fans and writers are using this as a possible scape goat in case Arkansas triumphs in the Sugar Bowl. I'm all for the SEC getting nailed for this crap, but I personally don't want the Buckeyes part of it at all.
Finally, please read this.