2010-2011 ITH Season Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

  • 11/04/2010 2:02 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 14: Guards William Buford #44 and Jon Diebler #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes react to a play in the final moments of the championship game in the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 14, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Buckeyes defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 90-61. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)It’s time for Inside the Hall’s team-by-team breakdown of the Big Ten Conference. Today: The Ohio State Buckeyes.

Entering his seventh season as Ohio State’s head coach, Thad Matta will be gunning for his fourth Big Ten title in 2010-11.

And he’s no stranger to reloading on the fly after losing players to the NBA.

So it would follow that with last year’s National Player of the Year Evan Turner now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers as the NBA’s No. 2 draft pick this June, Matta’s squad is prime for another year as a major player in the Big Ten — as well as the nation.

Incoming freshman power forward Jared Sullinger will soften the blow of losing Turner, a possible one-and-done player currently slated in Chad Ford’s Top 10 for the 2011 NBA draft.

The Buckeyes also return an experienced cast of characters: Senior Jon Dieber was one of the better shooters in the nation last year — his true-shooting percentage (64.0) was good for 23rd in the nation, while his effective field-goal percentage (60.9) was good for 30th. Without Turner around, junior William Buford could be an All-Big Ten selection. Senior Dallas Luaderdale will provide a well-seasoned counterpart to Sullinger up front, while senior David Lighty will give the Buckeyes a strong defender.

And freshman forward Deshaun Thomas, another five-star recruit, is icing on a talented cake.

Heading into the season, Ohio State’s most pressing issue will be find their main ballhandler sans Turner. The job could be Buford’s, but Matta has also spoken highly of freshman Aaron Craft, who could get time in the rotation off the bench.

Bottom line: It may take a little bit of time for the Buckeyes to get up to speed without Turner around and needing to work a talented freshman into the fold of an experienced cast, but once Ohio State is firing on all cylinders, watch out.

Along with Illinois, the Buckeyes present the biggest threat to Michigan State atop the Big Ten standings. And don’t be surprised if this team makes a deep run in the tourney, as a trip to the Final Four is certainly within play.

Quotable: “The thing I asked them the most was I’d like to think we do things a certain way at Ohio State in terms of the culture we have set for our program and teaching those guys how we do things, from going to class, to being respectful, to professors, whoever they come in contact with. But also a work ethic. And I think that the four veterans have done a tremendous job of teaching that. It’s like I told the freshmen on our first team meeting. I said: We’ve got a great tradition going here at Ohio State right now and you guys haven’t contributed one ounce of anything to it and you have to earn your stripes here; I want you to follow these guys’ lead. And as I told them, I think we’ve got four great leaders, but if you don’t want to be led it’s not going to work. And to those guys’ credit, they’ve done a tremendous job of engaging themselves and following the lead of those guys.” — Matta at Big Ten media day on his veterans showing the freshman the ropes

Filed to:

  • No true ball handler. Along with depending on freshman. Final Four out of reach.

  • Anonymous

    eh, do we know for sure the decision is coming monday? will there be a press conference? or was dakich emailed from the zeller camp (i highly doubt it as no way they wudda told who they told and where he’s going)

  • stonaroni

    They had no true ball handler last year and were dominant. I think the Buckeyes win 30 this year, too much talent. In fact, I see them winning the Big 10. PG by committee and studs everywhere else you look!

  • Anonymous

    Hey, did you go to Night of the Living Red? They showed your video there on the jumbotron before the scrimmage.

  • Anonymous

    seriously? damn…i’m surprised cuz i thought the big screen wudda killed the already bad resolution/pixels from the video. thanks for letting me know though. but no i didn’t get to go, i live in georgia (unfortunately). i’d one day be able to move back to bloomington though

  • Anonymous

    did dakich say he’s shifting his allegiance to insidethehall? GOOD MAN. or am i misreading?

  • joe

    resolution/pixels weren’t great, but the video still captured the vibe of the team. i was near the hallway of the locker room when the video played. the players were getting ready to take the floor, when someone told them to wait, then your video came on! the players were standing in the hallway ALL staring at the big screen. they were high fiving each other during certain spots (victor’s awesome dunk and elston throwing some weights around). again, great video!

  • Mariner

    Turner was a great ballhandler for his size. When he was out for a few games after the bad fall their cohesion was really messed up. He is a guy you do not replace with Frosh no matter how talented. Maybe a late season run but not enough over the big ten season to knock off MS.

  • Anonymous

    wow..thanks

  • stonaroni

    Off topic, but a little bird told me that AE and CZ got the royal treatment last weekend, scrimmage Friday night, football Saturday, meeting with the IU president, met Bill Polian, spent some time at Cook Hall for practice, got some quality time with CTC and family, and AE and CZ got a standing ovation from the patrons at a steakhouse in B’town.

    All of that is sweet, but UNC cannot duplicate a standing O in a steakhouse for two kids from Indiana where everyone knows their name and face.

    BTW…much of the weekend Hanner and Yogi were close by. Hanner gets it! Does Yogi?

    I say yes. He has been to IU atleast 3 times since football season started. He has to like what is happening there and he will be a FR while Hulls is a SR so he knows he has atleast 3 years of starting point. I think we nab him sooner than later. I bet it is before next summer, but I think it is soon. CTC will reach in his bag of tricks and drum up some interest in another 2012 PG, Yogi will have to sign at that point.

  • IU_Fan_99

    I thought everyone keeps saying November 10th?

  • There’s no definitive date as of yet. Everything is speculation.

  • Anonymous

    Given the trouble Iowa is having after it came out that two of its recruits were allowed to meet Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore at a game, I’d hope they didn’t have a meeting set up with Bill Polian. Unless he’s some kind of official IU representative, wouldn’t that be a similar error?