Wednesday, April 4

Buckeyes choke down the stretch, Sully turns to the NBA

I write this in a much more somber mood than the last time I was here. Ohio St’s bid for a National Championship ended last Saturday when they let a game that they should have had slip away. The Buckeyes lead Kansas by nine at halftime and by as many as 13 on multiple occasions, but poor second-half shooting and Deshaun Thomas’ foul trouble lead to the Bucks’ demise.

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this game, because I still can’t quite figure out exactly how we lost. Sure, you could be quick to point out Jared Sullinger’s pedestrian 13 points on 5/19 shooting, or the fact that Tank spent a significant period of time on the pine with foul trouble, but I still thought that Ohio St was clearly the better team and had no business losing this game - and that’s what really grinds my gears.

Being ousted in the Final Four is always going to be depressing, but losing to what in my opinion was an inferior team is frustrating to no end. As much as I tried to talk myself into Ohio St standing a chance against Kentucky in the finals, the fact is they probably would have had their asses handed to them (just as Kansas did). That lessens the sting of this Jayhawk loss a bit, but I would have been much more comfortable losing to a team like Kentucky than one I thought we were truly better than.

But so it goes in the world of sports - another season, another disappointing end for one of my teams. As expected, Sullinger added to the pain of the Buckeye fan base this afternoon by officially announcing that he’s headed to the Association. I was actually shocked when Sully turned down lottery pick-money last season to return to the Bucks, so this came as no surprise and I certainly don’t blame him. He put his future on hold for one year in attempt to win a National Championship; I wouldn’t expect him to do it again after falling just shy of that goal and absolutely wish him the best at the next level.

All eyes in Columbus now turn to Deshaun Thomas, as we await his decision to either follow his teammate to the big time or return to the Scarlet and Gray. I have felt all year that Thomas was probably not ready for the NBA but would decide to go anyway because well, he just seems like that kind of guy. After his explosion in the NCAA tournament his draft stock has surely skyrocketed and chances of him coming back are most likely slim.

This would be devastating for the Buckeyes, as this team really only had three scorers, and Tank joining Sully in the pros coupled with Will Buford’s graduation would leave OSU with none next season. Surely other guys could step up to fill the void (I’m looking at you, Sam Thompson and Amir Williams), but without a strong freshman class coming in the Buckeyes will take a huge step back. Speaking of Buford, I just want to quickly point out the irony of Willy Buckets having his best game in over a month (19 points on 6/10 shooting) in their loss, after shooting abysmally in the teams previous seven postseason games - all victories. I guess I was slightly off in my prediction of him having to shoot well in order for the Buckeyes to be successful.

So after turning the page on another Buckeye season, I guess there’s only thing left to do - break out the Wahoo gear. Less than 24 hours ‘till Opening Day!


1 comment:

Andy said...

Hey, we did a lot better than michigan did.

Wahoo gear, you say? I think I might get out my Progressive Field hat for the occasion.