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tBBC Ahhh! Calm Down – There’s Always Next Year

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Ahhh! Calm Down – There’s Always Next Year
    jcollingsworth
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    (Photo courtesy of The Lantern)

    The 2015-16 OSU MBB season can be labeled a disappointment. But is it really? The Buckeyes ended overall at 21-14 and in the Big Ten 11-7. After losing five substantial contributors from the 2014-15 season: D’Angelo Russell, Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, Amir Williams, and Anthony Lee – was the prognosis really so rosy?

    The Buckeyes ended their regular season this year not being included in the NCAA Tournament .. *ichigan State Spartans assured that reality. So off to the NIT they went only to slip by the Zips of Akron in OT before elimination was handed to them in a recognizable defeat by the Gators of Florida. So, thus goes the 2015-16 season.

    Optimistically the Buckeyes are returning the entire roster. Marc Loving the leading scorer with 13.5 points per game will be a senior. Jae’Sean Tate the leading rebounder with 6.4 per game will be a junior. The assist leader – JaQuan Lyle with 4.3 per game will be a sophomore. Keita Bates-Diop, of whom I personally will be the next big star for the Buckeyes, will be a junior. But allow me to remind you – Bates-Diop, Bell, Giddens, Harris, Lane, Loving, Lyle, Mitchell, Tate, Thompson, and Williams are all returning to Columbus for the 2016-17 MBB season.

    Now with all that being said – what exactly does it mean?

    On the surface it means that a team that throughout this past season who played a “little” Jekyll and Hyde-ish with memorable victories over Kentucky on December 19th (74-67); TTUN on February 16th (76-66) & Iowa on February 28th (68-64). Just as we selectively store those wondrous wins into the back of our minds we recall the recent – *ichigan State three-fold & Florida.

    It all comes down to the mind-set these kids have coming into next year. Thad Matta is a top notch coach and I cannot perceive allowing a repeat of this season now that they have that “rebuilding” label withdrawn.

    But, realistically, it all still comes down to the opposition. In the case of the Big Ten for the 2015-16 season let us take a look:

    INDIANA HOOSIERS (2015-16: 27-7 overall 15-3 Big Ten)


    The Hoosiers and Tom Crean are still in the mix for the NCAA Championship. In my East Regional Bracketology I boldly (as some would profess) picked Indiana to be the last team standing (we shall see). The seniors they stand to lose will be Jackson Tharp (a non-factor) and Yogi Ferrell the Hoosiers leading scorer with 17.1 points per game – will be a substantial loss. James Blackmon, Jr. will be returning as a junior with his 15.8 point average. Troy Williams and his 13 point average will be back as well as Thomas Bryant and his 11.5 point average. Collin Hartman and his feistiness too will be returning.

    Conclusion:


    Indiana is a serious contender.

    *ICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (2015-16: 29-6 overall 13-5 Big Ten)


    Their star – Denzel Valentine will be gone as will his 19.6 point average and 7.5 rebounds per game. The rest of the Big Ten is elated. Tom Izzo though showed he is not. Also gone will be Matt Costello the team’s leading rebounder with 8.5 per game and the 3rd leading scorer with 10.5 points. Bryn Forbes too is gone – as is his 15.1 points per game. These are substantial losses. But in next season’s play watch for Eron Harris to get more time on the court from his 20.5 minutes this year. The same will be the case for Deyonta Davis from his 18.3 minutes of this year.

    Conclusion:


    MSU is always in the thick of it … don’t be so naïve to assume they’ll have a typical rebuilding year. Absolutely a contender!

    MARYLAND TERRAPINS (2015-16: 27-8 overall 12-6 Big Ten)


    Maryland is always in the mix come College Basketball discussions. This year certainly was no different. The Terrapins though stand to lose Senior Robert Carter and his 6.8 rebounds per game along with his 12.6 point average. Also gone will be Jake Layman who in 31 games averaging 31 minutes on the floor per game will be taking his 10.8 points per game average and 3.5 rebounds with him. Rasheed Sulaimon is also gone along with his substantial play time – 32 games and 32.4 minutes – along with his 11.2 point average and 3.6 rebounds. Their leading scorer Melo Trimble (14.4 point average) will be back as well as the team’s second rebounding leader Diamond Stone (5.4 boards per game). Also look for Jaylen Brantley’s time on the court (8.4 minutes in 27 games) to improve as well as his point average from this year’s 2.7.

    Conclusion:


    Personally I am not a Mark Turgeon fan … I cannot explain in detail without running into an apparent ludicrous summation. So I won’t. But Maryland is Maryland. They attract great recruits. Each year they are in College Basketball discussions. They are a contender.

    PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (2015-16: 26-9 overall 12-6 Big Ten)


    Purdue’s leading scorer is gone. As a senior AJ Hammons and his 14.8 points per game along with his respectable 7.8 rebounds per game will be departing the Boilermakers’ facilities. This is a big loss. Raphael Davis is also gone. In 27 games he averaged 29.4 minutes on the floor and delivered with 8.6 points on the average and 4.0 rebounds. Caleb Swanigan and his 8.2 rebounds per game and his 10.4 points average though will be returning. Vince Edwards (not the actor) too is returning with his 10.5 point average, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists.

    Conclusion:


    Just like Maryland – Purdue attracts good recruits and are always in the mix in the Big Ten. Contenders for the Big Ten Title? No! Invited to the NCAA Tournaments in 2017? Yes!

    IOWA HAWKEYES (2015-16: 22-11 overall 12-6 Big Ten)


    The Hawkeyes stand to lose the most come next season – of all the Big Ten. Jarrod Uthoff, a redshirted senior and his team leading 18.8 points per game along with his 6.5 rebounds will be hoping to land notice in the NBA. Also gone will be Adam Woodbury and his team leading rebounding skills – 8.5 per game. Mike Gesell also is leaving with his team leading 6.2 assists. Anthony Clemmons too will be leaving Iowa City along with his 9.3 point average and 3.5 assists. It almost makes you feel bad for Hawkeye fans … but then a gush of cool air comes by and wakes you from such a silly state.

    Conclusion:


    The Hawkeyes will be in a rebuilding year come next season. But Iowa seemingly always finds a way to surprise. So be prepared!

    WISCONSIN BADGERS (2015-16: 22-12 overall 12-6 Big Ten)


    The Badgers are still looking for some of last year’s magic this year. They are hardly done … but we are talking about next season, aren’t we? At the moment the Badgers are looking good. Senior Jordan Smith was simply no factor this year. Returning – perhaps – will be Nigel Hayes and his Badger leading 16.5 point average and 5.8 rebounding(s) and his 3.1 assists. Also slated to return is Bronson Koenig and his 13.5 point average; along Ethan Happ and his 11.9 point average and his team leading rebounding – 7.8 average.

    Conclusion:


    Wisconsin looks to be in contention for the Big Ten Title … and if they do not make that road happen they will be in the same position they are this year and last year … moving right along in the NCAA Tournaments.

    TTUN (2015-16: 23-13 overall 10-8 Big Ten)


    The Wolverines will lose their leading scorer Caris Levert and his 16.5 point average. Also gone will be non-factor Spike Albrecht. Returning for TTUN will be Derrick Walton, Jr. and his 12.3 point average and 5.7 rebounding skills. Zak Irvin, too, returns with his 11.3 point average and 4.3 rebounds per game. The Wolverines depth chart is not as impressive as some of the other Big Ten teams for next season. But recruiting seems to change landscapes. TTUN is a noted school and will get quality help.

    Conclusion:


    The rebuilding will continue in Ann Arbor.

    NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (2015-16: 20-12 overall 8-10 Big Ten)


    The team’s leading scorer will be gone – Tre Demps and his 15.5 points as will the team’s leading rebounder – Alex Olah – 11.1. Bryant McIntosh will return next year as a junior. His average this year – 13.6 points looks to improve as he’ll move into the driver seat for the Wildcats.

    Conclusion:


    Overall, let’s be real, Northwestern could beat the pants off everyone in the Big Ten on a Math Quiz – but not basketball.

    PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (2015-16: 16-16 overall 7-11 Big Ten)


    Leading scorer Brandon Taylor will be gone along with his 16.3 point average and 6.5 rebounding skills. Shep Garner though returns with his 14.5 point average. This leaves some hope for Penn State. Otherwise the notion that the Nittany Lions are more than a Football School just isn’t in place for the moment.

    Conclusion:


    Not much to say here – maybe NIT – but probably not.

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (2015-16: 16-18 overall 6-12 Big Ten)


    The Cornhuskers leading scorer Andrew White III and his 16.5 points per game will be back. The team’s second leading scorer Shavon Shields with his 16.4 points per game and 4.7 boards will be departing. The player on this squad that I like is Tai Webster – the New Zealander. He’ll be back and look for his 9.7 point average and 4.1 rebounds to improve.

    Conclusion:


    The Cornhuskers will need more than Webster and White III to compete successfully in the Big Ten. They will continue to get beat up.

    ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (2015-16: 15-19 overall 5-13 Big Ten)


    The leading scorer for the Fighting Illini will be back – Malcolm Hill along with his 18.6 point average and 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Mr. Hill can play basketball. But he cannot do it alone. Gone for Illinois will be Mike Thorne, Jr. and his 12.9 point average. The teams’ second leading scorer Kendrick Nunn does return as well as his 15.6 point average and his 5.1 rebounds. I like this kid too – but who knows?

    Conclusion:


    I suspect this team may surprise … but then maybe not. They have the ability in Hill and Nunn but more weapons are needed.

    MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (2015-16: 8-23 overall 2-16 Big Ten)


    The Golden Gophers return Nate Mason and his 13.8 point average and Jordan Murphy and his team leading rebounding of 8.0 per game. I feel a player that will eventually shine for the Golden Gophers is Dupree McBrayer out of Queens (NYC). His 5.1 point average will improve with both time on the court and presence in big-time basketball.

    Conclusion:


    Minnesota isn’t heading anywhere next season.

    RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (2015-16: 7-23 overall 1-17 Big Ten)


    Perhaps the only positive for the Scarlet Knights is Steve Pikiell’s hiring. But then again how patient is Rutgers and their Athletic Department? Steve will need time. Let’s hope he gets it. Other than that I see one bright spot for Rutgers and that is their leading scorer Corey Sanders will be returning with his 16.2 point average. Also a player to watch beyond this year is their Senior (not returning) Bishop Daniels a 6-3 Guard who averaged 8.6 points per game with 3.8 rebounds. Look for Daniels to be drafted in the D-League … yep! You heard it here first.

    Conclusion:


    Rutgers basketball? Not next year!

    So there we go … somewhat of a breakdown for next year. The Buckeyes just like the Badgers of Wisconsin will be in good shape for the 2016-17 season. To say that these Buckeyes will be right in the thick of it all with teams such as Indiana, *ichigan State, Maryland, Wisconsin – even Purdue come next season may seem like a pipe dream to Buckeye Nation … but do not perceive the future based on the past … history often deals different hands in the progression of time … it is how those cards are played. Thad Matta is as good of a coach as anyone in the Big Ten and if you look at his roster today – which will be next year’s too – just remember one year of experience on these kids will add wonders. Watch Thad to make the most of their talents too. The Buckeyes may not be the Big Ten Champions next year – but look for them on your bracket sheet come 2017.

    The post Ahhh! Calm Down – There’s Always Next Year appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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