Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

Roberts Not Drafted

Saturday, June 28th, 2008


Brian Roberts was not one of the 60 players selected in the NBA draft last Thursday night. He played well in the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, and some experts predicted that he could be selected in the second round. However, it appears that he will have to continue his basketball career in Europe.

Roberts had a superb season in his senior year with UD.  He had phenomenal games with 28 points when Dayton upset #11 Louisville and scored 31 points when Dayton blew out #6 Pittsburgh 80-55.  Due to his performance, he received the ESPN’s Weekly Watch Player of the Week twice.  Roberts was a finalist for the Naismith Award and John R Wooden Award.  He led UD in more than several categories: scoring with 18.4 ppg,  free throw ppercentage (86%), 3-pt percentage (45.5%), assists (117), and minutes played (1179).   He finished in the top 10 as one of Dayton’s best in history in career scoring. 

Although Roberts had great stats, I knew that there was only a slim chance that he would be selected in the NBA draft. Unfortunately, he only played in one post-season tournament during his four years at UD (the NIT during his senior year). For a player to get recognized by the NBA, it appears that he has to lead his team into the later rounds of the NCAA tournament. 

He still has a chance this summer to try to sign as a free-agent with a team.  I doubt it will happen and he will end up like Wright State guard DaShaun Wood and end up playing oversea in Europe.  He probably can still make a good living with six figure salary overseas. 

Koufos Drafted by the Utah Jazz

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Ohio State center Kosta Koufos was selected with the 23rd pick in the first round by the Utah Jazz in the NBA Draft Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Madison Square Garden was where Koufos played his last collegiate game as a freshman for Ohio State. He helped lead Ohio State to an NIT Championship over UMass and was named MVP of the NIT tournament.  Ohio State also played in the pre-season NIT at Madison Square Garden where Koufos had one of his best games of the season, when he led the team with a season high 24 points and a 79-65 win over then #21 Syracuse. 

In his one-and-done season with Ohio State, Koufos averaged 14.7 points a game and 6.7 rebounds per game.

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Koufos was drafted a little later than most basketball experts predicted. Some NBA pundits expected the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft the Canton, Ohio native earlier in the first round.

Koufos was the only Ohio State basketball player drafted in the 2008 draft.  Graduated seniors Jamar Butler and Othello Hunter were projected in some draft sites to be drafted in the second round, but were not selected in the 2008 draft. 

It should be interesting to see how Koufos does in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.

Dayton to Play in 2008 Chicago Invitational Challenge

Friday, June 6th, 2008


After beating two ranked BCS Big East power-house basketball teams last season – blowing out then #6 Pittsburgh at home and beating then #11 Louisville on the road – the Flyers were looking to play some other BCS teams for their non-conference schedule for the 2008-2009 season. 

Dayton will get to play two BCS teams from the Big East and SEC Conference in the third annual Chicago Invitational Challenge at the Sears Centre Arena in November during the 2008-2009 season.

Before taking on the two BCS teams in Chicago, the first two rounds of the Chicago Invitational the Flyers will host Bethune-Cookman on Sunday, November 23 and Mercer on Tuesday, November 25 at UD Arena.

The Flyers will then play Auburn from the SEC on Friday, November 28th and Marquette from the Big East on Saturday, November 29th at the Seares Centre Arena in Chicago.

The other teams playing in the Chicago Invitational will be Northern Iowa, Chicago State, and Texas Southern.

After seeing what happened to Pittsburgh at home in UD Arena, most teams would probably not want to play at UD Arena. This is good for the Flyers that they could find two BCS teams to play on a neutral court.

Buckeyes Add 2 Players for 2008-2009 Season

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball squad will have two more players to the 2008 recruiting class to provide depth for the 2008-2009 season. 

Thad Matta announced this week that 6′ 2” sophmore guard Jeremie Simmons from Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan and Nikola Kecman, a 6′ 9″ freshman forward from Eastern Arizona College signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Ohio State.

Simmons will have 2 seasons of elgibility for the Buckeyes, while Kecman will have 3 as a Buckeye.


Simmons, a first team NJCAA All-American last season, was a 2007-08 All-Michigan Community College Athletic Association selection as a sophomore and was named the league’s player of the year. 

An interesting fact I found out about Jeremie Simmons from a blog post dated April 10th on Hotbed Hoops was Dayton was trying really hard to recruit him. The blog made a good point that both the Flyers and Buckeyes needed a good versatile guard like Simmons after the graduation of Ohio State guard Jamar Butler and Dayton guard Brian Roberts.

Kecman is a native of Belgrade, Serbia.  He averaged 13.4 points as a freshman at Eastern Arizona. He scored 428 points, the second-highest scoring total on the squad. He made 170 of 301 (.565) field goals and 35 of 80 (.438) 3-pointers. In 32 games, he grabbed 120 rebounds (3.8 rpg) for the 30-6 Gila Monsters.


Nikola Keckman will be a good replacement for Kosta Koufos. He will be a power forward who can add outside presence by playing on the perimeter and playing inside as well.

The Buckeyes 2008 recruiting class is now made up of 6 players, including Rivals 2008 #1 5 star basketball recruit 7 foot center BJ Mullens.  Another 5 star recruit the Buckeyes have is shooting guard William Buford, ranked #19 overall and the #4 shooting guard by Rivals.  The rest of the class is point guard Anthony Crater and shooting guard Walter Offutt. has the Buckeyes as a pre-season top 25 team for 2008-2009.  The team should be good and I expect the Buckeyes to make the NCAA Tourney and be contenders for a Big Ten Title.

Koufos to Enter NBA Draft; Wallace to Transfer from OSU

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Ohio State 7 foot freshman center Kosta Koufos declared earlier this week that he will enter the NBA Draft.  Koufos has not signed with an agent yet – leaving him the option of returning to school to for his sophmore season. 


Kosta Koufos averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes during his freshman season.  During the NIT Tournament, he played his best basketball of the season averaging 18.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and lead the Buckeyes to an NIT Championship.  His performance helped him be named the MVP of the tournament.

College basketball players like Kosta Koufos who declare but do not hire an agent have until June 16th to withdraw their name from the NBA draft.

Kosta Koufos will probably not be coming back to OSU. If he does not enter the NBA draft, it is probably because he is not a lottery pick and he will opt to play professional basketball in Greece. I feel there is a better chance that he will come back to OSU than when Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Daquean Cook had to make their decision. The chance is slim, but most players don’t come back once they declare for the NBA draft.

Freshman forward Eric Wallace has asked earlier this week that he be released from his scholarship and that he will be transferring to another school after he finishes spring quarter. 

The 6′ 5” freshman forward saw limited playing time this year.  Wallace played in 15 games and averaged 4.8 minutes of playing time and scored 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

I can understand the reason that Eric Wallace decided to transfer from OSU.  A great recruiting class coming in will not help increase his playing time.  He would probably have that much playing time his next 3 years at OSU.  Maybe another Division 1 or a Division 2 school is a better choice. It should be interesting to see what school he decides to transfer to.

Buckeyes Finish Out Like Champions

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Finally – after losing to Florida 84-75 in last year’s NCAA championship game and to Texas A&M 70-47 in this year’s NIT pre-season title game – the Ohio State Buckeyes won a basketball championship by defeating the Massachusettes Minutemen 92-85 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. This victory secured the Buckeyes’ NIT crown.

Ohio State became the third team in history, besides Dayton (1968) and Kentucky (1976)  to lose in the NCAA title game the previous season, and win the NIT the next season.

Some people may say “Who cares?” But to finish out the season the way they did, and for an Ohio State team to win a championship, instead of keeping the reputation of a second place finisher, is good for the university.  Although they are not NCAA Champions, the Buckeyes can at least feel proud of their accomplishments. They should be especially proud of how they played and progressed at the end of the season.

As Jamar Butler quoted in an ESPN article, “This is what happens when you put an NCAA tournament team in the NIT.  Write that down and send that to the committee.” Butler finished his last college basketball game with 19 points and 8 assists. The Buckeyes proved their point and built momentum going into next year’s basketball season.  Ohio State has a great 2008 recruiting class and should be a pre-season top 25 team.

Buckeyes Are Headed to NIT Championship

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

The Ohio State Buckeyes are going to the title game again – although it is the NIT Championship and not the NCAA Championship.  It would have been ironic to see a rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship game between the 2006, 2007 back-to-back 2 time defending national champion Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes in the NIT Championship. 

However, Florida lost in the NIT Semi-finals on Tuesday night to A-10 foe UMass 78-66.  Ohio State advanced by beating Mississippi 81-69 in the NIT-Semi-finals.   

Ohio State basketball has made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season and it has really started to show through March and especially in the NIT Tournament.  In the NIT Tournament, the Buckeyes have breezed by every team they have played so far winning in double digits against UNC-Asheville, California, Dayton, and Mississippi. 

Hopefully, OSU can close out the season on Thursday night with a win against UMass and an NIT Championship.  OSU better not have another meltdown in the title game with a second place finish.  The winner of the game can at least have pride and make the NCAA Selection Committee feel bad that the committee didn’t select them for the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State Defeats Dayton in NIT Quarterfinal

Friday, March 28th, 2008

The game setting seemed surreal.  After going to 6 Ohio State games and 6 Dayton Flyer basketball games this season, I couldn’t believe the 2 teams would be playing each other in an NIT Quartefinal Matchup in front of a 19,000 plus sold out crowd at Value City Arena in Columbus Wednesday night.

None of the opposing teams that Ohio State played at home this season and in recent years had as big of fanbase and as much noise from an away team in the arena as the Dayton Flyers did Wednesday night. The Dayton Flyer Faithful made up a good amount in the crowd and you could even hear the Dayton Flyer Pep Band and Dayton Flyer fans chanting D-A-Y-T-O-N! , Lets Go Flyers!, and other types of chants Dayton does at home games as loud as Ohio State chants around the arena.  It was amazing to see how many UD fans were in the crowd and it was almost as if the 2 bands and noise of both fan bases were competing with each other.


Dayton played Ohio State tough in the first half and went into the half leading 31-30. In the second half, Dayton had some defensive lapses and fell apart as Ohio State began the second half on a 13-4 run and would get hot in the second half with Jon Diebler and Jamar Butler hitting a few threes to pull away clearly and have the game won by the 5 minute mark from Dayton. The final score Ohio State 74 Dayton 63.

Kosta Koufous was too much for the smaller Dayton squad as he could make moves and take it inside and shoot from the outside as well to lead Ohio State with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 5 rebounds.  The interesting stat was Dayton outrebounded Ohio State 35-25. 

Jamar Butler added 12 points, Evan Turner contributed 11 points, and Jon Diebeler scored 10 points off the bench for the Buckeyes.

Brian Roberts finished his last game wearing a Flyer uniform with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Brian Roberts finished 4th on Dayton’s all time career scoring and will go down as one of the greatest Dayton Flyer players ever to wear a uniform.  Unforutanetly Roberts never go to play in the NCAA tournament, but at least he finished 1 season in his 4 year career with a post-season appearance. 

Chris Wright scored 12 points and Charles Little added 10 points and 7 rebounds for Dayton.

The Dayton Flyers finished the season with a 23-11 overall record. 

As the Yahoo sports article says, Ohio State will end the season right where the season started – A trip back to Madison Square Garden.  Ohio State played in the pre-season NIT and made it all the way to the championship before losing to Texas A&M in the title game.  Hopefully, this time in the post-season NIT, Ohio State will make it all the way to the title game and not lose in the title game like they have in football and basketball.

Ohio State to Square Off with Dayton in the NIT Quarterfinals

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

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The #1 seed Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the #3 seed Dayton Flyers in the NIT quarterfinals Wednesday night in Columbus at 9 PM at Value City Arena. 

The Buckeyes have had no trouble at all winning in the NIT tournament so far.  Ohio State crushed UNC-Asheville 84-66  in the first round at home and came off a cruising win against California 73-56 at the old St John Arena Monday night.

Dayton won the first round of the NIT at home against Cleveland State 66-57 and won the second round on the road Monday night at Illinois State 55-48

The winner of the game goes on to play in the NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden against the winner of the Mississippi/Virgina Tech game.  

Ohio State definitely has the home court advantage going in their favor, although there will be a decent amount of Dayton Flyer fans in the crowd.  If the game was at UD Arena, I would pick UD to win.  My prediction of the game will be Dayton stays with Ohio State the whole ball game and keeps it close, but Ohio State wraps up the game by making free throws at the end to win 68-59 to move on to Madison Square Garden.                                      

Buckeyes Lose to Michigan State in Big 10 Quarterfinals

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Michigan State Spartans beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 67-60 in the Big 10 Quarterfinals in Indianapolis in the Conseco Fieldhouse Friday afternoon.

Kosta Koufos lead the Buckeyes shooting 8-of-13 from the field with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  Kosta Koufos shot the best from beyond the arc, shooting 2-of-3 and tied for making the most three pointers beyond the arc for the Buckeyes in the game.  David Lighty scored 12 points, Jamar Butler added 11 points, and Othello Hunter scored 10 points and 7 rebounds. 

However, the 4 Ohio State players scoring in double digits was not enough to beat Drew Neitzel and Michigan State.    Drew Neitzel shot lights out shooting 9-of-17 from the field, 6-of-12 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line for a game-high 28 points.

Ohio State went into the half tied with Michigan State 30-30.  The Buckeyes only lead in the game would be the first basket in the second half on a David Lighty layup to make it 32-30.  Michigan State regained the lead for the rest of the game after a Drew Neitzel 3 pointer to make it 33-32.  The Buckeyes kept it close the rest of the game, but couldn’t take the lead and capitalize.

Ohio State finished the regular season with a 19-13 (10-8) record. Ohio State will have to wait for Selection Sunday and hope they hear their name called for the NCAA tournament. 

Let me tell you why Ohio State will be in the NCAA tournament.  The Ohio State Buckeyes have AD Gene Smith as 1 of the 10 people on the NCAA Selection Committee.  Of course, any school’s athletic director is going to put their own school as 1 of the teams in the NCAA tournament.  I have more confidence and faith that even after losing to Michigan State today, that the Ohio State Buckeyes will still be playing in the NCAA tournament than I do in the Dayton Flyers playing in the NCAA tournament.