Happy Friday, fellow Hivesters. I trust you are ready for Hate Week II: The Sequel, as our Ohio State basketball Buckeyes travel to that slut Ann Arbor to take on the dreaded Wolves (see how I left off the end part of the name? /Hoke’d). TTUN has won two straight since falling to Sparty, beating Nebrasketball on the road and Illinois at home (more on the ILOLini later). Zack Novak has come on of late. You may remember that he failed to score a point in Columbus. I don’t expect him to get shut out again, but it would be completely awesome if that happened. It would also improve Ohio State’s chances of a season sweep. The fun happens Saturday night at 9 p.m. on the Worldwide Leader. Apparently it’s going to be a maize-out or something. As you know, nothing is more intimidating than a sea of bright yellow, but if Dave Brandon thinks it’s fair, well, who are we to argue?
Eli Woodard is the fourth 2013 commitment
Urban Meyer may just fill his 2013 recruiting class with blue chips before the Spring Game at this rate. Meyer landed another outstanding recruit yesterday when Voorhees, NJ cornerback Eli Woodard gave his verbal commitment. Vico gave you the details yesterday, but in case you missed it, the Eastern High School star is a longtime Buckeye fan and chose THE Ohio State University over schools like Alabama, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Michigan, Cal, Miami (FL), Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, and others. Rivals and Scout both list him as a four-star recruit. Along with Cam Burrows, Woodard gives the Buckeyes two of the country’s outstanding defensive backs in the 2013 class already. Rivals ranks Burrows seventh and Woodard 28th overall among all 2013 recruits. Woodard’s commitment is not a big surprise, as his affinity for Ohio State has long been known. However, it was likely cemented with his visit last weekend and a sit-down meeting with Urban. The future Buckeye is listed at 6-1, 185 pounds. What Meyer’s 2013 class may end up lacking in quantity, due to scholarship reductions, it certainly makes up for in quality. At least so far.
Checking in on The Villain
One nice perk of my job is that I have the opportunity to enter random drawings for Orlando Magic tickets. While I wasn’t fortunate enough to win them for the Boston game, in which my beloved Celtics came roaring back from a huge 27-point deficit to win, I did manage to score the seats for Philadelphia’s visit on Wednesday. This was my first chance to see Evan Turner play as a pro and the company seats did not disappoint. The package included free parking close to the arena, free food and beer at the Amway Center’s Mercedes Benz Star Lounge, and two tickets in the second row, just behind the scorer’s table at midcourt. I don’t think I’ve ever had seats that good for anything before, including my own wedding reception. To see just how good the seats were, check out the photo on the right, taken with my trusty Droid X phone. Doug Collins didn’t start E.T., saving him for the second and fourth quarters. As The Villain waited to check into the game, there was a delay. Turner looked up and saw my bright red Ohio State shirt near courtside and gave me a quick nod and a smile. The guy in front of me was from Cleveland and seemed just a tad jealous. As well he should be.
Turner scored only six points in 26 minutes, but pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and dished out six assists in the 103-87 loss to Orlando. He could have scored a lot more. Turner’s role on offense seems to be to bring the ball up the floor, pass, get wide open, and stand there while Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala or one of his other teammates takes a selfish, contested jumper. Turner himself was only 2-7 on a cold shooting night for the Sixers after he hit two of his first four. He seemed a bit bothered on his pull-up jumpers in the lane, which is understandable with Dwight Howard lurking in the paint. Philadelphia shot horribly in the fourth quarter. Elton Brand (6-10) Williams (7-13) and Nikola Vucevic (5-10) were the only Sixers to hit at least half their shots and Vucevic even managed to miss a dunk. Philly ran a lot of ISO plays that left Turner in the corner unattended. Whichever 76er the play was called for often took a contested jumper where a kick-out to Turner may have resulted in a wide-open three. Turner did play pretty well defensively and was a machine on the boards. Only Howard pulled down more, with 14, but he played 15 more minutes than E.T.
Bill Sheridan on the way out already?
The newest last piece of Urban Meyer’s coaching staff has interviewed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator position. If Sheridan were to leave, it would be a blow to the Ohio State staff. Sheridan has NFL cred. On the other hand, at least the Buckeyes have already landed two top cornerback recruits, as mentioned above. An NFL coordinator job would certainly trump a college position coach job in terms of salary and prestige. We’ll keep an eye on this for you. What do you think? Who should Urban hire if Sheridan flies the coop?
Bruce Weber has basically given up
After Illinois lost 67-62 at home to Purdue Wednesday night, Illini coach Bruce Weber seemed to have thrown in the towel on saving his job. Yes, this same Illini team that beat both Ohio State and Michigan State at home has lost seven of its last eight games, including the last four in a row. Illinois is now 16-10 overall and 5-8 in B1G play, putting the team on the bubble to go dancing in March, despite the quality wins over Ohio State and Sparty. Weber will likely be fired if the Illini don’t make the NCAA tournament, and possibly even if they do, but at least he said nice things about Aaron Craft at his presser.
He lamented that his players weren’t more like Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, Michigan State’s Draymond Green or Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, three guys Weber said he wishes he could coach “because they really, truly care about the team and winning and that’s the most important thing for them.”
Randy Edsall gets pwned
I truly enjoyed this piece in the Washington Post.