Good morning and welcome to the Hive, Tuesday Edition! I hope you all had a wonderful latter part of last week and weekend. As Nate discussed yesterday, Alex Anzalone de-committed from Ohio State following the scandal involving sex offender Charles Waugh. Anzalone’s de-commitment is the second recruiting loss for the Buckeyes in the past week. The other, of course, being Hunt (NC) LB Lewis Neal. Obviously, players de-committing is never a good thing, but let’s not worry too much, Buckeye Nation. Even with the loss of Anzalone and Neal, this recruiting class is shaping up to be a top-10 to top-5 class in the nation. As it sits right now, there are roughly nine months until national signing day. I don’t know about you guys, but, prior to Neal’s and Anzalone’s de-commitments, I didn’t see everyone that was verbally committed sticking to those commitments–including Ohio State commits. After seeing what Urban was able to do following OSU’s tumultuous year, I have full faith in him and his ability to get most of the recruits that he covets.
Now, let’s do away with all the negativity and get into some positive news, you guys. Neither the men’s basketball team nor the football team are in season, but players and coaches continue to represent Buckeye Nation well–for the most part. Don’t worry, Hivesters, “for the most part” isn’t that bad. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s get into the Tuesday Hive, shall we?
Yesterday, senior defensive lineman John Simon was named to the Lott IMPACT Award watch list. Simon is on the trophy’s watch list for the second year in a row. The trophy is named after former USC and San Francisco 49ers stand-out, Ronnie Lott. Since 2004, the Lott IMPACT Award equally recognizes athletic performance and personal character attributes of the player. Past award winners include DeMeco Ryans (2004), Glenn Dorsey (2007), and Ohio State stand-out James Laurinaitis (2008). Simon is one of 42 members on the 2012 watch list. He was a semifinalist last season and 1 of 7 players to be named to both the 2011 and 2012 watch lists. Luke Kuechley, the former Boston College linebacker, won the award last season. The Tuesday Hive would like to congratulate Urban Meyer’s guy, John Simon!
BASKETBALL BUCKEYES: PAST AND PRESENT
This past week was a very busy week for some former OSU basketball players and head coach Thad Matta.
As most of you are aware–and equally as disinterested as I am–the NBA playoffs are currently going on. There are 4 former Buckeye ballers on the rosters of teams in the playoffs–Evan Turner (76ers), Mike Conley Jr. (Grizzlies), Kosta Koufos (Nuggets), and Daequan Cook (Thunder). Both Turner and Conley Jr. start for their respective teams, Cook comes off the bench to play about 10.5 postseason minutes per game, and Koufos has only played in 2 of the 4 Nuggets playoff games for a total of 24 minutes. So, obviously, Turner and Conley Jr. are headlining the former OSU basketball players in the NBA playoffs. Conley Jr. is having a very nice postseason for the Grizzlies. The PG is averaging 15 points and roughly 7 assists per game. Like Conley, Turner is also having a stellar postseason. The 2nd-year SF is averaging 14 points, roughly 4 assists, and 6 rebounds in 4 playoff games for the Philadelphia 76ers. Turner has helped the Sixers win 3 straight against the 1-seeded Chicago Bulls to now lead the series 3 games to 1. Take that, Joakim Noah. No more stupid dances for you, it appears.
Sticking with the trend of former Buckeye ballers: as I mentioned in last week’s Tuesday Hive (which I know you all read) both William Buford and Jared Sullinger threw out first pitches for a Columbus Clippers game this past Wednesday. A video of their attempted pitches can be seen here. Let’s just say baseball isn’t a likely career choice for either of the former Buckeye hoopsters.
Like Buford and Sullinger, head coach Thad Matta made news last week and let’s just say I like Matta even more now. Mark Titus’ book, Don’t Put Me In Coach, constantly portrayed Matta as a funny man and he didn’t disappoint Buckeye fans at a charity event last week. The 23rd-annual Pigskin Roundball Spectacular charity event took place last Wednesday in Mason, OH. This year it was headlined by Urban Meyer, Thad Matta, and assistant coaches of both the football and basketball teams. There were approximately 1,000 people in attendance and none of them left disappointed thanks to Matta’s humor and swipes at TTUN.
“Their new football coach calls us Ohio (as opposed to Ohio State),” Matta said on Wednesday. “The basketball coach calls us Ohio. … A reporter asked me one time, ‘Thad, how do you feel about them calling you Ohio?.’ I said, ‘My man, I’m 16-3 against Michigan in eight years. They can call us whatever they want to.’ ”
Thad Matta, you never disappoint and for that, the Tuesday Hive commends you! Seriously, guys, how lucky are we Buckeye fans to have head coaches like Urban Meyer and Thad Matta!? In my opinion, Ohio State has the best football/basketball coaching combination in America. It’s hard to argue that, but I’ve heard Ohio State haters attempting to do so and I just simply ask them to tell me a better combination. And once I tell them to think of a better duo, I add this to make my point.
NOT A GAME, NOT A GAME. PRACTICE!
Before I bid you adieu, Hivesters, yesterday was the 10th year anniversary of the famous Allen Iverson “Practice” video. And for your pleasure, here it is.
As always, Go Bucks!