Yoo-hoo, Hive-a-maniacs! Over here, I’m right here. Yes, it’s your Friday Morning Hive, loaded with zinc, B-vitamins and antioxidants, so it tastes great and is healthy, too. We’re knee deep in the dead time between basketball and football, no offense to the track-and-field, baseball and tennis fans out there. If we want a fix of college football, we’re pouring over everyone’s prognostication for the upcoming season, a mix of educated guessing and plain ol’ guessing. We’re into June, though, so college football isn’t too far off in the future.
And if you want a taste of college basketball, you can turn to the NBA Draft, which goes down June 28. Amid rumors of fixing and collusion, the draft lottery was held and we finally can begin to piece together which college star will go to which NBA team. Buckeyes fans have a special interest this year, as with most years, since Jared Sullinger is leaving Columbus early for the Association. After his freshman year, Sullinger was a projected lottery pick, but a sophomore season where he didn’t appear to improve all that much leaves him lower in the first round; Fox Sports has him going at No. 17 to Dallas, as does something called nbadraft.net, yet DraftExpress.com has Sullinger getting a phone call at No. 6 with the Portland Trail Blazer (kind of a bad omen, if you ask me). And thanks to not being a damn “Insider,” I can only assume where ESPN.com has Big Sully ranked.
I personally love Sullinger as a college player. His big frame and strong post game was essential to the Buckeyes success, obviously, and while his game didn’t appear to grow or improve as many would have wanted during his sophomore season, his attitude and personality seemed to grow and mature. But in the NBA, I have my concerns. Sullinger isn’t going to bull his way around the NBA blocks; for his position as a mostly back-to-the-basket guy, he’s a bit undersized.
The possibility of going to Dallas is the most ideal possibility for Sully. He’s a young player who needs time to learn the NBA, and with players like Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, there are veterans there who can help Sully learn the ropes. He won’t be counted on as a savior or someone to lead the franchise right off the bat, something which kills many young dreams and aspirations. And Sully can learn from Brendan Haywood, the pro who I see Sully turning out to be. Yes, Haywood is a 7-footer and taller than Sully, but their games and skill sits resemble each other.
BUCKEYES RANK THIRD …
In the Leerfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. After seven complete spring seasons, the Buckeyes rank only behind Stanford and Florida in the race which ostensibly awards the most complete and successful athletic department in the NCAA Division I. Ohio State’s ranking was aided in no small part by the men’s tennis team advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals and finishing fifth nationally, and the women’s golf team advancing the NCAA Championships, where they finished 22nd. Penn State (fifth) and TTUN (eighth) also represent the B1G in the top-1o of the rankings.
THE BEST IN THE CLASSROOM
Ohio State led the B1G with 187 student-athletes named Academic All-Big Ten spring and at-large teams. For the year, 312 Ohio State scholar-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten, and a record 548 were named Ohio State Scholar-Athletes. Everyone loves national titles and conference crowns, but to me, this is the best award 99% of student-athletes can receive. Not everyone is going to be a Jared Sullinger, with millions of dollars waiting for him in professional sports; most are going to hang up their cleats or rackets when their OSU eligibility runs out, leaving an entire lifetime ahead. It’s great to see so many OSU athletes taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them academically.
AND IN YOUR FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NEWS
NCAA president Mark Emmert says we could be in store for more conference shuffling as teams position themselves for a berth in a four-team playoff, if that were ever to become a reality. Come on, we already have teams crossing three time zones to play in their “conference.” How much worse can it get? Can we please just get a damned playoff already? Emmert and the rest of these folks are throwing up smoke screens and hypotheticals to scare us off from wanting what we’ve desired for years now. At this point, nothing is going to deter the college football fan and the right-thinking among the decision makers from pushing for a playoff. The naysayers should just give it up already.