Good morning lads and lasses and welcome to your weekly dose of Thursday Morning Hive action. The football Buckeyes are off this week, but that’s ok. You can get your Ohio State sports fix tomorrow night when the shooty hoops team faces Marquette on a freakin’ aircraft carrier. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Net at 7 p.m. The U.S.S. Yorktown is the setting, and even though it holds only a paltry 4,000 spectators, the Buckeyes should be plenty juiced for the game against the Warriors. But hey, it isn’t just the men who get to play on a big boat with a flat top. The OSU women will also get carried away (see what I did there?), with a game against Notre Dame. It’s probably needless to say this, but it’s the first game on an aircraft carrier for both the men’s and women’s teams. Sadly, I’ll be unable to watch, but Vico will be bringing you the recap. Speaking of the Carrier Classic, the event has OSU women’s coach Jim Foster, a Vietnam veteran, reflecting on his time in the service.
With a 10-0 football squad, it is sometimes easy to forget the start of the basketball season sometimes. But the Buckeyes are once again locked and loaded for a potential conference championship and a run in the NCAA tournament. This year’s team may require a bit of patience while they find out a lot of things about themselves. We know about Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith Jr. What remains to be seen is who will step up and be the team’s leader, as well as which players will develop their game enough to become mainstays, and which will step into supporting roles. I believe we’ll see a lot of combinations early in the season until those roles work themselves out, and there will probably be a few growing pains along the way as well. Can Sam Thompson step up offensively? Will LaQuinton Ross be a steady scorer and contribute on the defensive end as well? Which center will hold down the pivot? It will be fun to find out and that starts tomorrow. Let’s Hive.
Shenanigans(?): Two Hoosiers Suspended to Start Hoops Season
Indiana freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin were suspended nine games for receiving impermissible benefits while in high school, including airline tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, a cell phone and clothing. Mosquera-Perea must pay back $1,590 to a charity of his choice and Jurkin will have to fork over a mere $250. The impermissible benefits for Jurin and Mosquera-Perea amounted to $6,000 and $8,000, respectively.
While it’s easy to point and laugh here, because Tom Crean, the facts in this case are a little sketchy. Apparently the benefits given would ordinarily have been cool, but the person who provided them was considered a booster. AAU coach Mark Adams, who provided the benefits, is considered an Indiana booster because he donated a whopping $185 to the Varsity Club between 1986-92. That’s about 31 bucks a year. The NCAA said the two players were qualified to receive the benefits from the nonprofit organization Adams used to help international players obtain travel documents and cover travel costs to the U.S. But, there’s that pesky “booster” status. This seems to be a little stupid on the NCAA’s part, but hey, NCAA. Also, Indiana has a slight recent history under a coach named Sampson, you may recall.
RIP Darrell Royal
It’s kind of a big deal when the New York Times runs an obituary on a college football coach that hasn’t been part of the sports landscape for decades. Royal died at age 88 on Wednesday after battling Alzheimer’s. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Royal never had a losing team at Texas, leading the Longhorns to three national championships, 11 Southwest Conference titles, and 16 bowl appearances. His wishbone running attack was cribbed with great success by guys like Bear Bryant and Barry Switzer. Royal was known for his witty, folksy humor and was one of the game’s great innovators. Many of the ripples of what Royal invented or perfected are still being felt in the game today. RIP Darrell.
Women’s Volleyball Rebounds From Minnesota Loss
The No. 15 OSU women’s volleyball squad bounced back from a tough loss to No. 10 Minnesota to beat Nerdwestern 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20) at St. John Arena last night in a match televised on the BTN. The Buckeyes improved to 19-8 on the season and 10-5 in the B1G with the victory. With 19 kills and 13 digs, senior Mari Hole notched her 14th double-double of the season to lead Ohio State. Hole added a service ace and a solo block for good measure. The Buckeyes are back in action Saturday night, hosting Illinois.
Men’s Soccer Season Ends
Ohio State’s men’s soccer season ended last night with a 2-0 loss to Nerdwestern in the B1G tournament quarterfinals. The Buckeyes couldn’t muster any offense against the No. 2 seed Wildcats, who scored twice in the game’s first 12 minutes and were never challenged. Tyler Miller stopped only one shot in the Northwestern goal. Alex Wimmer also made one save for Ohio State, but he did allow two goals in three shots on net. The Buckeyes fired 11 shots at Northwestern’s goal, including seven after the break, but could not find the target. Ohio State’s season ends with a 6-10-3 mark.
If you thought Ohio State’s punt unit had some issues this season, what did you make of Ohio University’s punt implosion last night? The Bobcats had all kinds of issues in a 26-14 loss to Bowling Green in Wednesday night MACtion. The Falcons will battle Darrell Hazell’s Kent State Golden Flashes next Saturday for the MAC East title…Sully started again for the Celtics, contributing four points, four rips, an assist and a block in 24 minutes as Boston beat the Wizards in OT…Star Wars Episode VII preview?…Austin Ward with some nice fluff on Noah Spence…Four of this year’s OSU Athletics Hall of Famers are College of Education and Human Ecology alumni.