Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your Thursday morning(ish) Hive. You have my most sincere apologies for posting this a little later than usual. Like many of you, I’m always a little bit discombobulated around the holidays and it throws off my routine. I hope your Christmas was a good one. In some of my former jobs I had the week from Christmas to New Year off from work. My current job isn’t like that, however. We got to leave at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and we were off on Christmas. I used a personal day on Wednesday, but I’m back in the saddle (and office) this morning, unlike 80% of the staff, who took the entire week. Yesterday I stayed home to watch my daughter, because her day care was closed. Known as Boxing Day in much of the world (as Charles told you yesterday), the day after Christmas has become a traditional day for me to chill and watch Premier League soccer (and play video games with my daughter).
The Buckeyes got a nice present for Christmas. Vico, who doesn’t even rest on Christmas, told you about the commitment of Glenville offensive/defensive lineman Marcelys Jones—the first verbal commit in the 2014 class. Presumably Jones will be an offensive lineman, and it’s nice to see Ohio State putting more emphasis on this position than it did in the last years of the previous regime. If Ed Warriner hangs around awhile, the offensive line should remain a strength for the Buckeyes. Let’s Hive it up.
Ohio State’s shooty hoops team is coming off its worst performance of the season, but will try to recover this Saturday against Chicago State at 4:30. The Buckeyes fell to Kansas for the third time in a year because they simply couldn’t shoot any of the hoops. As Vico mentioned in his recap, the second half was a nightmare, with everyone not named Deshaun Thomas or Amir Williams combining to go 0-for-20 at one point. One would like to credit the Kansas defense, but the ugly truth is that many of those bricks were wide freaking open. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this will be the last loss this season due to poor outside shooting. Teams will double Thomas as a matter of course, clog the middle, and make the Buckeyes beat them with jump shots. Ohio State must become a better shooting club against teams with a pulse. Chicago State signals the end of the non-conference season. The B1G schedule starts Jan. 2 against Nebrasketball.
What Hilltoppings would you like on your pizza?
We know you wait all year for the Little Caesars Bowl, and the end was…well, interesting. Western Kentucky lost its last pre-Bobby Petrino era game last night, eschewing a late game-tying field goal to go for the win. Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Kawaun Jakes’ pass on fourth-and-two from the 19 fell incomplete, giving Central Michigan the 24-21 victory. Interim coach Lance Guidry, subbing for the departed Willie Taggart (now at South Florida), said the players wanted to go for the win instead of playing for overtime. He listened, and the Hilltoppers lost. While it’s no sure thing to put a game on the shoulders (or leg) of a college kicker, it’s important to remember that college football games can actually be won in overtime, so Guidry’s decision to listen to a bunch of 18 to 22-year-olds was not a sound one. I can’t fault a coach for trying to win, but there are many ways to win.
Shooty lady hoops back in action tonight
The No. 24 Lady Buckeyes host VCU tonight at The Schott at 7 p.m., in a game that can be streamed at BTN.com. Ohio State (8-3) has won two straight games, heading into tonight’s second contest of a three-game home stand. Howard will visit Sunday, signaling the end of the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Buckeyes visit Iowa on Jan. 3 to tip off the B1G slate. Senior guard Tayler Hill brings her 19.1 points-per-game average into tonight’s tilt. As good as Hill’s scoring has been, it would be nice to see her improve her assist-to-turnover ratio. She has 32 assists on the season thus far, with 36 turnovers. However, she has added 29 steals to lead the team in that category.
Puckeyes gear up for Three Rivers Classic
I always find it amusing when a first-year event bills itself as a “classic,” which is exactly what the inaugural Three Rivers Classic has done. Four teams, including Ohio State, will square off at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, starting Friday night. The Buckeyes (7-6-5, 6-3-3-1 in the CCHA) must have drawn the short straw, as they’ll face No. 5 Miami Friday night. Robert Morris (7-4-2, 4-3-1 in Atlantic Hockey) and Penn State (7-8-0) will square off in the early game Friday. The winners will meet for the tournament championship on Saturday, and the Friday losers will skate in the consolation game. The Buckeyes lost both in regulation and in an overtime shootout to Miami (11-3-4, 8-3-3-3) two weeks ago in a weekend series Dec. 14-15. Friday’s game will not count in the CCHA standings. As long as senior goaltender Brady Hjelle is between the pipes with his CCHA-best 1.46 goals-against average, Ohio State has a good chance.
An intriguing Florida offensive tackle is considering a transfer to Ohio State (or Boston College)…Brian Bennett gave his Ohio State football report card and I feel dirty for linking to a Bennett article two weeks in a row…Doug Lesmerises picked his top six Urban Meyer moments of the year…Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 16 points on Christmas Day in a win over the Nets. Sully was +21 in 33 minutes, adding seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in a good day’s work.