Hello, and welcome to your morning Hive, Tuesday edition! Besides the basketball Buckeyes, there isn’t much going on in the world of Ohio State athletics. As Margie wrote yesterday, with their 89-55 win over Long Beach State on Saturday, the Ohio State men’s basketball team improved to 6-1 on the season. Not surprisingly, Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes in scoring with 18 points on 16 shots. Second in scoring for the Buckeyes vs. LBSU was LaQuinton Ross who finished with 16 points on 5 of 10 shooting–all 5 of his misses coming from beyond the 3-point arc. Ross had his second strong performance in as many games. The sophomore swingman finished with 22 points 1 week prior to playing LBSU when the Buckeyes beat Northern Kentucky 70-43. On the season, Ross is averaging 10 points per contest and has not missed a free throw in Ohio State’s last 3 games. If Ohio State wants to duplicate its postseason run from a year ago, then Ross is someone that needs to continue to play well for the Buckeyes.
Coming into this season, everyone knew that the majority of the scoring load would be put on Deshaun Thomas. And the Tank has delivered so far averaging just over 20 points per game. However, after Thomas, where Ohio State’s scoring would come from was something many wondered about this year’s Buckeyes. With the loss of Sullinger and Buford, Ohio State lost just over 33 points per game. Who would pick up that slack? Well, through 7 games this season, that’s still a mystery. Although, OSU’s last 2 games could be very telling as what to expect for the remainder of the season. One thing is for certain, Deshaun Thomas will shoot early and often and will find a way to finish every contest with at least 16-20 points. LaQuinton Ross can be the viable second option that Ohio State so desperately needs. Other guys such as Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr., Shannon Scott, and Sam Thompson are capable to give OSU a lift offensively on certain nights, but they can’t do it consistently. Ross can. Ross is a long, athletic wing player that is a natural scorer. If he is able to give Ohio State 12-16 points per game on a consistent basis, Ohio State can be as dangerous as anyone in America. The Buckeyes will play 8 guys every game and get decent offensive contributions from Craft, Smith Jr., and Scott each contest, but they need someone like Ross to step-up and do it on a nightly basis.
It should be interesting how Ohio State continues to grow each and every game. The real test will be on December 22nd when the Kansas Jayhawks come to Columbus. Hive time? Alrighty then.
A street sign that reads “12-0 Row” was placed at the corner of Lane Avenue and High Street in honor of Ohio State’s undefeated season. Even though the Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason after a 12-0 year, it’s nice to see this team getting the recognition it deserves. It’s not as good as a trip to Miami would have been, but its something.
BIG LIFE. BIG STAGE. BIG RANKINGS.
The AP poll was released yesterday for this week’s Top-25 in men’s basketball. Currently, there are 6 ranked B1G teams–4 in the Top-10. Indiana stayed at number 1, TTUN remained at 3, Ohio State didn’t move at all and stayed at 7, Illinois jumped from 13 to 10 after their win over Gonzaga, Minnesota jumped from 14 to 13, and Michigan State stayed at 19.
Yesterday, Johnathan Hankins said that he was going to forego his senior season at Ohio State and declare for the NFL draft. Full story can be seen here.