Special thanks to Steve Spencer of The Columbus Dispatch for use of his "Mount Buckmore" artwork.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Schott off the mark again

In an interview with The Dispatch, Bill Jones of the OSU Athletic Dept. says he will be considering a change of policy for seating/tickets for men's basketball games.

According to Jones, 4,000 student tickets--of about 19,000 total--were alloted this season. Half in the, ahem, "Nut House" behind each basket and half in the upper bowl. The high-profile lower bowl seats are first come, first serve, (which is why the enthusiastic, demonstrative kid with novelty foam cowboy hat is usually court-side). The "nosebleeds" are reserved so those students can funnel the final pre-match beer just moments before tip-off in the Jesse Owens parking lot. However, these upper bowl ticket holders can't make their way behind the baskets if they notice their fellow students have failed to show.

The thorn in Jones' (in charge of ticketing and premium seating) side is the empty seats he's seen in these designated sections, particularly on big nights such as the Feb. 10th engagement with Indiana.

"It's really frustrating to us," Jones said. "(Students) want us to do this and this and this and this (for them), and when we do it, they don't show."
Welcome to the discussion, Bill Jones, one that's taken place behind your back for the last 10 years. And, yes, that's some pickle the athletic dept. has found itself in. Unfortunately, it sounds like Jones' knee-jerk reaction is to use this season as an example and distribute less reserved student tickets next year:
"I keep hearing rumors that students are going to propose (they be allotted) more basketball tickets next year," Jones said. "When you see the empty seats we have now, why would I think of doing that?"
It would be a shame to make the Schott a more sterile place based on the lack of enthusiasm during a season of uninspired basketball on the court. Jones is open to the idea of all student seats being first come, first serve.

Still, I think the crux of the matter is that Jones and his department are driven by the dollar (of which Schottenstein Center has been emblematic since its construction in the Geiger years.) He notes that the empty seats in the Nut House could fetch $27 from a non-student fan. But, as anyone who has been to a Buckeye game at V-a-l-u-e C-i-t-y Arena is aware, the typical non-student fan is nothing more than a red-sweatered body filling a seat.

Greed is good, and so are those potential lower -bowl revenues

While the Nut House isn't anywhere near as intimidating as the Cameron Crazies, or any ACC fan section for that matter, we've seen what kind of support the OSU student body can offer when given the chance. Instead of punishing students for skipping out on games that David Lighty would probably rather miss as well, Jones and his staff should take steps with the immeasurably important student fan base and not against them.

In other Schott-related news...

Earlier this week, Eleven Warriors dug up some rumblings that the chosen one may be making an appearance at Sunday's b-ball game vs. Wisconsin. Read the comments section to learn that this may be a sure-thing.

If so, expect no less than 30 cut-aways to Pryor and his entourage during the CBS telecast.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mullens, Buford named McD's All-Americans

B-ball class of '09 commits B.J. Mullens and William Buford (right) have been named to the McDonald's All-American squad. Only 24 high school players in the country are bestowed with this honor.

Though both future-Buckeyes are local (Mullens plays for Canal Winchester and Buford is a Toledo boy), they will be on opposing rosters. Big man Mullens will be playing for the West alongside Rivals' top-ranked player, Greg Monroe (Georgetown) and SG Buford will suit up with a handful of ACC bound players like Tyler Zeller (UNC) and Elliot Williams (Duke).

The McDonald's All-American game is unofficially the most prestigious high school all star game in any sport as well as a pretty accurate indicator of future success(click "Alumni.") Of course, you always have your Ivan Harris' of the bunch who never pan out like projected.

Not a McDonald's All-American, but a clown nonetheless

Talented freshman center Kosta Koufos, still waiting for that "dare to be great moment," saw limited time in last year's game but still managed nine points.

Mullens and Buford join former-Buckeye cagers like Greg Oden, Jim Jackson and Clark Kellogg who also played against the best in the Mickey D's annual showcase.

This year's game is will be played on March 26 in Milwaukee.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Pryor: "I don't want anymore attention"

At least that’s what the mystery recruit told his gal-pal Mike Farrell in this “hot off the press” interview from Buckeye Grove.

So, it only seems fitting to post about his request.

The article, as far as I’m concerned, could be a composite of several “updates” that Farrell has published since no new information has surfaced. If anything, the interview already sounds dated when compared to the reports coming from other sources of ill-repute.

The highlight reel:

Pryor said the media attention has slowed down a great deal since Signing Day.

"That day was tough because I was being criticized by everyone for not making up my mind and signing," he said. "Mark May from ESPN is criticizing me on national television and he doesn't even know me. That kind of stuff really bothers me, when people who know nothing about me are talking about me like they know anything. There was so much media there that day that I had to address the issue, but I'd prefer to be left alone."

This is where he gets into the “no more attention.” A big plus for the Buckeyes is that Pryor has already formed a mutual distaste for Mark May.

But is Pryor doing it to appease his father or is he truly interested in the Nittany Lions?

"I'm really interested," he said. "This isn't just being respectful of my father, this is thinking things through and making sure I have all the info I need before I make a big decision. I really like Coach Bradley at Penn State and they could end up being the right fit for me, I'm not sure."

Has any other school entered the picture?

"No, it's still Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon," he said. "That's it."

So Penn St. may really have a shot and, despite these aforementioned reports otherwise, it’s still four schools in the race.

"I've seen everything at Michigan, but I didn't get to see everything at Ohio State," he said. "I am still in touch with all the Ohio State commitments I've become friends with, but they're being really cool about it, not pressuring me."

He goes on to say that Michigan is still on the same plateau as the rest but he sounds pretty nonplussed about his affair with Ann Arbor. Evidently the tour was pretty lackluster? They showed him the Big House and then the part of campus where students walk to class, followed by that one cool bar…you know the one.

Very Euro

There’s also something in there about Oregon and nice facilities but I wasn’t too clear on that issue. Read for yourself and find the hidden meaning to it all.

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Terrelle talks the talk

The PSU blog, Run Up the Score! (as well as Eleven Warriors,) has posted a hilarious photo with accompanying Terrelle Pryor story du jour.

I don't want to steal any of their thunder, but, to summarize, the Boy Wonder got his balls busted during a basketball play-off game by what looked to be a bunch of high school freshmen (one of whom bore striking resemblance to a young Jim Tressel.)

Worth your time.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

About that halftime "speech"

Maybe I'm still sore about OSU's poor defensive showing this afternoon but, with the prompting of this bit in The Advocate a friend forwarded, I feel like some lingering should be done on RichRod's halftime address.

Firstly, Rich all but publicly acknowledged that his appearance was a direct, albeit long delayed, retort to Tressel's introduction back in '01. A refresher:


Now, note that Rodriguez makes to sure avoid any such rousing remarks or predictions (the response to Tressel); he just promises that Michigan will be fielding a team and they'll play football and stuff.

“I’m not going to make any predictions just yet, other than one thing, if you come into the Big House when the Maize and Blue comes out of the tunnel, I guarantee you that they will play hard and they will play physical.”

Kudos to The Advocate for picking up on what didn't come through clearly on the broadcast:
During his remarks, several hundred Ohio State fans seated in the upper bowl of the arena began chanting “Tressel,” referring to Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel, and held up a sign that said “1,548 days,” which referred to the number of days since Michigan had defeated Ohio State in football.
Rodriguez turned to the Ohio State fans and told them, “I hope you guys up there enjoy your seats.” Wolverine fans than began counter chanting, “Beat the Buckeyes.” To that, Rodriguez said, “Amen. I hear ya!”

Hard to tell if Rich was being playful with the badgering Buckeye fans (heres the photo from The O-Zone) or was inches away from sprinting to the top of the arena and administering a West Va. style beat-down. Either way, if he wasn't going to attack his provokers, then the escaped cheetah on his wife's shirt was going to do something about it.

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Michigan posts first win over OSU since Feb. '04

After 4 meetings on the football field and 3 1/2 basketball seasons, the Wolverines finally got one. The last 'L' to Michigan came in the Crisler Arena on Feb. 29, 2004. The leading scorer for the Bucks? Tony Stockman.

Suffice it to say the victory was a big deal in Ann Arbor, with RichRod in attendance (taking notes) and the Maize Rage rushing, or should I say meandering, on the court after time expired.

Looks like the NIT might be the place to be for Matta's ragtag squad (despite previous predictions.) Since and including their loss to Purdue on Jan. 12, the Buckeyes are 5-6 and face what is almost certainly the toughest stretch of their schedule.

It would be impressive, to say the least, for the Buckeye ballers to reach Matta's magic 20th win, as it would mean victories over at least two of the Big Ten's best. The positive outlook being that this remaining schedule, if navigated correctly, could sneak OSU into the tournament.

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