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Dave Thurman (7:27 pm)

The number one Buckeye basketball team had little trouble in exercising some demons at the Barn earlier today, besting Minnesota 82-69.  The victory pushed the only undefeated team left in Division One to 24-0, setting up an epic dual against Wisconsin next Saturday in Madison. 

Last Tuesday night as Drew and I were interviewed by Eric of the Buckeye Battle Cry for their Radio Hour, I said I thought the streak might well come to an end against the Gophers.  That was, however, before I watched Minnesota lose to a  depleted Indiana squad the following evening.  In all my years of watching the Hooisers (and I live in Indiana) I have never seen as unathletic a group as Tom Crean was forced to play that night and they still defeated Tubby's team.  I guess Minnesota misses Al Nolan more than any of us expected.  Anyway, it was great to finally win one in the Barn, and move to 24-0. 

The victory was fueled by David Lighty who shook off a bit of a slump to lead the way with 19 points, while Jared Sullinger finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in spite of hitting only 2-8 from the charity stripe.  It is a bit concerning that all of the sudden big Sully is struggling with his free throws.  On a positive note, Dallas Lauderdale had his best offensive performance in some time, scoring 10 points.  Overall it was a solid ballgame for a team that keeps on finding ways to win. 

However, one wonders if the jig is up as the Buckeye hoopsters now head to the Kohl Center in Madison to play a physical Wisconsin team that manhandled Michigan State today, 82-56.  Tom Izzo's squad is sinking faster than Ted Kennedy's car in the Chappaquiddick, but it does not take away from the fact that the Badgers are playing well and are awfully tough at home.  So, the whole nation will be watching Saturday at 2 PM, in what should be an electric atmosphere.  If I was a betting man I would have to put my money on the home team, but I am learning not to wager against this Buckeye squad.  Let's hope the streak just keeps on going!

 
 
Eric from The Buckeye Battle Cry was nice enough to feature us on their latest episode of tBBC Radio Hour. Though we will never consider ourselves experts, we of course are always up for a chance to talk about Buckeye sports. In this episode all the chatter centers around the 2011 recruiting class and this year's basketball team.

A big thanks to Eric and the guys at The Buckeye Battle Cry... 
 
 
TSUN enters The Schott tonight!

After a six game losing streak, including a 68-64 loss to the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines (13-9, 3-6) have rattled off two wins in a row. The latest win came over Iowa, where Hardaway Jr. and Smotrycz helped Michigan shot 50 percent from three point land. Like all John Beilein teams, this Wolverine squad can play with anyone when they get hot. Here's hoping to another opening half of fantastic defense, where Sullinger and company squash TSUN's upset dreams.

The game tips at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN, with the LiveBlog starting at 6:30 PM. Beat Michigan!
 
 
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Dave Thurman (3:11 pm)

Signing Day is now history and The Ohio State University has welcomed twenty-three new student athletes to their football team with the possibility of another one being added if legal troubles can be ironed out.  Most every fan has seen the various player rankings by services such as ESPN, Scout, Rivals, and 24/7 Sports.  But how did the Buckeyes do at each position?  In this post I will give a letter grade for each position group, based on the talent of those signed, with some consideration to how well the apparent need was met. Here goes...

Quarterback: Wow!  Without doubt OSU has a plethora of riches at this position, as they intended to sign one but got two instead.  Headliner Braxton Miller proved he is the real deal while leading his Wayne squad to the state championship game, and the only negative on this shifty, strong-armed field general might be that he has been somewhat injury prone.  Miller could fight for early playing time due to the suspension of returning starter Terrelle Pryor.  In addition, the Bucks got Cardale Jones from Glenville, who has a boatload of potential and nice size to boot.  Since his grades are not stellar he will probably head to prep school  Fans have to feel good about the potential of this position for the future.  Grade: A

Running Back: Since the Buckeyes have a full house returning at this position (read: five good ones), they took a pass in 2011, but already have verbals from the best pair in the state for 2012 in Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn.  Grade: Inc.

Receiver:
I like the two guys Ohio State inked: smooth Evan Spencer who has the bloodlines and talent to be a good one, and quick Devin Smith, who may be a bit underrated in my opinion (despite 60 catches for 1130 yards).  Both will fight for immediate playing time at a depleted position.  However, I was hoping for one more player here, and feel that OSU is awfully thin at receiver heading into the fall.  Grade: B

 
 
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It's all about the ink today...
Dave and Drew Thurman

National Signing Day is finally here, with all the rumors and chaos that come with it! Stay tuned with us all day as we keep you updated on who has officially signed their National Letter of Intent, and also the announcements of some big time players still on the board (Walker, Grant, Jennings, etc...).

The staff already has Jeremy Cash, Joel Hale, Jeff Heuerman, Braxton Miller and Ryan Shazier enrolled early, so cross their names off the board.

Let's get the updates started...

(8:50 am) Thus far five guys have signed their NLOI, including Nick Vannett, Antonio Underwood, Connor Crowell, Bryce Haynes and Chase Farris.

(9:10 am) Cardale Jones picks the Buckeyes, while Aundrey Walker has chosen USC. I hate to lose out on Walker, as I wanted to see at least 5 offensive lineman in this class.

(9:11 am) Ejuan Price has stuck with his commitment to OSU. Huge news to see him sign after all the Pitt rumors.

(9:15 am) As most would expect, Ja'Juan Story has kept his commitment to Florida. I never thought the Buckeyes were going to sway him. I do think he would have enjoyed Miller throwing him the ball more than Jeff Driskel in 3-4 years.

(9:23 am) Doran Grant has now signed his NLOI according to his coach, and also offensive lineman Tommy Brown. If you are counting, that's nine so far today and 14 overall.

(9:35 am) Michael Bennett and Ron Tanner are at an All-Star game in Texas and will fax their letters of intent together this morning. Wide receiver Evan Spencer does have his NLOI in.

(9:42 am) Darius Jennings has picked Virginia. The chance to play on offense kept him from Columbus, and has kept him closer to home. All the rumors have proven true so far, let's hope we can say the same after Curtis Grant announces.

(9:45 am) Steve Miller has now signed on the dotted line and has faxed in his NLOI. Rumors are circulating that Andre Sturdivant now has a Buckeye offer after some of the missed today. (Update: He signed with Toledo)

(10:03 am) Add Michael Bennett and Brian Bobek to the list of those who have signed.

(11:06 am) Tommy Brown, Kenny Hayes and Devin Smith all faxing in their NLOI. The only players left are Ron Tanner, DerJuan Gambrell and Chris Carter Jr. Apparently weather may prevent Gambrell from signing until tomorrow. 

(12:01 pm) Chris Carter Jr. has been arrested for fondling girls. More to come on that story. In other news, Ron Tanner has faxed in his NLOI.

(12:47 pm) DeJuan Gambrell has signed his letter of intent. Now we are just waiting for news on Grant and Carter...

(1:52 pm) Curtis Grant ended all speculation choosing the Buckeyes live on ESPN.  A huge get on a day that had not gone too well.


 
 
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Drew Thurman (10:12 pm)

The best holiday of the year is tomorrow (known as National Signing Day), which is interesting for multiple reasons. Obviously the drama of top rated recruits announcing is what makes tomorrow great, but I also enjoy watching grown men losing all perspective due to the decisions of 18 year olds.

Anyway, for those of you lucky enough to keep up with things during work, there are some announcement changes. As Bucknuts/247Sports.com is reporting ($) Darius Jennings has moved his announcement time from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. He will be choosing between Ohio State, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

The Glenville crew was suppose to announce tonight, but due to the weather they moved things to tomorrow at 10 am. This should be the buzz all morning, as many of the experts expect Aundrey Walker to pick USC. Cardale Jones, Shane Wynn, and Andre Sturdivant will also be making their decisions too. 

 
 
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Remember Aundrey...NCAA SANCTIONS!
Drew Thurman (12:36 pm)

National Signing Day is just around to corner, and there still is some drama left for the Buckeyes. While the 2011 class is already very solid with 22 commitments, filling many positions of need, there are a few names left on the board that would put this class over the top. So, let's take a look who's left in this edition of Afternoon Notes, giving some predictions of where they wind up in the end.

Aundrey Walker: The big man (6-6, 355 pounds) has been very tough to read during the recruiting process. At this point his list is narrowed to OSU, Michigan State and USC, as he claims all three visits were great. There are lots of rumors circulating around that he will pick USC tonight, while others insist that he will follow the "Glenville pipeline" to Columbus. I tend to feel he pulls a Cordale Scott, and pick the Trojans in the end. Not only has he gone on record as saying USC is his "dream school," but has never seemed to be as in love with the Buckeyes as most the Tarblooder players are. I hope I am wrong, as the Buckeyes could really use another offensive lineman of his caliber, but I just don't have a good feeling about this one at all. In the end, he's going to play for Kiffin.

Curtis Grant: If Grant chooses the Buckeyes, he very well may be the headliner of this class. No offense to Braxton Miller, I just really think he is that good. Anyway, he's down to OSU, Florida, Virginia and UNC, with everyone saying it's an OSU-Florida battle. There are plenty of rumors out there that Grant's heart is in Columbus, but Buckeye fans know that Tressel doesn't have a great history of landing these type of players late in the process. The Urban Meyer departure definitely helps, so I reluctantly think he picks the Buckeyes.  His commitment could be very important for the staff as well. With Jordan Hicks and Trey DePriest leaving the state the last few years, it would be nice to land a player of the quality to make you forget about those two guys.