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Written by Andrew Huber | 30 January 2012

 

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The basketball Buckeyes’ problems might not matter

The basketball Buckeyes aren’t perfect. They still have issues. But their problems are losing significance. Quickly.

Huber1Ohio State’s men’s basketball team won by 15 against Michigan at the Schott on Sunday. It was a significant win on many levels. The Buckeyes proved they could grind out a win against a very good team. All of the team’s starters contributed and, most of all, the Buckeyes sent Michigan back to Ann Arbor reminded of their place in the Big Ten hierarchy: behind the Buckeyes.

The losses to Illinois and Indiana felt distant on Sunday. The Buckeyes are once again alone in first place in the Big Ten standings. The team looked composed against a solid defensive effort. Free throw misses, lack of ability to shoot from distance, and a tendency to lose identity in key moments have all been issues for the Buckeyes this year.

Sunday brought a fresh perspective on those issues. They may still be there. We won’t know for sure until the Buckeyes are tested on the road again. But maybe those problems don’t matter after all.

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Written by Grant Edgell and Dennis Hopson | 29 January 2012

 

We've looked at Dennis Hopson's famed 1986-87 senior season, one in which he ended third in voting for National Player of the Year - an honor required by The Ohio State University before being given consideration to having your number retired. We've looked at the 1986-87 season of David Robinson, the man who won the award that year. We've compared and contrasted Hop's senior season to the college basketball greats of his era and seen him come out near the top in every angle you can view it from. We've also taken a look at how Ohio State and other institutions chose to honor special athletes that come through their programs over the years.

You've now heard plenty on the topic from us here at Buckeye House Call, but we also wanted to present to you the angle from within. The opportunity to see the situation from the inside rather than simple opinions from the outside looking in, so we went straight to the man himself:

Dennis Hopson

This is the fifth of a five-part series documenting the Ohio State career of Mr. Dennis Hopson - and why we should never again see a #32 in Scarlet and Gray.

 

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Written by Grant Edgell | 29 January 2012

Dennis Hopson is not honored in any manner within the hallways or arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on campus in Columbus, Ohio. Neither is Clark Kellogg or Herb Williams. Both are Buckeye greats, each teetering on Legendary, yet they are forgotten heroes within the Buckeyes' basketball program.

Most universities chose to honor their greats in one of many different ways. Some retire numbers. Some retire jerseys but keep the numbers alive. Some have chosen to take both routes. Meanwhile, The Ohio State University has chosen to retire just four numbers in it's storied basketball history while leaving many others who have succeeded enormously within the program to fend for themselves in the arena we call history. It doesn't make sense for the administration to cut it off at four when so many are deserving.

After all, greats were meant to be honored.

This is the fourth of a five-part series documenting the Ohio State career of Mr. Dennis Hopson - and why we should never again see a #32 in Scarlet and Gray.

 

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The Ohio State University men's basketball program has limited itself in how many numbers it can retire - requiring a player to win the National Player of the Year award in order to be considered - aside from the honorary retirement of John Havlicek's #5 in 2005. It is perhaps the greatest honor a student-athlete could receive, yet to date Ohio State has retired just four - the #11 of Jerry Lucas, the #35 of Gary Bradds, the #22 of Jim Jackson and Havlicek's #5 - all of whom were named National Player of the Year at some point during their Ohio State career except Havlicek.

Evan Turner was the latest Buckeye to receive the National Player if the Year award and in time his #21 will likely hang from the Schott's rafters as well. He was the fourth in OSU history to be named NPOY.

By comparison, the University of Kentucky has had a total three players named National Player of the Year - Forest Sale (1933), LeRoy Edwards (1935), and John Wall (2010) - but currently have 37 numbers retired at Rupp Arena. Yes, thirty-seven.

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Written by Grant Edgell | 27 January 2012

 

The 1980's were a golden era of college basketball. They began directly off the heels of the famed Magic v Bird matchup in the 1979 NCAA Championship Game and the list of players who won the annual Nation Player of the Year award during the decade is literally a who's who of college basketball history.

We've already seen what David Robinson did during his trophy run of 1987. We also saw what our beloved Buckeye Dennis Hopson did during his magical '87 season that saw him voted third in NPOY consideration. So how did Hop compare to the rest of the era?

Worthy of recognition, at a minimum.

This is the third of a five-part series documenting the Ohio State career of Mr. Dennis Hopson - and why we should never again see a #32 in Scarlet and Gray.

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Quickly, who broke Dan Marino's long-standing, 'unbreakable' single season passing yards record of 5,084 yards this season? The overwhelming answer would be Drew Brees and his 5,476 yards, and that would be correct. But it's easy to forget Tom Brady did as well with 5,235 yards of his own, and of course it doesn't make the record books due to Brees' performance. So are Brady's accomplishments any less worthy because of Brees?

The Ohio State University would apparently say yes.

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Written by Andrew Huber | 26 January 2012

 

For Urban Meyer and Mickey Marotti, first impressions are important.

“We’re going to open up the weight room tomorrow,” Meyer said at a press conference January 12. “After I saw some of our physiques, or whatever you say that is, we need to get in that weight room rather quickly.”

Huber1For Ohio State’s incumbent football players, four months of pain, led by Marotti, began January 13.

According to Meyer, Mickey Marotti was his “most important hire” when he assembled his staff at Ohio State. Marotti, officially the assistant athletic director for football sports performance for the Buckeyes, is the man in charge of the team’s new strength and conditioning program. He holds a Master of Strength of Conditioning, one of 100 in his profession that have earned that honor.

The two men have a history. They worked together as graduate assistants at Ohio State and again on Notre Dame’s staff. When Meyer took the head-coaching job at the University of Florida, Marotti was one of his first hires. Now they’re reunited in Columbus.

Right now, it’s safe to say he’s not the most popular man in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, at least among the players. Marotti is known for his brutal and unpredictable workouts. Many reports indicate that Marotti’s program for the Buckeyes has been shocking to the players. He knows he has work to do to turn the 6-7 Buckeyes into title contenders. Urban Meyer wants strength and speed that can compete with the SEC’s best. That strength and speed needs to be earned.

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Written by EB Cooper | 26 January 2012

 

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Cooper1February 6, 2004. I remember being a kid and walking through my house on that day, and seeing my dad reading through the newspaper. My dad was on the sports page, the most interesting page to me other than the comics page which I perused through often when my dad was done with the paper. The feature article of that day, however, was no laughing matter, and one that still troubles me to this day. Mario Manningham, star receiver from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio, had committed to play for TSUN as a junior. I was shocked. Although I’m not from Warren, I liked to follow their football program (My alma mater was more of a basketball school) and seeing Manningham, a player who could have easily stayed at home and played for my beloved Buckeyes, a player that lived 20 minutes away, who was a star athlete and hometown hero commit to play for That State Up North left me dazed and confused. I had been following the situation closely, I knew that Ohio State was very interested, and why not? A Four star prospect in high school, Manningham was a small but speedy receiver with quickness and agility that could make you fall out of your shoes. Put on top of that the talent that northeast Ohio had pumped down to Columbus (Warfield, Gradishar, DeCree just to name a few) in the past and it seemed like the perfect situation. But on that day I learned a tough lesson, not all Ohio boys grow up wanting to play for Ohio State.

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Written by Grant Edgell | 24 January 2012

The Ohio State University men's basketball program has retired four numbers in it's 113 year history. Dennis Hopson's #32 is not one of them. One prerequisite, aside from John Havlicek, to having this honor bestowed upon you at Ohio State is to have won the National Player of the Year Award in college basketball, of which three former Buckeyes have been selected for.

In 1961 and 1962 Jerry Lucas was chosen as the NCAA Division 1 Player of the Year, the United Press International Player of the Year, and the Associated Press Player of the Year. His #11 was retired on February 23rd, 2000.  In 1964 Gary Bradds was chosen as the NCAA Division 1 Player of the Year, the United Press International Player of the Year, and the Associated Press Player of the Year. His #35 was retired on January 27th, 2001.  In 1992 Jim Jackson was chosen as the United Press International Player of the Year. His #22 was retired on February 10th, 2001.

In an honorary ceremony at halftime of a game against Wisconsin in 2005, John Havlicek had his #5 retired without having won NPOY.

So what has kept Dennis Hopson, an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year, from hoisting his jersey into the rafters at Value City Arena, even though he is the University's all-time leading scorer and record holder for most points scored in a season?

David Robinson   |   Navy Midshipmen   |   1987 National Player of the Year

This is the second of a five-part series documenting the Ohio State career of Mr. Dennis Hopson - and why we should never again see a #32 in Scarlet and Gray.

 

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"The Admiral" David Robinson was the national story of 1987. He was enrolled at one of our prestigious military academies - Navy - and was a unique seven-footer, for the time, with his combination of power, grace, and athleticism. He was a consensus All-American following his junior year of 1986 and followed that up with a senior season performance that earned him a clean sweep of all major national college basketball awards: Consensus All-American; AP Player of the Year; NABC Player of the Year; Naismith Award; Rupp Trophy; Sporting News Player of the Year; UPI Player of the Year; USBWA Player of the Year; Wooden Award.

In 1986-87 Robinson averaged 28.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in the Colonial Athletic Association against teams like American, William & Mary and North Carolina-Wilmington. He graced the cover of Sports Illustrated two months into his senior season, sparking a following that gained him national attention that he would sustain until being knocked out of the NCAA's first round by the Big Ten's fifth best team - Michigan (20-12).

Meanwhile Dennis Hopson was lighting up the old St. John Arena night after night, averaging 29.1 points-per-game - ranking him second in the nation and first among all Big Ten players - while also leading Ohio State in ten statistical categories. He broke the Ohio State record for most points in a season (958) while becoming the University's all-time leading scorer with 2,096 points. Twenty-five years later both records still stand. And who watched his beyond-spectacular 1986-87 senior season? Just us.

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