Time for another installment of some good ol' Q & A. We've had some developments in both basketball and football so we'll cover both today. Oh, and keep in mind we had to drag Cinci out of a bottle of Jim Beam. Feel fortunate that his answers are at least semi-coherent.
Will this OSU basketball team make the NCAA tourney? Is 8-8 enough to get in?
Sam: I am going to take the completely untraveled road and say YES they will make it. I think 8-8 with one win in the conference tourney is enough to get OSU in, and maybe 7-9 with 2 wins in the tourney will do it. Look, we think this OSU team is shitty, and they are, but have you looked at the rest of the bubble? Are fellow bubble teams VCU, Washington State, Clemson, and Missouri State really any better than the Cowboys? It is a down season across the board and finding 38 quality at large bids is not going to happen. Now look at the rest of the Cowboys schedule, and what KenPom thinks are the chances of victory: A&M 46%, @KU 4%, Tech 81%, Baylor 50%, @OU 50%. So even according to a pure stat-based system in which we don't rate out very well, Pomeroy thinks we have a a 50/50 shot in 3 games, one sure win, and one sure loss. If the Cowboys can manage at least 3 wins (doable), and win at least 1 (probably 2) in the tourney, we are in. And I am going to say we do it.
Royal: I believe they can and they will. As Sam pointed out, the bubble isn't exactly strong anywhere in the country. In the Big 12, after Texas and Kansas, any team can beat another on any given night depending on the home court. That's why we have so many team log jammed in the middle. I believe OSU will have to get to 8-8 and they can. A team like this needs simply to get on a roll and with three of the last five at home, I think they'll put it together.
Cinci: No, they will not make the NCAA tourney. They will be lucky to win 2 more games.
Will recruits Karron Johnson and Lebryan Nash be good or bad for this team?
Sam: I cant really say that two recruits that are this highly touted would ever be a bad thing, but I am sure we are all still nervous about our guard and center issues. If these two guys come in and are great, we are stuck in the position where our 4 best offensive threats (Brown, JPO, Nash, Johnson) are all slashing, wing types of players. This can work, Syracuse has had teams like this, Baylor's current team is like this, but it will require a major style change, and someone to run the point. I know we are still recruiting, and probably have one more scholly open (Williams) to target a guard, or maybe Coach Ford has a lot of faith in a healthy Gulley.
Royal: What scares me about both these guys is that they are both very immature. In case you don't know, Karron Johnson has been to seven schools in seven years and supposedly punched one of his coaches in the face...yeah. While Lebryan Nash hasn't done anything as dramatic as this, you need only to watch his videos to see his antics. Elbowing kids after he dunks on them, pouting when he doesn't get the ball, the way he talks about his opponents after the game--it's all pretty suspect. The only reason I'm worried about this is because OSU doesn't currently have much maturity on the team as it is. Talent wise, this team should be deep. With that said, Travis Ford definitely will have his work cut out for him.
Cinci: Both are extrememly talented. I'm not sure where they'll fit in though...Who do you bench to give them minutes? They seem like the same guy to me, which is becoming a Travis Ford staple.
What do you think of the Todd Monken hire as offensive coordinator?
Sam: Cut. It. Out. (we have to start the Joey Gladstone jokes at some point right?). I still have no idea what to make of it. It seems like Gundy basically hired a piece of modeling clay and plans to hand him Dana and his own playbooks and say "learn em". If that is the case, then I sort of hate the hire. I think OC's work best when they have a lot of control. I will have to see what kind of control Monken has before officially weighing in.
Royal: I like it for now. I like what he brings to the table. He has a strong resume for player development and has seen and been involved in a number offenses at different levels. Not only that, he has also game planned against the toughest defenses in the world. He's seen every type of defense and blitz there is. Obviously, the big concern here is the lack of playcalling experience. We'll see how that goes but for now I trust Coach Gundy's judgement.
Cinci: Status quo. He seems a little boring but I think that is exactly what Gundy and crew wanted. Brandon Weeden will be the OC this year. It's kind of a no win situation for him this year. If they are good he won't get much credit but if they are bad, he'll take all the blame.
Which football recruit are you most looking forward to seeing develop in his freshman year?
Sam: I would love to be all indie/alternative and say some name that no one else knows, but honestly it has to be Herschel Sims. I cannot find anything but glowing recruiting profiles of the guy, and his between the tackles running style seems perfect for what we do (or at least what we did). It seems like he is the combination of all the best attributes of Kendall and Randle, it will just be a question of his work ethic, learning the system, etc.... and that development is what I am excited to see.
Royal: Sorry, Sam. I am indie/hipster and I laugh and mock your mainstream selection. Let me guess? You also listen to Foo Fighters? Haha, I listen to Arcade Fire...nevermind, you've probably never heard of them like this guy:
As for the OSU recruit I am most looking forward to, I'd have to say Josh Stewart. And that has to come with the stipulation that he plays on defense. Right now, he could play either. But he has all the tools to be an amazing corner. Sports Illustrated did a write up on him in which they said "There aren't many cornerbacks who are as skilled and natural at the position in the 2011 class. Stewart is great in and out of his backpedal, has tremendous hips and is a ball-hawking playmaker. If Stewart can come in and grasp the defense from the mental side of things, he could be a real contributor." Sounds like a winner to me.
Cinci: I'm really looking forward to Desmond Roland. He looks game ready to me and will only get better with summer workouts. He's built like a safety but plays running back. He could be great out of the backfield too as a slot type receiver. I think he might take over the Joe Randle role a bit.