Tag:William Buford
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:45 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 8:40 am

Goodman Preseason Tour: Thoughts from Ohio State

By Jeff Goodman

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Thad Matta says he's the toughest player he's ever had. That includes his time at Butler, Xavier and Ohio State.

Yet there was Aaron Craft, standing on the sidelines, sitting out practice on Monday after taking an elbow from Deshaun Thomas the previous day.

I'm just giving Craft some you-know-what because it was just ironic Craft missed the one Buckeyes practice I'll be at this preseason.

And even though walk-on point guard Alex Rogers was terrific, this is a completely different team without Craft.

I'll have more on him later this week, but there's just nothing that the unassuming sophomore point guard doesn't do on the court. He leads, makes his teammates better, can lock guys up and has also (reportedly) improved his perimeter shot. 

Anyway, here are my thoughts and observations following Ohio State's practice:

- I've already chronicled Sullinger's new look and how it'll benefit him this season.

Season tips Nov. 7
- Deshaun Thomas' body received a Sullinger-esque makeover. While the plan was for him to bulk up when he arrived on campus, that didn't work - and he lost about 10 pounds and is now able to do more than just shoot the ball (that's still his bread and butter). I'm not sure that Thomas isn't the key to this team, because Ohio State needs a big-time shooter to replace Jon Diebler - and Thomas is capable.

- Matta wants - and needs - William Buford to be more aggressive and get to the line with more frequency. He's the lone upperclassman who has played on this team and needs to become more assertive than he's been in the past.

- The most surprising performance came from Lenzelle Smith, a seldom-used guard a year ago who may just be the frontrunner to earn the fifth and final spot to start this season. The other four will almost certainly go to Sullinger, Buford, Craft and Thomas. However, Smith has shot it well, he's strong, athletic, plays with a motor and can defend. "I need him to be out Ronald Nored," Matta said. That's a high expectation, but Smith can be a quality glue guy who brings multiple assets to the table this year.

- Don't be shocked if Matta throws Craft and freshman point guard Shannon Scott out there together at times. They are both small floor leaders, but both shoot it well enough - and Craft is about as good of a defender as you'll find, so the Buckeyes could probably get away with it on the defensive end.

- Matta called freshman forward Sam Thompson the "most athletic player I've ever coached." It's easy to see why. He's a high-flyer, but his skill level is further along than many people gave him credit for. Plus, Thompson is a high IQ guy - so look for him to get playing time this season. "It's freakish," Matta said of Thompson's athletic ability.

- One of the new big men will need to step up to take the minutes vacated by veteran Dallas Lauderdale. The candidates: BC transfer Evan Ravenel and freshmen Amir Williams and Trey McDonald. Right now the minutes would go to Ravenel because of his experience, but the 6-foot-11 Williams could catch him - if he learns to play hard - later in the year. "I think Amir can help us rebound the ball and affecting shot around the basket," Matta said. "He's still learning."

- Sophomore J.D. Weatherspoon has the athletic ability, but will also need to play hard consistently to get in the rotation.

- Ohio State assistant Chris Jent is a huge addition to this coaching staff, replacing Brandon Miller - who left the business. Jent said he wouldn't have left the Cleveland Cavs if it wasn't for the combination of Matta and being at his alma mater. He also said it'll allow him to be a more well-rounded coach. "It's an opportunity to coach the other side of the ball," said Jent, who was coaching the defense with the Cavs.

- Diebler is now in Greece while David Lighty is playing in Italy.

- I hate to admit it, but Greg Paulus kicked my @#$ in ping pong. In fact, I may retire after my performance - which was just truly embarrassing. At least know we've found a sport than Paulus can actually play.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 4:48 pm

William Buford: Ohio St. all-time leading scorer?

By Jeff Goodman

William Buford could become the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State history.


That's mind-boggling, isn't it?

The smooth 6-foot-5 senior wing - who some feel hasn't lived up to his potential thus far in college - enters the season with 1,424 points and a 13.4 career average.

Dennis Hopson holds the Buckeyes mark with 2,096 career points (Jerry Lucas scored 1,990 and averaged 24.3 points in three years).

That means Buford needs 673 to break Hopson's mark.

Ohio State has 31 regular-season games on its slate this season.

Let's assume that the Buckeyes play four total between the Big Ten and NCAA tournament.

Buford would need to average 19.2 points per game.

That's certainly plausible.

Obviously, Buford needs to stay healthy, something he's done over the course of his three-year career. He's missed just one game and it came last season.

Buford has averaged 14.4 points each of the last two years and they'll be more scoring opportunities and more pressure on him to put the ball in the basket with David Lighty and Jon Diebler both gone.

Opposing defenses will also likely pack it in and double-team big man Jared Sullinger - which could result in Buford getting more than the dozen shot attempts he had a year ago.

William Buford as Ohio State's all-time leading scorer?

Don't rule it out.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 16, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 5:14 pm

Goodman's Wooden Preseason Top 50

By Jeff Goodman

The deadline for submitting the list of 50 players for the John Wooden Preseason watch list was this afternoon.

My guess is that my colleague, Gary Parrish, missed it. I did not. 

Anyway, here's my list of 50.

Remember, transfers and freshman are not eligible, so that means that guys like frosh Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers - as well as transfer Arnett Moultrie - couldn't be included.

My Wooden Preseason Top 50

Tim Abromaitis, 6-8, PF, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, 6-8, SF, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, 6-6, SG, Soph., Memphis
Dee Bost, 6-2, PG, Sr., Mississippi State
William Buford, 6-5, SG, Sr., Ohio State
Kyle Casey, 6-7, SF, Jr., Harvard
Jason Clark, 6-2, G, Sr., Georgetown
Aaron Craft, 6-2, PG, Soph., Ohio State
Matthew Dellavedova, 6-4, G, Jr., Saint Mary's
Festus Ezeli, 6-11, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, 6-2, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Mike Glover, 6-7, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, 6-9, PF, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, 6-6, PF, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, 6-8, PF, Sr., Alabama
Jorge Gutierrez, 6-3, G, Sr., California
Tim Hardaway 6-5, SG, Jr., Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, 6-7, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, 6-11, PF, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, 6-0, PG, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, 6-8, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, 6-0, PG, Soph., Memphis
Scoop Jardine, 6-2, PG, Sr., Syracuse
John Jenkins, 6-4, SG, Jr., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, 6-5, SG, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Jones, 6-8, F, Sr., West Virginia
Perry Jones, 6-11, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, 6-9, PF, Soph., Kentucky
Ryan Kelly, 6-10, F, Jr., Duke
Jeremy Lamb, 6-5, SG, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, 6-4, PG, Soph., North Carolina
Trevor Mbakwe, 6-8, PF, Sr., Minnesota
Ray McCallum, 6-3, PG, Soph., Detroit
Rodney McGruder, 6-4, SG, Jr., Kansas State
Doug McDermott, 6-7, F, Soph., Creighton
Shabazz Napier, 6-1, PG, Soph., UConn
Reeves Nelson, 6-7, PF, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, 6-10, PF, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, 6-9, C, Jr., UConn
Thomas Robinson, 6-9, PF, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, 6-6, SG, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, 6-9, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, 5-11, PG, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, 6-9, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, 6-9, PF/C, Soph., Ohio State
Jeffery Taylor, 6-7, SF, Sr., Vanderbilt
Jordan Taylor, 6-1, PG, Sr., Wisconsin
Maalik Wayns, 6-2, PG, Soph., Villanova
Patric Young, 6-9, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, 7-0, C, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Stars can't shine without Best Supporting Actors

Posted by Eric Angevine

We're in movie awards season right now, but because of my obsession with college hoops, I haven't seen any of the nominated films. I hate to let this gorgeous Vera Wang dress go to waste, though, so, rather than the Golden Globes, I'd like to present the Orange Globes nominations for Best Supporting Actor. These are the guys who back up superstar players to the tune of big wins. College basketball is littered with scoring machines on losing teams, but these guys form crucial roles on functioning teams that happen to be blessed with one mega-talented go to guy.

The nominations for Best Supporting Actor on a Winning Team are:

Alex OriakhiAlex Oriakhi (right) for Walker: UConn Ranger. Kemba Walker is a dynamic scorer, and he absolutely can make things happen on his own, but over 40 minutes, he and his Husky teammates would be lost without Oriakhi. Consider his nuanced portrayal of a hardcore rebounding machine in close wins against Villanova (12 boards), Michigan State (17), Kentucky (11) and his masterwork, a 21-rebound tour de force in a true road game at Texas. His average of 2.2 blocks per game is icing on the cake.

Jackson Emery, for his role in The Jimmer Show. It's not easy being the veteran character actor next to a transcendent talent like Jimmer Fredette, unless, of course, you really enjoy winning a lot of games. Emery plays a vital role as the defensive yin to Fredette's offensive yang, and has notched several multi-steal games this season. Of course, being Jimmer's sidekick means plenty of scoring opportunities as well, and Emery has taken advantage of opposing defenses to put up 13 double-figure scoring nights of his own. A 40 percent three-point shooter as well, Jackson would probably be the star on any other team in his conference.

Quincy Acy in LaceDarius the Bear. LaceDarius Dunn is the senior star overshadowed by other returnees. Quincy Acy is the hard-charging, glass-cleaning sidekick who plays second banana to other second bananas. This fan favorite garnered a lot of indie buzz from fans, but came out too early in the season, so it might be overlooked when it counts.

William Buford, David Lighty and Jon Diebler for Buckeye Day Care. Veteran actors in their own right, these upperclassmen are unselfishly providing the framework for success that fresh talent Jared Sullinger needs. Their steady, workmanlike efforts in this ensemble drama will likely split the vote so much that none of them will take home the individual award, but the box office success of the whole is virtually guaranteed.

Nolan Smith in Duke II: The Sequel. The second stanza of last year's smash hit was considered to be a lock for Best Picture this season, with translucent transcendent leading man Kyle Singler back to lead a strong supporting cast. The production hit a snag when newcomer Kyrie Irving took ill and was forced to withdraw from filming, but veteran understudy Smith has kept the franchise on track, scoring 18+ points over the past eight games. Fans have been thrilled with the 3D effects this franchise has become known for, and Smith's presence adds crucial dramatic weight to the story.


Opening our envelope, I see that the winner is... Alex Oriakhi! Displaying steadfast support and a powerful will to score in his own right, the 6-foot-9 sophomore takes home the Orange Globe! Congratulations to all of our nominees!

Photo: US Presswire
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