Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Four-star forward commits to Ohio State

Leave a comment

Ohio State is on the board with regards to the 2018 recruiting class, as Chris Holtmann’s program received a much-needed verbal commitment from four-star forward Jaedon LeDee. The 6-foot-9 Houston native announced his decision via his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

In receiving a verbal commitment from LeDee, Ohio State beat out California, Houston, Iowa State, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA. The Buckeyes hosted LeDee for his official visit the weekend of September 9, which coincided with the football team’s matchup with Oklahoma. Originally scheduled to visit Cal this past weekend, LeDee instead visited Texas A&M.

With LeDee’s commitment to Ohio State, visits to LSU (September 30) and UCLA (October 6) are likely off the board.

Currently attending the Kincaid School, LeDee played for the Texas PRO grassroots program on the adidas Uprising circuit this summer. The four-star prospect will likely be a combo forward for Ohio State, playing either the three or the four depending on the matchup.

With Jae’Sean Tate beginning his senior season and Keita Bates-Diop being a redshirt junior, Ohio State had a need to address in the front court. In landing a verbal pledge from Jaedon LeDee, the Buckeyes have done just that.

Among the front court players who will have eligibility remaining beyond the 2017-18 season are Bates-Diop, current sophomores Micah Potter and Andre Wesson, and freshmen Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young.

Valentine leads No. 2 Michigan St. past Ohio St. 81-54

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Big Ten player of the year Denzel Valentine scored 19 points and Eron Harris added 13 to help No. 2 Michigan State blow out Ohio State 81-54 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday night.

The Spartans (27-5) have won 11 of 12 and will face either Nebraska or No. 18 Maryland in Saturday’s semifinal.

JaQuan Lyle had 10 points to lead the Buckeyes (20-13), who have lost three of five and must wait until Sunday to see if they’ll get in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State thought one more impressive win could be enough.

But Valentine refused to let it happen against the Spartans. He scored 10 points in an early 13-3 run, made a 3-pointer during an 8-0 run to start the second half and finished with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Michigan State led by as much as 28 in the second half. The Buckeyes couldn’t get closer than 14 after that.

Valentine may have gotten a triple double – if coach Tom Izzo hadn’t pulled him from the game with 5:28 to play so he could get some extra rest before the weekend.

The short-handed Buckeyes just couldn’t stay with the deeper Spartans and it was evident from start to finish.

Michigan State jumped to a 17-7 lead in the first 6 1/2 minutes and still led 33-26 at halftime.

The early run in the second half gave the Spartans a 41-26 lead. Bryn Forbes’ 3-pointer with 13:07 left extended the lead to 20 and the Spartans continued pulling away late.


While it was a rough night by every measure for the Buckeyes, their most obvious problem was the inability to make 3s. Ohio State missed its first 12 shots from beyond the arc and didn’t end the drought until Lyle made one with 74 seconds to play. Ohio State finished 1 of 13, while the Spartans were 8 of 23.


Buckeyes: Have lost five straight in the Michigan State series. … Ohio State has played five games against teams that reached last year’s Final Four and is now 1-4, losing three times to Michigan State in 17 days, once to Wisconsin. The lone win came against Kentucky in December. … The Buckeyes lost for only the fourth time in their last 19 Big Ten tourney games.

Spartans: Are one win away from playing for their third consecutive Big Ten tourney title in Indianapolis. … Matt Costello had no blocks and remains tied with Adreian Payne for second on Michigan State’s career list with 141. Branden Dawson has the school record, 142. … The Spartans improved to 91-35 in March games since 1998-99.


Buckeyes: Will await postseason fate.

Spartans: Face either No. 18 Maryland or Nebraska in Saturday’s second semifinal.

No. 8 Iowa loses at Ohio State, suffering fourth loss in five game

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

In early February the debate regarding No. 8 Iowa wasn’t only whether or not they were the best team in the Big Ten, thanks to their sweeps of both Michigan State and Purdue, but also whether or not Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes had a case as the best team in the country. Jarrod Uthoff was playing at a first-team All-America level, Peter Jok was much improved from his first two seasons, and the Hawkeyes were¬†receiving contributions from other players as well.

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes those discussions have come to a halt, as they’re limping to the finish line. Sunday, Ohio State handed Iowa its fourth loss in the last five games by the final score of 68-64.

This was a big win for Thad Matta’s Buckeyes, who despite having 11 conference wins still have work to do when it comes to getting into the NCAA tournament. Of those 11 wins just three¬†have come against teams not in the bottom five of the Big Ten standings, with their win over Iowa qualifying as the best of the bunch. Marc Loving led the way with 25 points, Keita Bates-Diop added 19, six rebounds and four blocks and Kam Williams scored 11 second-half points as Ohio State picked up its best win of the season to date.

As for Iowa, a team that appeared to have turned the corner when compared to past editions under McCaffery that would struggle to stop negative momentum is right back in a familiar spot.

One issue during this stretch is that Iowa, beginning with Uthoff, hasn’t been as good offensively as they were earlier this season. In Iowa’s last four losses the All-America candidate has shot just 35 percent from the field (21-for-60) and 25.9 percent from three (7-for-27).¬†Jok’s been better during that same period, shooting 41.7 percent from the field, but neither has been as efficient as they were when the Hawkeyes were rolling through their schedule.

In these situations the supplementary players are needed to step forward, and outside of Mike Gesell (16 points) that did not happen against Ohio State. As a team the Hawkeyes shot just 40.7 percent from the field, with Uthoff (16 points), Gesell and Jok (12 points) responsible for 44 of the team’s 64 points. Shooting better than 43 percent in just one of their last five games (46 percent in a loss at Indiana), Iowa’s obviously struggled to make shots. And the task of finding quality looks becomes more difficult when opponents are essentially able to focus their defensive efforts on two¬†players.

The question now is whether or not Iowa has what it takes to turn things around heading into the Big Ten tournament. If they can, given how college basketball as a whole has been this season, they’re still a team that can play deep into the NCAA tournament. Uthoff’s still a force to be reckoned with, and with Jok as his sidekick Iowa has two players teams will have to work to slow down. But the crisp ball and player movement that¬†Iowa rode to the top spot in the Big Ten has been absent in recent weeks, resulting in this current stretch of four losses in their last five games.

After appearing to have taken the step forward that past Iowa teams under McCaffery struggled to navigate, these Hawkeyes find themselves in a similar spot. The hope now is that experienced players such as Uthoff and Jok, who have experienced many peaks and valleys during their time in Iowa City, can use the lessons learned then to spark a turnaround in advance of the NCAA tournament.

Trimble leads No. 8 Maryland past Ohio State 66-61

AP Photo/Paul Vernon
1 Comment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Melo Trimble scored 20 points, Jake Layman added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 8 Maryland made six free throws in the final 25 seconds to beat Ohio State 66-61 on Sunday.

Trimble hit a 3-pointer from the left corner with 2:03 remaining for a 60-55 lead before Marc Loving made a pair of foul shots for Ohio State to trim the lead to three.

Maryland’s Robert Carter, who had 10 points, then made both shots from the line with 24.4 seconds left. JaQuan Lyle made 1 of 2 foul shots for OSU to cut the deficit to 62-58 but Rasheed Sulaimon hit two free throws for Maryland (19-3, 8-2 Big Ten) with 13.5 seconds to go.

Jae’Sean Tate, who had 16 points for Ohio State (14-9, 6-4), made a 3-pointer with 5.9 to go but Trimble was fouled and made two more foul shots with 5.4 remaining to seal the win.

Ohio State, who lost to the Terrapins by 35 points earlier this month, went ahead 51-50 on Kam Williams’ jumper with 6 minutes but Trimble hit two foul shots to regain the Maryland lead.

The Terrapins couldn’t extend their more than four over the next few minutes before Trimble’s 3-pointer.

Maryland withstood everything Ohio State had to offer and took a 37-31 lead into halftime after trailing by seven less than eight minutes into the game.


Maryland: The Terrapins’ 100-65 vs. the Buckeyes on Jan. 16 was the worst defeat for Ohio State coach Thad Matta in his 12 seasons there as coach.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes still lead the series 5-4 but dropped to 3-1 at home vs. the Terrapins. OSU went with the same starting five for the third straight game. Starting center Daniel Giddens committed his second with 33 seconds left in the first half and his third 7 seconds later


Maryland plays Wednesday at Nebraska.

Ohio State is at Wisconsin on Thursday.

No. 3 Maryland cruises to 100-65 win over Ohio State

1 Comment

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland had no intention of allowing its first Big Ten defeat of the season to become part of a rare losing streak.

So when Ohio State came to town, the third-ranked Terrapins were in serious bounce-back mode.

Robert Carter Jr. scored a career-high 25 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added a season-best 22 and Maryland rolled to a 100-65 victory on Saturday.

Diamond Stone scored 15 points for the Terrapins (16-2, 5-1), who rebounded from a defeat Tuesday night at Michigan by reaching the 100-point mark for the first time since 2012.

“I’m really happy for the guys because it was a tough loss and we hadn’t played well and everybody starts to talk about you,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon said. “So to go out and really put a performance together is good for them.”

In this one, Maryland led by 18 at halftime, 63-33 with 16 minutes remaining and 77-37 with 11 minutes to go.

“The Michigan game, we didn’t compete at the highest level,” Carter said. “We had times in the game when we slipped up and they made shots. (Today) we locked in the whole game.”

Turgeon said the loss to Michigan “probably helped us win the way we did today.”

The Terrapins haven’t dropped two straight since the 2013-14 season.

Playing his first season at Maryland after transferring from Georgia Tech, Carter went 10 for 13 from field and made all four of his 3-point attempts. The 6-foot-9 junior eclipsed his previous career high of 21 points midway through the second half.

“What Carter did was incredible,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

Sulaimon, a transfer from Duke, made nine of 10 field goal tries and contributed six assists.

Keita Bates-Diop scored 15 points for Ohio State (12-7, 4-2). The Buckeyes came in having won eight of nine, including four in the conference and an upset of Kentucky.

In this one, very little went right for Ohio State – especially in the second half. The Buckeyes went 1 for 13 from the field immediately after the break and allowed Maryland to connect on 11 of 15 shots. That’s how an 18-point lead expanded to 42 points with 10 minutes left.

Turgeon emptied his bench with 7 minutes remaining and the score 91-47.

“I told Mark after the game, we didn’t do a whole lot to stop them,” Matta said. “I’ve been doing this for a while and that was one of the best performances I’ve seen just in terms of them making shots and having their way with us.”

Maryland shot 63 percent from the floor, went 11 for 21 from 3-point range and finished with a 35-30 advantage on the boards.

“They were driving, kicking and banging shots and we just couldn’t stop it,” Matta said.

Maryland scored a season-high 48 first-half points, going 19 for 30 from the field – including 7 for 10 from beyond the arc.

Ohio State hung with the Terrapins in the early going, but things went south for the Buckeyes after a three-point play by Stone launched a 13-4 run that included successive baskets by Jake Layman.

It was 34-26 before Sulaimon drove the hoop for a basket and Jared Nickens nailed a 3-pointer to spark a 14-4 spurt to end of the half.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes finished with 13 turnovers compared to only seven assists.

Maryland: The Terrapins had a season-high 23 assists, nine by Melo Trimble and five by Sulaimon.

“The best part is Melo trusts his teammates so he doesn’t force anything,” Turgeon said.


Ohio State: For only the third time in 19 games, the Buckeyes did not have a better shooting percentage than their opponent. … JaQuan Lyle came in ranked second in the NCAA among freshmen with 95 assists. He added four to that total. … The Buckeyes did not shoot a free throw in the first half and had only five assists before the break.

Maryland: The Terrapins had 14 assists in the first half, six by Trimble, who did not score a point during the opening 20 minutes. He finished with eight points. … Maryland ended a three-game losing streak against Ohio State, including a defeat in Columbus last season. … The Terps improved to 19-5 in Big Ten play since joining the conference last season.


Ohio State travels to No. 24 Purdue on Thursday.

Maryland hosts Northwestern on Tuesday.

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 4 Maryland, Syracuse take care of business

Associated Press
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: Fairfield 101, Bucknell 91

This was a wild one, as the Stags and Bison combined to score 192 points with the winning team shooting 17-for-32 from three. Tyler Nelson led the way for Fairfield with 25 points and Jerome Segura dished out nine assists on the afternoon. Ryan Frazier led five Bison in double figures with 20 points, but Bucknell was outscored 51-15 from three.


No. 4 Maryland 87, Marshall 67: Robert Carter Jr. led four Terrapins in double figures with 19 points while also grabbing eight rebounds and blocking two shots as Maryland moved to 11-1 on the season. Maryland held a major advantage beyond the arc, as they shot 13-for-27 from distance with the Thundering Herd going 6-for-31. The one issue for Maryland in the win: turnovers. They finished with 18 as Marshall was able to speed things up in the first half, with Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon committing five apiece.

Syracuse 80, Texas Southern 67: Michael Gbinije went for 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Orange past the Tigers at the Carrier Dome. Five Syracuse players scored in double figures including center DaJuan Coleman, who scored 14 to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. The concern for the Orange ahead of their ACC opener at Pittsburgh Wednesday is the status of freshmen wing Malachi Richardson, who left the game in the second half after taking a hard fall.

Northwestern 74, Loyola (MD) 59: Playing their final non-conference game before the start of Big Ten play, the Wildcats struggled mightily in the first half as they got used to playing without injured senior center Alex Olah. Chris Collins’ team was much better in the second half, shooting 65.6 percent from the field and 7-for-10 from three in the game’s final 20 minutes. Bryant McIntosh led the way with a career-high¬†33¬†points and eight¬†assists, and Scottie Lindsey scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half.


Henry Ellenson, Marquette: 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Presbyterian.

Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State: Bates-Diop tallied 24 points and ten rebounds in the Buckeyes’ win over South Carolina State.


Marshall’s three-point shooters: The Thundering Herd shot 6-for-31 from three in their loss at No. 4 Maryland.

Tashombe Riley, South Carolina State: Shot 2-for-12 from the field, scoring five points, in the Bulldogs’ loss at Ohio State.


  • They didn’t play their best game but Marquette managed to beat Presbyterian 84-66 in Milwaukee. Henry Ellenson went for 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
  • VCU rolled to an 85-57 win over Liberty in their final tune-up before the start of Atlantic 10 play. Melvin Johnson led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points, and the Rams shot 53.3 percent from the field and 10-for-19 from three.
  • Despite shooting 15-for-33 from the foul line, South Dakota State managed to hold off Middle Tennessee State 65-61. The Jackrabbits, who are now 11-3, received 16 points and eight rebounds from Deondre Parks.
  • Keita Bates-Diop posted a double-double (24 points, ten rebounds) and Kam Williams scored 12 points off the bench as Ohio State beat South Carolina State, 73-57. With Austin Grandstaff transferring, Williams will have the opportunity to earn more minutes.