Ohio State men’s basketball has had its ups and downs over the past ten years. From battling to take home the Big Ten Title in the 2012-2013 season, to a shaky season in 2015-2016 that is still undecided, the Buckeyes have taken die-hard fans on an emotional sports roller coaster.
Brief History of Past Ten Years with Thad Matta
In 2004, Thad Matta was named the head coach of the Ohio State Men’s Basketball team, replacing Jim O’Brien (1998-03). Thad Matta, with hopefully still many seasons to come, has made a profound impact and resume at OSU. Matta has led the University to eight NCAA tournament appearances, four of those included Sweet Sixteen appearances, and two of them resulted in a Final Four berth. Matta has also coached teams that have been Big Ten regular season champions five times and Big Ten Tournament champions three times.
Ohio State’s best season over the past 10 years was the 2006-07 season. The Buckeyes, were Big Ten regular season and tournament champions, and were runner-up in the NCAA tournament, losing to Florida (75-84). The loss to Florida put the Buckeyes at 35-4 for the season.
Thad Matta’s first season, 2004-05, has been the worst Buckeye basketball season in the past ten years. The Buckeyes went 20-12 overall and did not make the NIT Tournament. Thankfully, things turned around for the Buckeyes after that season, until the current season (2015-16); the Buckeyes stand at 18-11 overall, with two (very important) regular season games left. Right now, some sources say that the Buckeyes have less than a 25% chance at making it into the NCAA tournament.
Most Notable Players
Mike Conley – Conley played for OSU during the 2006-07 and averaged 11.6 points per game. He also led the Big Ten Conference in assists (6.1 per game). Conley helped lead his team to the Big Ten championship and second place in the NCAA tournament that season. Conley now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Daequan Cook – Cook also played for OSU during the 2006-07 season. He averaged 10.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Cook was drafted by the Miami Heat (2007-10) after his one season at OSU, and currently plays overseas in Portugal.
Greg Oden – Oden played for Ohio State during the 2006-07 season and helped Conley lead the team to Big Ten Tournament title and to the NCAA championship game. After a wrist injury, the freshman center made his college debut half way through the season against Valparaiso and scored 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Oden was the number one overall draft pick in 2007, selected by the Portland Trail Blazers.
D’Angelo Russell – Russell played for Ohio State during the 2014-15. Against Rutgers last season, Russell landed the first-ever triple-double for an Ohio State freshman (23 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists). He was named Big Ten Freshman of the year, and was selected #1 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA draft.
Evan “The Villain” Turner – Turner played for Ohio State for three seasons (2007-10). He helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2010 regular season conference co-championship. In the first game of the Big Ten Tournament that year, Turner helped the Buckeyes get a win over their rival Michigan with a last second 37-foot 3-pointer. Turner was selected as the number two draft pick in 2010 by the Philadelphia 76ers and has played for the Boston Celtics since 2014. His jersey (#21) was just retired at Ohio State on February 16, 2016.
Jared Sullinger- Sullinger, an Ohio native, played for the Buckeyes for two seasons (2010-12). In his first game wearing scarlet and grey, Sullinger had 19 points and 14 rebounds. He helped lead his team to the Sweet Sixteen during his freshman season and was named First Team All-American by Fox Sports. During his sophomore season, Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Sullinger helped lead his team to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament his sophomore year. He was selected 21st overall in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.
All in all, Ohio State men’s basketball has definitely had many memorable seasons under the head coaching of Thad Matta, but it has also had some rough patches. Here’s to hoping that this 2015-16 season does not end up like the 2004-05 season!