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On NYC and OSU Hoops



Photo Attribution: Emily Nielsen

I actually haven’t had a chance to watch OSU play a basketball game yet (between football coverage and traveling to L.A. last week) but I’ve been diligently reading up on all of Samuel Bryant’s posts over at Cowboys Ride For Free (as you should be too).

We’ll definitely get more in-depth with hoops once Bedlam is over, but I’m pretty excited about tomorrow night’s game in Madison Square Garden against Stanford, especially with Syracuse looming if OSU wins.

Here are four things I’ll be looking for going into these two games:

1. Who’s the alpha dog of this team? Two weeks ago we thought it would definitely be Le’Bryan, then Cezar went Reggie Miller on us and people started anointing him the heir apparent to JamesOn Curry as “the guy you can’t afford to miss seeing in Gallagher-Iba.”

I’m not saying that’s wrong either, only that we don’t really know who “the guy” is. I think it’s between Nash, Cezar, and maybe JPO. It’s not Keiton, we’ve had three years of proof that it’s not Keiton. I want it to be Markel, but he’s not ready, and there’s really nobody else on the team with that swagger, that Brandon Weeden “it” thing that alpha dogs need. I’m excited to see how it plays out.

2. What’s the crunch time lineup? I know Ford keeps saying “it doesn’t matter who starts, everybody is going to play.” That’s true, but he’s also going to need a crunch time five he trusts enough to go with at the end of games. For my money right now it’s Cezar, Keiton, Nash, JPO, and Jurick, but the next month before conference starts will be telling.

3. Where does Markel fit in? Nolan, Quade, Amilian, and I had a lengthy email exchange the other day wondering what his role on this team is going to be and what Ford is going to do with him. He’s too athletic to not play but he also doesn’t do one thing really well. He kind of reminds me of Melvin Sanders a little bit, though he’s a better scorer around the rim and not as good of a defender. It’ll be intriguing to see how Ford utilizes his strengths.

4. Will they actually run? Cezar hoisted 17 threes last game, which is about 14 too many for me and from everything I’ve read there’s no half court offense to speak of. Ford promised they’d be run-and-gun before the season started and what better place to open it up and let it ride a little bit than MSG on national television?

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