Radinovic Named Captain; O'Brien Misses Photo Day

As the basketball Buckeyes prepare to start preseason practice on Saturday, OSU head coach Jim O'Brien is recuperating from neck surgery. Also, senior center Velimir Radinovic has been named as the captain of the 2003-04 squad.

There was one notable no-show from Thursday's OSU men's basketball media day at the Schottenstein Center -- head coach Jim O'Brien.

O'Brien continues to recuperate at his home after undergoing neck surgery about 10 days ago.

"The doctors said for about the first two weeks, he needs to remain pretty much immobile," said associate head coach Rick Boyages. "Even things like getting in and out of a car, he is trying to avoid.

"He is day to day right now. I don't think for the first day or two (of practice) he will be around too much unless he is just observing from the sidelines. But he gets better every day. We meet with him every day. We head over to his house to discuss philosophies and practice plans."

Luckily for O'Brien, everybody on his team seemed to be healthy, present and accounted for for photo day.

"We haven't work with the nucleus yet," Boyages said. "You see bits and pieces of it and the kind of talent we have individually. I think we've got a lot of flexibility, a lot of depth and size, and a lot of speed of quickness. We should be pretty good at scoring across the board.

"Now we have to put all of those pieces together."

One of the biggest pieces in the puzzle is 7-foot senior center Velimir Radinovic, who O'Brien named as the sole captain of the 2003-04 Buckeyes after a vote by his teammates.

"It feels good," Radinovic said. "I've been here a few years and I know what's going on. It's nice that everyone is behind me. I'm just going to try and work hard every day and lead by example."

Radinovic said he likes the versatility of this year's team with the addition of athletic newcomers like J.J. Sullinger, Tony Stockman, Ivan Harris and Ricardo Billings.

"We can definitely be very versatile," he said. "We can run. We can play a halfcourt game. We have a lot of firepower on this team."

Double Dribbles

* Sullinger, a Worthington native and transfer from Arkansas who sat out last year, said "words can't even describe what I feel" as he begins his first year of eligibility at his hometown school.

* Billings, a Prop 48 last year, said he is hoping to have no rust when the Buckeyes begin practicing.

"It's like being let out of jail," he said. "I think I've worked hard this summer to get ready."

* Point guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and power forward Terence Dials, each sidelined by injuries a year ago, each seemed to be at full health.

"The knee is fine," Fuss-Cheatham said. "It still gets a little sore after I play, but it's always going to be like that."

The 6-9 Dials has appeared to drop some weight to the 250-pound range and looked good at photo day.

* Charles Bass, a wiry freshman a year ago, has also added noticeable bulk to his upper body.

* Nick Dials, a 6-1 freshman guard from Willard, Ohio, will go on scholarship for at least his first year at OSU.

"He will have it for this year, then we will evaluate it and see how it goes," Boyages said. "Jim was thrilled with what he did this summer. He came in and took some classes. He's always on time and attentive. He's a hard worker. He did well academically. He did everything we ask of our guys and did all of the things we look for character-wise.

"We had one (scholarship) there that we were not using. We felt he was more than deserving of it."

* We will have more on OSU basketball in the weeks and months ahead.

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