Helwagen Chat: June 30 Archive

Here are excerpts from Thursday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen.

BuckIBalz (Jun 30, 2005 1:05:21 PM)
Do you think we'll go after a 5th Stud or more of a down a dirty work horse type fo big man

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:10:15 PM)
I think they want the best player they can get. That might be Thaddeus Young. But some question whether he is a true 4. He is also "upwardly mobile" and sees himself in NBA within a year or 2. He has something like a 6-adult posse planning his every move, too. That could create issues. Maybe a better solution, chemistry wise, would be to get Luke Harangody or Raymar Morgan, both blue collar guys, to do the dirty work. I like them both a lot.

Palmer (Jun 30, 2005 1:10:26 PM)
With the 4 top committments for our basketball program for 2006 and maybe one more to come, what do you think that the current players and the 2005 recruits are thinking with all this talk of a "thad" 5? Especially because when M*ch*gan had this happened, their fab 5 all ended up starting

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:12:27 PM)
They ended up starting, but not at the beginning. The returning players, there are only six of them -- Mayes, Lewis, Butler outside and Harris, Twig and Bell inside. I would assume with Mayes, Lewis and Harris being seniors in 06-07 they may see these guys as their ticket to a deep tourney run. Not much they can do about it. Butler, Twig and Bell have been served notice that they need to step it up ... or scoot over. Could somebody transfer as a result of all this, possibly. I don't sense anything like that now, though.

JimC (Jun 30, 2005 1:12:33 PM)
Hi Steve, What Linebackers are on our radar? Gibson and who else?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:14:22 PM)
Akeem Hebron from MD, Mark Johnson from L.A., Jeremiha Hunter from PA, Bani Gbadyu from MD. He really seems to like OSU. They had A.J. Edds in camp and, for the time being at least, are taking a pass. The LB crop at the camp was really not that strong, I didn't think. This puts a real premium on getting Gibson, I would say.

OSU Final Four (Jun 30, 2005 1:14:37 PM)
I am excited beyond belief about oden and conley. Before they get here what do you think of the 05-06 team? Dials should be an absolute force in the key.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:16:08 PM)
I was real impressed the two times I went to Worthington. This could be a 22-24 win team maybe. Maybe Sweet 16 and top 3-4 Big Ten. I liked what I saw. They have the best big man in the league with Dials. Then Mayes, Lewis, Foster are a heck of a backcourt. If Sullinger and Sylvester continue their upward tick, they could come together and be dynamite. Same team as last year with Mayes and Lewis instead of BFC and Stockman. Big upgrade.

BuckeyeDave (Jun 30, 2005 1:16:18 PM)
I was looking at the Texas Scout site the other. Just seeing what they had to say about the Sept game. They don't have half the contents that Bucknuts has!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:16:57 PM)
Dave, I appreciate that. We're working on content ideas for July to get us into fall camp, when things will take care of themselves.

mjw1200 (Jun 30, 2005 1:17:29 PM)
when does camp start? will you guys have much access to the players? and who do you expect to be a surprise of the camp that gets himself into contention for serious Playing Time come Sept

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:20:30 PM)
Camp begins Aug. 8. Our access will be limited to practice, but we usually get to talk to plenty of players once it starts. Surprises? Maybe one of those OL. We'll see who put the work in and got better this summer. Maybe a Rehring or Mitchum or somebody. Most of the positions are pretty well set, I'd say. Veteran team.

redondo (Jun 30, 2005 1:20:45 PM)
Hi Steve - What was the "polish" that Henton showed at camp that the others did not? Is he that exceptional or was the quality of the competition unexceptional? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:21:52 PM)
There were other nice players there. He just had that presence. Of course, he had the confidence he had been offered. I sense this past weekend was about him coming up and feeling comfortable and verbaling. He throws a great ball, very accurate, strong arm. Much in the Smith mold, maybe an inch taller, though.

mjw1200 (Jun 30, 2005 1:21:59 PM)
Jamil Tucker is like 6'8'' and likes the bucks a lot, dont know much about him but he is pretty highly rated

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:22:50 PM)
Yes, I think Tucker is just outside the top 50 nationally. There is debate whether he has actually been offered, though. He says he has been. He'd be on that list. I think it's Young then Harangody or Morgan, though.

OCBuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:22:59 PM)
I know Young is a fabulous talent, but do you think Young's adult posse should be avoided at all costs?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:24:47 PM)
I don't want to brand them as bad people. The Nashville paper did an expose on the whole thing. He was supposed to visit here in May, but they couldn't get everybody to agree. They can't agree on what AAU tournaments to play. They pulled out of the Bloomington thing. By all accounts, he is a good kid. It just seems like he is being pulled in a lot of different directions. Those people got him to this point, which is good. They need to get out of his way now and let him make his own decision, not what's best for the AAU program, shoe company, the dad or whoever or whatever else.

OSU Final Four (Jun 30, 2005 1:25:16 PM)
I am sick and tired of hearing how great the fab 5 for michigan was. They NEVER won the national championship!!!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:28:05 PM)
I agree. They were all sizzle and not a lot of steak. They did get to 2 title games, which says a lot. They helped popularize the sport. That Duke-Michigan game will go down as the most watched college basketball game ever. Would be nice if OSU's freshmen could do something they couldn't -- win a Big Ten or dare we say ... no, we won't say it. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:28:22 PM)
The 2007 Final Four is in Atlanta and 2008 is in San Antonio, by the way (ha ha).

Palmer (Jun 30, 2005 1:29:07 PM)
I saw the roster for the Big 33 game this year and it had O'neal on the roster. I thought that he was already at OSU and taking classes?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:29:10 PM)
The Big 33 site has a roster from Feb. That will be updated probably a week or so before the game as they replace O'Neal, Boone and Sutton with other players.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:29:25 PM)
Oden and Conley signing with the Bucks has got to be twisting the knife in Mike Davis at IU. Can he save his job with 20 wins -- or is losing the state's top recruits going to force a decision?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:30:31 PM)
He still has a fighting chance. This is his make-or-break year. If they make the NCAA, he's probably OK. They are bending over backwards to find a way to keep him. What hurts IU, was it had to eat contracts with Cameron and DiNardo. They gave Davis a big deal after the Final Four year and it has been straight downhill since then. They are in a real quandary.

ToledoBucknutty (Jun 30, 2005 1:30:47 PM)
Holy S*%&!!!! Unbelievable!!! Hi guys and a great BUCKEYE afternoon to you!! How nice is it to see these interviews and see how humble Oden is and how he really wants to be a part of the system and work really hard....and for Conley to say that he just wants to work hard toward a national championship? It is nice to finally have that kind of talent in the pipeline....This really should help our recruiting like mad, shouldn't it?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:19 PM)
Yes and no. Everybody knows who Cook, Oden and Conley are. But kids probably aren't real hot to split time with them, either. Only 5 guys can play at one time and there is only one ball. This is where coaching comes in. Matta has most of the ingredients in place. But UNC and Illinois were great this past year because they each had 8-9 guys of this caliber who bought in. Not just 4. Like they said in Caddyshack, "The world needs ditch diggers, too."

dozerbuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:29 PM)
With EJ confirmed gone, any word on Maupin?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:43 PM)
I am presuming he is gone. But I can't confirm it today.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:49 PM)
So what are the chances of Matta "loaning" Oden to Tressell as a receiver strictly for red zone scoring opportunities? (smile)

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:55 PM)
That would be something.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:32:59 PM)
How are the coaches going to get Marcus Freeman significant playing time? Any chance Schlegel loses some reps and Carpenter moves to the middle for some series?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:34:50 PM)
That is a concern, but the first thing Heacock and Fickell will be looking to do is win football games. If they build a 17- or 21-point lead, then others will play. They feel the seniors are the best they have. They'll get most of the key reps. But the great thing is Hoobler, Terry, Kerr and Freeman are there and ready to go as needed. If this season goes like many feel it will, the young guys will get their shot here and there. Schlegel was third on the team in tackles and he hardly played the first 3-4 games.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:35:06 PM)
I missed Dave's comment on the magazine at the beginning ...

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:35:29 PM)
Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated. Our next one will be special too, likely with a great shot of Conley and Oden on the cover.

ToledoBucknutty (Jun 30, 2005 1:35:37 PM)
Too bad to hear about EJ. It is nice to know that he is still a buckeye and not leaving with a bad taste in his mouth or with bad intentions like some Reecie we all know and, well, know.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:35:53 PM)
Yep, he takes all of the responsibility. Nobody did him in but himself.

mjw1200 (Jun 30, 2005 1:36:02 PM)
even with all the basketball stuff its getting hard to stop thinking about football, the preseason mags are out, NCAA for playstation is two weeks away, i need football, i think miami of ohio is starting to even scare me a little bit. too much talk about Texas, might be hard to not somewhat look forward to the night game at the shoe. Plus Betts is a good quarterback and might have a shot at completing some passes against are new boundry corner and/or nickel back. You think this passing offense from the MAC is a little bit scary too?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:37:09 PM)
Yes, Miami will come in and give OSU a real good game. I saw Coach Montgomery at the OSU camp. We talked about the opener. I said, "Yep, it's going to be a great day." He smiled and said (knowing full well what he's in for) "Oh, yeah, it's going to be great."

ToledoBucknutty (Jun 30, 2005 1:37:26 PM)
Is that one guy's name Micah Johnson? If so, there is a chat with him on ESPN.com today at 4. Maybe we could show him what great Bucknuts we are and sway him a little. (Smile)

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:38:28 PM)
Scout lists him No. 1 I believe at LB. We did an update with him after signing day. He says his top 3 now is Michigan, OSU and Georgia.

BuckIBalz (Jun 30, 2005 1:39:17 PM)
scUM's Fab five also never even won the B10 if memory serves

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:39:40 PM)
Nope, they sure didn't. They always found a way to lose a game or 2 they shouldn't have lost ... until tourney time, then they were lights out.

WhosyerBuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:39:47 PM)
Steve, Oden and Conley seem to be wise beyond their years and I dont mean because they chose the Bucks

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:40:26 PM)
Yes, they do. Very impressive. They were pushed and pulled every which way yesterday as every station wanted their own little exclusive. They just went with it and stayed and accommodated everybody. Very neat to see.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:40:33 PM)
I'm pretty sure no university has won a NC in football and basketball in the same year . . . are you ready to handicap our chances?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:41:46 PM)
Getting much better, I'd say that. For football, though, I like their chances in 05 better than 06 (although Ted and Troy will still be on the case then) because of the defensive losses they'll have after this year. The earliest these verbals could win in bkb is 06-07, so outside shot at 06 football and 07 bkb in same school year, maybe. Don't bet the house on it, though.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:42:01 PM)
How does the buzz within the football team compare to the NC year? Are you getting any tingles that this could be another destiny year?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:42:59 PM)
Yes, I like this senior class of Sims, Mangold, Salley, Hawk, Carpenter, Schlegel, Green, all stand-up guys. Put Holmes in there too as a fourth year guy. That's what it takes. Great leadership and everybody pulling together for a common cause. They did not have that early last year.

redondo (Jun 30, 2005 1:43:07 PM)
Hi Steve - Did EJ just not care about school, or couldn't adjust, or what. A likely starter at a position of need, it strikes me that every conceivable form of ethical help was available to him. Where was the disconnect?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:44:59 PM)
As his dad said in the interview Dave Biddle did with him a month or 2 ago, he went through some issues off the field with his family and he reacted adversely to it. Maybe he did stop caring for a while, I dunno. He just didn't take advantage of the help offered to him, apparently. As you say, it's there if you want it or are man enough to ask for it. Sometimes people are too stubborn to ask for the help they need.

WhosyerBuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:45:04 PM)
Steve I really appreciate what you and the Bucknuts staff does. Great interviews(video) of Oden and Conley!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:45:17 PM)
Thanks, we saw that as a chance to go the extra mile ...

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:46:11 PM)
Ha ha, little did we know that the Indiana Dept. of Transportation is a complete freaking joke and I-70 would be a parking lot in the middle of nowhere and we'd have to go a lot of extra miles by detouring down to U.S. 40 to get to Indy. That took a 2-1/2 hour trip and made it 4.

buckeyeglory (Jun 30, 2005 1:46:27 PM)
Steve, when do you see Connor Smith announcing and where do you think he ends up?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:47:55 PM)
He says he will announce Aug. 1. I think OSU is the leader over Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida and Tennessee. My guess is he follows in his dad's footsteps and goes to the Buckeyes.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:48:07 PM)
Who is our next FOOTBALL commit? Who are the three most important players for the Bucks to sign?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:51:39 PM)
Good question. Possibly Smith on 8/1. Maybe one of the other OLs, when and if they're offered like Browning or Thomas or Nagy. The three most important additions would be Connor Smith and Thaddeus Gibson, each at positions of need, and probably Robert Rose (also position of need) and Ray Small (incredible, polished athlete ... wow).

Edit at midnight Friday morning -- The next verbal will be Josh Chichester (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:51:47 PM)
That's 4 instead of 3 (ha ha).

ToledoBucknutty (Jun 30, 2005 1:51:50 PM)
Hey Steve....I appreciate it too....but c'mon be honest....that was nothing but fun for you. You have the best job in the world brother!!

ToledoBucknutty (Jun 30, 2005 1:51:53 PM)
I'm just giving you grief....you guys do an incredible job and I know you work very hard....Thanks!!!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:52:18 PM)
It was a fun trip, overall. I'll grant you that. Those guys are great subjects, that is for sure.

dozerbuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:52:26 PM)
Steve, when it the "official" team announced, walk-ons included. Is it not until picture day? Is picture day before or after camp?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:53:17 PM)
They will have a roster in the media guide that usually comes out on or about 8/1. Then they may tweak it with some extra walk-ons, etc. when camp starts 8/8. Photo day is 8/11.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:53:30 PM)
It's really in a state of flux.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 1:53:33 PM)
Any new rumblings on whether ESPN Game Day comes to Columbus for the Texas game? Will some of our rowdy fans make it a little too ugly or do you think people would go with the flow?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:54:57 PM)
My people say ESPN is definitely coming for the Texas game, no question. They do the show at 10:30 a.m. That game is at 8 p.m. My feeling is just the "good fans" will go out of their way to be down there. The university will likely have a strong police presence. Fans will probably be barricaded far enough back that they can't interfere with the show. People need to drop it and go with the flow. Be adults for goodness sakes.

dozerbuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:55:14 PM)
Will Brown wait it out along with the Glenville kids until signing day?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:56:26 PM)
Rose and Small, ultimately, should be at OSU, even if they get to take the visits to LSU, USC, wherever. Brown, I think it's a three-horse race with Tennessee and Florida and OSU. But as space tightens, one or more of those schools could pull the noose. I heard Fla. didn't like it he was going to FSU for the Labor Day Miami game.

WhosyerBuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:56:44 PM)
Steve, I was tied up for four hours on I-70 during a snow storm accident all within view of the Richmond exit and could not get there. You were lucky to be able to get onto US 40 in the summertime! HB

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:57:12 PM)
You're not kidding. The backup was right at the ramp. That made the decision much easier. I have to go back for Nike next week and I'm already dreading it.

dozerbuck (Jun 30, 2005 1:57:18 PM)
Is Pres Bush a rumor or something that may actually take place for the Texas game

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:57:58 PM)
Yes, we're hearing the Commander in Chief may grace us with his presence for that game. I bet that isn't finalized, though, until 10-14 days before the game.

WestonBuckeye (Jun 30, 2005 1:58:03 PM)
Do we have a real shot at the cal tightend?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 1:59:00 PM)
He says he is coming here in Aug. for an unofficial. That's the key. he needs to follow through and make that trip. Barring that, I think it's a long shot. Really, OSU is one of 8-10 schools the kid is considering. Start with low expectations, then be surprised when/if he visits or commits. That's how I'd view that.

redondo (Jun 30, 2005 1:59:09 PM)
Hi Steve - do you think the football commit rate is a bit off the pace of where it should? Does it seem to you that there should be a few more in the fold at this juncture? Why or why not? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:02:13 PM)
No, I think they're fine. They have 5 commits. The class will number 19-20 based on how things shake out. If they can add Smith, Gibson, Small, Rose and Brown, that puts them at 10. Then they are in on enough other players to add 8-9 more signees easily. They are in good shape.

buckeyeglory (Jun 30, 2005 2:02:21 PM)
steve, how good will chris well's be? compare him to an accomplished running back

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:04:45 PM)
That's rough. That's just not my forte, comparisons with other players. I'd say Edgerrin James, maybe, but James is 214. I think Chris Wells will play at 225-230. Eddie George was 227 at OSU. He did not have blazing speed, but he was tough as heck and added that extra gear when he was a senior. Maybe Eddie George. Jeez, we're really getting ahead of ourselves here, huh?

WhosyerBuck (Jun 30, 2005 2:04:52 PM)
Steve, bear in mind all the time that I-70 is the most dangerous hiway in the US.!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:05:30 PM)
I understand that. Plus we had construction pretty much the whole way from London to I-75 in Dayton, too. I'd be ahead to fly to Nike, I'm sure.

WestonBuckeye (Jun 30, 2005 2:06:42 PM)
What are your two cents on Chris Slaughter out of GA. is he a player?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:06:57 PM)
It would be great if Henton could bring him with him. Let's start there ...

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:07:38 PM)
He is 6-3, 165 and had 43 catches last year. Ga., Fla., FSU, Auburn and Michigan must know something. His video on the Henton video we have speaks for itself. Wow.

redondo (Jun 30, 2005 2:07:42 PM)
Hi Steve - If Matta and Tressel ran for mayor of Columbus, who would win?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:08:20 PM)
Who's the Democrat? Bet on him (ha ha). Probly still Tressel. Matta's name hasn't been out there enough. But that is about to change.

WhosyerBuck (Jun 30, 2005 2:08:34 PM)
Any special deals on LIFETIME memberships to Total Bucknuts? LOL!

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:08:49 PM)
Yeah, give us a thousand bucks and we'll let you in for life (ha ha).

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 2:08:56 PM)
I've been thinking that Dionte becomes the starter at fullback this year. I've now heard 3-4 things that indicate Brandon will hold onto the starting position -- but both will play. How do you see this position battle shaking out?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:09:16 PM)
Both will play. They may use Schnittker in the I at tailback, too. That looked good in the spring.

Guest (Jun 30, 2005 2:09:22 PM)
who is the most likely next basketball recruit? A PF?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:09:38 PM)
ohs asks about next most likely basketball recruit ...

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:10:32 PM)
They still need a power forward in the 06 class with Luke Harangody (slight chance), Raymar Morgan (50-50; Kyle has a story coming on him) or somebody else the likely choice. Then in 07, they may go after Dallas Lauderdale quickly, perhaps.

Palmer (Jun 30, 2005 2:10:47 PM)
steve what impact do you think chris wells committing to OSU has on Brown and Smith? They have to like the fact that they could beable to block for a guy like that down the road

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:11:15 PM)
Yeah, it helps. Smith, I believe will be in. Brown seems kind of torn. I know Wells was working him on Sat.

ohs (Jun 30, 2005 2:11:27 PM)
will Henton be ranked in top 100 at some point?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:12:19 PM)
Good question. He split time the first half of last year before taking over at midseason. I imagine if he has a great year, he'll vault up the charts. Throwing to Slaughter how could he not. They were 11-2 last year and reached state quarterfinals.

marksgforce (Jun 30, 2005 2:12:25 PM)
Any word on what surgery Alex had? Doesn't sound serious, but have you heard anything that makes redshirting more likely?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:12:38 PM)
No idea. All medical stuff is hush hush now that he's on their dime.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:12:56 PM)
Knee of some sort was the rumor. I didn't know it required surgery even.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:13:12 PM)
I guess we could dig around and see what we can find out.

ohs (Jun 30, 2005 2:13:17 PM)
Steve, logged off by mistake, is Bucknuts doing to finish its great in-depth analysis of each position post spring?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:13:55 PM)
That was Duane's baby. He did the OL. I assume he'll do other positions as he can. We have been working night and day on the Ohio High football preview. Now that that is done, maybe he can crank more of those out.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:14:14 PM)
Anything else, today?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 30, 2005 2:15:22 PM)
I made it through the storm ... oh, yeah, we also had to drive through rain. I was never so happy to see 3 screaming kids as I was at 9 p.m. last night (ha ha).

Palmer (Jun 30, 2005 2:15:26 PM)
very nice chat today! you guys do a fantastic job, keep it up!

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