Lamb Chat: Aug. 23 Archive

Here are excerpts from Tuesday's Chat with basketball correspondent Kyle Lamb. Bucknuts managing editor Steve Helwagen will host a Chat at 1 p.m. Thursday.

OSUdrinker (Aug 23, 2005 9:12:03 PM)
How is Dials looking? First team all big 10?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:12:42 PM)
He's looking in great shape. He's lost about 15 or 20 pounds and is running the floor extremely well. He still looks just as strong, but he's much quicker. I think Dials should definitely be tabbed as a probable All-Big 10

Bellbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:12:49 PM)
Hi Kyle. Do you think Bob Huggins got a raw deal down in Cinci?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:13:59 PM)
Yes and No. Certainly there are plenty of things against Huggins with regards to conduct by himself, his staff, and his recruits and players. I do think that Nancy Zimpher handled this all wrong, though. If she was adamant against him, she should have made the ultimatum to begin with and just gotten this process over with long ago. I don't think he got a raw deal, but she didn't handle this well.

calibuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:14:07 PM)
How can Morgan NOT chose to join a possibily historic class as a final piece of the puzzle. How many times does this type of opportunity present itself in a life time?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:15:26 PM)
Different strokes for different folks. Morgan, like others, loves the idea of playing with that class. However, there are other important factors for him. Number one, Michigan State has been showing him a lot of love all summer and spring, and Ohio State only turned up the heat recently. Plus, the ties with the family of Eric Snow are playing dividends. I think the visits will ultimately tell the story, but there are a lot of things at play.

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 9:15:38 PM)
Give us some encouraging news on Raymar! Is he going to be in Columbus on the 10th?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:15:45 PM)
As far as the visits go...

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:17:04 PM)
The 10th is the tentative date. Right now, it's looking like all four recruits will be in on the wekeend of the 10th, and they are pushing for Morgan to join them, although Michigan is now wanting him on campus that weekend as well. Ohio State will use that weekend as a huge recruiting weekend. I still think it will be MSU the first weekend of September, then in consecutive weeks Michigan and Connecticut. (I don't see him taking a visit to Carolina).

stone cold buckeye (Aug 23, 2005 9:17:17 PM)
So if not Morgan then who???????

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:17:47 PM)
If not Morgan, then I think Vernon Macklin is a long shot. If not Macklin, I think it will be a JUCO PF unless someone pops up this fall or during the season.

sphinxbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:18:29 PM)
Are any of the Thadfour calling Morgan much to recruit him.? The article in the Columbus Dispatch made it sound like he wasn't hearing from them.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:19:28 PM)
Contradicting information. Most people are saying they have not been in contact. I believe he has heard from one of the four on the phone a little over a month ago, but I don't think it's a major deal either way. Right now, Ohio State needs to show Morgan they want him, and not their recruits.

OSUdrinker (Aug 23, 2005 9:20:36 PM)
Thuggins didn't look to have a great future with Matta recruiting all the best of Ohio. Does this maybe give him at a coaching somewhere else very soon with more options? Cincy never was a very appealing school nationally.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:22:36 PM)
It all depends on Huggins' philosophy. His MO has always been to recruit JUCOS, and some talented kids who some schools have backed off because of grades or other issues. I don't think they would have gone head to head over too many guys. He will land on his feet somewhere. Maybe Indiana, if something happened with Belein, maybe West Virginia, or whatever.

Jedaharris (Aug 23, 2005 9:22:53 PM)
Are you hearing anything new on the recruiting front with players for the players in the 2007 class?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:23:56 PM)
They are really chasing after Koufos and Lauderdale and several guards/wings including Diebler, Rakim Sanders, Robbie Hummel, and others. Eric Wallace of North Carolina is a guy I hear they like. Their offer to Kevin Love of Oswego, Oregon is noteworthy because they really like him and feel they are really in on him, although I feel he will stay out west.

Guest (Aug 23, 2005 9:24:18 PM)
What's the latest on the NCAA??? AD recently came out which was encouraging.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:24:37 PM)
Stone Cold Buckeye asks about the latest on the NCAA...

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:25:03 PM)
I really feel that Ohio State is standing in great shape with this, as Gene Smith indicated. I still feel they will lose a scholarship or two, but it won't be anything major.

bw1954 (Aug 23, 2005 9:25:50 PM)
Having seen Lighty , Cook and Oden , IMHO Morgan is a very good player but he's not at the same level as the other 2006 recruits !!! I would like us to get him but...... whats your thougts ?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:27:02 PM)
I believe Morgan is the absolute perfect compliment to this class for Ohio State. I think he's tough, he's athletic, talented, and still has a high ceiling. He will do the dirty work needed for that position and that class. He might not be as truly talented as the other four, but he's close and he's a good fit.

bw1954 (Aug 23, 2005 9:28:44 PM)
With Huggins Cincy had a great shot to get Mayo, Walker and possibly Gates. Tommorrw will sure help with Gates! Do you agree ?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:30:07 PM)
I do think so, but I think a lot will depend what happens with the 2007 class in any event. If Ohio State gets Koufos, Lauderdale, and anything else of in the four position, Gates might be buried behind some really good competition. I think Cincinnati was the bonafide early competition for Gates, so that certainly helps for now.

sphinxbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:30:15 PM)
Kyle, What do you predict out of Jamar Butler this year?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:31:11 PM)
I'm still skeptical. I feel his shooting will be a lot better than last year, because that was only a shell of the Jamar Butler of a shooter Ohio State saw last year. However, I want to see him with his handle and running the show. I think he could breakout in a big way, but I remain reserved. The fact that John Groce pointed him out among others is encouraging.

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 9:31:32 PM)
We offered Love? Man, I love Matta. He's going after the best of the best, no matter where they're from. Spectacular!

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:32:53 PM)
The offer to Love recently came down, and they are trying to get involved. He would be the heir apparent to Oden. I think they beat some pretty big programs to the punch with an offer, which will help. I hear the same three-- Arizona, UCLA and North Carolina as the teams to beat for now.

Bellbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:33:37 PM)
How has Butler been progressing?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:34:32 PM)
He's doing well so far. I've heard nothing but rave reviews coming from workouts and from the coaching staff.

Yankee Pride (Aug 23, 2005 9:34:49 PM)
I read your story on Harmony and my first thoughts were how are Matta and staff connected to their coaches?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:36:16 PM)
As of now, I don't know that they have a real strong relationship, but you can bet this will be a place Ohio State keeps a close eye on. They just haven't had a reason to recruit any of McAvene's players thus far, but he seems to be a coach who wants the best for his players, and if Ohio State is it for any of them, he will be helpful.

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 9:36:24 PM)
At this point, has the ship sailed as it pertains to Morgan? Sure haven't heard much encouraging news from the RM camp of late.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:37:33 PM)
It seems that way on the surface, but the kid really has a few parts of his recruitment that is making the decision tough. In the end, staying close to home is always an appealing option, and after his visits, people forget the emotional element of staying close to home and how that could still tip the scales in Ohio State's favor. Michigan State is definitely the favorite right now, but they do not have this wrapped up.

OSUdrinker (Aug 23, 2005 9:37:40 PM)
What are the odds, as of right now, of the bucks getting Koufos and Lauderdale? Also any clue when they might verbal? Thanks Kyle.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:38:37 PM)
I don't particularly want to put numbered odds on them, but Ohio State is the strong favorite for both. I think Lauderdale could verbal any time between this fall and early next spring, while Koufos will probably wait until late spring or summer next year. The competition for Koufos will be Maryland, Duke, Michigan and Xavier.

Guest (Aug 23, 2005 9:38:54 PM)
I'm almost afraid to say this, but with the much improved perimeter defense, the improved strength all across the team, the improved depth and the vastly improved scoring, (rebounding may still be a problem) I won't be surprised if we make it at least to the sweet 16. Your thoughts?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:39:20 PM)
Jedaharris asks with the improvements in many areas this year on paper that a Sweet 16 appearance would not be surprising...

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:40:07 PM)
I agree that the Sweet 16 is the goal I think Ohio State fans can reasonably shoot for. I think a 22 or 23-win season finishing in the top 3 to 5 in the Big 10 and making the third round of the NCAA is the best expectations to have rationally.

mike4180 (Aug 23, 2005 9:40:30 PM)
When Oden and company gets here don't you think we will be facing a lot of zone defenses? If so would not we be better served to get a shooter at the four spot. Instead of an penetrator like Morgan?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:41:32 PM)
I think that's very likely, especially with the penetration abilities of Cook and Lighty. Lighty is a good shooter though, and in their first seasons as Buckeyes, Lewis and Mayes will be there to knock down jumpers from the outside as well. Ideally, they are pinpointing shooters in the '07 class.

bw1954 (Aug 23, 2005 9:41:45 PM)
This years Big 10 schedule sure benefits OSU .I say 3rd or 4th in the conference and a trip to the Big Dance with a 23 -7 record (barring no major injuries ) . Kyle whats your opinion

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:42:16 PM)
Honestly I didn't even see your post yet when I posted 22 or 23 wins and finishing 3 to 5 in the Big Ten (laugh). But yes, as you can imagine by the duplicate post, I agree haha.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:43:07 PM)
while we are waiting, I do want to put out a name that Ohio State seems to be looking at...

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:44:11 PM)
his name is Takais Brown, and he's a 6-8 240 pound PF from Southeastern Illinois Junior College. He's more of a banger, and not Thad Matta's typical four, but he is a great rebounder and he does a lot of the dirty work they want. If Morgan falls through, he could be a spring option. I still feel Ty Morrison is an option although his coach doesn't seem to be indicating as much on the record.

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 9:44:44 PM)
Kyle, where the rubber meets the road, in the end do you feel we'll end up with a 4 in the 2006 class?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:45:27 PM)
I really believe so. If nothing else, perhaps a JUCO guy. I don't think there is a great need for one necessarily, but it would probably balance the classes a bit more to take a JUCO and give a third guy with Terwilliger and Butler.

mike4180 (Aug 23, 2005 9:46:16 PM)
How is Brayden Bell doing? Can you see him getting any PT?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:47:29 PM)
I can see him getting playing time if he rebounds better this fall than Ivan Harris. I think Sylvester is the odds on favorite to start at PF, but if Bell can do some of the tougher tasks better than Harris, I think he's doing well enough he could play some. He won't be lights out this season, but I think Bell showed good enough prowess on the boards and on defense to contribute. He can hit a variety of shots from all over.

Buck Rogers (Aug 23, 2005 9:47:35 PM)
Just stopping in. Kyle, can you give us your guess on our chances w/ Morgan? 40%?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:47:49 PM)
I would say more reasonably 25 to 30 percent right now, but that's very fluid.

Bellbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:48:50 PM)
Any word on changes to the seating in the Schott?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:49:54 PM)
The coaching staff really seems to be pushing for more student involvement on both ends, and hopefully, around the floor. Gene Smith seems to be all in favor of it as well. I'm not sure anything will get hammered out for this fall, but for next season, I think the odds are good that there will be some changes as the Thad Five (or four) arrives.

mike4180 (Aug 23, 2005 9:49:58 PM)
Is Morgan visiting the Texas game for sure?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:50:13 PM)
Not yet finalized. Visits should be arranged by the end of the week.

bw1954 (Aug 23, 2005 9:50:23 PM)
When does the OBIE lawsuit mess come to a conclusion ? I believed he was a class act but hope he loses !!! We are going to have a Top `10 program with Matta for years to come.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:51:20 PM)
I want to say off the top of my head that is scheduled for September or October. It will be over by signing day. In all reality, Ohio State will feel comfortable with what will happen from here on out by the time that is over with, but it's just a matter of relaying that to the class and hoping they go ahead and sign in November, although official closure won't come until a little later.

sphinxbuck (Aug 23, 2005 9:51:36 PM)
Flashback - Were you shocked when Matta left Fuss Cheatum and Stockman on the floor for the last defensive stand against Illinois? I thought it was very courageous and Tressell-like to play the seniors when they had better defensive players (Bulter) on the bench.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:52:33 PM)
They were playing pretty well up until that point, and most of the rest of the second half came with them on the floor. I think that was just the type of confidence he has in his guys.

MJ (Aug 23, 2005 9:53:59 PM)
Who will replace Bob Huggins, and will this be the key to OSU vs UC in the near future?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:55:22 PM)
I hear Skip Prosser is the number-one guy right now ideally for UC. He still has a home in Cincinnati, and reportedly his wife wants him to come back home. Would he leave the ACC for Cincinnati and a cushy job with Wake? I doubt it, but he seems to be the top choice. Mick Cronin is a popular choice among boosters, but Nancy Zimpher might see him as a "Huggins" guy. I also think Pete Gillen could be an option.

22buck (Aug 23, 2005 9:55:44 PM)
Any thoughts on Huggins?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 9:57:11 PM)
Definitely not surprised. Cincinnati gave him the option to finish out his contract, but he wanted to use the pressure to back them in a corner and hope they would back down and listen to the public support. It didn't happen. He played with fire and he lost. Zimpher had good reasons to rid of him, but she didn't play this well whatsoever. Cincinnati will be hurt by this in recruiting because of the way she handled it.

wwt (Aug 23, 2005 9:58:03 PM)
I live in Cincinnati and I think Huggins is getting a raw deal. He reminds me of Knight without the wins - he doesn't play to the media and it shows. I think that finally got him - comments?

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:00:48 PM)
I think that really bit him in the rear end, absolutely. The problem is, he can be criticized for the character of players he has brought in. The grade issues seem to have gotten a lot better recently (sans Vincent Banks), and the JUCOS hurt some of the grad rates, but when you have all those issues and then get a DUI and then come across the way he does with the media, it's a bad situation for a president that wants to clean up an image. My feeling is that he plays by the rules, he is who he is and has been loyal to Cincinnati, and I don't think he's a bad guy at all, but I also can see Zimpher's point.

wwt (Aug 23, 2005 10:00:52 PM)
You say he played with fire - I say it looks like he's ending up with another million + by not jumping at their first offer.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:01:52 PM)
Right, but i'm talking from a standpoint that Huggins firmly believed they would come around, crumble under pressure, and then extend his contract. By playing the public support against the university and saying he didnt want to work under his existing contract, Zimpher ended up giving him the ultimatum instead of crumbling.

Buck Rogers (Aug 23, 2005 10:02:02 PM)
Huggy cooked his goose by taking Nick Aldridge and the PF transfer from Penn. He was trying to sabotage the program because he knew he was on his way out.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:03:12 PM)
I think the combination of these two and also Dominic Telford makes you raise an eyebrow. You might not be far off with that comment, but the strange thing is, while he acted like he was leaving, he also felt he could get them to change their minds.

22buck (Aug 23, 2005 10:03:33 PM)
Has there ever been a more exciting time than now to be a buckeye hoops fan?

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 10:03:35 PM)
Kyle, leave us with some good news!

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:03:56 PM)
Well, this is a good time to wrap up. I can't say I have any shocking jubilation to leave you.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:04:54 PM)
But I guess you can just think about the fact Greg Oden and three other very good players arrive on campus next year, and believe me, Oden is going to really make a big impact. I think Ohio State fans have plenty to be excited about the next several years.

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 10:05:07 PM)
Fair enough, but don't let it happen again! :)

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:05:31 PM)
I'll try to have some good news the next time around. I believe that does it for us tonight. Our next scheduled chat is in two weeks, I believe.

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:05:43 PM)
Next time we'll try for an afternoon chat

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:05:57 PM)
Everyone take care, and thank you for coming tonight!

bucksno1fan (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:00 PM)
Thanks much, Kyle. Your insight/expertise is greatly appreciated!

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:06 PM)
And thanks for the support as well

MJ (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:16 PM)
Great job Kyle!

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:17 PM)
Good night everyone!

Bellbuck (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:21 PM)
Thanks Kyle!!!!

Kyle S. Lamb (Aug 23, 2005 10:06:33 PM)

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