Lamb Chat: Jan. 11 Archive

Here are excerpts on Tuesday's Chat with basketball correspondent Kyle Lamb. managing editor Steve Helwagen will host a Chat at 3 p.m. Thursday and NevadaBuck will Chat at 1 p.m. Monday.

Dingbuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:13:36 PM)
hey Kyle. Great season thus far. What surprises you the most about this team? tough loss on Saturday. We had them. Little disappointed about letting that lead slip away.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:14:42 PM)
I think the thing that has surprised me most is the great balance and teammwork that this team has shown. And they've done it even without Sylvester Mayes giving the kind of consistent scoring that I thought he would give and Matt Sylvester has been very spotty.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:15:12 PM)
The Indiana game was a tough one, but I think it's a loss that most everyone would have expected...even for a potential Big Ten Championship caliber club

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:15:16 PM)
Hey Kyle...what are your thought after the first week of Big Ten play?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:15:28 PM)
First and foremost - wow is the Big Ten tough this year...

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:16:12 PM)
Secondly, I really think Ohio State can win the conference if they can steal a game or two on the road. Right now, I would handicap the race 1. Wisconsin, 2. Ohio State, 3. Illinois, 4. Indiana, 5. Michigan State. But right now, these five are so close together it could go either way

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:16:21 PM)
Is it possiblr for Dials to play aggresively on the defensive end and not get into foul trouble? Where is it that he struggles most on that end of the floor that causes the fouls to be called?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:17:25 PM)
The thing I see with Dials is that his lateral foot quickness is not real good. When he is defending someone down low, he doesn't do a real good job of shuffling his feet. When an offensive player gets on his hip, if he is out of position, sometimes you get a bad angle and the referee calls a foul. This is the biggest problem I've seen.

Dingbuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:17:33 PM)
Kyle, I can't stay long given I have to go coach my team. but I saw your prediction and while I like it (for the B10) I still struggle to see this team being as good as they might actually be. Not sure why. Perhaps lack of depth inside. We seem to go brain dead for a few minutes, especially when we have no post presence. Key in my mind is Twig stepping up yet this year. Thoughts?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:18:41 PM)
Because of Dials' foul trouble, I do believe Terwillinger's improvement becomes that much more important. I will say though, Ohio State will see nothing like they have seen with IU and LSU's frontcourts the rest of the season, so that's a plus. I think Ohio State just needs to play a full game for 40 minutes. If they do, they can win the conference.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:18:55 PM)
Wher was Terwilliger rated coming out of HS. I can't remember and is he about where you and the coaches expected him to be at this point in his development?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:20:29 PM)
He was a 100-150 type of recruit in the rankings. Some services had him around 75/80. The Terwilliger I saw and reported on in high school was about what we're seeing right now. Very athletic for his size, has some range to about 14 feet, and has streaks of aggressiveness where he will take the ball with authority. The only difference is that I though the Terwilliger we're seeing now is about what Ohio State would have had when he was a freshman last season.

Dingbuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:20:46 PM)
I played college ball and for the life of me, I cannot understand why officiating seems to be different away from home. Where is it written that the home team should get a slight advantage, or sometimes, not so slight. Call'em like they are, period. It is frustrating and don't tell me (not you specifically) that it doesn't happen. Thirty years tells me something to the contrary. Sometimes I can hardly stand it.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:21:30 PM)
It does happen, and in a place like Indiana, I really believe there's a slight intimidation factor. It's a lot easier to make 15,000 people happy than say, 100 people? I'm not sure it happens on purpose, but deep down, it's a factor.

ostate (Jan 11, 2006 3:21:52 PM)
Kyle....Do you think its possible that OSU goes undefeated at home this year?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:22:59 PM)
No question that I think it's possible, but Ohio State will not be able to afford the lapses they had against Virginia Tech or Belmont against Michigan State, Wisconsin or Illinois. They should be favorites in all three of those games, and yes I think they can run the table at home, but it won't be a picnic, especially if the Spartans lose to Indiana and come to Columbus 0-3.

JohnnyBuckeye (Jan 11, 2006 3:23:05 PM)
Kyle... so are we going to get Dante Jackson or not? He looks pretty good.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:24:00 PM)
As of now, the ball is more in Ohio State's court than Dante's. I like Jackson a lot. I think he's a good compliment to the backcourt the Buckeyes will have. He's shooting the ball well right now, although that hasn't been translated into how he would do against the best competition. Still, I think he's in play.

Dingbuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:24:13 PM)
I thought Dials 3rd foul was horrible. replay showed that he got the ball and even then there was very little contact on the ball. It is the inconsistency that frustrates people and Dials certainly has to watch what he says but you can hear the tension in him. Seems to me he gets in trouble in part because we get penetrated and he is the last line of defense. Say what you want about backing off, but anyone who has played competitively knows how hard it is. If we had more depth, we would be less troubled by this happening. Thots?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:26:33 PM)
My biggest beef with officiating is consistency. I don't think it's possible to say "this is a foul and this isn't" with any clear definition and be able to apply it 100 percent to every play. So you have to find out what the refs are going to call early and play based on how they call things. Problem is, if the refs aren't being consistent, how can you do that? I've seen games (LSU) where the refs were being consistent one half and letting things go, then all of the sudden they come out whistline everything. Specific to Ohio State, I think more depth would help certainly, because Dials has had to back off season. What's worse, many of his fouls have been ticky tack even when he's backed off a bit. Go figure.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:26:42 PM)
I think tonight's game is real important to a run in the conference. These are the ones you have to win on the road.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:27:30 PM)
This is a game that championship teams do not lose. If Ohio State loses this one, they would have to reevaluate their position and where they stand. I don't see Ohio State losing to this team tonight in Purdue, but stranger things have happened.

MJ (Jan 11, 2006 3:27:53 PM)
How far can you see this OSU team going in the NCAA tourney (Sweet 16)?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:29:18 PM)
The tournament is a guard's tournament. You have to possess some sort of good post player too, as we saw from Ohio State's NCAA run in 1999 when Ken Johnson stepped up towards the end of the season, but you will go as far as your guards. Given that, Ohio State should be a final four threat if Foster and Butler continue to play this well, Ron Lewis stays clutch and Sylvester Mayes continues to improve. But realistically, Sweet 16 is probably the likely possibility.

Dingbuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:29:45 PM)
Gotta run. I'd be at the OSU game tonight if my daughter didn't have a game in Ft Wayne. Any surprise names in recruiting even as we consider classes further down the road? And your thoughts on tonight's game? I have a little fear that we might struggle and the game be closer than it should be.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:30:52 PM)
Ding, take care. So far, there are not really any surprise names. Thad Matta and his staff really seem to take a backseat on recruiting during the season (a la Jim Tressel), and then work their butts off after the season. Because of that, some of the new names really haven't popped up yet. We'll see that happen in March or April though. I will tell you though, Sunday is supposed to be a day where a lot of recruits are invited to the game.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:31:31 PM)
To expound on that real fast, I know Kosta Koufos, Dallas Lauderdale and some of the 2008 kids in Ohio (William Buford, Delvon Roe, Yancy Gates, Mullens, etc) were supposed to be invited.

JohnnyBuckeye (Jan 11, 2006 3:31:56 PM)
Can you tell me who Diebler reminds you of? When I read about his size, hustle, and shooting abilities, I was wondering if Chris Jent would be a good comparison?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:33:09 PM)
It would be easier for me to compare him if he weren't all over the map. I never have seen the same Jon Diebler twice ever since Upper Sandusky's playoff run last spring. But back then, I said that I could see some Mike Dunleavy in him (before Dunleavy's growth spurt that put him at 6-9).

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:33:24 PM)
I don't see a whole lot of Chris Jent in him right now, honestly.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:33:46 PM)
Any new HS juniors coming into play that have risen up the charts this season? I'm assuming Lauderdale and Koufus are still 1A & B.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:35:03 PM)
I would call Lauderdale 1AA and Koufos 1BB because they have become that much more important to Ohio State. If anyone needs any confirmation of how they feel about these two and how good of shape they feel they are in, look no further than Solomon Alibi's profile and the fact Ohio State is now currently not recruiting him. That will tell you all you need to know.

Guest (Jan 11, 2006 3:35:15 PM)
Oh, one more thing? do you watch the women? Something seems to be missing for them this year. Any thoughts? And I don't see Foster making in game adjustments much even though I like what I hear about him. Your take on the women?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:35:46 PM)
Ding wanted to know about the OSU women and what's missing...Yep, I watch them enough... and what's missing? Shooters. They just can't put the ball in the hoop.

MJ (Jan 11, 2006 3:35:52 PM)
Is Indiana still one of the top teams in the Big 10 without D.J. White?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:36:57 PM)
This is complicated to answer. For starters, I have been saying for a few weeks that I've felt Indiana was better off without White and Killingsworth on the floor at the same time. Both players are better in space. Killingsworth is a perfect guy to put in the paint and put four players around the perimeter and let him operate one-on-one or take advantage of a 2-3 zone and bust some 3-pointers.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:37:09 PM)
When both players were on the floor, I felt Indiana's offensive identity changed for the worse.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:38:10 PM)
But I still feel Indiana will suffer without White, because if nothing else, they had a luxury of giving either one a rest and still having a great player inside on the floor at all times. How nice would it be to rest MK and then replace him for 5 minutes with D.J. White? Indiana is still one of the top teams in the conference, but no question that injury does hurt.

JohnnyBuckeye (Jan 11, 2006 3:38:34 PM)
SInce the topic of the NCAA tourney came up, at this point in the season, who would you have in your Final Four?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:39:53 PM)
If the season ended today, and the tournament was selected, my final four picks would be Duke, Villanova, Florida and Texas or UCLA

exclusiveclothes (Jan 11, 2006 3:40:23 PM)
Kyle will u be at the Lighty/Cook matchup on Monday at OSU?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:40:43 PM)
Yep, I will be there EC. I'm looking forward to the match-up

MJ (Jan 11, 2006 3:41:18 PM)
Any chance that Coach Matta shows some interest in the Indiana job if it comes open soon?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:42:32 PM)
Probably not enough to worry about. No question Matta would always be interested in the job, but right now there's no reason for him to leave. It would be a lateral move at best considering the success he's having. In the future, if he left, then Indiana would be a tough one to turn down for him or maybe 10 years from now it would be tough if he was still at OSU. But he's entrenched at Ohio State for right now with little worry.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:43:11 PM)
We're all caught up on questions for the moment if anyone has any...

JoJoBuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:44:20 PM)
Who will be the Buckeyes' main competition next year when the Thad 5 arrive? I'm interested to see if MSU and UI will continue their consistent contention.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:45:13 PM)
I think Illinois and Michigan State are both on their way up. I feel Michigan has some good players coming in also, but they have some critical depth concerns that they really need to address with this next class. Wisconsin is also looking to be VERY good for next season.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:46:14 PM)
I think that Michigan State will be younger next season, but them, Wisconsin and Ohio State should be the three favorites. Illinois will also be dangerous despite losing Dee Brown and James Augustine. Michigan will be tough but very thin.

MJ (Jan 11, 2006 3:46:23 PM)
Why are you so high on Wisconsin this year?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:48:21 PM)
I've said all along that once Brian Butch came into his own (which he's now doing) and their guards got better, they were a dangerous club. First of all, they have a great coach. Kammron Taylor is not a great guard, but he's very good and he's playing really well. Butch' size just presents so many problems for a skilled big guy like that. And of course, Tucker is one of the more underrated players in the conference in my opinion. Wisconsin is very high on their younger guys, and I just think that by the end of the year, they could be tough. Although Illinois' home winning streak is not forgotten, comparing teams, I would say right now that the Kohl Center is the toughest road game to play.

JB #14 fan (Jan 11, 2006 3:48:29 PM)
Kyle, I asked about this on the hoops forum. With the way recruiting has gone for Thad, could you see him staying 5 or 10 years. Do you know any inside info on him planning on being here awhile? Thanks

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:49:40 PM)
From what I hear, Matta believes this could be his last stop. Ohio State might not have been his first choice (Illinois or Indiana would have been), but he wanted to coach in the Big Ten and he felt this was one of the top 3 jobs in the conference. I think he's happy hear with the support he's getting, and he knows he can accomplish anything he wants to with the talent in Ohio and the way he's recruiting.

Guest (Jan 11, 2006 3:51:14 PM)
Gotta bounce, Thanks Kyle!

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:52:30 PM)
Just a reminder, as Exclusive mentioned earlier, Monday at the Schottenstein Center is the MLK Day classic. Dayton Dunbar goes up against Cleveland VASJ at 4:30 (I believe) preceeded by their junior varsity teams. Then after Dunbar-VASJ, Harvest Prep (B.J. Mullens) faces Columbus Linden McKinley.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:53:12 PM)
Kyle, how will tOSU deal with the idea of players leaving early in the long haul? With the caliber of player Matta is getting here, it is not unresonable to assume that quite a few will exit after 2-3 years. How will that play out with all the neww NCAA guidelines?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:55:11 PM)
That's still quite honestly an unknown factor with regards to the APR (Academic Progress Rate). Since it's not technically in place until next year to use, we don't know how it will affect things. However, the NCAA seems to be making tweaks to the system to where losing players early to the NBA won't be hard on the school's APR score. And yes, when you recruit top players like Matta is have to be aware that some of them will leave after 2 or 3 years and he's well aware of that. He will make sure he has adequate backups each season I'm sure.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:57:14 PM)
I have time for about 2-3 more questions

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 3:57:44 PM)
What do you make of the difficult season Kentucky is having? Just trying to find themselves or are they really in a downward cycle?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 3:59:00 PM)
I can't really fathom they're in a downward cycle because they've got something like 3 or 4 McD's AA's on that roster. But they are just not playing any concept of team basketball, they have no faith in their frontcourt (last night Randolph Morris returned and their guards acted like he barely existed) and they are not shooting well. Patrick Sparks has forgotten what a good shot is.

JoJoBuck (Jan 11, 2006 3:59:14 PM)
Kyle, Do you think the team has overachieved at all this year? Are you surprised at the 11-1 record and do you think they will surprise upset anyone this year?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 4:00:36 PM)
I expected the team to be about 10-2 at this point. The only difference is that I thought early on, they would have lost to Iowa State on the road. So really, I'm not that surprised. This team, I thought, could surprise some people. But although they're not consistent yet, when they are playing their best basketball, it has been better than I thought it could be. I'm convinced it's not overacheiving... and to be honest with you, seeing flashes of how good they can be, right now I would say they're still not living up to potential.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 4:00:48 PM)
Any word on Huggins and where he may surface? I assume the NCH clan are still locked into possbly going where he ends up?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 4:01:37 PM)
Missouri and West Virginia are the two most common names right now. Missouri would be obviously if Quin Snyder gets the axe, and WV if Prosser gets the job at UC and then Wake hires John Belein. Marshall and UNLV are also two of the names I hear a lot.

buckmark (Jan 11, 2006 4:01:44 PM)
How far away is Bell from seeing any regular PT? Do you think he sticks it out being so far from home and all the great players coming in the future?

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 4:03:03 PM)
Defense, defense, defense. That's the only thing keeping Bell from playing meaningful minutes. I would have to believe he sticks it out, but I have no evidence one way or another to suggest what he'll do. You can see the kid's offensive talent. And he's not necessarily struggling with a basic mental toughness like Ivan Harris right now, so he's not afraid to mix it up. He's just not on par defensively yet.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 4:04:47 PM)
Well folks, I've got to be going. Thank you for joining today. Our next chat will be two weeks for yesterday. It will be Tuesday, January 24 I believe.

Kyle S. Lamb (Jan 11, 2006 4:05:15 PM)
Have a great day and enjoy tonight's game! Seeya later.

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