Helwagen Chat: Feb. 16 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat from Thursday afternoon. Gary Housteau will Chat at 9 p.m. Thursday night. NevadaBuck will Chat at 1 p.m. Monday.

labsbeabmm (Feb 16, 2006 1:12:53 PM)
Did the kid who verbaled to USC and whose father didin't sign, sign with PSU?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:13:32 PM)
No, he just visited Penn State. He has until April 1, I believe, where he can sign. His dad wanted him to check some other options. He may still sign with USC.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:13:39 PM)
Hi Steve, Do you think the NCAA hearing will know start to speed up or are we still in a holding pattern?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:15:12 PM)
No, I don't think the O'Brien verdict has much of an impact on that. I think the committee members are deliberating independently and by phone and will either agree on penalties that way or when they meet again in a few weeks. My guess is we could know something in March. If they lay down a postseason ban, OSU could still appeal, I believe, and be OK for this year and try and get it overturned for next year ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:15:54 PM)
But the prevailing thought is OSU will be penalized for time served (last year's tourney) and also have to probably return tournament money, forfeit wins and a scholarship or 2.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:15:58 PM)
Will the Nike camp that is coming to Ohio State this spring be open to the public?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:17:01 PM)
The way it worked last time, they did testing inside the WHAC and that was closed except for the Nike Camp people and Rivals people (they are partners in those events, I believe). But parents and others were able to stand outside and watch when they moved some testing and competitions out there.

rnpaullee (Feb 16, 2006 1:17:08 PM)
Steve, I read the thread about LB signee, Johnson. What's your view on why fans aren't raving about this nationally ranked OOS recruit?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:18:25 PM)
Most hype begins in the home city and radiates out from there. When it was clear that Johnson would not play at USC or UCLA, I think he lost some steam. He didn't have the full backing of the local gurus. But Scout's national people still were aware of him and gave him the props he deserved. He is one of the top 5-7 signees in this class, if not higher. Could have a great college career. We shall see.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:19:56 PM)
Gary H. will Chat at 9 p.m. tonight and NevadaBuck will be back at 1 p.m. Monday.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:20:27 PM)
If OSU were to play a couple of their NCAA Tournament games in Dayton, how do I go about getting tickets? Is there a public sale? Or do I need to go the ticket broker route?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:21:52 PM)
Good question. My guess is UD has sold out already with tickets going to their season ticket holders. Maybe they have already had or will have a public sale. You should call them. My feeling is that is where OSU will be if they are a top-3 seed. They seem to want to reward top-3 seeds. If they are a 4 seed may not be because the 5-seed would be at a distinct disadvantage playing OSU in a second round game at Dayton.

skeelo (Feb 16, 2006 1:21:58 PM)
in hindsight should osu have settled with obrien?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:22:17 PM)
Hindsight is always 20-20, but, yes, they probably should have settled with him ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:23:26 PM)
one sec

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:23:49 PM)
OK, wife called ... she should know better (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:24:03 PM)
But you always have to answer when it's your wife because ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:24:18 PM)
She could be stranded on the side of the road and need your help (ha ha). OK ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:24:59 PM)
Yes, I think Ohio State would have been better served to offer O'Brien an appropriate settlement package and, really, worked to get him over on their side in this whole mess. It is such a complex issue ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:25:43 PM)
Some observers question the legal system looking the other way at what some consider to be a blatant NCAA infraction. Some question whether it was so blatant. Depends on where you're coming from.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:26:14 PM)
And for others, the end justifies the means. Ohio State has Thad Matta, Greg Oden, Daequan Cook and an 18-4 record this year.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:26:55 PM)
The program is in better shape today than it probably would have been under Jim O'Brien, although Matta is winning today with O'Brien's players.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:27:49 PM)

rnpaullee (Feb 16, 2006 1:28:13 PM)
Steve, I feel our lack of a typically sized PF(although JJ plays bigger than his height) hurts us bigtime when our 3-point shooters or Dials inside play gets us a lead during these tough road games. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:29:03 PM)
Yeah and Sullinger was in foul trouble last night, so Alando Tucker basically ran wild. Sullinger did what he could with him last night. That's why I think a guy like Othello Hunter, who has really come on could help them next year. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:29:38 PM)
The keys last night to me were poor rebounding (UW had 12 offensive boards and 20 second chance points), foul trouble and no threes falling.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:29:44 PM)
Texas/Iowa in 2006...Both away night games?? Not good if that happens!

bucks4fun (Feb 16, 2006 1:29:47 PM)
Hi Steve, any talk of the PSU game being at night?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:31:31 PM)
Believe it or not, Iowa is the one I'm hearing the most about. Jon Miller, the Scout Iowa publisher, said he heard strong rumblings about it being at night. In fact, he said there are many concerns in the university hierarchy because Iowa is kind of like a mini-Wisconsin. They really party it up out there with tailgating and house parties right across the street from Kinnick Stadium. Plus traffic is a nightmare. A night game would involve many more people than normal. They are concerned ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:32:49 PM)
I think Texas is an automatic, but there has been a changing of the guard at ABC. The sports division and college football is now being run by execs at ESPN because they're all one umbrella. Maybe they won't follow the book and bring back a game that was such a ratings hit (even better than FSU-Miami) last year. That's hard for me to believe.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:33:13 PM)
Have heard nothing about PSU being a night game. Have to think ABC wants that for daytime TV as a national game (once again).

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:33:21 PM)
Did the players buy into Matta's system more than OB's? I don't see OSU having the record it has over the last 2 seasons with OB as coach.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:34:32 PM)
Well, O'Brien's last year with like 12 or 13 double digit losses and his voice problems was a disaster. They weren't even close to an NCAA bid. They were 14-16, I believe. So Matta came in and injected some life in the program. The big thing has been the maturation and development of Foster and Butler. Those 2 have put the go in this team.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:34:38 PM)
What's the possibility of Oden and Othello starting next year?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:35:44 PM)
I think that's possible. Might be Butler at the one, Lewis or Conley or Lighty at the two, Cook at the three, Harris or Hunter at the four and Oden at the five. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:36:24 PM)
They can go small with Butler, Conley, Cook, Harris and Oden or big with Butler, Lewis or Lighty, Cook, Hunter and Oden.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:36:37 PM)
Staying on the night game topic...Is USC a safe bet for the next night game in Ohio Stadium?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:37:44 PM)
No, I think you'll see one either this year or next. Not sure what it would be. USC comes in 09.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:37:51 PM)
Has a Big 10 school ever won Big 10 titles in Football, Mens Basketball, and Womens Basketball in the same year? Seems OSU still has a good shot at accomplishing that feat.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:40:52 PM)
I am sure it's happened. Not sure who, though. OSU won the Big Ten in 1998 and went to the Final Four with the men (no Big Ten) in 1999 (same school year).

skeelo (Feb 16, 2006 1:41:18 PM)
what are your personal projections on the punishment that will be handed down by the infractions committee?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:42:30 PM)
Time served on the postseason ban (last year), return of all NCAA money from 1999-2002 appearances, vacate records (wins, titles, Final Four appearance), one or two scholarships pulled for a year or 2 (already serving that this year as well). That's a lot right there. You're probably talking $4 million or more.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:42:57 PM)
It was eerie being at Crisler Arena last week and not seeing the Fab Five-produced Final Four banners. They came down.

grimes (Feb 16, 2006 1:43:06 PM)
For some reason I feel like the at MSU football game next year is dangerous. Stanton sill be a senior and they are so up and down. If they happen to get their heads screwed on stright for a game they could be theemotional down game for the Buckeyes in the schedule after the tough early games. Your Thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:44:11 PM)
I agree, it's at Michigan State. John L. Smith is on kind of a hot seat, but they always seem to have a ton of athletes. Stanton is back, as is Ringer. That game is Oct. 14, right after Bowling Green and right before a game at Indiana. So MSU should have OSU's full and undivided attention.

rnpaullee (Feb 16, 2006 1:44:26 PM)
Twelve offensive rebounds last night for Wiscy? That's where I feel we get hurt without a 6' 8" or 6'9" jumping jack blocking out on the backside of those shots. I see future classes having that type of force.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:44:59 PM)
Yes, this is where guys like Lauderdale or Gates would come in handy. Athletic big men who can rebound. Dials is one man against 3 in a lot of these tussles. OSU just gets outtoughed.

kleintime16 (Feb 16, 2006 1:45:07 PM)
Hey Steve, I just watched Ted Ginn's highlight video ... for about the 50th time ... and it really got me thinking, how is Jim Tressel going to replace a talent like TGII? There clearly isnt anyone on the team that is capable of performing at the level that TG performs, I am not saying that we have bad players just that TG is on a different level. So my question is ... is there any recruit out there that has the potential of TG, derrick williams was a good example this last year although his season was shortened due to a broken arm or leg, who is going to be that explosive playmaker from the 07 class?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:47:19 PM)
Great question ... Ted Ginn Sr. says Ray Small has similar abilities, so I guess you'd start there. Some people think Albert Dukes can be a game breaker but he needs to mature and become more consistent, it seems. But Ginn Jr. is beyond special. He changes games with one big play. In two years he has 15 TDs and 12 of them are 56 yards or longer. That's changing field position and the score in a hurry. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:47:58 PM)
There are some great skilled position players in the 07 class. Which ones are on this level? Good question. Maybe a Jordan Mabin or a Devon Torrence. I don't honestly know.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:48:02 PM)
Do you know or have you heard is there any interest from Matta's side of coaching in the NBA or is he a college guy?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:49:00 PM)
No, I don't think Matta is ready to make that jump yet, if he ever will be. I think he loves what he is doing so much. He seems to be a great recruiter and has assembled what could be a juggernaut at OSU for years to come. Why walk away from that and hand it over to somebody else?

redondo (Feb 16, 2006 1:49:03 PM)
Steve - which is the bigger deal to the Big Ten basketball fan base - winning the regular season or winning the tournament?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:49:54 PM)
The Big Ten considers the regular season champion or champions as THE Big Ten champion for each year. Other leagues go by the tournament. The tournament winner gets the automatic NCAA bid, though ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:51:26 PM)
To answer your question, I think it depends on what year you're talking about. If your team needs to win the tourney (like OSU had to in 2003) to get in, then you put more stock in that. But winning a title over a 16-game season, to me, means more than one weekend where a team just gets hot. The league tourney is a great event, but I'll never forget Bob Knight's words: "It's just this thing we've tacked on at the end to make more money."

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:52:32 PM)
But both are exciting and important, I guess. What sucks is when you win it, like OSU did in 02, outlasting the 3 teams you were tied with for the RS title and then NCAA committee, because the bracket was already done, doesn't take it into account and ships you to Albuquerque as a 4-seed. Total BS.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:52:46 PM)
What's your thoughts of Ben Martin coming to OSU? A 6'-4" DE that's on the 4x100 team is scary.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:53:38 PM)
Yeah, Ben is a special talent. he is a speed rusher. I think his weight is in the 225 range and he has the frame to probably carry 250 and be a real monster. I watched him run down on kickoffs and was amazed at his footspeed. He is going to make somebody (probably either OSU or ND) very happy.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:53:42 PM)
Does OSU have a better shot at Ben Martin than most internet fans believe? I could understand losing an offensive weapon to Charlie Weis, but a defensive stud? Hopefully not!

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:54:47 PM)
Well, you have to understand that while Ben's school sits in the great state of Ohio, he is also part of parochial school way of life at LaSalle. He has the best of both worlds, I guess. This will come down to which staff works it the hardest and gets their talking points across the best, as it almost always does.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:55:09 PM)
I think Heacock and Peterson, having worked Cinti. before, should be in good shape there.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 1:55:13 PM)
What OOS OL are we seriously in on?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:55:41 PM)
Three they have allegedly offered are Josh Oglesby from WI, Evan Blankenship from PA and Kris O

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:56:23 PM)
O'Dowd from AZ. There may be others. It is so early, I don't see any of them making an early verbal. Get them to OSU over the summer for an unofficial, get them back for an official visit and see where you

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:56:28 PM)
you're at then.

rabbitt hunter (Feb 16, 2006 1:56:34 PM)
Any effort to try to align schedules with Notre Dame in the future? I know this could take 10-12 years but the wait would be worth it!

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:58:11 PM)
No, I don't sense anybody is breaking their back to make that happen. ND guards its alliances with Michigan, MSU and Purdue. They only played OSU in 95 and 96 when Michigan was off for a 2-year hiatus (and that only happens every 15 years or so). So, while there may be clamor from both sides to play, ND has 70 schools calling them and OSU is just another one in that group. ND will agree to play OSU only when it suits ND.

rnpaullee (Feb 16, 2006 1:58:38 PM)
Exactly , Steve, because when Oden strides toward the shooter for the block that will leave our other "big" there to rebound any high arching shots over the top. Can't wait! Hope this year's team will give the guys that winning attitude like MSU has each year.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 1:58:56 PM)
Yeah, and Cook is a big guard and so is Lighty. Rebounding should not be an issue going forward.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 1:59:01 PM)
Ohio State vs. UNC in next year's BIG10/ACC challenge...Seems like that would be an easy decision for whoever decides on the match-ups!

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:00:42 PM)
Yes, it would, but they are on different rotations. I'm not sure how it is set up, but most schools move from home to away every year. OSU is on the same rotation with the schools it has played -- VT, GT, Duke, N.C. State. UNC hosted Illinois this year and OSU hosted VT. One of them would have to host next year as well ... or play it at a neutral site somewhere in between, but where it would still sell out. That's the trickiness here.

dantheman (Feb 16, 2006 2:01:01 PM)
I see a pattern here: you keep hitting the "enter" key in lieu of the apostrophe, don't you? ha ha :)

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:01:09 PM)
Yep you caught that didn

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:01:14 PM)
't you? (ha ha)

rabbitt hunter (Feb 16, 2006 2:01:19 PM)
How do you think the defensive line rotation will work out next year?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:02:23 PM)
My starters would be Richardson and Wilson outside and Patterson and Pitcock inside. Then, my backups would be Gholston, Barrow and Worthington (if ready) outside and Penton and whoever else emerges (Cotton, Abdallah, Denlinger or Larimore) inside.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 2:03:14 PM)
UNI returns some talent on offense this coming season. Do you see OSU struggling in the first game? The offense should have no problem, but the defense?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:03:50 PM)
They are a respectable team. OSU needed a last-play FG to beat Marshall in 2004. I don't think it will be quite that tight, but it could be a toughie. No doubt.

dantheman (Feb 16, 2006 2:03:59 PM)
I don't think we should "waste" a lot more PT on Richardson unless he makes a quantum leap in Spring/August. Go with a younger guy who can develop. What do you think of Richardson in pass rushing, run stopping?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:04:48 PM)
Oh, I agree with you, he has some work to do. My hope is he raises his level of play as a senior and has some urgency about him. That usually does the trick for guys like Jay who have struggled to find their niche.

buckicrazy (Feb 16, 2006 2:04:55 PM)
Haven't heard much about Denlinger. How is he progressing? Did he RS?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:05:45 PM)
Yes, he redshirted. Todd is a great student and a solid kid all the way around. The numbers are such at DT that he can make an impact this year if he continues to progress. I know Heacock will be watching him closely this spring as he tries to fill out that rotation on the DL.

dantheman (Feb 16, 2006 2:06:08 PM)
Does Northern Ilinois return its stud RB?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:06:40 PM)
Yes, he is Garrett Wolfe, all 5-7, 174 pounds. He had 1588 yards. NIU was 7-5 after its stunning MAC title game loss to Akron.

Stlbuck (Feb 16, 2006 2:06:48 PM)
Hey Steve. First time chatter. This may have been beaten to death, but what do you think about the secondary next year. Nick Patterson is a name I don't hear much, but was a big recruiting lose for those here in Missouri.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:07:34 PM)
Patterson is firmly in that mix at safety. He is a bright kid and a great athlete to boot. It's time for him and others like O'Neal and, to an extent, Mitchell to stand up and show they can be every down players.

oogatz (Feb 16, 2006 2:07:50 PM)
It appears that Smith has begun to begin making changes; i.e., witness the moving of Catalano away from compliance. One thing I could never fathom is how OSU aleays has such lousy track teams, with all the talent in and around this state, and why Rogers has never been held to the same standards as the other coaches. Did Rogers have some incriminating pictures or something on Geiger? Do you see Smith doing something re track?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:09:56 PM)
OSU flourished in track when Coop let guys like Robert Smith and others run. Policies like that vary from school to school. I can't defend Rogers' record because it has not been all that good. There are other sports at OSU that are also in a state of flux. Geiger upgraded the coaching staff as a whole. But there are a few areas that would have to be considered on the hot seat. Wresting may be in that same boat, perhaps. I imagine, just like Geiger, who changed half the staff in his first 3 years, Smith will want "his people" in some key positions that are underperforming.

Royal Flush47 (Feb 16, 2006 2:10:18 PM)
Who do you think this years capains will be? Troy Smith seems to be a lock for one spot.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:11:35 PM)
Smith and Downing or Datish on offense, Pitcock and Patterson on defense. They are the only 5 returning starters who will be seniors. Well, them and Stan White Jr. Maybe Ginn gets some votes, but I doubt an underclassman would get it.

dantheman (Feb 16, 2006 2:11:47 PM)
Great point about seniors on the DL historically: think of Peterson, Rodney Bailey, Kudla (injured before) and others who were OK but got very good as seniors.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:12:53 PM)
Yes, that is a position that is built on work ethic and playing with a high motor. It's almost an all-effort position with some technique, speed and strength matched in there. Seniors who work hard and get their bodies in the proper shape and then play with some urgency can make a difference on the DL.

rabbitt hunter (Feb 16, 2006 2:12:56 PM)
Will Mike Roberts ever play any meaningful minutes at OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:13:52 PM)
Not unless he kicks it into gear now. Thing is he is playing for 2 DB coaches who did not recruit him, so it's an uphill battle of sorts. They will be looking at younger guys with higher ceilings. he needs to outperform them. He's not in a position where his seniority will really help him.

kleintime16 (Feb 16, 2006 2:14:38 PM)
Quick question that I don't know if you have the answer to right off hand but who redshirted from the 05 recruiting class ... Wilson played, Wells played, Laurinaitis played, Jenkins played, Boone played and O'Neal played, does that sound correct to you and did the rest of that group - minus Lenix who transferred i believe - RS?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:15:06 PM)
kleintime, you should know I never leave home without my scholarship list by class and position, I am always prepared, let's see ...

kleintime16 (Feb 16, 2006 2:15:19 PM)
haha ... excellent

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:16:25 PM)
Those who played: Mo Wells, Brian Robiskie, Alex Boone, Lawrence Wilson, James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Jamario O'neal. That's 7.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:18:06 PM)
redshirts were Rob Schoenhoft, Brian Hartline, Jimmy Cordle, Doug Worthington, Ryan Williams, Todd Denlinger, Austin Spitler, Andre Amos, Anderson Russell, Donald Washington, Aaron Pettrey. That's 11 and Lenix went to UC.

rabbitt hunter (Feb 16, 2006 2:18:11 PM)
What is the staffs thoughts on Tyler Waley (walkon OL from Ironton)?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:18:44 PM)
I heard they have talked about him working in some at center and guard in a pinch. Maybe he's the next Stafford, Kne or Conroy.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:19:28 PM)
This staff has shown it will not simply award two-deep spots and playing time by default. If a walk-on is better over time, he gets the spot.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:19:51 PM)
Is there anything else we can do today???

labsbeabmm (Feb 16, 2006 2:19:57 PM)
Does Ryan Williams project as a starter during his career?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:21:24 PM)
Well, he needs to rehab the injury and almost start over. That type of injury, he will not be full-go in the spring and that puts him behind for the fall. Perhaps he comes back in 07 and is full-go and starts to make a push. He redshirted so he has 4 years left to make his mark, but this one may already be a wash because of the injury. I know a lot of people are pulling for him to come back strong from the injury and he has the ability and smarts to make a difference.

rabbitt hunter (Feb 16, 2006 2:21:44 PM)
Who do you like to win the kicking job? Who has the strongest leg? Could on kick off and one handle the placement chores?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:22:58 PM)
We see so little of the kickers it would be a guess. Pretorius matched Huston almost kick for kick in the fall kick scrimmage, so I'd say he's pretty good. But Pettrey has a Kentucky long FG record of 58 or 60 yards, I believe. Unless one wins it hands down, could be like Nugent and Huston in 01 where they each get a shot. Hope the results are better, though (ha ha).

rnpaullee (Feb 16, 2006 2:23:02 PM)
Steve , a small group but enjoyed you info and opinions as always. Thanks!

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:23:15 PM)
Thank you, it has been a lot of fun.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:23:42 PM)
I will turn off moderation and you can talk among yourselves if you like.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 16, 2006 2:23:56 PM)
See you later.

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