Welcome to another week at The Empire. It’s Monday again, but hopefully most of you have an abbreviated week, or at least get to take the day off to celebrate the independence of our nation. If you happen to live outside of our borders, please fire off some illegal fireworks and/or handguns to properly show yourselves to be Americans.
There is a lot happening here on the Death Star. We have two new transfers: Joe Dexter, a 6’4” shooting guard who excels on the playground when competing against the local 6th grade girls team, and Jon Thoma, former punter and three time letter winner at Ohio State under Jim Tressel. Thoma once kicked a football over a mountain range into a billy goat’s open mouth. What makes it more impressive is that the goat was, at the time, considering committing suicide. Jon’s punt made him reconsider his station in life. That goat is now Mayor of Minot, North Dakota.
Ring The Damn Bell.
Jordan Hall, the starting Tailback for the Buckeyes, is expected to miss up to 10 weeks as he recovers from foot surgery after cutting himself on some glass as he was out Wednesday afternoon. Hall had surgery on his foot on Friday and figures to miss significant time in fall practice, and could miss the openers against Miami (OH) and UCF.
The versatile back was on pace to be a serious playmaker in new Head Coach Urban Meyer’s balanced spread offense. Hall was the one back on the roster that most translated to that Percy Harvin-esque role, a hybrid type that can both punish you on the run, but also grab passes out of the backfield. The injury is certainly a blow to Ohio State’s outlook this season, but is even more so for Jordan himself. Meyer had this to say about the injury:
“This is an unfortunate accident to a really fine young man,” Meyer said. “He’s handling things well, though. He’ll be in a non-weight bearing cast for about six weeks and then he’ll rehabilitate the injury for at least four weeks after that.”
This was intended to be Hall’s breakout “contract” year. This was the year that he was supposed to impress everyone with his versatility, his speed, and his hands. The majority of the season awaits him, but what should happen if Carlos Hyde or Bri’onte Dunn makes a name for himself in the first couple of games or shows those flashes of brilliance in fall ball? Does Hall get reinserted into the lineup or will he be passed over?
Only time, and perseverance will tell.
Hood on Tobacco Road
The 6’8”, 204 wing transfer from Mississippi State has informed the world that he will continue his matriculation and basketball growth with one of the masters of the game. Hood had narrowed his decision to just two, Ohio State and Duke. He chose the Blue Devils. I don’t fault the man. Duke is a blue blood of college basketball and it is likely that Rodney will flourish there. Hood will be forced to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules, but had nothing but praise for his new coach.
“I feel like Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) and the staff can get the most out of me as a player and academically,” Hood told ESPN senior national recruiting analyst Dave Telep. “I liked the teammates and felt like we have a good chance to compete for a championship.”
While Matta is steadily building a powerhouse, Ohio State is not necessarily in the same conversation as Duke when it comes to hoops history. Coach K will get the most out of Hood, and Rodney gets the opportunity to learn from the man that is in charge of bringing home another Gold Medal this summer. While it would have been nice to bring Hood into the Buckeye family, we wish him well in his future endeavors.
I only hope he’s on the sideline this fall when we put another hurt on his new team.
Combining the two previous stories, basketball phenom and Lady Buckeye heartbreaker, Aaron Craft had surgery on his left ankle to remove a bone spur that had nagged him from during the season. While Captain Swoon is currently on crutches, he is expected to make a full recovery with plenty of time to spare in order to get ready for next season.
Craft, the undisputed floor general, will need all the time he can grab before heading into this season without Jared Sullinger or William Buford. Aaron will have to rely on Amir Williams, Evan Ravenel, and Deshaun Thomas much more than he needed to this past season.
But should two of those guys have breakout years, we could be looking at another deep run in the tournament.
Ohio State Steals Another From Michigan
Okay, so this isn’t quite stealing directly from TTUN, but it is still a sweet victory. Kelly Kovach Schoenly, former pitcher for TSUN’s softball team, has been hired by the Buckeyes to be their new Ladies Softball Head Coach.
Schoenly comes to Columbus via Oxford, where she coached the RedHawks to two MAC titles on her way to becoming that program’s all time winningest coach (in just 6 seasons). Before her stint at Miami, she was an assistant at Penn State, where she helped guide the Lady Nitts to several heights of greatness.
We at The Empire welcome Coach Schoenly, and wish her and her squad much success in the years to come.
There are few things more satisfying than Frank’s Red Hot sauce on a tall stack of Bisquick pancakes at midnight on a balmy Tuesday.