- By Marcus Hartman
I guess renewing the rivalry will have to wait.
Ohio State beat Indiana last night, and it wasn’t much of a contest.
Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes led for all but 1:30 en route to a 71-56 victory that guaranteed a winning Big Ten record in the coach’s first season in Columbus.
The Buckeyes, of course, are thinking of bigger things after Holtmann’s hiring reinvigorated the program.
With freshman Kaleb Wesson meshing nicely with seniors Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop plus a vastly improved C.J. Jackson, this team is balanced and fun to watch.
Also: Seeing them actually be able to make open jump shots is still kind of jarring for someone who watched the past five years or so.
READ MORE in Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog.”
Archie Miller’s Indiana squad is one game over .500 and also getting contributions from players young and old, but they don’t seem to have a fixer like Bates-Diop. The Hoosiers are ranked 91st at KenPom.com with roughly average ratings on offense and defense, though they have played a pretty tough schedule.
A day and a half after playing a rivalry game against Purdue, the Hoosiers were pretty blah from the start while Ohio State was ready to go from the jump…
Afterwards, a few people pointed out Indiana might be suffering from the effects of a conference scheduled that had to be condensed to fit Jim Delany’s ridiculous decision to hold the Big Ten tournament at Madison Square Garden this season.
To get in that building, they have to play the tournament a week earlier than usual, something that will probably hurt the conference in the NCAA tournament and bring little to no gain….
Yesterday I threw out a fun question (I stole from Twitter) that generated some discussion on our Facebook pages for the Reds and Bengals: Which player whose career was wrecked by injury do you with you could have seen healthy for his whole career?
Football fans voted for Greg Cook (my choice), Bo Jackson, Carson Palmer, Tim Krumrie and David Pollack.
The baseball crowd mentioned Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, Josh Hamilton and Don Gullett, among others (some also voted for Cook and Bo).
Those are all good choices.
I am sure my choice of Cook comes in no small part from his coming before my time, but it was hard to put anyone above Griffey.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited than when Griffey was acquired from the Mariners after years of dreaming about it.
Yes, the 1990 World Series win was less than a decade old, but he brought some star power that Cincinnati sports had lacked during my lifetime — at least from a national perspective.
There were lots of local heroes like Barry Larkin and Boomer Esiason, but no one like The Kid…
Tuesday also provided some Reds news as the club signed veteran reliever David Hernandez.
General manager Dick Williams said the move should help stabilize the bullpen and prevent them from needing to put one of their young starter prospects back there to help the major-league club.
I continue to see folks frustrated about the team not signing any veteran starters, and I have to admit I’m kind of baffled by that reaction.
I saw enough from the youngsters last year to want to see more. They are all going to bring better stuff than any veteran available, and they will cost a lot less.
I get the value of having someone like Scott Feldman to eat up innings, but at some point the young guys have to sink or swim.
Of course, perhaps some fans are writing off one or all of the trio of older guys who were hurt last year — Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan.
I can’t blame anyone for being less confident than the Reds seem to be that those three will all last through the season, but, again, there is probably going to be a whole five-man rotation in Triple-A of genuine prospects who already have multiple major-league starts, so I don’t see the need to supplement that group at this time…
Tonight the local sports spotlight is set to shine on the red-hot Dayton women’s basketball team.
The Flyers have won 10 in a row — including a 9-0 mark in Atlantic 10 play — but their conference lead is only a half game.
Duquesne also unbeaten in the A-10, and the Dukes bring their 8-0 record to UD Arena tonight.
Here are 10 things to know about Shauna Green’s team, which is aiming for a second league title in her two seasons at the helm.