Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann has begun to reel in some big fish in recruiting, much to the surprise of those that think of Ohio State as simply a football school. Here’s a history lesson on the Buckeye program’s place among the best in college basketball history.
Ohio State Basketball: Stop Thinking Of Ohio State As Just A Football School
In case you missed it, five-star point guard D.J. Carlton out of Betendorf, Iowa just verbally committed to Chris Holtmann and the Buckeye program, and to say that it was a shock to many would be an understatement.
I mean why would the kid commit to a football school?
Many had the fast rising blue-chipper as a Michigan or Indiana lean, and many can’t understand why he would choose a football school over the likes of the Hoosiers, Marquette — or even the Wolverines with the recent run of success under John Beilein.
But tap the breaks for just one minute. Let me ask a sincere and honest question here that I think is worth discussing. If it weren’t for how successful Ohio State has been in football historically, would we consider the Buckeyes as a basketball school?
Before you laugh or gasp here, I think it’s worth noting what the Ohio State basketball program has accomplished in its history, because the more that I see uneducated fans and even media-types comment, the more I think folks need a reminder.
So here we go …
Ohio State is tied with Purdue for the most Big Ten championships in the history of the conference when you combine regular season and tournament championships. It’s true. Look it up folks. Purdue has 24 and OSU has 24. More than Michigan State, more than Indiana, and certainly more than Michigan who thinks it owns college basketball now that it made a couple of runs in the NCAAs over the last few years.
And that’s not counting three vacated championships because of the Jim O’Brien fiasco.
The Buckeyes have more Final Fours than any team in the conference as well. Ohio State has ten, Michigan State has nine. The Spartans might catch the Buckeyes one of these days, but not to date. By the way, Indiana — a so-called basketball school — has eight all time and Michigan has just six.
Furthermore, OSU’s Final Four appearances are fifth all time in the entire college basketball universe. There’s North Carolina on top with twenty, then Kentucky and UCLA with seventeen, Duke and Kansas next with sixteen and fifteen respectively, then Ohio State. That’s blue-blood territory is it not?
Ohio State has had fifteen consensus first-team All-American selections. That’s twelfth all-time folks, and ten more than Michigan State, five more than Michigan, and just one-less than Indiana. Purdue leads the Big Ten with a whopping twenty-five total.
Need I say more? By all weights and measures, the Ohio State basketball program is a top ten historical program of all-time, and it’s not just been recent success, or a period of success. No, the Buckeyes have had some pretty fantastic teams over several generations.
You know the players. John Havlicek, Jerry Lucas, Gary Bradds, Dennis Hopson, Clark Kellogg, Jimmy Jackson, Evan Turner, Greg Oden, D’Angelo Russell and more. You could put an all-time team together that would compete with any program in the country. We know, we went through the exercise before.
So next time you hear someone rail on the Scarlet and Gray for being a football school, you can nod your head and agree. However, you may want to politely educate them a bit and let them know that they play a little round-ball in Columbus too.
Otherwise, we’ll continue to get uneducated Tweets like these:
The numbers and history simply don’t lie, but of course the lazy fan and writer doesn’t understand the game to the level that they should apparently.
Here’s to hoping the Buckeyes continue the success they’ve enjoyed and then some.
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