Lance Armstrong, the cycling icon who is embroiled in a doping scandal that threatens his legacy, stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong cancer-fighting charity so the group, he said, can focus on its mission instead of its his vast problems.This came just as his biggest support, Nike, severed its endorsement ties with Armstrong, according to ESPN.All of this transpires a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.Armstrong, who was not paid a salary as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, will remain on its 15-member board. His duties leading the board will be turned over to vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997.“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” Armstrong said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”USADA documentation attempts show why USADA has banned him from cycling for life and ordered 14 years of his career results erased — including those Tour titles. It contains sworn statements from 26 witnesses, including 11 former teammates. Cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, or UCI, received USADA’s report last week and has 21 days to decide whether to formally ratify the decision to strip Armstrong of his Tour titles or appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.rategic planning to Garvey. He will also assume some of the public appearances and meetings that Armstrong used to handle.Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane said the decision turns over the foundation’s big-picture strategic planning to Garvey. He will also assume some of the public appearances and meetings that Armstrong used to handle.Armstrong strongly denies doping, but did not fight USADA accusations through arbitration, saying he thinks the process is unfair. Once Armstrong gave up the fight in August and the report came out, crisis management experts predicted the future of the foundation, known mainly by its Livestrong brand name, would be threatened. They said Armstrong should consider stepping down to keep the charity from getting dragged into a debate over doping.Armstrong’s inspiring story of not only recovering from testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain but then winning the world’s best-known bike race helped his foundation grow from a small operation in Texas into one of the most popular charities in the country.
OSU freshman guard JaQuan Lyle (13) dribbles the ball up the court in a game against Air Force on Dec. 8 in Columbus. OSU won, 74-50. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorWith the ball at the top of the key, Ohio State freshman guard JaQuan Lyle drove right and blew by two Indiana defenders, resulting in a nearly uncontested layup. He rose up and flicked the ball off his right hand toward the hoop, except the ball rolled around the rim and fell out. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, it landed into the hands of redshirt sophomore center Trevor Thompson on the left block, who quickly muscled up a put-back shot. But that, too, missed. Indiana freshman Center Thomas Bryant grabbed the rebound, quickly throwing an outlet pass to his teammate. A blink of an eye later and freshman forward OG Anunoby was finishing off an alley-oop pass to give the Hoosiers a 34-14 lead with 5:02 left in the first half. That 22-second sequence is just a small sample of what happened between the two teams Sunday at Assembly Hall, as the Hoosiers (14-3, 4-0) thoroughly dismantled the Buckeyes (11-6, 3-1) by a score of 85-60. Junior forward Troy Williams tied a career-high with 23 points to lead Indiana but he was not alone in burying the Buckeyes, as three other Hoosiers were in double-figures. Senior guard Yogi Ferrell had 16 points, Bryant had 18 points and 13 rebounds and sophomore guard Robert Johnson added 11 in the scoring column. Perhaps the lone bright spot for OSU was the much-aligned Lyle. His freshman season has had its fair share of ups and downs, but Sunday was definitely a positive showing for the 6-foot-5 guard. After just five points in the first half, Lyle exploded in the second frame, finishing the game with 29 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The rest of Lyle’s teammates looked lost for much of the day, providing him with little assistance. Outside of junior forward Marc Loving’s 12 points, no other player had more than six points. From the opening tip it was clear which team was the better one, as the Hoosiers scored just 15 seconds into the game on a layup from junior forward Troy Williams. It took OSU, on the other hand, nearly five minutes before it was able to tally a point when Loving got to the rim. Over the course of the next five minutes, the Buckeyes looked relatively competitive, as the two teams traded buckets, making it a 24-12 game with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. But that was as close as it got for the remainder of the game. Behind seven points apiece from Williams and Anunoby, the Hoosiers peeled off an 18-2 run to grab full control of the game, as they led 42-14 with three minutes left in the opening frame. OSU’s only points during that stretch came from a pair of free throws by Loving, while it also turned the rock over five times during that same span. The Buckeyes entered the locker room trailing 48-18. It was their largest halftime deficit since Feb. 9, 2003, when they trailed Illinois by 27 points. At the break, Williams paced Indiana with 16 points — nearly as many as OSU had — and three rebounds. As a team, the energetic Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded OSU 24-14 to build their lead. Loving led the Buckeyes with eight points but they were inhibited by their 11 turnovers and 28-percent shooting from the field. The script was slightly different in the second half, as OSU was more energetic and physical, while also being more careful with the ball. That led to a more competitive 20 minutes of basketball between the teams. The Buckeyes did, in fact, outscore the Hoosiers 42-37 in the second half but it was a case of too little, too late. Overall, the Buckeyes shot 39 percent from the field and lost the second-chance points battle 32-5. Sunday’s defeat ended a seven-game winning streak for OSU, while Indiana extends its win streak to nine. OSU is set to get back in action Wednesday against Rutgers (6-11, 0-4) at the Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes wait by the tunnel before the start of OSU’s game against Tulsa on Sept. 10. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State rose one spot this week in the weekly Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Buckeyes find themselves ranked third after blowing out Tulsa 48-3 Saturday.Alabama is ranked No.1 with Florida State right behind at No. 2. Michigan and Clemson round out the top five, with the Wolverines one spot behind OSU for the second week in a row.Oklahoma, the Buckeyes opponent for next week, is ranked 14th after topping the University of Louisiana-Monroe 59-17. The Sooners were ranked No. 3 to start the season, but dropped their opener 33-23.There are three Big Ten teams in the top 10, with OSU and Michigan ranked third and fourth and Wisconsin finding themselves at No. 9.The Buckeyes did not receive any first place votes.
OSU senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe (10) spikes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in St. John Arena on Oct.14. Credit: Daniel Herbener | For The LanternRetribution was served on the table tonight as the No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers took down the No. 19 Ohio State women’s volleyball team in four sets at St. John Arena. Nearly two weeks ago, it was the Buckeyes celebrating a four-set upset on Nebraska’s home turf. The Huskers are the defending national champions and, at the time, stood undefeated. Tonight, Nebraska travelled to Columbus and handed OSU payback. The Buckeyes now stand at 12-7 on the season. OSU was able to collect the first few points of the first set, but Nebraska quickly countered back with a six-point run and took the lead. Another Husker four-point run later in the set would put the score at 14-6. OSU could not reign in the Huskers and dropped the first set, 25-20. The Buckeyes would only be able to hold onto an early lead in the second set for a short time before Nebraska’s hitters took the reins, forcing an OSU timeout. The Buckeyes played catch-up for the remainder of the set. They would eventually lose the second with a score identical to the first set, 25-20. OSU went on its own four-point run early in the third set to be on top, 5-3. Buckeyes coach Geoff Carlston used his challenge card on a ball that was called out of bounds. The call was reversed, fueling OSU’s fire, lifting OSU to a lead as high as seven points. The Huskers closed in on the Buckeye lead, but some aggressive offensive play would give OSU its first set victory, 25-23. In an arena swarmed with 2,600 fans covered in scarlet, it was hard to differentiate between those cheering for the home team or the visiting Huskers in the final set of the evening.Going into the fourth set, both teams were fighting for their own motivations – OSU battling to continue the match and Nebraska to end it. In all, the score tied 14 times, with the lead changing hands five times. The crowd was on the edge of its seats as each ball dropped to the floor. OSU came back from a three-point deficit late in the game to even the score at 24 each. The energy was tense as Nebraska’s Andie Malloy put down a kill to give the Huskers the set point. Malloy would then serve an ace, giving Nebraska the match win. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe led the team in kills with 19 and also combined for seven blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold chipped in for 11 kills. Senior libero Valeria León added 16 digs to OSU’s defensive efforts, along with 13 digs from junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer and sophomore setter Taylor Hughes. OSU team members agreed the first two sets of the match showed the Buckeyes’ weak spots. “(Nebraska) came out pretty good in the first and second sets. I feel like we should’ve given more competitiveness to it,” freshman defensive specialist Camry Halm said. Appold shared Halm’s feelings and said the beginning of play didn’t speak the team’s true colors.“We were pretty flat in the first two sets as a team…that’s not what we’re about,” she said.Appold has been out with an injury since the last time the Buckeyes played in St. John on Sept. 28. She said she considered today to be her first time playing on home territory. OSU won’t have much time to recover from tonight’s loss before they see play again. The Buckeyes will host the Iowa Hawkeyes tomorrow evening. Halm said the key to bringing home a win tomorrow is simple. “I just think that getting rest tonight is key and just going out there (tomorrow) and playing hard,” she said.Appold said learning from Friday’s loss is important, but also knowing the team’s potential to be great.“We know that we can be up there with the top teams,” she said. “(It’s) waking up tomorrow and getting after it in practice and getting it done.” The Buckeyes will take on the Hawkeyes at 6 p.m. tomorrow at St. John Arena.
Senior forward Shayla Cooper dribbles past a Maryland defender in OSU’s game on Feb. 20 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Magee Sprague | Lantern reporterIn a team meeting on Feb. 9 about chemistry, relationships and late-season improvement, Ohio State senior forward Shayla Cooper addressed her teammates and laid out her vision for the team.“I brought it up to them like, ‘Hey, if we win 12 games in a row, which we’re very capable of — we’re national champions,” Cooper said. “If we win 11, we’re in that game, the national championship game.”Since the meeting, the Buckeyes are three games closer to the 12-0 goal set by Cooper, having defeated Iowa, Nebraska and, most recently, No. 2 Maryland on Monday, when Cooper was recognized as the lone senior on Senior Night.Cooper arguably played her best game of her career in the team’s 98-87 win over the Terrapins, putting OSU into a position to win the regular-season Big Ten title with a win over Rutgers on Sunday. She scored 20 points and had five assists, and led the team with nine rebounds.“It means a lot to be able to provide that for my team to secure the win, for one,” Cooper said. “They kept passing me the ball and hand down, man down — that’s what I’ve heard in the past, so I just let it rip.”Her performance on Monday was a long time coming for Cooper. And it wasn’t always easy. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama, living there until she moved to Tampa, Florida, in fifth grade when T-Mobile offered her mom a job in the Sunshine State. She picked up her first offer from a Division I program in eighth grade, when South Florida offered her a scholarship. After ninth grade, she moved to Georgia and the letters from college teams began flowing in.Cooper played high school basketball at Norcross High School (Georgia) with now Tennessee redshirt junior guard Diamond DeShields. Cooper and DeShields were competing for the limelight — an environment Cooper said she thrives in. But through those intense moments in practice, Cooper and DeShields formed an inseparable bond.DeShields, the Naismith High School Player of the Year in 2013, remembers nearly fighting with Cooper during a practice.“With her being one of my best friends, it was just kind of like a defining moment in our friendship and it made us closer, because I was able to see that she really wanted to win and she was able to see how much that I really wanted to win,” DeShields said.Cooper who transferred from Georgetown two games into the 2013-14 season after her coach was fired, brought the same competitive attitude to practices at OSU. Last season, she took pride in matching up with forward Stephanie Mavunga during the summer. Mavunga, who transferred to OSU from North Carolina after the 2014-15 season, was ineligible to play in 2015-16 due to NCAA transfer rules. Cooper took it upon herself to compete with the incoming 6-foot-3 post player whose only time on the court came during practice.“That was definitely fun, because I feel like I was the only one who would bring that competitiveness that she loves and I love,” Cooper said. “So we would trash talk to each other, but it was out of both of our competitive spirits.”Her competitive streak has been known to get her in trouble during games in the past.“A couple times I had to literally pull (Cooper) by her hair and be like, ‘Stop, you’re going to get a (technical foul), you’re going to get us in trouble,’” DeShields said.But as Cooper grew older, she matured and kept her emotions in check. DeShields has taken notice.“Shayla used to have a bit of a temper, which we used to always have to try to keep in check,” she said. “You definitely see that aspect of growth. She’s learned how to check herself when you can see her emotions flaring up.”Cooper challenged herself this season to communicate better with her teammates. Her tone varies for each player.“I might be able to get in (junior forward) Alexa (Hart) harder than I might be able to get into (junior guard) Asia (Doss),” Cooper said. “I might be able to go up to Alexa like, ‘Yo, what’re doing? You’re better than that.’ But Asia, I might have to pull to the side like, ‘Yo, I know you can do it,’ like on the softer tone.”She said she’s proud of her improvement in the area because, as someone who transferred, she understands players who feel like they don’t fit in. Cooper and redshirt junior guard Kianna Holland transferred to OSU in the same season and clicked instantly.“We were so close when we first got here, because it was like we didn’t know anybody and everybody is looking at us like, ‘Who are they?’” Cooper said.She didn’t want any of the three OSU freshmen — forward Tori McCoy, guard Jensen Caretti or guard Kiara Lewis — to feel the way she did. “Your freshmen are very important because if you don’t make them feel welcome, a lot of freshmen are transfers,” Cooper said.Mavunga, Holland, redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun, redshirt junior guard Linnae Harper and Cooper are all transfers who now play for OSU. But Cooper won’t be around after this season to reap the rewards. Cooper has her eyes set on the final games of 2017 and her OSU career. Cooper is eternally confident in herself and her team. She even espoused her desire for a rematch with No. 1 Connecticut (24-0), a team that beat No. 12 OSU 82-63 on Dec. 19, and currently owns the sport’s longest-ever winning streak at 101 games.“There are some things that we didn’t capitalize on,” Cooper said. “If we get another shot at them, I feel like we could beat them.”
Football spokeswoman Shelly Poe reassigned The Ohio State football program is looking at another shake-up, as Poe has been reassigned within the athletic department, associate athletic director of communications Dan Wallenberg confirmed to The Lantern. Jerry Emig, who serves as sports information director for baseball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s swimming and diving will trade roles with Poe. Poe has been the top liaison between the media and OSU’s football program for four years. She came to OSU after serving as the SID at West Virginia for nearly 20 years. Poe and Emig did not immediately return emails for comment. Women’s track and field adds Big Ten Outdoor Championships to successful season The OSU women’s track and field team won the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday, marking the first time OSU has won the outdoor championship. And, just two months earlier, the women won the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The women’s 4-by-100-meter relay team took first with a time of 43.94 seconds, while junior Madison McNary won the 200-meter dash. Junior Shaniqua McGinnis won the 400-meter dash, and Christina Manning won the 100-meter dash. Junior Kelcey McKinney took first place in the triple jump with a jump of 12.80 meters. “It’s pretty amazing, really,” coach Karen Dennis said. “Their efforts were so brilliant today. I’ve never seen that kind of dominance.” Men’s track and field finishes 3rd at Big Ten Outdoor Championships, earns 5 individual titles The Ohio State men’s track and field team took third place in the 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday, finishing behind Iowa and Minnesota. On day one, freshman Cody Marshall won the pole vault with a jump of 5.05 meters. Junior Michael Hartfield got things started for the Buckeyes on the second day, claiming first place in the long jump with a jump of 7.54 meters. “It feels good to defend the long-jump title and get 10 points for my team,” Hartfield said. “But it feels even better that as a team we had three people score. … I’m just glad we could pull through and bring in some major points.” Junior Steve MacDonald followed Hartfield’s lead, taking second place with a jump of 7.26 meters. “It felt great to go one, two with my teammate Mike because we train hard together and always talk about doing that,” MacDonald said. “It was a mental day with the tough weather, and we came prepared.” Sophomore Heath Nickles took first place in the decathlon, scoring 7208 points. Thomas Murdaugh took first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.44, and then helped the 4-by-400-meter relay team hold on to win a tight race with Iowa with a time of 3:06.45. For senior Aaron Roberts, the victory was special. “We came up short indoor and really wanted to reclaim the relay title,” Roberts said. “Personally, I’ve been working for this opportunity for four years, and to finish my Big Ten career with a title is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.” Rowing wins 3rd Big Ten Championship The 10th-ranked OSU rowing team earned its third conference title in program history Sunday. The Buckeyes First Varsity Eight finished in second place with a time of 6:20:53, edging out Michigan by less than 1 second. All six Buckeye boats finished in the top three in each race, including first-place finishes from the Second Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Four. Ulrike Denker and Claudia Schiwy earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, followed by Carolin Helmholz and Claire-Louise Bode, who received second-team All-Big Ten honors. The Buckeyes won the Big Ten Championship in 2002 and 2006.
DAYTON, Ohio – In the NCAA Tournament, momentum can come from a variety of areas. A critical 3-pointer late in the shot clock. A chase-down block in transition. A rip-around steal that leads to an easy basket. During Ohio State’s second round victory against Iona Friday evening, though, it came from a 6-foot-7 rim-shaker from Chicago. Thanks in part to that momentum, OSU moves on to play No. 10 seed Iowa State Sunday at 12:15 p.m. with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line. With just under two minutes remaining in the contest’s opening act, the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes’ previously 19-point lead had evaporated to four. The No.15-seeded Gaels took OSU’s first punch and rallied with a 25-9 run of their own. OSU, which started the game shooting close to 60 percent from the field, went cold, and Iona battled back with a couple 3-pointers from junior guard Sean Armand and a bevy of easy baskets in transition. Following a layup by junior guard Tre Bowman, Iona trailed, 37-33, quieting a once-raucous scarlet-clad crowd at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Enter, Sam Thompson. OSU sophomore guard Shannon Scott got the inbounds pass after Bowman’s make, dribbled hard to the left wing and found a skying Thompson flying through the air. The sophomore forward caught Scott’s pass, one-handed, and slammed the basketball home with a fury of force that brought the capacity crowd back to its feet in a roar not to be topped for the rest of the night. “I looked at (Iona’s) bench, and all the way from their coaches to their players, everybody kind of put their head down and it was a wrap from there,” said junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., who totaled 12 points and three rebounds in the win. Sparked by Thompson’s jam, the Buckeyes ended the half on a 6-0 run. Thompson scored the first four points of a second half in which OSU (27-7) blew by an earlier confident Iona (70) squad on way to a 95-70 throttling. “We knew that if we executed, they would have a hard time defending us. Give us credit, we really zoned in on film today and we knew where we could attack them. We did a good job doing so,” Thompson said. OSU frustrated the Gaels’ leading scorer, senior guard Lamont “Momo” Jones, who said Thursday that the Buckeyes defense isn’t something he “expects to have a problem with.” Jones finished with nine points, shooting 3 of14 from the field. Junior guard Aaron Craft, Jones’ defender for most of the night, had six steals. As a team, Iona shot a dreadful 35 percent, with a 21 percent mark from behind the arc. The second-leading scoring team in the country, Iona came into Friday’s contest as one of the most efficient fastbreak teams in the nation. It was OSU, though, that looked like the premier running team. The Buckeyes outscored the Gaels in the open floor, 34-11. It was one of Thompson’s many dunks at the end of the first half with the game in doubt that got everything going for OSU. “They were cutting into the lead slowly. We had to really change the game right there. The way he just threw it down, it really helped us out,” Scott said, who finished with seven points and 10 assists. OSU outscored the Gaels, 58-37, after the monster throwdown by the Illinois native with the Buckeyes up by just four points. “When he dunks on somebody, it gets us up and gets us going. That’s the exciting thing about him,” said junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who came out of a recent slump to lead the Buckeyes with 24 points on 8 of 12 shooting. Thompson did a lot more than that one dunk to propel OSU, however. He finished with a career-best 20 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. “Shannon and Aaron did a great job getting into the teeth of the defense, putting it up there for me to dunk it home. I got some easy buckets,” Thompson said. The sophomore forward has been playing well throughout OSU’s postseason. He had 19 points in the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten Tournament game against Nebraska in Chicago last Friday. Thompson’s confidence level is high and rising. “My confidence is always high but any time you have a game like I did tonight, it adds a little extra juice to it,” Thompson said. Thompson dunking display against Iona was an encore to the show he put on at OSU’s open practice Thursday afternoon. With a few hundred OSU fans cheering him on, Thompson finished two in-between-the-legs dunks and a left-handed windmill. Even his teammates, who see Thompson throw down every day in practice, were a little surprised by the show he put on. “Some of the stuff he did we’d never seen him do before. I’ve never seen him windmill with the left before,” Scott said. “I don’t really know what he can do.” One thing Scott is sure of is as long as he gets the ball near the basket, Thompson, who has a 46-inch vertical, will grab it and slam it through the net. “I feel he can get any ball I throw, really. I just really trust him now. I have a really good chemistry with him,” Scott said. Those associated with OSU hope that chemistry will continue.
Ohio State sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle drives to the basket against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIt’s March.A month that lends its name to the insanely popular and unpredictable NCAA Tournament: March Madness.Unfortunately for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, to reach March Madness, the Buckeyes (17-14, 7-11 Big Ten) will likely have to win the Big Ten tournament, which calls for five wins in five days.On Wednesday, 11-seed OSU battles 14-seed Rutgers (14-17, 3-15 Big Ten) in the first round of the conference tournament in Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. The winner will play sixth-seeded Northwestern (21-10, 10-8 Big Ten) on Thursday at 9 p.m.“I hope (the players) understand that this is the funnest time for college basketball,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “This is where players play. You better have yourself ready to go — there aren’t a lot of secrets anymore. You got to go out there and play, you got to man up.”The Buckeyes have played the Scarlet Knights just once this season, in Columbus, winning in an ugly, 70-64 affair on Feb. 8. OSU shot 46 percent from the field, but turned the ball over 15 times in the game, which came just days after OSU put together one of its best games of the season at Michigan.Much has changed in the college basketball landscape in the month since OSU and Rutgers met, but the Buckeyes’ inconsistency remains, and Rutgers is still the hands-down worst team in the conference.The Scarlet Knights are averaging just 60 points per contest in Big Ten play — at least six fewer than every other team. Rutgers also ranks last in the conference in free-throw percentage, scoring margin and field-goal percentage among other categories.One strength that coach Steve Pickiell’s team has is its rebounding. The Knights average 37 boards per game, which ranks second in the conference. OSU has struggled rebounding the ball this season, allowing nearly eight offensive rebounds per game and ranking seventh in Big Ten play in team rebounding and opponent rebounding.Rutgers is led by sophomore guard Corey Sanders who averages 14.7 points in league play. Sanders was the team’s leading scorer against OSU in February with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting.Matta said that last time out against Rutgers, OSU got caught up in playing Rutgers’ game by forcing quick shots and trying to move the ball too quick instead of running the Buckeye offense.“The more I watch them, they want an ugly game,” Matta said. “We did not handle our offense real well, in terms of taking care of the basketball and getting the shots we wanted to get when we wanted to get them. We have to be a little bit smarter this go-round than we were last time.”The Buckeyes are entering the tournament after a 96-92 loss to Indiana, where OSU couldn’t defend its own shadow at times. The 92 points is undoubtedly the offensive efficiency that Matta wants to see, but the defense — or lack thereof — is something OSU has to fix moving into the tournament.Ohio State sophomore guard C.J. Jackson contests a shot against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor“I know this: You have to play great defense in this tournament,” Matta said.Redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson, who is averaging 10.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, said the team has put extra emphasis on the intricacies of the defense in attempt to fix the maladies from Saturday’s game.On the offensive side, the duo of sophomore guards C.J. Jackson and JaQuan Lyle have played at a higher level of late for OSU. Averaging close to 25 minutes per game, Lyle has scored 17, 17 and 18 points, respectively, in his last three games coming off the bench. Jackson has scored 18 points twice in his past three games.For the Buckeyes to have a shot at a run in the tournament, not only do Lyle and Jackson have to be phenomenal, the rest of the team has to be balanced — which is something that has rarely been seen this season.“I feel like when we come ready to play, when we come with our ‘A’ game, we can beat anybody in the Big Ten,” Thompson said. “Then again, we know that if we don’t come ready to play, then we’re susceptible to losing.”Junior forward Jae’Sean Tate, who scored 21 against Indiana on Saturday, said that if the team can replicate its performance against Wisconsin — an 83-73 victory on Feb. 23 — it can be difficult to beat.“We don’t have no choice,” Thompson said. “Win or go home.”
Ohio State junior defensive end Sam Hubbard (6) prepares to defend a Wolverine posession in the second quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard capped off last week with a game-ending sack of Michigan quarterback John O’Korn in the Buckeyes’ 31-20 victory against the Wolverines Saturday. He was recognized for that performance as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.Hubbard tallied a career-high 2.5 sacks and five total tackles, including four solo tackles. He also forced a fumble. This is the first time Hubbard has received the honor. He is also the first Ohio State defensive player to be recognized with the conference award since linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who was named the defensive player of the week Nov. 28, 2016.
The judge, famous for giving out “sevens”, also confessed he had suffered nervous after being asked to join the show, fearing it would make a mockery of his career in dance. He added: “The overriding thing about Strictly is, as much as we love the dancing, it’s about entertainment and the people watching tend to remember the entertainers way more than they do the dancers.“I was sad when Ed Balls left, he was the cat with nine lives but of course he went in week ten which is quite funny.” Ed Balls: more memorable than most Goodman was interviewed by presenter Claudia Winkleman Ann Widdecombe in action on Strictly The foursome will make their last appearance together on the Christmas special “I had lots of qualms, lots!” he told interviewer Claudia Winkleman. “Firstly I was very worried it might be a mickey take of my little world of ballroom dancing, which of course was totally wrong.“I also didn’t think the professionals would be able to teach a non-dancer celebrity in a few days to any high standard.“And I didn’t expect ballroom dancing with celebrities would be a success. So it took me a few days to decide. I know the odd sports person but not the others.Len Goodman Goodman stars in the Strictly Christmas special “I very clearly remember Ann Widdecombe but I can’t remember who won it that year.“I very clearly remember John Sergeant but I couldn’t tell you who won it that year.“And in five years’ time, I will very clearly remember Ed Balls but I probably won’t be able to tell you who wins – so what does that say about me and most of the people watching?” “Thank heavens I did say yes, because it absolutely changed my life. Never ever have I regretted doing it, I’ve been so privileged to be part of the show.”Goodman has previously announced he will step down as head judge after the Christmas special, with 14 series under his belt.“I’m sure when the next series comes round and I’m sitting indoors I’ll miss it,” he said. “I know I will. I’ll miss getting to the studio, having a cup of coffee and having a chat with Bruno, Craig and Darcey.“I’ve loved doing it and being part of it but I’d much prefer to leave the show with people saying, ‘Oh what a shame Len’s going!’ Rather than, ‘Thank heavens he’s off!’ And as if to add insult to injury, he admitted he quickly forgets who has won the show after the series has ended, remembering only the comic performers like Ed Balls instead.“I’m not very celebrity savvy,” Goodman told the Radio Times, in an interview to celebrate his final weeks on the show.“I know the odd sports person but not the others. I’m a keen golfer, so it was great to shake hands with Tony Jacklin when he was on the show – unfortunately he couldn’t dance and was out week one. Many a viewer may have sat back and scratched their heads at some of the celebrity contestants on Strictly Come Dancing, wondering how they rose to fame or even, frankly, what their name is.They are not alone, it appears.For Len Goodman, Strictly’s head judge, has confessed he rarely recognises the star contestants taking to the dance floor- and promptly forgets them afterwards, too.Goodman, who will leave the BBC dancing show after this series at the age of 72, said he had been able to identify the “odd sports person but not the others” across his 12 years on the show. Goodman has been head judge for 14 series Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “It’s the right time. If I’m being totally honest and serious then I won’t change my mind.“I’m 72 and I want to enjoy myself and go to places that I’ve never been before. I want to go out and live my life a bit more.”The full interview is published in the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, out now.