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New tradition: 1st quick cals at Ohio State

cals

Ohio State Pregame: Quick Cals

As promised, Ohio State rolled out a new tradition called “Quick Cals.” What are those? At  works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the Buckeye players will do fast, upbeat pregame exercises while facing the students. And the students can participate. Watch the video to see their first one this Saturday morning.

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Did You See This? Ohio State adds new tradition

Wisconsin has “Jump Around,” and now Ohio State has “Quick Cals.” Urban Meyer and Ohio State created the new Ohio Stadium pregame activity, which will debut prior to the season opener Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio). Here’s how it works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the players will do Quick Cals – think pregame exercises – and ask for student participation.

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Athlon Sports visits Ohio State for photo shoot

Jared Sullinger and William Buford are gone, but Thad Matta still has plenty of talent coming back for the 2012-13 season. In Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State figures to boast one of the Big Ten’s elite duos. Throw in role player Lenzelle Smith and youngsters LaQuinton Ross and Sam Thompson, and the Buckeyes should be just fine. Athlon Sports believes in the Buckeyes, and that’s why the publication was in Columbus recently for a photo shoot. See a picture in this post.

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Ohio State arrives home from Final Four

Ohio State Fans

Thad Matta: Final Four reaction

The Ohio State men’s basketball team had a terrific 2011-12 season, winning a share of its third consecutive Big Ten crown and advancing to the Final Four in New Orleans. While the Buckeyes fell to Kansas in the national semifinals Saturday (AP recap), the Ohio State faithful still greeted the team with a championship welcome home Sunday night at Value City Arena. Watch the team bus pull into the arena and hear the players thank the crowd in this post.

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Ohio State's Craft featured on regional SI cover

In the sports world, there’s no better magazine to have your mug on than Sports Illustrated. Ohio State’s Aaron Craft knows what it’s like. The Ohio State point guard is featured on this week’s Final Four regional-based cover.  On it, Craft has the ball and is in midair against Syracuse, with the headline: “Ohio State Keeps on Dancing.” The Buckeyes take on Kansas, which beat them earlier this season, Saturday in the second national semifinal.

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Sam Thompson adds to highlight reel

Ohio State's Sam Thompson

Sam Thompson Dunk Against Illinois

By now, every Big Ten team knows that Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is a highlight waiting to happen. And yet, the freshman seems to consistently find open spaces around the rim, which, more times than not, leads to a jaw-dropping alley-oop. Thompson struck again in Tuesday night’s win over Illinois. This time, the pass came from Shannon Scott, not the usual Aaron Craft, but it was just as nice. And for good measure, Thompson also had a great block in the revenge win. Watch Thompson’s alley-oop now and see the terrific block in this post.

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Craft, Welch hit halfcourters...on alley-oop attempts

Ohio State's Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft 3-Pointer on Alley-Oop Attempt

Here’s something you don’t see every night, much less twice in the same night: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Minnesota’s Julian Welch both hit halfcourt shots on attempted alley-oop passes Wednesday. We kid you not. Craft did it first, as his pass to Sam Thompson went through the rim in Ohio State’s easy win over Penn State. Later, Welch, from just behind the midcourt line, threw a pass in Rodney Williams’ direction and into the bucket in Minnesota’s loss at Michigan State. Watch Craft’s shot here and check out Welch’s in this post.

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Did You See This? Eddie George as Caesar

A month ago, our friends over at LostLettermen.com alerted us that former Ohio State running back and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George would be playing Julius Caesar at the upcoming Nashville Shakespeare Festival. The news is for real, and you can watch George as Caesar in a promo video from the NashvilleShakesorg YouTube page in this post. The festival runs Jan. 12-29 at the Troutt Theater on the campus of Belmont University.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Weatherspoon

Ohio State's J.D. Weatherspoon

Thompson to Weatherspoon Alley-Oop

Usually, it’s Sam Thompson on the receiving end of a fantastic alley-oop. In the closing moments of Tuesday’s game against Nebraska, the exciting Ohio State freshman was on the other end of the highlight-reel play, setting up J.D. Weatherspoon for a ferocious slam. Weatherspoon can get up himself. Watch the pretty alley-oop now from Ohio State’s easy 71-40 win over Nebraska at Value City Arena.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Thompson

Ohio State's Sam Thompson

Sam Thompson dunks the in-bounds pass

There’s a reason Thad Matta says Sam Thompson may be the best athlete he’s ever coached. The freshman has unreal athleticism, and he showcased it in Saturday night’s contest at Indiana. On an inbound play, Thompson broke for the hoop, seemingly jumped out of the gym and completed the alley-oop with a vicious throwdown. You may not see a better dunk all season. Seriously. Check out the ridiculous slam now. Those replays are beautiful, aren’t they?

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Did You See This? OSU's Craft & Weatherspoon

Ohio State's Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft's Steal-and-1

Everything Aaron Craft does, it seems, begins on the defensive end. The sophomore guard led the Big Ten in steals (2.9) entering Thursday night’s game against Miami (OH), and he only added to his total in the game on BTN. Early in the second half, Craft turned one of his latest steals into an impressive and-1 opportunity. Watch Craft get the steal, drive the floor and finish despite the contact now.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Craft

Ohio State's Aaron Craft

USC-Upstate at Ohio State - Aaron Craft Rubik's Cube

Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft has plenty of brains to go along with his skills on the hardwood. As it’s been reported recently, the sophomore sensation received the first “B” of his academic career last year. And it was a B-plus in chemistry, so it’s not like he should feel bad. On Tuesday, Craft was caught doing a Rubik’s Cube with one hand while conducting a phone interview with CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman. So, naturally, BTN asked Craft to give the Rubik’s Cube a try in front of one of our cameras Wednesday. He succeeded. In just more than a minute, too. Watch the video now.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Thompson

Ohio State's Sam Thompson

USC-Upstate at Ohio State - Sam Thompson Block

Any way you define it, Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is an athlete. In fact, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has been quoted as saying the freshman is the most athletic player he’s ever coached. Thompson hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his talents in the Buckeyes’ first nine games, but he more than made up for it Wednesday night. In an easy win over South Carolina-Upstate, Thompson started things off by coming from behind and swatting a would-be breakaway layup. After that, he put on a dunk contest, prompting Jim Jackson to say: “He’s a highlight package waiting to happen.” Watch the block now and see his dunking ability inside.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Craft

Ohio State's Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft Gets Fancy

Everything went Ohio State’s way in Tuesday night’s 85-63 win over No. 4 Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (recap). At one point even, point guard Aaron Craft attempted to pass to Jared Sullinger through an opponent’s legs, only to have it deflect off Miles Plumlee’s leg and go right to himself in rhythm for a layup. If you didn’t watch it closely, it almost looked like Craft went five-hole to set himself up for the easy bucket. Either way, it was a great play on a night where it was all Buckeyes.

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