Leaders Lead…Players Play
Jared Sullinger and William Buford could have easily been pointed to as the leaders of the basketball Buckeyes during last year’s season and rightfully so. Not only did they lead by example with the way they played on the court but they also were the team’s emotional leaders when they needed it most. Sullinger and Buford are now both gone and everyone in Buckeye country wants to know who is going to lead a team coming off a Final Four appearance with both of its leaders no longer present.
Next up to bat would be Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, two guys who were definitely in the thick of things during last year’s run to the Final Four. Heads quickly turned to Thomas to be the teams go to guy on the floor when Sullinger declared he would be leaving Ohio State to play in the National Basketball Association. Being the point guard on the team, Craft naturally will have to step up and be a leader which shouldn’t be much of a problem considering the fact that this will be his third campaign as the Buckeye General on the floor. With Thomas being the offensive specialist that he is and Craft being that annoying defender that you never want to play against; the basketball Buckeyes should have no problem with an identity on any side of the floor. The team has been ranked 4th overall in the AP poll and Thomas has been named to many preseason award listings across the country, so a lack of recognition and respect isn’t an issue for this team heading in to the new season. The issue’s might start to rise up in situations where the team needs a late bucket to win them a game and they look inside the paint and see that number zero is no longer the security blanket. All those same heads that turned to Thomas after Sullinger declared for the draft will be the same heads that look to him when the team needs him most. Talent has never been the issue with Thomas, the issue has come from his out of control play at times which no one would want to see from the guy who is now looked to as the “closer” of this new Buckeye basketball team. Only time will tell if Craft and Thomas can step up and lead this Buckeye team to another successful year on the hardwood. Leaders lead by example, and players just play the game; Buckeye fans are hoping that they can get both of these characteristics out of the “Closer” and the “General” during the 2012-2013 Buckeye basketball campaign.