Jody Victor – OSU Basketball: What’s up with the Board?

Jody Victor: Hey Buckeye Fans, its OSU Basketball time … and they are hot! It’s unfortunate that the Basketball TEAM sometimes gets overlooked because of the football season but don’t be fooled … Buckeyes Basketball is top notch!

If you have watched a basketball game this season you will notice something very unique. The coaches use a small, white board to signal in plays to the TEAM. The board is used because sometimes it is hard for the players to hear because of the crowd noise. This way the players can see the plays.

Head coach, Thad Matta, has used the board in the past. When he was the assistant coach at Butler the boards were used to signal in plays. There was only one challenge, the number of boards. At Butler each board contained its own play and therefore you had to juggle all the boards. When Matta was the head coach at Xavier he discovered that a white grease board and felt-tip pen worked better. This way the board could be wiped clean after each possession.

Matta, now the OSU head coach, has made his assistant John Groce in charge of the board. The board isn’t used after opponents’ missed baskets because the Buckeyes want to get out and go after those and have to be looking up the floor for advantages, not off to the side for instructions. After baskets are made is when Groce might hold the board up for a few seconds so there is no confusion over what to run in the half-court offense.

There really is no concern about the opponents catching a glimpse at the play board. If there is a coach who tries to steal a peak then Matta will stand between Groce and the coach. Matta does ask the tv announcers not to read the plays off the board during the game. So far the use of the board has caused no problems for the Buckeyes.

With a recent winning streak, the Buckeyes take on Wisconsin tonight. Will the Buckeyes be able to pull off another win? We will just have to wait and see.

I won’t be able to watch the game tonight as I’m going to be watching the Cleveland Cavs with my son Joe Victor. But don’t worry; I’ll make sure to watch ESPN tonight for the results.

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor