By Matt McCoy
The Big Ten's all-time leader is steals is getting national recognition. Buckeye senior Aaron Craft has been named the national defensive player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Craft, a member of the Big Ten's all-defensive team for four consecutive years, becomes only the third point guard and just the fifth guard of any kind to win the award in its 28 years of existence.
"You almost never see a guard win this award and that's because big guys have the stats with the block shots and everybody oohs and aahs as the ball gets slapped out of bounds," 610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White said. "For Aaron Craft to win this as a guard, one of the few guards to ever win this, it just shows you that we're looking at one of the great defensive guards that we've seen in the last 20-25 years."
Craft joins Greg Oden, who was defensive player of the year in 2007, as the only Buckeyes to win it. He will be in Dallas for the Final Four to accept the award this weekend.
Boals to Ohio U??
Ohio State assistant coach and Ohio University product Jeff Boals interviewed for the Bobcat head coaching job two years ago. It seems likely that he'll be a candidate again.
The O-U job opened up on Thursday, when Jim Christian, who got the Bobcat gig in 2012, became the new head coach at Boston College.
"I think Ohio University is going to look very hard at Jeff Boals," 610 WTVN basketball analyst Tony White said. "They've got to think about all the success that Thad Matta assistants have had. John Groce going down (to Ohio U) and having success at Ohio and then going to Illinois. You've got Archie Miller at Dayton this year...you've got a lot of coaches who have had instant success."
Matta's coaching tree also including Archie's older brother Sean Miller at Arizona and Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens among others.
To listen to more of Tony White's take on both Aaron Craft and Jeff Boals, my conversation with him can be heard by clicking here.
The Bird flies in Cincinnati
Joel Riley and I talked about this incident on WTVN Friday morning. It happened in the third inning of Thursday's Reds/Cardinals game, won by St. Louis 7-6.
A pop foul down the first base line went into the first row of seats. Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams reached into the crowd but was denied the catch by a fan, later identified by WCPO in Cincinnati as Chris Smith from Colerain Township.
It was Smith who caught the ball and Adams then, perhaps frustrated that he didn't come up with the grab, gave a little shove in the chest to Smith, who responded with a one finger salute. It was all captured by Fox Sports Ohio and I found the clip, posted by a fan, on YouTube. If you missed it, check it out here.