The Ohio State men’s basketball team is playing three games over the next four days in Windsor, Ontario, after spending 10 days practicing in Columbus. Follow the Buckeyes here on this Buckeye Basketball Blog throughout the trip.
THURSDAY, Aug. 27
4:15 pm: The team loaded up an Ohio State University bus and began the four-hour bus ride north.
6:05: For about an hour the team stopped in Findlay to grab some dinner at a local Australian steak establishment. The locals enjoyed a few photo opportunities and some autographs while the players dined. Not many details were provided to the team about lodging for the trip. Questions about location, passports, television, cell phone service, etc., dominated the conversations.
7:15: Back on the bus, the Buckeyes began the second leg of the trip.
9:55: The bus arrives, after a passport check at the border, in Kingsville, Ontario, a town of 21,000 people. We are told the city is the southern-most city in Canada, the Florida of the Great White North. Coach Thad Matta gathers the seniors in total darkness and leads them via flashlight to house No. 1. at Pigeon Bay Cottages. It’s dark, secluded and rustic, not the typical road game accommodations. The rest of the team is then led around the property to their houses. The team is looking forward to daylight to get a real sense of the scenery. Lake Erie is steps away down a long staircase, now too dark to navigate.
10:30: A snack run and some pizzas are ordered and the team gets ready to bunk down for the night.
FRIDAY, Aug. 28
7:15 am: It’s overcast over the water but patches of blue sky are visible. Breakfast is on tap in a couple hours before departing for Windsor, about 45 minutes north on Hwy. 3, for a morning shootaround. The itinerary calls for a 10:15 departure with an hour practice scheduled for 11:15. Lunch will follow before returning to Kingsville. The game tonight is scheduled for 6 p.m. against the University of Windsor.
9:45 am: started the day with a breakfast of sandwiches, yogurt, fruit and juice sitting outside overlooking an overcast Lake Erie. After a night of playing cards and Monopoly, the team is anxious to play a game for the first time since March.
10:25 am: A 40-minute drive awaits to Windsor where the Buckeyes will get a look at the Denis Centre, site of three games vs the University of Windsor, twice, and Western Ontario. Gametime tonight is 6 pm. It’s $10 at the door. Grab your passport and come support the Buckeyes.
11:55 am: we will be playing by FIBA rules here in Canada, 24 second shot clock, four 10-minute quarters, coaches can’t call timeouts through the refs among others. We are told many Ohio State fans have bought tickets for games. One elderly lady bought hers dressed in Scarlet and Gray from head to toe. She told the ticket office “You don’t know how much this means to me.” Go Bucks!
12:30 pm: The team bus is nearing Kingsville on the way back to our cottages after shootaround. We will stop at an area with several restaurants and let the guys grab some lunch. Then it’s time to rest for a few hours. Rain is steady right now so card games are likely to help pass the time before the return trip to Windsor for the game tonight.
2:10 pm: The players scattered to buy subs, wings, pizza and various other options for lunch before returning to the cottages to relax before the first of three games in Windsor, Ontario, over the next four days. The Buckeyes will regroup at 4 p.m. to leave for the Denis Centre, home of the University of Windsor Lancers, who will provide the competition tonight and tomororw. Both games start at 6 p.m. Ohio State returns 10 of 11 letterwinners from a year ago, including all five starters. Windsor will feature seven first-year players in the game tonight.
5:18: The Buckeyes will start Evan Turner at the point, Jon Diebler at the shooting guard spot, William Buford at the wing position, David Lighty at the forward and Dallas Lauderdale at the center spot. The ET experiment at the lead guard position is underway.
9:05: The Buckeyes are celebrating their 90-39 win against the University of Windsor with a team dinner at the Chop House. P.J. Hill scored 18 points in the win while Evan Turner made his point guard debut successful with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The team does not have much time to rest with another game vs. Windsor at 6 p.m. Saturday.
SATURDAY, Aug. 29
8:30 am: Today will be nearly the same as Friday as far as schedule but hopefully the weather will be a bit better. Steady rain fell throughout the day Friday but so far it’s pleasant and sunny in southern Ontario. The Buckeyes will depart for Windsor and the Denis Centre about 10 a.m. for a light workout at 11. The rematch vs. Windsor will be held at 6 p.m. tonight. Athough no official attendance was announced after the game Friday, both sides of the Denis Centre bleachers were well populated with many behind the Ohio State bench sporting Ohio State gear. A similar crowd is expected tonight.
11:05 am: Arrived at practice today and a football game broke out. An Ohio State pigskin was on the court and David Lighty, a former receiver, started throwing it around. Each player took a turn at QB. Terrelle Pryor has nothing to worry about. Coach Matta guarded Evan Turner on a route and ET heard footsteps and dropped the pass. Soon it was back to basketball. Thankfully.
2:15 pm: After practice players passed the time chopping wood for the camp fire later tonight. They also played cards, tossed a football around and fished. Coach Matta caught the first and likly only fish of the trip while Jon Diebler tried to match the catch, and assistant coach Jeff Boals and David Lighty were close by with nets. The team is leaving for Game No. 2 at 4 p.m. for Windsor. Game time is 6 p.m.
8:32: Mark Titus scored on his only field goal attempt, a 3-pointer, and also blocked a shot as Ohio State beat Windsor for the second-consecutive night. The Buckeyes won 89-47 behind Titus’ effort. William Buford added 16 and Walter Offutt 14 in the victory. Ohio State is 2-0 and will take Sunday off from competition. The team plays it’s final game in Canada Monday vs. Western Ontario.
SUNDAY, Aug. 30
9:45 am: Off day for the Buckeyes today. The team will gather at Pigeon Bay Cottages at 11, board the Ohio State bus and travel north across the U.S./Canadian border to Detroit to take in a Tigers MLB game. A team dinner will follow the game in Detroit before another border crossing back to Pigeon Bay in Kingsville, Ontario.
9:45 pm: The Buckeyes attended the Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays game in Detroit Sunday, a 4-3 Tigers win. After a team dinner at the Hard Rock Detroit, the team returned to Canada for its final game Monday. Team members played cornhole, fished, sat by a fire , played some football and enjoyed the 3.5 acres of lakefront property at the Pigeon Bay Cottages one last time before returning to Columbus. Ohio State takes on the University of Western Ontario at noon Monday in the final of three exhibition games over the last four days.
MONDAY, Aug. 31
9 am: The team had breakfast at the cottages before boarding the bus for the 45-minute drive to Windsor. The noon game today at the Denis Centre is the final of three over the last four days in Canada. The University of Western Ontario is the opponent today. The Ohio State men’s hockey team will open the 2009-10 season with an exhibition game vs. Western Ontario at noon Oct. 4 at the OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State is 8-2 in the hockey series, last played in 1990.
10:45 am: The Buckeyes have arrived at the Denis Centre. The teams are warming up and Mark Titus is being miked up by the Big Ten Network for a story that will be used for University programming later this year.
12:40 pm: Ohio State leads 55-34 after the first two quarters vs. Western Ontario. William Buford had 15 points over the first 20 minutes with Walter Offutt contributing 11 off the bench.
2 pm: The final buzzer has sounded on Ohio State’s trip to Canada. The team finished 3-0 after the 103-68 victory over Western Ontario Monday. Dallas Lauderdale scored 21 points in the win with William Buford scoring 18 and Evan Turner adding 15. The team is on the way back to Columbus and will have the next couple weeks off before workouts begin in mid-September. Official practice begins Oct. 16 and the season gets underway Nov. 9 vs. Alcorn State.