Posted October 30, 2013 on AP on Fox
Lenzelle Smith Jr. doesn't need a calendar to know when Ohio State's basketball season is drawing near. After being around him for going on four years, Smith can just look at coach Thad Matta. ''You can tell when coach Matta is kind of falling back a little bit and is taking it easy,'' Smith said with a grin. ''And then you can tell when basketball season is coming around. Coach has a lot of juice, a lot of energy, he's ready to get things underway.'' This year, for a change, Matta doesn't have to introduce a bunch of newcomers to college-level hoops. Having lost eight players early to the NBA draft in his nine seasons with the Buckeyes, the Ohio State coach is accustomed to acquainting first-year players to the college game while plugging holes left by premature departures. Deshaun Thomas, the Big Ten's leading scorer, surrendered his senior season last spring to be drafted in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs. But M...
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