Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 2/26/12
By Ari Wasserman BuckeyeSports.com The freshman version of William Buford didnt think hed be at Ohio State long enough to leave a lasting legacy. Four years later, now the only player from the 2008 recruiting class remaining on the Buckeyes roster, Buford isn't sure how he'll be remembered. I really didn't plan on staying for four years, I'll be honest," a light-hearted Buford said Friday. But as the years progressed and it kept going, I just felt I wanted to stay because these are some of the best times of my life. His legacy is still to be determined. Marred by an inconsistent senior season and the final game of his junior year where his 2-of-16 shooting performance helped Kentucky beat the top-seeded Buckeyes in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament Buford could have the weight of the world on his shoulders. If anything is weighing on him, however, nobody knows it. I hope (when fans think of me) it's a good memory, said Buford, who has maintained his usual even-keel demeanor despite a month that has featured a career-high scoring performance and a career-low for a game hes played at least 30 minutes in. I know (fans) hate me sometimes, but I hope it's a good memory. When Buford trots out onto the Value City Arena floor for the final time on Sunday when the No. 8 Buckeyes host No. 16 Wisconsin, hell be the only one recognized during the Senior Day festivities. B.J. Mullens left for the NBA after one season at Ohio State and Walter Offutt and Anthony Noopy Crater have both since transferred. The Buckeyes (23-5, 11-4 Big Ten) are in the middle of a heated conference race one that will likely only be won if Buford plays the type of basketball that helped him climb to No. 6 on Ohio States all-time scoring list. Perhaps Buford will match senior Samantha Prahalis 42-point performance an OSU single-game record in her final home game Thursday with womens team. Or maybe it will be another game in which Buford has failed to stand out. My bar is set to win the game, Buford said. Little does the senior know that the final mold of his legacy will begin to form at the 4 p.m. tip. But if it were up to Ohio State head coach Thad Matta, Bufords performance in the final three games on the Buckeyes regular season and the teams eventual NCAA Tournament run would be irrelevant. Matta already has an idea of how hell remember Buford. On track to earn his degree in African-American studies in June, Bufords dramatic growth off the court is the standard by which Matta gauges his program. In Bufords case, that same progress has been achieved on the floor. When he first got here he wore a hat that was pulled way down over his eyes. You couldnt see his eyes, Matta said. Now when comes in, hes bright-eyed, and hes smiling. Those are the things I think are important in this program. The group Buford most closely associated himself with left a year ago. David Lighty, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale all were a year older than Buford, but he was lumped in with seniors because the remaining roster was a group of freshmen. This year is the first time Buford is main attraction. He has become one of four players in school history to have more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. He has big company on that list, as Jim Jackson, Evan Turner and Lighty are the other three. But being in the spotlight comes with great responsibility. Bufords shooting, which has run hot and cold, will likely be the difference between a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and an early exit. I do hope that William goes down because he will in my mind as one of the best Ohio State's had, and statistically, the stats are there to prove that, Matta said. Hes been a rock and hes done a great job for us. You dont average, to this point, 27 wins per year in college basketball in my mind and be under appreciated.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker