Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta is having trouble filling out his roster.

Nobody wants to play for Ohio State basketball, the game that could shape Ohio State football’s season and more

Ryan Ginn

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

Today is Tuesday, May 23, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.

More bad news for Ohio State basketball 

Forget good news. At this point, even no news would be an improvement for the Ohio State basketball team.

The Buckeyes’ travails over the past few months have been well-documented, but here’s a refresher. There was a season-ending loss to Rutgers. Improved big man Trevor Thompson put his name in the NBA draft, even though he has no chance of being selected, and hired an agent. Guard Kam Williams also entered his name but has not hired an agent. Class of 2018 4-star commit Darius Bazley decommitted, saying, “They didn’t even make the NIT.” (Yikes.) Point guard JaQuan Lyle allegedly punched a police car and is no longer with the team.

Ohio State could use help more than ever, but it keeps getting turned away. On Monday, ESPN’s John Goodman reported that grad transfer James Daniels chose Tennessee over Ohio State.

Daniel would have been a huge addition. The former Howard player missed all but two games last season, but in 2015-16 he led the nation in scoring.

He also would have been a great fit, which makes this tough to stomach for the Buckeyes. Ohio State might be in real trouble now with just two guards on the roster, one of whom will be a true freshman. That number could rise to three if Williams pulls his name out of the draft list by Wednesday, but it’s still nowhere close to the depth Ohio State wants.

Ohio State’s most pivotal game

The Ohio State football team won’t have to wait long to find out where it stands.

The Buckeyes host Oklahoma in the second week of the season, and Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples views it as one of the most pivotal games of the season. Here’s what he had to say about the rematch between the Buckeyes and Sooners.

The Big 12 has been left out of the College Football Playoff in two of its first three years. To buck that trend, the league’s best teams have got to win some marquee out-of-conference games. They don’t get much more marquee than this. The Sooners, who won the Big 12 but got whipped by Houston and Ohio State in their out-of-conference schedule in 2016, have a chance to put themselves and the league in a more comfortable position. But to do that, they’ll have to stop an offense that should be quite a bit better than the one that dominated their defense in Norman last season. Why? Former Oklahoma offensive coordinator [and Indiana head coach] Kevin Wilson is calling the plays in Columbus now. For the Buckeyes, this game could ease any lingering fears about the offense created by the shutout loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Urban Meyer ran off co-coordinators Tim Beck and Ed Warinner and brought in Wilson to keep that from ever happening again, and an impressive display against the Big 12 favorite would help the Buckeyes’ confidence on that side of the ball.

It’s incredibly likely that the Michigan or Penn State game determines the division, and possibly a College Football Playoff spot, but there’s no arguing the importance of Ohio State vs. Oklahoma. Buckeyes fans will find out soon enough how the offense looks under Wilson, and that could dictate how the rest of the season goes.

Devin Smith off NFL roster after second ACL tear

Former Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith hasn’t found NFL success, but that’s largely because of two ACL tears that have kept him off the field.

Knowing that he won’t play in the 2017 season, the New York Jets designated him as a waived/injured player.

“It’s bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said following the injury. “He has to persevere and adversity will help him get stronger. But unfortunately in this game, over my course of time playing and coaching, you see these types of things. Some of the best athletes get hurt and don’t get a chance to get on the field and it’s just bad timing, bad luck.”

What does the waived/injured designation mean, exactly? Here’s a handy guide.

“Prior to the first cutdown date, injured players with less than 4 years of service cannot go onto IR until they pass through waivers.  Those players are released with the “waived/injured” designation.  Known as “injury waivers”, this process exposes the player to waivers, but warns other teams that the player is injured.  If the player clears injury waivers, the team can then either place the player on IR or agree to an injury settlement [paying the player for the weeks that he is expected to be recovering from his injury] and then release the player.”

By the sound of it, Smith will have a chance to be picked up by the 31 other teams. If no other team claims him, he’ll either spend the year on injured reserve or hash out an injury settlement with the Jets.

Robert Smith opens up

Robert Smith was a tremendous running back at Ohio State, rushing for 1,945 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons in the early 1990s.

He may gain even more fans though after sharing an off-the-field battle he’s fighting.

Congrats to Robert, and all the best going forward.

B1G happenings

• Who could be Nebraska’s next commit?

• Jim Harbaugh helped deliver a baby cow.

• Iowa baseball player doesn’t know how many home runs he’s hit.

• Indiana guard Robert Johnson returning for his senior year.