Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Former Ohio State center Greg Oden is back on the court.

Former Ohio State star Greg Oden back on the court, Braxton Miller gets help from an All-Pro 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 Friday, June 2, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.

Greg Oden returns to the court

Greg Oden wants a chance to suit up for Ohio State again.

Well, kind of. A team of Ohio State alums — with a couple of other Ohioans mixed in  is trying to compete in The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team competition open to anyone in the world willing to form a team. The winning squad gets a $2 million prize, and it can be divided among the players, coach and general manager however the team wishes.

Serving as the GM of Scarlet and Gray, former Ohio State All-American Scoonie Penn has rounded up a group of former Buckeyes to take a crack at it. Oden, the former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick whose career was derailed by injuries, is on the roster.

There are also several other Ohio State products playing for Scarlet and Gray  William Buford, Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale, David Lighty and Evan Ravenel. To gain entry to the tournament, though, teams have to collect enough fan support. Voting closed Thursday and will be reviewed, but it seems as though Scarlet and Gray has enough votes to get a spot in the tournament. The top nine teams in each region will make the cut, and the Ohio State squad was fourth when voting closed.

That means Oden finally might have one more chance to show what he can do on a basketball court, which is something everyone can get behind.

Braxton Miller gets some valuable tips

Wes Welker’s retirement didn’t last long.

The two-time All-Pro, who played in the NFL in the 2015 season, was hired by the Houston Texans in January as an assistant coach who works with offense and special teams. That’s great news for wide receiver Braxton Miller, and the former Ohio State star is trying to take advantage of the opportunity.

“The role he played is the type of role I’m playing in this offense,” Miller told “So it’s a great opportunity for me to learn from one of the greatest slot players to play the game. Especially in this type of system.”

“I’m always in his ear, bugging him, as you can see after practice. I was just asking him all types of questions. What did he see? What did I do wrong today? After every play, he’s always correcting what I did wrong. Then I just go out there on the next play and fix it.”

Miller said he’s trying to work on his consistency, which was a hallmark of Welker’s career. A speedy slot receiver, Welker led the NFL in catches on three occasions.

Ohio State basketball gets marquee games

Ohio State basketball doesn’t always play the most interesting nonconference schedule, but the Buckeyes will have a few games this season against top programs.

The schedule of the 2017 Phil Knight Invitational has been announced, and Ohio State will take on 2017 NCAA Tournament runner-up Gonzaga in its opening game on Nov. 23 in Portland, Ore. The other teams in Ohio State’s region include Butler, Duke, Florida, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.

Ohio State will play either Florida or Stanford after Gonzaga, giving the Buckeyes another chance at a big win.

B1G happenings

Nebraska won’t offer the second-best player in the state.

• Will Michigan add a grad transfer?

• Check out Iowa’s 10 best plays of the past decade.

• Eric Crouch is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.