MBB : Paulus working tirelessly as Ohio State video coordinator with coaching aspirations in mind

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments BOSTON – It’s after midnight in the early hours of Friday morning. Greg Paulus, clad in a shirt and tie, answers questions in the Ohio State locker room following the Buckeyes’ win over Cincinnati to advance to the Elite Eight.The reporters finally file out after the NCAA-allotted 30 minutes of interview time. Paulus’ night is just beginning.It’s after 2 p.m. later on in the day on Friday. Paulus, clad in an Ohio State sweat suit, stands in the same spot answering questions in the OSU locker room.He likely hasn’t slept. He won’t divulge whether or not he made it to bed after last night’s win, saying only that he’s watched a lot of film between then and now.Paulus doesn’t drink coffee. He stays away from it. But he admits that he had a couple Mountain Dews while breaking down tape of No. 1 Syracuse in advance of Saturday’s Elite Eight game. He calls it his ‘kick’ for when he needs a boost.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen the final buzzer sounded to seal the win over Cincinnati, less than 48 hours remained before the opening tip against Syracuse. Time cannot be wasted.‘It’s been really unique to see the game from this side,’ Paulus said. ‘As a player you see it one way, as a coach you see all the preparation, the different styles.’Paulus is the Ohio State video coordinator for the men’s basketball team. Hired by OSU head coach Thad Matta in June of 2011, he’s since spent thousands of hours pouring over game tape. He wants to be a college basketball coach one day, hopefully sooner than later.Since graduating from Duke in 2009, where Paulus played point guard for Mike Krzyzewski, he’s played one season of football at Syracuse and spent one season as an assistant basketball coach at Navy.Now, in his first season with the Buckeyes, Paulus seems to have found a perfect mentor in Matta, a coach who recruited him out of high school. And he’s also found the perfect protg in sophomore point guard Aaron Craft.‘He’s such a well-rounded young man,’ Matta said. ‘And the things that he’s been through at 25 years of age, not a lot of people can say that. I love having him around, and he’s done a tremendous job in his role for us.’That role is mainly fulfilled in a high-tech room back in Columbus, Ohio. Paulus said his workspace – but perhaps it’s more of a laboratory – has a slew of TVs and computers to record games and scrutinize tapes of Ohio State’s opponents.As with his sleep schedule during the NCAA Tournament, Paulus won’t discuss how many hours he puts in each day or each week. He says it’s not about that, so he doesn’t keep track.Instead, Paulus says it’s about finishing the task at hand.The task facing him and the rest of the Buckeyes coaching staff between now and Saturday is finding a way to become just the third team in the country to beat top-seeded Syracuse this season.A native of Syracuse, Paulus has tremendous respect for SU head coach Jim Boeheim and the program he’s built. During Paulus’ one season as quarterback of the Orange football team, Boeheim allowed him to attend practice and watch the team workout.Then he’d talk hoops with Boeheim, conversations both said they enjoyed greatly. Boeheim could tell he had a bright future in coaching.‘He’s a great kid,’ Boeheim said. ‘He understands the game. He’ll be a tremendous coach.’‘Kid’ is perhaps the accurate word choice in terms of age, but not as much in terms of experience. At 25, Paulus has five years of collegiate athletics under his belt and nearly two years of coaching.And from the first minute Paulus stepped foot in the gym at Ohio State during his interview with Matta last spring, Craft, then a freshman, gravitated to him.Lenzelle Smith Jr., a sophomore guard for the Buckeyes, said Craft approached Paulus right away while other players held back. Smith was intimidated by the fact that Paulus won the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year award.But not Craft.‘Here comes Coach Matta walking in the gym with this guy,’ Smith said. ‘Everybody knows Greg Paulus. At first, we didn’t say anything. The first person, Aaron, walks up to him and I don’t know, scratches him or some little kid thing. You know, just a big brother-little brother thing. They have a very special, genuine connection and we saw that since day one.’Since that time, the two have grown close. Paulus, whose toughness and work ethic were lauded by Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara, became Craft’s mentor. Smith said Craft is routinely late for practice or barely makes it on time because he is always with Paulus, constantly picking his brain.This season, Craft has emerged as arguably the nation’s best defender. His relentless on-ball pressure harasses opposing guards to the tune of 2.5 steals per game and earned him the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year award.Smith said they feed of each other on a daily basis, with Paulus’ competitiveness transferring down to Craft, who is the son of a high school coach. They haven’t played against each other yet, but Smith said he is pushing for a game of one-on-one once the season is over.In typical Paulus fashion, he laughs the question off and says he hopes the season lasts another week.But he follows that up with praise for Craft.‘His work ethic is tremendous,’ Paulus said. ‘He just does a great job with on the court and off the court stuff. We do have a close relationship, and he’s someone that we think is going to have a great career down the road.’As Craft looks up to Paulus, Paulus looks up to Matta. They’ve known each other for roughly 10 years, maintaining a relationship ever since Matta was the head coach at Xavier.They’re similar in demeanor – never divulging too much information – and philosophy – endless preparation.They even speak alike, with Paulus adopting Matta’s trademark ‘standpoint of’ expression.‘I think we have a very close relationship,’ Paulus said.’I’ve always had great respect for him.’It’s a respect that is thrown right back in Paulus’ direction. From Matta to Boeheim to McNamara to the Ohio State players, Paulus is respected for his drive and determination.They’re qualities that will one day get him a head-coaching job, that much is clear. And according to those around him, he will be more than qualified to do it.Said Matta: ‘He is going to be a phenomenal coach someday.’[email protected]center_img Published on March 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13last_img

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