Ohio State center Zed Key responds to quarterback C.J. Stroud's basketball boasting
It’s been a busy time for Ohio State men's basketball player Zed Key. In addition to summer practices in preparation for a foreign exhibition trip to the Bahamas, the junior took part in a Big Ten-sponsored trip to tour civil rights sites from July 15-17.
Through it all, though, Key couldn’t miss what Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud had to say at Big Ten football media days last week. More specifically, Stroud’s thoughts about how the Ohio State football team would fare against its basketball counterparts in a game on the hardwood.
Key had a good-natured word for it.
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“I saw that nonsense,” Key said. “I responded on Twitter to C.J. Stroud. I was like, ‘Let’s run it.’ I’m down. I’m ready to play. They’ll see.”
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Stroud told reporters, “I honestly think that if we played ... it would be close. I think we would win.”
From there, Stroud spoke at length about 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive lineman Dawand Jones’ athleticism, describing him as an elite athlete whose footwork and physical tools allow him to appear to defy gravity. As a senior at Indianapolis Ben Davis, Jones averaged 17 points and nine rebounds.
He’s not the only football player with significant basketball experience. Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau enrolled at Ohio State with thoughts of being a two-sport athlete and averaged roughly 18 points per game as a senior at Sammamish (Washington) Eastside Catholic. Stroud labeled himself the best shooter on the football team and also singled out Cade Stover and Josh Proctor as the best all-around players.
All of that might be true, Key said, but it doesn’t mean they could match up evenly with their basketball counterparts.
“We don’t barge in on their football,” he said. “We don’t go in there and say we’re gonna run people over, because we’re not. We’re not gonna do that. Our bodies will not do that. They can come over to the basketball side. We do this every day for a living, so they shall see. They will see what we do.”
Two of Key’s teammates responded to Stroud’s comments via social media. Justice Sueing challenged the quarterback to a game and Gene Brown III responded with two “thinking” emojis and two “laughing with tears coming out” emojis in a series of tweets.