Andy Gottesman / Multimedia editor
Senior guard Jon Diebler might have one of the purest shots in the history of the Ohio State basketball program, yet his shooting stroke can never earn him the nickname “Mr. Rainmaker.”
That moniker belongs to “Club Trillion” blog founder and former Buckeye Mark Titus. The blog’s popularity and Titus’ writing spurred a book deal with the Doubleday Publishing Group — an announcement Titus made Feb. 21 on Twitter.
Titus told The Lantern his intent behind penning the book was not to publish it, but to use it as a personal memento.
“As corny as it sounds, I wanted to hand it to my kids and say, ‘This is my story of what I did in college,'” Titus said. “After my junior year, after about a year of the blog, I realized there would probably be an outside interest in a book.”
The book, titled “Don’t Put Me In, Coach,” will chronicle Titus’ role as a team manager turned walk-on at OSU.
“There are going to be a lot of stories about my teammates, the dumb stuff they did that I like to make fun of,” he said. “The overall gist will be what I went through over the course of four years, and the funny things that went alongside playing with guys like Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Evan Turner.”
The book has already spawned interest — particularly with OSU coach Thad Matta.
“I can’t wait to see what he’s got coming out of there,” Matta said in a press conference Feb. 21. “I don’t even know what the book’s about.”
Matta frequently asks about the book.
“It’s like he’s nervous about what I’m going to write,” Titus said. “I don’t know if he’s going to read it, but I know the other coaches will. I’ve been told they want to screen it before I release it.”
Titus’ legacy at OSU wasn’t just an impending book deal. When he graduated, he held the record for most career wins with 110, a mark he shared with fellow former walk-on Danny Peters.
Unfortunately for Titus, fifth-year senior forward David Lighty broke that record against Minnesota on Jan. 9.
“With guys like me, who can’t actually lay claim to anything, we search for ways you can twist it,” Titus said. “I decided to put the caveat on it that he’s a fifth-year player, so I have the four-year record still.”
In his time in Columbus, Titus also cashed in on the YouTube craze of making “trick-shot” videos. His video, “Mr. Rainmaker,” set to the tune of the Warrant song by the same name, has nearly 400,000 views.
“I never really thought of my video as a ‘trick-shot’ video,” Titus said. “At least, not until people started showing me all of these other ‘trick-shot’ videos.”
Titus mentioned Duke forward Kyle Singler, who made a similar video called “Kyle Gets Buckets.” Titus said that video, released after “Mr. Rainmaker,” had a lot of elements similar to his.
“The intro, where he looks at the camera, says something he thinks is funny, shoots it and then looks back at the camera — I took that as a blatant rip-off of mine,” he said. “I knew he obviously was going to get more attention for it because he’s a better player, so I just laughed it off.”
Titus briefly wrote college basketball articles for ESPN.com before focusing on his book.
With his experience from ESPN.com and The Walt Disney Co., Titus said he hopes he persuaded two of their most profitable personalities to help with his book.
“(ESPN.com columnist) Bill Simmons and (ABC talk-show host) Jimmy Kimmel told me they would write the forward for the book,” Titus said. “If nothing else, I can throw their names on the book and sell a few more copies.”
Titus said the book will be released March 2012 and that he hopes he can do a signing tour on campus before then.
“Maybe I’ll try to get Ted Williams, the homeless man with the ‘golden voice,’ to do my audio book, too,” he said. “I’ll see if I can try to set that up.”