Buckeyes Take Out Huskies 77-66 in HOF Tip-Off

Written November 18th, 2012 by Eric

After a tough, hard-fought, game against the Rhode Island Rams, the Buckeyes took on the Washington Huskies in their final game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. After an even start in the early going, the Buckeyes took a lead late in the first half and never relinquished it on the way to a 77-66 win. DeShaun Thomas led all scorers with 31 points, tying his career high, while also picking up 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Aaron Craft followed with 18, and Evan Ravenel with 12 as Buckeyes with double digits in scoring. Washington’s C.J. Wilcox led their team with 18, and was joined by Abdul Gaddy (15) and Scott Suggs (11).

The Buckeyes did a much better job today of warming up into this game from the get go rather than slowly easing their way into it. DeShaun Thomas pretty much took care of that by himself with his incredible early shooting. As a whole, though, the team did enough to keep the game competitive until they were able to get one of their patented late first-half runs and go into the half up 10. They were then able to stave off Washington through the second half to maintain that lead, mostly, through the end.

Overall, the team is improving from game to game. This is definitely what we wanted to see in the early going, especially with the young guys down low. Players are stepping up and taking care of their roles on the floor, and are quickly learning how to play their positions better. Amir Williams in particular is showing growth as he begins to move around in the paint a bit on offense. A lot of this has to be due to the improved playing time for everyone.

Positives:

1. DeShaun Thomas scoring early. Tank clearly took over this game from the beginning. He started out 7/7 shooting through the first 8 minutes and ended up scoring 18 points in 12.5 minutes of play. He ended up tying his career high with 31 points, originally picked up against Loyola in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

2. Team defense. With a few exceptions, the Buckeyes did a very good job of working together on defense. They pulled a few turnovers out of the Huskies simply by overwhelming their ball-carrier and forcing him to make a bad pass. They made good use of the sidelines as an extra man as well.

3. Fast break effort. The Buckeyes have always been very good at the fast break, but they really took advantage of Washington on a couple great plays. The most beautiful was a cherry-picking pass to Thomas for an unguarded reverse layup.

4. Youth time on the floor. Matta allowed Amir Williams, LaQuinton Ross, and Shannon Scott to play their time and make their mistakes. And they certainly made their share of mistakes, but the lessons they learn in the early season will pay dividends come February.

5. High intensity through 40 minutes. Every single Buckeye gave their full effort their entire time on the court tonight. It was refreshing to see Washington begin to close the gap, only to have the Buckeyes adjust and run away with the score. Before Washington could react, OSU had a 13

Negatives:

1. Perimeter defense. Washington started shooting 66% from the floor, and the opponent’s three point shooting is still a big issue. Worse yet, the players are suffering miscommunication on the perimeter and occasionally giving up wide open looks. This especially needs to improve late in games when teams are likely to be popping plenty of treys.

2. Amir Williams’ free throw shooting. We were spoiled the last 2 years with Jared Sullinger being such a good free throw shooter. Amir Williams is going to spend lots of time drawing fouls this year, but unless he can hit his shots from the charity stripe, it won’t mean much.

3. Fouling. Buckeye teams in the past have always been characterized by high steals, high fouls drawn on the other team, and low foul play. For today, the Buckeyes seemed to have issues with some of the fouling. Aaron Craft ended up with 4 along with Shannon Scott, and Amir Williams picked up a triplet.

The Buckeyes will next face the UMKC Kangaroos in Value City Arena on Friday, November 23rd. You’ll be able to see that game on the Big Ten Network.

5 Comments

  1. HHNo Gravatar
    November 18th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    As usual, you don’t speak of Rav’s importance and contribution to this team. He completely neutralized their big 7 footer (who coming into the game was averaging 12pts and 12 boards. Amir did ok, but give credit where credit is due. Evan’s contribution wasn’t in your singled out positives. Give me a break.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    November 18th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Great to have Buckeye and Ravenel fans reading our stuff!! Thanks, HH, we’ll keep an eye out this Friday against UMKC

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    ErictBBCNo Gravatar
    November 19th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    So, I am accused of not mentioning Evan Ravenel’s effort in shutting down 7-footer Aziz N’Diaye yesterday. I happen to be a huge fan of E-Ravs, so I won’t let this charge go unanswered.

    Lets consider N’Diaye’s stats this season, shall we? http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/51074/aziz-n'diaye

    Lets start with points. If we look at his season averages, then the Ohio State game was the first all season he’s been held in single digits in scoring. Great! But consider his shooting from the floor. In his 4 games he has hit exactly 4 shots from the floor on average, all of them 2s. In other words, he hit exactly his average in scoring from the floor against the Buckeyes with 8 points. The difference? His free throw shooting game was well under average yesterday.

    Now consider rebounds. Aziz collected 11 of them for the game, the most for his team by a wide margin, and 5 of them offensive. E-Ravs collected 4. (Amir Wiliams picked up 3, all offensively, which is worth note.). As you note, his average was 12 for a game, but 1 rebound less is not statistically significant. Also, his average is weighted by the 16 he picked up against Loyola to start the season.

    So by what measure am I supposed to say that E-Ravs “completely neutralized” their starting 7-footer? By scaring him into missing free throws? I would say that Ravs did as I would expect against a 7-footer and held his own. But beyond his scoring, which was mentioned in the first paragraph, his game was unremarkable at best. I will be the first to sing his praises when he helps limit Cody Zeller, but until then, I’ll trust my own judgement, thank you.

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  2. HHNo Gravatar
    November 19th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Eric, I’m going to assume you are a knowledgeable basketball fan and actually understand the game beyond the stat sheet (i’m saying that as you are typically pretty spot on with your assessments). I was actually at the game and one of the major keys to the game was the way Rav would not let him get to where he wanted to on the floor. If he was allowed deep post position, or to rim-run effectively, the game could have taken a turn for the worse, particularly early. Yes he got some boards, but he’s 7’1 and strong as an ox, that’s gonna happen. Fact of the matter is the “lowly -limited” Ravs @ a mere 6’8 banged and battled for 30 minutes making life difficult for both their big kids. I just think you and Buckeye nation should give props when props is due. I like Amir and hope he turns a corner at some point, but at this time Ravs is our best option and I believe with the increased minutes we will see more consistent production out of the kid. With that being said, i would like to see him get in better rebounding position and seal his man more, but his picks and team D are key for us.

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    ErictBBCNo Gravatar
    November 20th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I promise I’m not ignoring you HH. Got a little busy, and I’m trying to carefully think through my answer rather than popping off like I did the last time. I’ll get back to this!

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