We continue with this weeks roundtable with our band of merry men who write how they really feel about all things Buckeye related. I really enjoyed the football and wanted to see how everybody felt about basketball today. As you can see there are plenty of thoughts around the shooty hoops(or lack there of that is Ohio State 2014.
How many times have you changed the channel while watching the men’s basketball team? Specifically, what is bothering you the most?
Empire Chris - If I turn on the game, I am keeping it on, unless there is OSU football to be had. That said, the shot selection from the Buckeyes is by far the most frustrating thing I have witnessed this season. There is no reason for this team to go 0-4 in B1G play, especially against teams like Nebraska.
Empire Ryan - I haven’t changed it mid game all season, but I did not watch the last game at Illinois at all. Frankly I think I needed a break from the chaos that is watching Ohio State play either football or basketball lately. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I may care too much. The Buckeyes have a way of reeling us back in even when it looks like all hope is lost during games. It happened in the Orange Bowl, against MSU in both football and basketball, and then the lack of offense on the court is a pure mirror of the lack of defense on field.
MOTSAG Jeremiah - I tend to watch the games on my phone or laptop so I dont change the channel. I think right now it is mainly a mental issue with the team. I wish they weren’t afraid to shoot and would shoot more. I also wish Amir Williams would get angry really angry.
Patrick - How many games have they played? The pure lack of shooting. It’s amazing they don’t have one guy to depend on to score and that Aaron Craft hasn’t developed some kind of shot in four years.
Charles - Since I live in Australia I don’t get a chance to watch many basketball games as they are often on when I am at work.
Mali - I’m not allowed to watch the shootyhoops, as per Eric’s mandate. What bothers me is how much that bothers me… I used to not care about basketball, but now I get as invested in watching the Basket-Bucks as I do the football ones… when I get to sneak in a glance at a game or two.
Ken - None. Inconsistency. For a team with a lot of upperclassmen on the floor, they don’t play like it.
Scott - I haven’t seen as many games as I would have liked but I have only changed the channel because of the way they are playing twice. Other channel changes come during timeouts.
WVaBuckeye – sadly, when I actually have time to watch the Buckeyes, I watch with my wife and she makes me turn the channel because they do poorly when we do watch, so yeah, there’s that!
Who is disappointing you the most on the men’s team?
Empire Chris - If I had to choose just one, it would be Aaron Craft. I know that I am going to be blasted for this, but the play on the court is ultimately his responsibility. Craft use to make everyone better. Now it seems to be that he tries to hard to do too much and not guide the other players on the court.
Empire Ryan - Coaching. We have the talent, guys who can score, obviously guys who can play defense, but I don’t think they are using the offense the way it needs to be used.
MOTSAG Jeremiah - LaQuinton Ross, Simply because he hasn’t become more selfish and put this team on his back offensively to open things up more for the rest of the team.
Patrick - Laquinton Ross and Aaron Craft. I thought these two would be the offensive leaders and yes, Ross has scored his points, but not when it’s mattered.
Charles - I would have to sort of say the whole team. The thing that is most disappointing about this team is that there is no go to guy on the offensive end who can be relied on to make a basket when needed and to spark the team.
Mali - Lack of leadership- there doesn’t seem to be a “take charge” guy on the floor offensively. There seem to be a lot of people looking at each other to do something, but few people actually making that move.
Ken - No one in particular. just the fact that this team is prone to “zone out” at times and play like they’ve never seen a basketball in their lives.
Scott - I would like to say it would be Williams and McDonald, but I wasn’t expecting much. I would say Slam Thompson. He has to become more than a once-a-game highlight reel.
WVaBuckeye – Thad Matta. I have been amazed at the coaching jobs he has done in the past with respect to letting his teams work themselves out of a slump or trouble. I have believed for a long time he could make any team better and is struggling to do so with this group. I don’t see a lot of improvement in them but we will see how they are when it really counts in March.
In as many words as it takes, explain what you would do if you were the head basketball coach at OSU.
Empire Chris - would treat this year as a rebuilding year and see how many minutes I can get Trey McDonald to play in preparation for Amir leaving. This team is not a team that will go deep into the Tournament, if they make the big dance at all. It is time to get the younger guys valuable minutes going into next season when the heralded recruits come in.
Empire Ryan - We are forcing too many long shots, especially threes, when driving to the bucket needs to be our main concern. When Craft and Scott are on the court together there is no reason we should be taking outside shots unless it’s a wide open kickout on a drive. I’m not sure what needs to be instilled in the players to do this, but I’d pull a guy off the court if he shot the ball from deep without it first being either passed or driven into the paint. Maybe twice to the paint. Make them know that jumpshots are not our strength and shots from 2 feet away are easier to hit. The next thing would be free throws. Each player should have to hit 100 free throws at the end of practice to be able to leave. Otherwise they can run, until whenever they can make them.
MOTSAG Jeremiah - I wouldn’t want the job and hope Matta stays forever as our coach. My only complaint is he doesn’t recruit enough Big Ugly Bullies. This team is in desperate need of a bruising power forward who is willing to manhandle the opposing players and make them cry for mercy
Patrick - Count the days until DeAngelo Russell steps on campus.
Charles - Shooting drills, lots and lots of shooting drills.
Mali - Wow- I’d start by cloning Aaron Craft and adding that progeny to the clones of Greg Oden, Jared Sullinger, and Evan Turner that I’d stored away earlier. Then, I’d unleash them in the game against That Team Up North.
Ken - Not sure, since I don’t know what they do at practices. However, speaking of ‘zones’, I’d have them working on their offensive plays/shooting against a zone defense. They will see more of that defense as the season continues. I’d also have them practice playing a zone defense, just as a change of pace against an opponent.
Scott - First thing I would do is to tell the team to quit reading the paper and websites and listening to things on TV and radio. Quit listening to the fans complaining as well. The B1G is the best conference in the country and there are going to be battles every night. Other than Nebraska, OSU has played some tough teams. I would admit we were over-rated early in the season but are under-rated now. I would also unleash an aggressive full-court defense for 40 minutes and let the defense create some easy offense to get some confidence back
WVaBuckeye – The first thing I would do if I were me as the head coach and not Thad Matta is to shake up the line-up for a couple games. The best way to get better “team” performance is to find the right mixture for that team. It’s not whatever theyre doing now so there would be change. If you need a spark, put him in as a starter and see how the changes happen pretty quickly, pride is on the line now, they’re simply not competing like Matta coached basketball teams.