A last second FG attempt by Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker bounced away and Ohio State held on to edge Wisconsin 59-58 at Kohl Arena. Both teams needed to get back into the habit of winning after going through rough patches in their schedules. At this point, winning the Conference championship, regular season or tournament, is not likely going to happen, so the play is for eligibility to the NCAA’s in an “oh, we’ve got a couple of slots to fill” capacity. With the win, Ohio State is now 17-5, 4-5, as is Wisconsin
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (13 points) and strong bench play by Amedeo Della Valle (11 points) and Trey McDonald (6 points). Interestingly, Aaron Craft scored only 7 points, but they all came in the last four minutes of the game, to key a crucial stretch run. Ohio State shot 43% (21-49) from the field, but only 67% (12-18) from the free throw line.
Wisconsin was led by freshman Nigel Hayes (17 points) and Ben Brust (13 points). After starting the game 6-7 from the field, the Badgers ended up 18-45, 40%. In OSU’s closing run, they did get help from Wisconsin missed free throws, as the Badgers ended 19-29 for the game. Wisconsin’s last field goal was at the 6:44 mark, so their half court offense struggled down the stretch and aided in Ohio State’s come-back.
In the 1st half, the Buckeye defense roamed the paint much as Diogenes roamed the night; he was looking for a man of honesty, we were looking for a man to guard. At the half, Wisconsin held the lead 34-29. The Buckeyes were 36% (10-26) from the field, led by 15 bench points (Amedeo Della Valle – 9, Trey McDonald – 6). In addition to accurate shooting, ADV brought aggressiveness in looking to go to the paint.
After starting the game shooting 6-7 from the field, Wisconsin cooled off, ending the half shooting 44% (9-20), led by Ben Brust’s 12 points.
At the under-16 mark, OSU trailed 9-6. After OSU jumping to a quick 4-0 lead, Wisconsin ran off 9 consecutive points, before a Trey McDonald put-back staunched the bleeding a bit. At 10:15 mark, OSU trailed 20-16, with the offense driven by Amedeo Della Valle’s 6 points and Trey McDonald’s 4 points, all off the bench. OSU shooting 37%, Wisconsin 67% from the field. At 7:33, Wisc up 22-13. Under-4, down 26-23. both teams cooled off, Wiscy shooting 44%, OSU 36%. Both teams muddled around, with the half ending with the Badgers up, 33-29, on a Ben Brust hustle put-back.
Ohio State began the 2nd half on a 9-0 run to take a 38-35 lead. At the 15-minute timeout, Ohio State held a 42-39 lead driven by 6-6 (not a typo) from the field. At the under-12 point, Ohio State still led, 44-43, thanks to an ADV ‘look what I found’ put-back. At the 8:30 mark, Wisconsin retook and grew the lead, 51-44. Of Wisconsin’s 18 second half points, Ohioan Nigel Hayes scored 11, on 5-5 shooting. By the time we get to the under-4 timeout, Wisconsin’s lead was down to 1 point, 54-53. As missed bunny shot, and turnover by Lenzelle Smith with :08.4 kept Wisconsin in the game. Alas, a Sam Dekker FG clanked away and Ohio State comes away with the win
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? Read More
It’s taken me quite a while to build to just talking about basketball on a Friday night in RSB and alas, I will have a singular reference to football. To be fair, I will take care of that pre-RSB.
The Buckeyes football program has done some work the past couple weeks with respect to coaching staff additions that will cause a lot of fans to be quiet, for now. First and foremost, and probably the biggest hire since Coach Meyer hired his original staff is the hiring of Larry Johnson Sr. to replace Mike Vrabel. Johnson will coach the defensive line where he was hugely successful at PSU and has already helped in some of the damage briefly felt after the Vrabel exit. Kudos to Coach Meyer for bringing him in.
The new co-defensive coordinator, Chris Ash, will have an opportunity to infuse some of his beliefs in a defense that needs a new direction. We will see a glimpse of them in the spring and should know pretty quickly what kind of an effect he has had. He will be going against an offense that will probably no longer be about power and be mostly about speed. It’ll be fun to see the match-ups in the spring! Now let’s get rolling with rumblin’.
There are a lot of sports teams that you could change coaches with and the change would be minimal. Then you have the situation at Ohio State with the women’s program that has shed some considerable light on how little Coach Foster was actually coaching the women’s team. It had been said by several and was really probably the reason he was dismissed, but the proof they say, is definitely in the pudding.
What Coach McGuff and his staff has done in a short amount of time, with practically the same group from last season is remarkable. There has been a higher standard of work ethic for sure. Coach McGuff has two on staff in Joy Cheek and holdover Patrick Klein who have done an amazing job developing what they have into contenders. With upsets against ranked opponents and paying TTUN back last night on the record, they have sent a message loud and clear, get your shots in while you can because they will be stealing some win this season.
They have what could arguably be the number one class coming in next season and has a great start on the future with two really good tranfers. The next class could have an impact on some of the size being lost. It’s nasty defense with some up tempo scoring that will get better as the season goes and then next year . . , look out. High fives all around for their efforts so far.
This will be the first time all season that I do not mention the stupidty of some fans . . , wait . . , I just did. Oh well, it will be okay!!
Even though the Buckeye men’s team got the monkey off their backs against the Illini last night, I don’t think they are out of the woods just yet. They played a team that is in an even worse downward spiral which may cost John Groce his job at the end of the season. The mesmerizing part of the Buckeye stumble is the play of the ever-consistent Aaron Craft. During the four game losing streak his assist to turnover ration was a disastrous 1:1, 31 assists to 31 turnovers!!! To put that in perspective, his career ration is 4.9 to 2.4 or right at 2 to 1.
To right this ship permanently, Shannon Scott is going to have to weather some of the load and Aaron needs to score alot more. It has been very uncharacteristic of the team but they will go as their leader goes with regards to taking care of the basketball. The other stumblin piece is the fact that this team could win a title with the level of defense they play; however, they haven’t got an offense going that requires a special defense by the opponent. Very little threat to bust the zone they have seen much of the time this season.
It amazes me at how frequently people provide me a topic to discuss in this portion of RSB. I haven’t been very picky in the past when it comes to who to include because mostly its been about the fans that have been off their rockers, and the one time I went off on our favorite person to hate in Mark “I’m a TOOL” May. The people square in my sites this week are the owners of the Cleveland Browns.
At what point do the fans give up hope of things ever changing? They finally have their man, but I can tell you that most fans probably believe that he will not last two to three seasons. Pettine has an impressive defensive resume, but it is not the resume that Jim Tressel has. I don’t care what level you expect a coach to have experience at, JT can flat out coach any level in my opinion. The fact that Browns brass refused to even acknowledge the fans desire to give him a shot tells me they do not care what the fans think.
First and foremost, the fans pay the bills folks. I don’t care how many sponsors they bring in to suppor their payroll, the fans are the ones that never leave or base their decisions on how good the return on the investment will be. I am not a Browns fan, but I remember how disastrous it was when the original team left for Baltimore. All of those sponsors pulled out and went on their merry way and the local radio that carried the broadcasts suffered for it. Those fans that went through that then should have a say in what happens now.
The request to at least give Coach Tressel an interview was viable and needed. Now because of their refusal to do so, JT may end up in Detroit of all places. Hopefully this group will learn from this mistake and do whats necessary to bring coach in when Pettine fails to get things going.
Thursday’s contest saw two streaking teams; unfortunately for their fans, streaking in the wrong direction. Despite their streak, the Buckeyes entered the game as 11 point favorites, so at least on the surface it was the “get well” game that Ohio State needed. And indeed it was, with Ohio State surviving 1st half shooting woes (29%) to emerge with a much needed 62-55 win.
The Buckeyes were led by LaQuinton Ross (18 pts), Lenzelle Smith Jr (16 pts) and Aaron Craft (11 pts). Craft also filled the stat sheet with 5 assists and 6 rebounds. In addition to improved shooting in the 2nd half 54% (13-24), OSU also improved its ball handling, committing only 5 turnovers, compared to 7 in the 1st half. There were still a few wrinkles to work out, but this was a much better performance at both ends of the court, particularly in the 2nd half. Hopefully, this may be the springboard to boost the Buckeyes’ confidence and get them back on track
The Fighting Illini were led by Joseph Bertrand (19 pts), Nnanna Egwu (10 pts) and Jon Ekay (11 pts). Egwu nearly scored a double-double as he pulled down 9 rebounds.
About a year ago, in fact, almost to the week I did an opinion piece about Ohio State basketball. At that point last season, the Buckeyes were also wandering around the basketball landscape. I thought I’d take a look at what I thought then, and compare it to what I think now. Interestingly, there are some common issues from one year to the next, which may not be all that surprising, since it is essentially the same group of players and essentially the same coaching staff. For sake of comparison, I’ll leave last year’s narrative in regular font, and italicize this year’s comments. Stats are courtesy of OSU’s Athletic Site. Here we go. I’m not the only one who’s concerned.
Up to this point, this basketball season may have not met the fans and players expectations, based on a combination of their record and the way they’ve played. I realize that it seems I’m being unreasonable when the team is at 13-3, but is there really a glimmer of hope at this point that this team will go deep in the NCAA’s? I see several issues with this team at this point. I’ll address my thoughts to each of these five points, below.
We’re pretty much at the same point with a 15-4, 2-4 record, sort of, maybe. Our losses last year were “reasonable”, putting up good games against Duke and Kentucky, but getting seared by Illinois. This year, the loss at Breslin probably surprised no one, but double digit losses to Iowa and Minnesota were “bad” losses, and the Nebraska loss was a horror show.
1. This is not that good of a shooting team The Buckeyes have shot decently in aggregate for the season (46.2%, 49th in nation), but in the three losses (Duke, Kansas, Illinois) the combined was just south of 32%. Meanwhile their opponents were right around 48%. This season shooting is fairly consistent with historical numbers, not nearly as good as the past 2-3 years. They’ve also demonstrated a tendency to not shoot well against quality teams, even when quality teams weren’t blanketing OSU shooters.
The Buckeyes are shooting exactly the same aggregate as last season (46.2%) but in our three losses, OSU’s FG% was 41%, so not that bad. The recent issue is their offense being flummoxed by an opponent in a zone defense. Against Iowa, although our game FG% was a respectable 44.6%, they struggled against the zone; our money was made when Iowa was in their man-to-man defense. Against Minnesota’s zone, we shot 35%; not good at all. Against Nebraska, the team shot 39% from the field, compared to Huskers’ 50%. Same baskets, same gym. Just to show that their 24 point 2nd half against Minnesota wasn’t a fluke, they came out and scored 25 in the 1st half of the Nebraska game.
To me, the concern is that Ohio State will be see a lot of zone defense going forward, since we’ve clearly demonstrated an inability to consistently score against a zone. Frankly, we don’t have a Jon Diebler-like shooter that can enable us to “shoot” our way out of a zone. That the zone defense also takes away the offensive strength of our team by closing down driving lanes to the basket. Get Craft, Thompson and Ross slashing to the basket and good things happen. Otherwise, we get what we’ve seen recently.
This is an inconsistent team Read More
This recap is going to be Hobbesian: nasty brutish and short. The Buckeyes traveled to the cornfields of Nebraska to right a wallowing ship, having lost three straight games to drop to 15-3. They are now 15-4, 2-4 after losing to Nebraska in basketball, 68-62. Yes, you read that right. This had some similarities to the MSU game in that Ohio State dug a deep hole in the 1st half, mounted a frenetic comeback, then ran out of gas coming down the stretch. To me, this team is in a bit of a funk right now. They just aren’t playing “right” you name a facet of the game, and that facet needs improvement. Right now, this is not that good of a ball team. Opponents no longer fear playing us.
The game progressed for the 1st half being “horrific” to the 2nd half being “I can’t believe we can’t play better than this”. It was one of those nights. The Bucks made a bit of a run in the last 25-30 seconds or so, but the results were just cosmetic. For the evening, Ohio State shot 39% from the field and 29% from 3-pt range. They continued their atrocious free throw shooting by hitting 14-21, 67%. In contrast, Nebraska shot 50% from the field, 15% from 3-pt range and 77% from the foul line. The Buckeyes were outrebounded 33-27.
The Buckeyes were led by LaQuinton Ross (11 pts, 4 rebs) , Aaron Craft (12 pts, 7 rebs) and Lenzelle Smith Jr (10, 4). Sam Thompson came off the bench to contribute 9 pts and 4 rebs. The Huskers were led by Shavon Shields (18 pts, 9 rebs) and Terran Petteway (17 pts. 5 rebs).
Tonight’s game started out much the same as the game in Columbus, with Nebraska holding a slight lead at the midpoint of the 1st half. Except something went wrong; they kept expanding the lead to go into the locker room up 34-25. Were it not for 2 last second free-throws by LaQuinton Ross, it could have been double digits. The shooting woes continued for the Bucks as they finished the half shooting 31% (8-26) while the Huskers shot 56% (15-17). Quite a difference.
Thad’s halftime speech had some impact as OSU came out of the gates and outscored Nebraska 9-2 in the first three minutes to pull within 2, 34-36. An Aaron Craft layup at the 15:31 mark tied the game at 36. As the teams hit the mid-point of the 2nd half, Ohio State incredibly held a 1 point lead, 44-43, outscoring Nebraska 19-9 at that point in the half.
Over the next five minutes of play, both teams flatlined a bit on offense, with OSU hanging on to a 46-45 lead. OSU’s last FG was at the 5:56 mark. Points were still tough to come by for the Buckeyes as, at the 2-minute mark, the Huskers held a 51-49 lead. By the time we got to the 1:00 mark, the teams were locked in a free-throw contest, which rarely turns out well for Ohio State and Nebraska had a comfortable, “game-over” lead of 61-51.
Next game is Thursday with Illinois in Columbus, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 PM EST tip-off. Television coverage will be on ESPN, check local listings; LiveChat will be provided here. Please stop in approximately 30 minutes before game time.
The Buckeyes are hoping to get back on the winning track versus Nebraska after a rough opening to the meat of conference play. Unfortunately, road wins tend to be harder to come by.
That goes double for this conference.
Thad Matta’s Buckeyes have now lost three games in a row at Michigan State, at home against Iowa, and at Minnesota. That murderer’s row wasn’t considered to be the toughest stretch in the conference slate, which does not bode well for the remainder of the season. This is also the first time Matta has lost three games in a row since 2008-2009, when games at Wisconsin (55-50), at Northwestern (72-69), and at home against Illinois (70-68) got the Buckeyes. That year was also the last time Fran McCaffery got the better of Thad Matta, as the Buckeyes fell to Siena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way, it’s time to talk about the positives. The Buckeyes have been playing terrible basketball the last three games. The turnover numbers alone for Scott and Craft (26 in three games) are appalling, and the team as a whole have committed 51 in the same span. This is not typical Thad Matta basketball, and I’m sure he’s working hard to get the problems cleared up.
“Wait, I thought you said the doom and gloom was over?”
The #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2), have dropped two consecutive games and 8 positions in the national rankings. Now they travel to The Barn to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2). Ohio State is coming off a bit of a beat down against Iowa, while Minnesota took MSU to overtime before losing 87-75. Both teams sit at middle of the pack in conference play and need to start winning, since they have each lost against B1G leader Michigan State. In overtime, no less..
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