The newly-formed Buckeye Bloggers Network put their heads together again! This time we will be looking at the impact that each starter and the bench had on the game against Purdue on Tuesday night. The other blogs joining us in this venture are: The Buckeye Blog, Our Honor Defend, Buckeye House Call, OSU Silver Bullet, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray.
Lenzelle Smith has had quite a sophomore campaign for the Buckeyes. It was apparent early in the season that he had not fully realized his role on the team, as he struggled to score and to really gel in the framework of the starters. His recent games in Big Ten play have been a positive indication that he is understanding better what he needs to bring to this team.
What has made Smith a starter from day one has been his defensive intensity. While he is not the best defender on the court – how could he be, he plays next to Aaron Craft – he is certainly one of the better defenders on the team. Guards have typically struggled when playing the Buckeyes, and that has as much to do with Smith’s play as with Craft’s.
Smith has taken his successes on the defensive end and used them to grow on the offensive side. For a long time this season the running joke was that Smith’s over-under in scoring was five points, and that he would play like he was desperate to break it. Rare would be the game that he actually succeeded, it seemed.
And then Indiana happened – twice.
The Purdue Boilermakers, the last team to beat Ohio State in Value City Arena, made an attempt to do it again tonight and very nearly succeed. The Buckeyes escaped the upset bid, winning 87-84 against a surprisingly accurate shooting night from Purdue who hit an excellent 57.9% from beyond the arc. William Buford had a huge night for OSU scoring 29 points and scooping up 7 rebounds to keep the Buckeyes in the game. Jared Sullinger added 18 and 6 while Purdue’s D.J. Byrd put in 24 and 6 for the Boilermakers.
Surprisingly, Matt Painter chose not to start Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith, replacing them with bench players Kelsey Barlow and D.J. Byrd. The mix-up in the starters was due to Purdue’s poor play against Indiana at home. Playing like crap against your biggest rival is not conducive to making your head coach very happy.
Despite a couple early gaffes the Buckeyes jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on the strength of Sullinger inside and a Lenzelle Smith three. The rapid start forced Painter to call a quick timeout, hoping to get some more energy out of his guys. The pause worked as Purdue came out of the timeout with better effort on both ends and quickly tied up the score at 7. It was an impressive turnaround, and showed a flash of the Purdue we’ve grown accustomed to the last few seasons.
Continuing his trend of frequent early rotations, Matta brought Sam Thompson into the game with 14 minutes left in the first half. With the game still close, it was yet another sign that the young freshman has really started to earn his coach’s trust – especially on the defensive end of the court. JD Weatherspoon also got time later in the first half demonstrating his improving presence for this basketball team. Weatherspoon may not be getting regular appearances yet, but he’s getting closer to it.
Ohio State has returned to the friendly confines of Columbus to play the Purdue Boilermakers this evening! ESPN is airing the game today, which is set to tip at 9:00 PM EST in Value City Arena.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game.
The Buckeyes are on to the next game of their “Murderer’s Row Tour” of the Big Ten! The next stop is Columbus, Ohio to face the Purdue Boilermakers. Let’s take a look.
|Location:||West Lafayette, Indiana|
|Head Coach:||Matt Painter|
The Buckeyes visited West Lafayette today to do battle with the Purdue Boilermakers with the Big Ten Championship game still on the line. The Boilers, however, had something to say about OSU’s championship aspirations as they took the Buckeyes to overtime to secure the 26-23 victory. Braxton Miller threw 8-18 for 132 yards and two touchdowns on a day when the OSU running game simply struggled to get going. Boom Herron accounted for 62 yards on the ground compared to Ralph Bolden’s 80 yards and a touchdown.
Ohio State started the game with the football but struggled a bit. After whiffing on the kick catch in the endzone, the Bucks went to Dan Herron twice for a modest gain. On third down, Braxton Miller tried to hit an open receiver over the middle. The ball was tipped down field into the arms of Jake Stoneburner who wasn’t able to haul it in despite several chances due to some great defensive work by the Purdue coverage.
The Boilermakers were quite the opposite of the Buckeyes. Using a series of screens and runs, Purdue smartly moved the ball down the field. They managed to get the ball inside the five with a first down, but were unable to punch the ball into the endzone. The Buckeye defense had managed to stiffen, and a nice play from Bradley Roby at the goal line to bat a pass away forced Purdue to take three on the short field goal. Read More
The Buckeyes take on the Purdue Boilermakers today in West Lafayette, and we’ll be here to talk about it all day long!
The Buckeyes are traveling to West Lafayette this weekend, and you can bet that all of us here are fervently wishing to not see a repeat of two years ago. What other things are we looking for?
Continue to pound the ball. We have been very successful in the run game especially with Boom Herron and Braxton Miller. Like to see us continue that. I continue to worry what would happen if a team were able to stop the run and we had to pass to win.
Three and outs. The defense couldn’t get off the field against Indiana. They did a great job, taking the 4 or 5 yds that our defense was giving them each time and moving the ball slowly down the field. I want to see the defense get off the field this weekend and get the ball back to our offense in positive field position.
A win. They haven’t been pretty but it is much better after a win to discuss the team than after a loss.
A Penn State loss to Nebraska. Ed. – Because we need one anyway.
The BBC decided to bring in the big guns for this preview, and for good reason…no one knows the Boilers better than me.
34 teams in this year’s preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches poll were rated higher than the Purdue Boilermakers. Let me be the first to caution those who voted in the poll: you just poured gasoline onto a burning inferno. Not smart. Anyway, just like in years past, Purdue struggled come postseason and tourney time this past season in college basketball; managing just one win in the NCAA Tournament and an early, embarrassing exit at the hands of Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament. (The 18 point loss to VCU in the Round of 32 of the Tourney doesn’t seem so bad now).
All joking aside, it was still a solid year for Purdue, finishing 26-8 and second in the Big Ten was a far cry from where most preseason prognosticators had them once the news of forward Robbie Hummel’s second ACL tear was announced on Saturday, October 16. As you can imagine, I remember where I was, how stunned I looked when I panned down at my cell phone while standing on the sidelines of the Minnesota-Purdue football game and reading ‘Robbie Hummel out for the year with 2nd ACL tear.’ Immediately, Purdue was dropped out of the Top 25 by most writers, picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten. Why do the voters feel the need to do this again, this time with Hummel returning to the team? I can tell you immediately: this team will compete for a Big Ten title, even without 2 of the best to ever play in West Lafayette.