B1G Basketball Preview: Indiana

Written October 17th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

College basketball hasn’t been friendly to Indiana Hoosier fans over the last few seasons. When it comes to hoops in Bloomington, there is no room for head coaches to breathe.

So when Tom Crean takes to the bench for the 4th year as the head Hoosier man, Indiana fans might be hoping that the Michigan native is on a short leash.

But with the top recruit of 2011 now on campus, and a very impressive 2012 class on it’s way, it looks like Crean is here to stay– for better or worse.

This afternoon we continue our preparation for the upcoming B1G season by previewing the one of the nations most beloved basketball schools. Ladies and Gentleman, The Indiana Hoosiers.

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Basketball LiveBlog: National Pillowfight

Written April 4th, 2011 by Eric

Welcome to the last liveblog of the 2010-2011 Basketball Season!  Today’s game pits the 8 seed Butler Bulldogs and the 3 seed Connecticut Huskies who finished the season ranked 9th in the Big East.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the National Championship is a Pillowfight!

Come join all of your favorite bloggers as we watch these teams struggle for the highest honor in College Basketball.  It should be quite the party!

The game starts at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, the LiveBlog will go at 8:30 PM (despite what the CoveritLive box says).  Hope to see you all here!

NCAA Tournament History Being Made

Written March 27th, 2011 by Eric

Holy crap.

For those who have given up on basketball for the rest of the season (not that I can blame you) here’s your update on the tournament.

For the first time since the tournament increased to 64 teams, all 4 number 1 seeds failed to make the Final Four.  While we’re still waiting on the result of Kentucky and North Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth just took out the last #1 seed 71-61 for their first ever trip to the final four.  This is only the third time in history that an 11 seed has made the final four, with George Mason in 2006 and LSU in 1986 being the first two.

Congrats to Shaka Smart for succeeding with all of the chips stacked against him.  VCU is the only team to make the final four after having to win 5 tournament games.  They will next face the 8 seeded Butler Bulldogs, likely to be a fantastic basketball game.

Basketball LiveBlog: Indiana Redux

Written February 27th, 2011 by Eric

Welcome to today’s LiveBlog! The Buckeyes welcome the Indiana Hoosiers into the friendly confines of Value City Arena for a rematch of their late December meeting. The Hoosiers are desperately looking for another conference so they can match last season’s success. You just know a victory over the Buckeyes in Columbus would be icing on the cake.

As usual, we’re joined in the LiveBlog by OSU Silver Bullet, Our Honor Defend, Scarlet & Game and Fox Sports Ohio. Make extra certain to stop by the Silver Bullet and congratulate Drew on his recent marriage! (Congrats Drew!)

The game tips at 4:00 PM Eastern Time, LiveBlog at 3:30.

Go Bucks!

tBBC Radio Hour with Michael at OHD

Written February 25th, 2011 by Eric

This week, Eric is joined by Michael, one of the new writers at the Our Honor Defend blog.  The two spend a large chunk of time discussing Ohio State Basketball, including how the rest of the season is going to shape up, and whether or not they believe Sullinger will stay or go (you may be surprised by the answer).

They also look ahead to next basketball season, and take a peek at the upcoming football season including yet another discussion of the possible Quarterbacking situation.

All this and more on this week’s Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour!

Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: The Screen Part 2

Written February 23rd, 2011 by Eric

All he does is score buckets.

Last week on the Buckeye Basketball Breakdown we looked at the way Wisconsin had used the on-ball screen (or ball screen) to open up their three point shooters.  Sadly, that strategy worked wonders for Michigan State, Purdue and again for Illinois just last night.  All three teams took advantage of the inexperience of Craft and Sullinger to get open looks from beyond the arc.

In last night’s game, Illinois connected on a unbelievable 8-9 (88.89%) of their three point shots in the first half.  A lot of that had to do with their ability to screen Craft off his man and pop off a quick shot before Sullinger could respond.  However, the Buckeyes adjusted admirably in the second half, forcing Illinois to shoot 1-9 from three in the last stanza.

This switch in strategy is a direct mentality of having found a weakness in the Buckeye’s defense.  Consider that before Wisconsin found their new magic bullet, OSU had climbed to a 15 point lead and looked like they were going to make the Badgers pay for the 0-7 Buckeye record in the Kohl Center.

Luckily, it’s looking like Matta and the Buckeyes are learning to handle this new threat, while keeping it from enabling other offensive looks.  The win over Illinois last night was particularly impressive in that regard.

Let’s move away from the negative from here.  I think there’s enough negative energy floating around the Buckeye Basketball circles as it is (for no good reason, I might add).  What I want to talk about today is the second part of screening a shooter for an open look; the off-ball screen.

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Pregame Glance: Purdue 2, The Painter Strikes Back

Written February 18th, 2011 by Eric

Matt Painter is such an inviting fellow.

It doesn’t feel like it, but it has only been a couple of weeks since the Buckeyes soundly curb-stomped Purdue in Columbus.   Unfortunately, it’s already time for our return trip; the chance for Matt Painter’s team to try to redeem themselves in front of their home crowd.

As usual, since we’ve already looked at the team once, we’ll take the time to focus on what has happened since the last time we tangled with the Boilers.  For the most part, it’s been nothing but sunshine and daisies in West Lafayette.

Since that day, the day that might pay the Boilers back for Purdue-harbor, Purdue has played five games.  They went 4-1 in the stretch, including both of their games against Wisconsin and two road games: at Wisconsin and at Illinois.  Their one loss came exactly a week after they fell to the Buckeyes, losing to Wisconsin 66-59 at the Kohl Center.

Purdue got to pay the Badgers back, however, catching them Wednesday night with a 70-62 win at home.  That game was a close affair the whole way, with Wisconsin holding the lead through the first 10 minutes before letting it slip away.

That would be the last time they lead the whole game.  Despite that, they held pace and put themselves in a position to work the usual end-of-game comeback magic.  Unfortunately, sometimes that strategy only serves to make the spread worse, as it did here.

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Buckeye Basketball Breakdown: The Screen Part 1

Written February 15th, 2011 by Eric

Jordan Taylor is ready to do bad things to your defense.

As you may recall, in last week’s Breakdown, I looked at one of the ways the Buckeye’s use to free up their three point shooters – collapsing the defense.

As hard as Saturday’s game was to stomach the first time around, it was even worse on the second viewing.  It’s just too bad that it had precisely the kinds of plays I wanted to look at for this week’s Breakdown.

However, we’re not going to spit in the face of adversity today.  We don’t stoop to such lows around here.  Instead we’re going to plow ahead with our heads held high.

And we should.  Ohio State played a spectacular ball game in the Kohl Center, and it was only through an incredible feat of athletics that the Badgers were able to pull out that game.  By the end of this article, I’m certain you’ll agree with me.

By the way, that feat of athletics happens to go by the name Jordan Tayler.  Just in case you were interested.

If you consider the stats of the game, the Buckeyes played lights out the whole day.  They outshot the Badgers 54% to 51% from the floor, out rebounded them 25-24, picked up 2 more assists, committed 2 fewer turnovers and 3 fewer fouls, and out shot the best free throw shooting team in the nation (and possibly in NCAA Basketball History) 87%-69% with 3 additional free throws.

On any other day, that’s a win.  But when you’re out shot 50% to 33% from beyond the arc, and the opponent takes 24 total three pointers (15 more than you do), you’re gonna have a tough time keeping up.  The guy who made that possible?  Jordan Taylor.

Did I mention you were going to be sick of his name by the end of this article?
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