It’s nearly time for the Basketball Bucks to take the hardwood again, and Eric and Joe Dexter are here to talk all things hardwood! The pair reminisces about last years great squad, and looks forward to the things to come – particularly newcomers Amir Williams and Shannon Scott. They also talk about the gains made by Sullinger, Craft, Buford, Deshaun Thomas, and Jordan Sibert, and what that will ultimately mean for this team. Lastly, they spend some time talking about the talent around the Big Ten, and what kind of a challenge the Buckeyes might have in repeating as Big Ten Champs.
Eric and Joe are very excited to chat with Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch during this week’s interview. They discuss all things Buckeye Basketball, and is certainly a conversation you don’t want to miss!
PS – Joe made a little gaffe on this week’s podcast, botching the name of a former Buckeye. The first person to post in the comments with correct answers to all three of the following:
will win a free T-Shirt from the guys at Time And Change! You can also connect with them at this Saturday’s mega launch party if you’re in Columbus. Read More
Last night had to be one of the single worst displays of college basketball I have seen by an Ohio State team in years. That is, of course, an exaggeration, but I’m sure many of you would agree with me on that point.
What is probably not well agreed with is that there are a large number of things the Buckeyes did right in that game. It’s extraordinarally difficult to keep up with a talented team like Kentucky while shooting an atrocious 32.8%. That drops to just under 31% if you don’t count three pointers, emphasizing the difficulty OSU had shooting the ball. It’s pretty rare that excluding your three point shooting drops your shooting percentage.
Let me stress a point. While Kentucky’s defense was very good (11 blocks is ridiculously good) it was not Kentucky’s defense that beat us. If you take William Buford’s 2-16 shooting away, OSU shot 40.5% overall and 41.3% inside the three point arc. As much as I hate to seem like I’m laying blame (I’m not, there’s no blame to lay), it could not be any more obvious why the Bucks struggled in this game.
Wildcat fans, of course, will argue that William Buford’s shooting was so low because of their spectacular defense. In this case, that is not true. The vast majority of Buford’s misses were fairly open looks, with only a few coming with a hand in his face – including that last second desperation shot that just missed. I’m sure that shot is tearing Buford up inside. It shouldn’t be. Tough shots like that sometimes fall and sometimes don’t. It may not be the outcome we wanted, but it doesn’t change the fact that we played tough to end the season.
A classic matchup awaited the Buckeyes in the Sweet 16. The Kentucky Wildcats, who to date were a stunning 0-5 against the Bucks in the NCAA tournament, arrived as the 4 seed to challenge top-seeded Ohio State. Kentucky got everything a team has needed this season to beat this Buckeye team, securing the tough fought win by a score of 62-60. The player of the game for the Buckeyes has to be Aaron Craft, who’s hustle and drive was enough to keep the Buckeyes in it most of the way, despite not putting up particularly impressive stats.
Both teams started out with a tough defensive mindset. It was apparent from the early shooting that the looks simply weren’t there for either team. It’s quite a credit to both teams’ man-to-man defense that they were able to force shots late in the shot clock, and make certain they were not the best looks possible.
Sullinger’s tough play early on was quickly rewarded. Terrence Jones, one of Kentucky’s phenomenal freshman, collected a charge, followed closely by hacking Sullinger on a shot. He was forced to sit with more than 16 minutes still on the clock in the first half. His loss was not fatal to the Wildcats, however, who were demonstrating a fantastic talent at blocking shots in the paint.
Ohio State put on a show on Sunday in second round action of the NCAA Tournament, blowing out the George Mason Patriots by 0ver 30 points, 98-66. The Buckeyes looked nearly unstoppable in the game, shooting a very high percentage from the floor and displaying the balance that has brought them to this point in the year. David Lighty was particularly notable, posting a game-high 25 points on 7-7 shooting from three.
George Mason got off to fast start, opening up an early 9-point lead before Ohio State founds its rhythm. Then the blitz was on, with the Buckeye players taking turns knocking down an array of outside jumpers and powering the ball up inside. Lighty’s third trey put Ohio State in the lead with 13 minutes left in the first, and a nice Craft-to-Sullinger play got the show started for the rest of the way.
Ohio State’s success in the first half was driven by intense defensive pressure, shutting down the penetrate-and-dish approach that was adopted early by the Patriots. Read More
The Ohio State Buckeyes faced off with the Roadrunners of Texas – San Antonio in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes ran away with the game as would be expected for the #1 seed, winning 75-46 against the over matched Roadrunners. William Buford led the Buckeyes with 18 points on 7-12 shooting, along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Devin Gibson of UTSA led all scorers with 24 points while picking up 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals – most of which came against Aaron Craft.
The game started out in a surprisingly poor way for the Buckeyes. The roadrunners came out of the gate ready to play and were taking it to the Bucks. UTSA found a number of good looks on offense early, including a nice three pointer from the left corner to take an early 9-5 lead.
A William Buford tomahawk dunk gave the Buckeyes a little kick against the unfamiliar Roadrunner 2-3 zone. Not surprisingly, Craft and company struggled against the defensive look. In fact, Sullinger wasn’t able to get his first points against it until 7 minutes into the game. The score, made against tough defensive play, seemed to give the Bucks some confidence to work with.
The first round matchup for Ohio State in the 2011 NCAA Tournament is now set, as the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners topped Alabama State in last night’s play-in game for the #16 seed and a chance to take their shot at the Buckeyes. The Roadrunners won by a score of 70-61 on an impressive performance from guard Melvin Johnson III, who put up 29 points in the game. More impressive than Johnson’s overall scoring total was the fact that he outscored Alabama State single-handedly in the first half by a total of 25-21.
As Mali noted in the podcast yesterday, having the play-in game for the #16 seed limits the time that Ohio State will be able to prep for their now-established opponent, but Ohio State should have the necessary talent and motivation to meet any challenge that UTSA or the 6’5 Johnson throw at them. Read More
Penn State and Ohio State earned the right to play each other for the B1G Tournament Title. The Buckeyes earned their 16th straight win over the Nittany Lions 71-60, a streak stretching back to 2004. OSU got the job done by carrying a late first half surge into a big lead early in the second before coasting it in to the finish. Talor Battle led all scorers with 22 points, while William Buford led the Buckeyes with 16. Sullinger completed his third straight double-double of the tournament with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Nittany Lions came into the game playing tough defense, very similar to the way they did against Wisconsin a couple of days before. The Defensive look gave the Buckeyes fits on the first few possessions, allowing Talor Battle to give the Nits the lead on his first two three pointers. It was apparant that Battle was trying to get his game going before Aaron Craft could enter the game.
The Buckeyes, however, were not going to stay down for long. William Buford and Jon Diebler put in trey’s of their own to keep pace, on top of a Lauderdale driving hookshot to give the Bucks the lead going into the first break. Penn State’s man-to-man defense, despite giving up a few outside looks, still did a fantastic job of limiting OSU’s offense on the interior. The Nits simply did not want to give up easy looks.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines butted heads exactly one year to the day after the Evan Turner dagger in last year’s Big Ten Tournament. Michigan did a great job making a comeback from down 18, falling 68-61 to the #1 seeded Buckeyes. Sullinger recorded another double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Buford led the Buckeyes with 16 points. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 7-0 in the Big Ten Semifinals all time, and 31-2 for the season.
Diebler started hot for the Buckeyes, but not in his usual way. Diebler made his mark scoring the first two baskets for the Buckeyes inside the three point arc, including a nice driving layup. Not surprisingly, a lot of that was caused by Michigan playing tight, aggressive defense on Sullinger in the paint.
Early on, Sullinger seemed to rush his shots and not play with his usual calm and collected demeanor. It was clear that Michigan’s defensive concept was to use Morgan to force Sullinger out of his comfort zone. If that didn’t work, they switched to a quick double team when Sullinger got the ball in the low paint. The strategy seemed to frustrate Sullinger early.