Day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament brought a close call for the Bucks, but after pulling out the win over Northwestern, Ohio State now turns its attention to the Wolverines of Michigan. Going into Day 3 of the tournament, Ohio State should be back in rhythm and ready to go. It will be important to get going early against Michigan, who likely solidified their entrance into the NCAA Tournament with their win today over Illinois (while in all probability also ending the Illini’s chances of making the NCAA’s). Good job Michigan! Oh, by the way…
Michigan won’t be as forgiving as Northwestern if Ohio State comes out of the gate with abysmal shooting once again. The truly good news for the Buckeyes from today’s game was that despite their poor shooting from the floor, they were knocking down the free throw’s with consistency. A really good formula for improving their field goal percentage for their game against Michigan would be to get back to the free throw line. By picking up fouls early (particularly by pounding it inside to Sullinger), Ohio State should be in good shape to both get the Wolverine big men in foul trouble and find their shooting touch in the first half. Read More
The Buckeyes entered the second day of the B1G Tournament coming off the bye. Their opponent for the day, Northwestern, had just come off a difficult win over the Golden Gophers the day before. Some thought the game would be a cake walk over a conference bottom-feeder. Other’s believed that the earlier one point win was a further sign of things to come. The latter group couldn’t have been more right. Jared Sullinger’s 20 points and 18 rebounds, including 16-18 from the charity stripe, were the saving grace for the Bucks in the overtime battle.
The Buckeyes struggled to shoot the ball the whole game long. Despite having shot near 68% for the game against Wisconsin, it seems like they saved nothing for Northwestern, hitting a season low 32.2%, including 20% (3-15) from beyond the arc. There are many reasons why the Bucks could have shot that poorly, including a lack of drive and desire coming into the game. More than likely, however, the primary reason was the defensive effort of Northwestern, which again made life difficult for OSU’s offense.
Playing Northwestern seems to be the basketball equivalent of slogging through molasses. The Wildcat offense loves to sap time off the clock with their Princeton Offense. They happily pass the ball lazily around the arc looking for a weakness in the opponents defense. Then, they turn around and play aggressive man defense on the other end just to drive the offense crazy.
Joe is back with his last installment of Shots from Schott for the season as the Buckeyes capped off a 29-2 regular season with a 93-65 win over the Wisconsin Buzzcuts. In case you missed it, here’s video that kicked it off
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Wisconsin arrived in Columbus to face off with the Buckeyes of Ohio State for Senior Day at Value City Arena. Surprisingly, the Badgers gave up the most points they have all season long, losing 93-65 to the hot shooting Buckeyes. Jon Diebler continued his shooting streak from the Penn State game by hitting 7-8 from three and scoring 27 points. Surprisingly, he was the only Buckeye to miss a three pointer, as 5 others added long shots of their own to shoot 14-15 from beyond the arc for 93.3% overall.
Both teams came out ready to play. Neither side was able to open up a big lead early, fighting tooth and nail through the first few minutes. Not surprisingly, the Badger’s early scoring came from beyond the arc. The Bucks, on the other hand, spent most of their time going low and scoring in the paint, particularly with Sullinger who scored 4-5 in the early going.
Once the CBS feed switched over from the irritating, and never-ending, MVC championship game, this game suddenly slowed down. For several minutes neither team was able to score a basket. That streak was finally broken when Jon Diebler sank a huge three pointer from well outside the three point arc, and drew the foul on the shot. He followed that up on the next possession with another huge three pointer, which finally seemed to unplug the basket for the Buckeyes.
The trip to Happy Valley on Tuesday night turned into a showcase for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, as the Buckeyes blew out the Nittany Lions 82-61 on their way to win number 27 on the season. Jon Diebler highlighted the night with an OSU-record 10 three-pointers, surpassing the mark of nine he tied earlier in the year.
The game got off to a bit of a slow start before the Nittany Lions drew first blood on two free throw’s by Andrew Jones following a foul on Dallas Lauderdale. Ohio State quickly answered with a banker from William Buford. Jon Diebler then hit his first three-pointer of the game, which was followed by another Buford bank shot, and suddenly the Bucks were off and running. Buford continued to impress early, posting up on numerous occasions to take advantage of the smaller Penn State guards attempting to keep him in check. Read More
Ohio State and Indiana locked horns today in Columbus, Ohio for the first time since December. The Buckeyes quickly dispatched them 82-61 in a game that was only close for the first 10 minutes. The man who made the difference for the Buckeyes was the suddenly hot Deshaun Thomas, who scored 22 points and collected 4 rebounds in coming off the bench. While Sullinger only scored 5, his 2 points of the first half were enough to become the 29th OSU player to score 500 points in a season.
Indiana gave the Buckeyes a fight through the first few minutes of the game. The Hoosiers found several easy baskets in the paint to jump out to a quick lead. It didn’t last, however, as the Buckeyes quickly closed the gap to tie it up before the first timeout. Interestingly, both Pritchard of Indiana and Sullinger went out before the first TV timeout, both with two quick fouls.
Those losses completely changed the game dynamic. Over the next four minutes, the teams combined to score two points. Neither team had any success working their offenses with their big men on the bench. Indiana, in particular, struggled shooting the ball shooting 0-7 for six minutes following Pritchard leaving the game.
Once again, Joe brings the 411 on the doings at last night’s game.
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.