The Winthrop Eagles arrived in Columbus ready to give the Buckeyes more than they wanted, and despite the 65-55 final score they certainly succeeded. The Eagles took advantage of a seriously hot-handed shooting night from beyond the arc, hitting 38.5% of their three point attempts to keep the game close most of the way through. DeShaun Thomas led all scorers with 21 points to go with his 9 rebounds. He was joined in double digits by Lenzelle Smith’s 14, and Derrick Henry’s 12.
The first half was easily described by the microcosm that was the last 10 seconds of the period. The Buckeyes put together a good play, got a wide open look for Thomas from long range. He missed it, which was quickly followed by a missed put-back by Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes for the half went 10-29 shooting, combined with a number of sloppy, unfocused plays that cost them possessions (but with limited actual turnovers). In response, Withrop sank a number of looks from outside, and took it to the Buckeyes inside to force OSU into 8 first half fouls – one of their highest totals of the season for a half.
Unfortunately, there was not a big change at the start of the second half. The Buckeyes struggled to get traction with their continued shooting slump, and Winthrop continued to rain in shots from long range. Eventually, DeShaun Thomas shook off his terrible 2-11 shooting start, hitting 5 straight buckets to give the Bucks some much needed momentum. It was enough to give the Bucks a temporary double digit lead, but Winthrop was not going to go away so easily.
Give Winthrop lots of credit. They are a pretty solid fundamental basketball team and simply forced the Buckeyes to play the Eagle’s game. In particular, they used good passing to put OSU’s defense on their heels, and used it to get good shots. They also took advantage of a hot shooting night from long range, far exceeding their usual 29% shooting percentage (they were hitting 50%, 9-18, mid-way through the 2nd period). They ultimately scored 30 of their points from long range – mostly on ugly shots that went in despite
Winthrop is playing through the state of Ohio this week. They started by securing a win over Ohio in Athens a few nights ago. Up next are the Buckeyes.
Joining us as usual are the other members of the Buckeye Blogger Network. Make sure to stop by their place and say, “hey”: Buckeye Ninja, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Buckeye Empire, Silver Bullet, The Buckeye Blog, Unscripted Ohio, and Fox Sports Ohio.
The Liveblog will tip around 6:30 PM EST, with the Basketball game starting at 7:00 on the BTN.
The turning of the leaves, the smell of fresh grilled dogs, the crack of a cold beer, and the blinding of the college football fans’ eyes by the uniforms so beloved by the players of one of the best sports in the world. Florescent shoes, designs within designs, and 4 different helmets per team. College Football is here! Week one is now officially on the books, and we are here to help you out by determining the picks for the weak (Friday – Monday) to start the season. This year, we’re doing things with a twist, as every week a national writer will join me in an audio sucker punch of information to help garner stronger picks out of you every week! Our guest will analyze the top five games and make his or her picks in our top ten games every week. In week one, we will just break down nine, in memory of when week 1 had some meaning.
Not to be forgotten, the good ole boys here at tBBC will add our picks, and the daunting and daring What If Sports computer will be along for the ride. You know, the game predictin’ machine that makes the BCS system look like a prehistoric 3.5″ floppy. Screw a New Year’s Resolution. My goal this season is to beat the machine. Can I do it? Hell no. But you have a chance to brag all freakin’ fall and winter. Join us for all the fun by joining our Yahoo! Sports Pick’em pool. All you got to do is click join group, and type in these as your Group ID and Password:
The Expert Analysis:
David Fox of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com joins us this week to break down Boise/Georgia, LSU/Oregon and Notre Dame/USF. We break down the chances of the favorites, the evolution of the Notre Dame and USF programs as they both head into year two of their respected coach’s regime. We also breakdown the quarterback battle in Atlanta on Saturday night, as Sophomore Aaron Murphy is pitted up against touted senior Kellen Moore. And the battle of NCAA Violations gets underway on Saturday as well at Jerry Jones’ Place. David and I break down that game in regards to suspension and allegations as well.
We continue our look at the NCAA tournament field with our third of three regions. Jay and Joe already did a fantastic job with the West and Southeast regions yesterday. The Southwest region seems a lot easier to predict than the Southeast with a lot fewer chances for upsets in the first round. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some teams to look out for, though!
Favorites: There is no question about the top favorite for this bracket. Kansas, last year’s overall #1 seed, is in no danger of facing the same fate as last year. This year’s team is a dangerously deep and talented group, not dependent on any one player to get the job done. The Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus, lead the team in points per game and rebounds per game as well as leading a trio of fantastic frontcourt players. Overall, Kansas plays with an incredibly fast pace, and runs with a significant height advantage that could give their opponents trouble.
Keep an eye on Purdue as well. While the Boilermakers ended the season in pathetic fashion (losses to Iowa and Michigan State), they are still a spectacularly dangerous team when they’re on their game. Expect Matt Painter to lead his team deep into the tournament as he’ll be more than capable of refocusing his troops on the importance of March.