Ohio State Defeats Illinois 68-55 on Senior Day

Written March 10th, 2013 by Eric
Aaron Craft had a solid performance for the Buckeyes today.

Aaron Craft had a solid performance for the Buckeyes today.

Today was Evan Ravenel’s Senior Day at Ohio State, and while it may not have gone down exactly according to script the Bucks were able to give him a 68-55 win over the Illini as a going away gift. The game as a whole was a sluggish mess for both teams, but the Scarlet and Gray were able to find more consistency more frequently to help secure a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Ohio State was lead in scoring by DeShaun Thomas’ 19, Aaron Craft’s 14, and Lenzelle Smith’s 10. Illinois’ Brandon Paul lead the game with 21 and was joined in double digits by DJ Richardson’s 10.

Considering the result of the game 2 months ago, it was fair to assume that the Buckeyes would come into this game and play with extreme prejudice. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they instead began with what looked like empty gas tanks. There seemed to be no passion whatsoever, and the Bucks struggled to do much more than simply hang with the Illini. It seemed that OSU was one good run away from putting the game away early, and that run finally started to take shape around the last TV timeout of the half. Some beautiful play, including a behind-the-back save from Shannon Scott to trigger a fast-break, led by a stiffening defense gave the Bucks a nine point lead at the half.

The run did not survive the break in play. Both teams again seemed to sink into a slump coming out of the half. The Buckeyes couldn’t seem to increase their advantage, partially due to poor decision making, and the Illini couldn’t bring it any closer. It was the 30 minute mark of the game before anything started to change. Illinois finally began attacking the interior and the OSU defense yielded easily under the onslaught. Unfortunately for the Illini, they weren’t able to capitalize fast enough on the strategy change before Matta and company were able to make the appropriate defensive adjustments to put a stop to it.

This wasn’t exactly the kind of game I was hoping for from the Bucks today. After getting killed two months ago, I was hoping for a summary execution of the Illini. However, the Buckeyes did continue their late season winning streak into the Big Ten Tournament, which is huge for both tournament seeding and for confidence in the tournaments themselves. Hopefully this team prepares well over the next few days going into postseason play.

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BBN Basketball Liveblog: Illinois Part Deux

Written March 10th, 2013 by Eric

It has been 2 months since Illinois put on a devastating beat-down of the Buckeyes in Urbana-Champaign. Now the Buckeyes finally get a chance to avenge the loss.

Join us and The Buckeye Blog, Buckeye Empire, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Buckeye Ninja as we help our good friend Bo Ryan learn to Deal With It.

Today’s game is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST on ESPN. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.

Go Bucks!

Breakdownability: Illinois vs OSU II

Written March 9th, 2013 by Ken

Eyes on the prize..

School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Urbana and Champaign, IL
Founded: 1867
Student Population: 40,616 total, 31,932 undergrad
School Type: Public – Land Grant
Stadium: Assembly Hall
Seating: 16,618
Opened: 1963
Head Coach: John Groce
Experience: 1st year at UI @ U-C

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Illinois Exposes Ohio State 74-55

Written January 5th, 2013 by Eric

Ohio State arrived in Urbana-Champaign for their first conference road game of the year and walked into a literal buzz-saw, losing by a final of 74-55. The Fighting Illini simply out-hustled and out-fundamentaled the Buckeyes in all phases of the game today, proving what many have suspected for a while – this OSU team still has a lot of work to do. While Brandon Paul did not go off for 43 this year, he did lead his team with 19 points to which he added 8 rebounds. He was joined in double digits by Nnanna Egwu (16), Tracy Abrams (13), and Joseph Bertrand (12) for the Illini, while OSU saw DeShaun Thomas’s 24 points to lead all scorers, and Aaron Craft’s (11).

The Buckeyes pulled their usual tricks in the early going of the first half. They came into the game completely lacking in intensity and allowed Illinois to jump out to a quick lead and some hot shooting. The Buck’s defense slowly improved to keep the game from running out of control early, but the offense continued to struggle with turnovers and poor shooting. Illinois eventually took advantage of the poor OSU offensive effort and blitzed out to a double digit lead. That lead would only be relinquished briefly before the end of the half, but Illinois reseized it and stuffed the traditional late first stanza OSU run.

The domination by the Fighting Illini continued into the second half. Through the first 4 minutes, the Illini blitzed out on an 11-2 run to open up a lead that would eventually climb as high as 25 near the middle of the second stanza. Eventually the Buckeyes decided that enough was enough and began to chip away at the lead. Not surprisingly, solid defense helped lead to good offensive choices down the stretch. Of course, Illinois made smart adjustments, and one critical wide open three, to kill the Buckeye’s promising run.

It was a matter of time before this team had a game like this. Sure they played well against Duke and Kansas at times, but they were eventually going to have an all-around terrible game against a solid team. For the better part of 30 minutes, Illinois did just about everything right, Ohio State did everything wrong, and the luck was clearly on the Orange side of the court. While the Buckeye’s short little energetic burst was a nice thing to see at the end of the game, it was far too little and much much too late to matter.

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We’ve got an overlapping double header for you today!

The liveblog will start at 12:45 PM EST this afternoon. At 1 PM, the Army All-American Bowl will kick-off. There are three recruiting targets of interest in this one – WR Shelton Gibson, WR James Quick, LB Mike Mitchell. We’ll also be watching the following Ohio State commits throughout:

At 2:15 PM EST on the Big Ten Network, the Buckeyes Shooty Hoops team will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. This same liveblog will cover both events.

Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance: Illinois

Written January 4th, 2013 by Ken

The Buckeyes are in for their first stern test of the conference season. Illinois started the season on a twelve game winning streak and looked to be much improved over last year. Let’s take a closer look.

School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (rolls off the tongue..)
Location: Urbana and Champaign, IL
Founded: 1867
Student Population: 40,616 total, 31,932 undergrad
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA Division 1
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Assembly Hall
Seating: 16,618
Opened: 1963
Head Coach: John Groce
Experience 1st year

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Silver Bullet Points Does Some Teambuilding

Written March 28th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Lots of excitement in your Wednesday updates…

Ah, balloons...

Buckeye Hoops 411

Buckeye Football 411

  • The Wait Is Over! As you’re reading this, the Ohio State football team is preparing for it’s first practice of the spring; and the coaches are as excited as the fans are, it seems. Be on the lookout for news and notes from today’s open practice, as well as a great preview from the Athletic Department later Wednesday. As happy as Buckeye fans are to see the new regime, I’d have to say Badger cheerleaders were even more excited.
  • Tonight! We Dine In The WHAC!!!! Monday was the “Champion’s Dinner” as a reward for hard work during spring conditioning, and while details are still forthcoming we know that there was a relatively small number of Buckeyes who were honored for their efforts in the classroom, weightroom, and on the practice field. Sounds as if the “winners” were treated to filet and other goodies, while the rest of the team had “grilling” fare- hot dogs, burgers, etc.  Please note that I said “grilling”…

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