We continue with this weeks roundtable with our band of merry men who write how they really feel about all things Buckeye related. I really enjoyed the football and wanted to see how everybody felt about basketball today. As you can see there are plenty of thoughts around the shooty hoops(or lack there of that is Ohio State 2014.
How many times have you changed the channel while watching the men’s basketball team? Specifically, what is bothering you the most?
Empire Chris - If I turn on the game, I am keeping it on, unless there is OSU football to be had. That said, the shot selection from the Buckeyes is by far the most frustrating thing I have witnessed this season. There is no reason for this team to go 0-4 in B1G play, especially against teams like Nebraska.
Empire Ryan - I haven’t changed it mid game all season, but I did not watch the last game at Illinois at all. Frankly I think I needed a break from the chaos that is watching Ohio State play either football or basketball lately. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I may care too much. The Buckeyes have a way of reeling us back in even when it looks like all hope is lost during games. It happened in the Orange Bowl, against MSU in both football and basketball, and then the lack of offense on the court is a pure mirror of the lack of defense on field.
MOTSAG Jeremiah - I tend to watch the games on my phone or laptop so I dont change the channel. I think right now it is mainly a mental issue with the team. I wish they weren’t afraid to shoot and would shoot more. I also wish Amir Williams would get angry really angry.
Patrick - How many games have they played? The pure lack of shooting. It’s amazing they don’t have one guy to depend on to score and that Aaron Craft hasn’t developed some kind of shot in four years.
Charles - Since I live in Australia I don’t get a chance to watch many basketball games as they are often on when I am at work.
Mali - I’m not allowed to watch the shootyhoops, as per Eric’s mandate. What bothers me is how much that bothers me… I used to not care about basketball, but now I get as invested in watching the Basket-Bucks as I do the football ones… when I get to sneak in a glance at a game or two.
Ken - None. Inconsistency. For a team with a lot of upperclassmen on the floor, they don’t play like it.
Scott - I haven’t seen as many games as I would have liked but I have only changed the channel because of the way they are playing twice. Other channel changes come during timeouts.
WVaBuckeye – sadly, when I actually have time to watch the Buckeyes, I watch with my wife and she makes me turn the channel because they do poorly when we do watch, so yeah, there’s that!
Who is disappointing you the most on the men’s team? Read More
The Buckeyes (16-4, 3-4) hosted the Nittany Lions (10-10, 1-6) to try to move their winning ways to two in a row. This would be a challenge, since the Nittany Lions just took down Nebraska, the team that laid the wood to Buckeyes last week. Being the good hosts they tend to be, Ohio State and Penn State went to overtime before losing the game 71-70. A fumble-around effort by the Buckeyes at the buzzer had the expected outcome; we didn’t get the shot off. Thus ends OSU’s 18 game winning streak against PSU. Another subpar offensive night 38% and defensive night 48% allowed doomed the Buckeyes. The loss drops OSU to 16-5, 3-5, with their last two losses against Nebraska and Penn State. Ponder that for a bit.. Frankly, I don’t know what to say at this point, I welcome your thoughts..
Ohio State overcame early poor shooting 27% (2-11) through the 1st 8 minutes to end the half at 46% (13-28) shooting. Meanwhile, PSU was making 54% of their shots, so there was no opportunity to gain any separation on the Lions in the 1st half to have a lead 35-31.
Second half play was back and forth, with PSU tying the game a a little over a minute at 62 and kept it tied at end of regulation despite several OSU attempts as time expired. At the 7:45 mark in the half, Ohio State had an 11 point lead, 59-48. They gave up 11 points in less than 8 minutes.
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (16 pts, 7 rbs), Amir Williams (12 pts, 6 rbs) and Lenzelle Smith (15 pts, 3 rbs). Penn State was led by Brandon Taylor (19 pts, 4 rbs), D.J. Newbill, (25 pts, 8 rbs), Graham Woodward (11 pts, 1 rbs) and Tim Frazier (8 pts, 10 rbs.)
Thursday’s contest saw two streaking teams; unfortunately for their fans, streaking in the wrong direction. Despite their streak, the Buckeyes entered the game as 11 point favorites, so at least on the surface it was the “get well” game that Ohio State needed. And indeed it was, with Ohio State surviving 1st half shooting woes (29%) to emerge with a much needed 62-55 win.
The Buckeyes were led by LaQuinton Ross (18 pts), Lenzelle Smith Jr (16 pts) and Aaron Craft (11 pts). Craft also filled the stat sheet with 5 assists and 6 rebounds. In addition to improved shooting in the 2nd half 54% (13-24), OSU also improved its ball handling, committing only 5 turnovers, compared to 7 in the 1st half. There were still a few wrinkles to work out, but this was a much better performance at both ends of the court, particularly in the 2nd half. Hopefully, this may be the springboard to boost the Buckeyes’ confidence and get them back on track
The Fighting Illini were led by Joseph Bertrand (19 pts), Nnanna Egwu (10 pts) and Jon Ekay (11 pts). Egwu nearly scored a double-double as he pulled down 9 rebounds.
The Buckeyes are hoping to get back on the winning track versus Nebraska after a rough opening to the meat of conference play. Unfortunately, road wins tend to be harder to come by.
That goes double for this conference.
Thad Matta’s Buckeyes have now lost three games in a row at Michigan State, at home against Iowa, and at Minnesota. That murderer’s row wasn’t considered to be the toughest stretch in the conference slate, which does not bode well for the remainder of the season. This is also the first time Matta has lost three games in a row since 2008-2009, when games at Wisconsin (55-50), at Northwestern (72-69), and at home against Illinois (70-68) got the Buckeyes. That year was also the last time Fran McCaffery got the better of Thad Matta, as the Buckeyes fell to Siena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way, it’s time to talk about the positives. The Buckeyes have been playing terrible basketball the last three games. The turnover numbers alone for Scott and Craft (26 in three games) are appalling, and the team as a whole have committed 51 in the same span. This is not typical Thad Matta basketball, and I’m sure he’s working hard to get the problems cleared up.
“Wait, I thought you said the doom and gloom was over?”
The Buckeyes tried to get off their two-game losing streak by taking a trip to The Barn Thursday night. Not an easy task.
In a back-and-forth contest, the Buckeyes ended up on the short side 63-53; their 3rd consecutive defeat and 2nd by double digits. To be honest, this team looks lost and without identity and is not playing with confidence right now. The issues that plagued them against Iowa were still present; no defensive answer for opponent inside play (Eliason had a double-double) and poor shooting (35% FG, 61% FT). Coming down the stretch in the 2nd half, players were passing up shots. Game narrative is below, read at your peril.
On to game action; OSU got off to a less than solid but good enough start, and at the under-16 held a 7-4 lead, highlighted by a 3-pointer by LaQuinton Ross. At the 15 minute mark, Minny had 5 turnovers and OSU was playing much more aggressive interior defense, a welcome sight from the previous game. They were only 3-12 from the filed, so it wasn’t all rosy. Of course, Minnesota took a cue from Iowa and played a good bit of zone defense to force OSU to beat them with actual shooting.
Moving to the under-12, OSU held a 9-6 lead, and Minnesota was “winning” the turnover battle 8-0. As poorly as OSu was shooting 21% (3-14), it helped that Minny had that many turnovers. However, the Gophers picked up the intensity at that point with man-to-man full court pressure which resulted in 2 quick Minny baskets to give them the lead 10-9.
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes hosted the #20 Iowa Hawkeys this afternoon at Value City Arena. And good hosts they were, too, falling to the Hawkeyes 84-74.. After winning 15 consecutive games, the Buckeyes have now lost 2 in a row. This loss basically came down to two factors; Ohio State’s porous interior defense and turnovers. Iowa had their way with their interior offense and OSU’s turnovers short-circuited several possessions. Oh, and Ohio State needs to figure out how to effectively attack a zone defense.
An early Iowa layup ( was quickly answered by a Zelle Smith layup +1 to give the Bucks a quick 3-2 lead. Both team came out in strong man-to-man defenses and were attacked by weaves, high screens and off-ball cuts. At the under-16 timeout, Iowa held a 10-9 lead and the pace was frantic with 13 combined shots taken. Iowa was aggressive in attacking the basket, with all of its point in the paint, which went a long way to explain their 71% FG shooting. Meanwhile, OSU , while sometimes running a double post set with McDonald and Ross, seemed into to spring Ross out to the wing for perimeter shots.
Throughout the first 8 minutes of play, Iowa had inched their lead to 4, 19-15. Two styles of play were showing up; OSU’s preference for a perimeter offense, with some inside movement, and Iowa’s aggressive attacking of OSU’s interior defense.
Going into the under-8 timeout, the combination of Amedeo Della Valle and Marc Loving added some energy to the Buckeyes as both players looked to go to the basket; both to shoot and to pass. Curiously, the teams seemed to exchange offensive philosophies; Iowa settling for a predominantly jump-shot offense while Ohio State began to drive to the basket. At this point, OSU was up 23-21. Of course, an Iowa 4 minute stretch without a field goal helped.
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0) dusted off Nebraska on Saturday, but have a much tougher opponent on Tuesday. The team plays#5 Michigan State University (13-1, 2-0) at the Breslin Center, tipping off at 9:00 PM EST.
Here’s their Profile
We have an important game coming up on Tuesday (you knew that, that’s why you’re here) between #3 OSU vs #5 MSU that has conference and national rankings implications. I’m going to change up the usual “Pregame Glance” format, because we are fortunate enough to have my friend John stopping in for a brief Q&A. As a refresher, John and I go back, professionally and personally for close to 15 years, and I consider him a good friend. I also consider him a knowledgeable Spartan basketball fan, par excellence. Last season, John graced our little corner, and again, fortunately, he agreed to help us out in previewing this Michigan State team. So. let’s get started:
The Buckeyes welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Columbus for the first OSU home game in the Big Ten this season. Through the first half, the Huskers gave as good as they got, sticking with the Buckeyes before falling apart late in the first half as the Buckeyes claimed a 84-53 victory. The Buckeyes were led in scoring by Amadeo Della Valle, who both scored 15 points on 5/5 shooting, 3/3 from beyond the arc. Joining him in double digits were Marc Loving and Shannon Scott with 13, LaQuinton Ross with 11, and Amir Williams with 10. For Nebraska, Terran Petteway tied ADV in scoring with 15, followed by Leslee Smith with 11.
The game started sluggishly for both squads in this early Saturday matchup. Neither team found much easy success against the opponents defense, except when a breakdown occured after a long rebound sequence. Ohio State’s issue, continuing from their game against Purdue, was the inability to buy a basket early, struggling with their shooting from all areas of the court, including free throws.
Despite Nebraska missing their big 7-1 boomer in the paint, Sergej Vucetic, due to the flu, the Huskers were not afraid of attacking the paint. They worked hard getting the ball low, and fought hard on the box-outs to earn themselves tough offensive rebounds. By being patient and taking what was available against the gritty OSU defense, Nebraska earned themselves a four point lead before the second TV timeout.
It helped Nebraska significantly that the Buckeyes seemed lethargic and uninterested in the game. While the defense was there, it didn’t have the same energy that they usually execute with. This reflected on the offensive end too, with sloppy shooting, and half-hearted motions. Finally, a little bit of intensity on the defensive end flipped Sam Thompson’s offensive switch, spurring him to score four unanswered points – his first in Big Ten play this season.