In a lengthy regular season that results in a conference tournament followed by a national championship tournament, it’s hard to call a game on a Wednesday night against Minnesota a “must win” game. But that’s exactly what tonight’s battle at the Schottenstein Center with the Minnesota Golden Gophers was for our Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team. Coming off a horrible loss on Sunday at Wisconsin and with Michigan State looming this Sunday, the Buckeyes needed the Gophers to right the ship and did just that in a convincing 71-45 win.
With the win the Buckeyes improve to 19-7 on the year, 9-5 in the Big Ten.
Aaron Craft’s buzzer beating three ended what was a first half of missed opportunities for Ohio State. The Buckeye defense regained its lost mojo and forced Minnesota into 12 first half turnovers but could only convert the miscues into ten points. The Bucks lead 29-23 at the half, but you had the feeling they could have blown the game wide open at several different spots.
The second half turned out to be a different story. The Buckeyes continued to clamp down on defense, meanwhile shots began to fall and easy transition buckets found them up 41-31 at the 12:00 mark and they never looked back.
Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 19. He was followed for Ohio State by Shannon Scott with 11 and Laquinton Ross with 10. Minnesota was led by Andre Hollins with 11 and Oto Osnieks with 10.
The Buckeyes have now won 6 straight over the Golden Gophers. Tonight’s 26 point win is the largest in the series with Minnesota since the Buckeyes abused the Gophers 94-63 on March 4th 1992. Read More
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hearing from some “new voices” here at tBBC… If you’re interested in being a part of this series, drop us a line!
Like every coach in college basketball, Ohio State’s Thad Matta is often criticized by fans and supporters. One thing Matta is not usually criticized for, though, is his ability to recruit top-notch talent.
Except for this upcoming season.
Ohio State’s 2012 recruiting class does not have any player ranked in the top 150. In fact, the Buckeyes’ class contains a grand total of one commit: Amedeo Della Valle, a 6’3” point guard from Henderson, Nevada.
Coming off a season that resulted in a trip to the Final Four, the Buckeyes lost All-American forward Jared Sullinger and guard William Buford, OSU’s third all-time leading scorer. It was also a season that ended with Jordan Sibert and J.D. Weatherspoon electing to transfer to Dayton and Toledo, respectively. With those four out of the picture, many Buckeye fans seem to be very concerned about the lack of a 2012 recruiting class.
The sky is not falling, though. Next year’s Buckeyes will be just fine.
Replacing Sullinger and Buford will no doubt be a challenge, but OSU has several players that were patiently waiting their turn on Matta’s bench just a year ago. Read More
Yesterday, ESPNU ran a number of High School Basketball games. One of those games featured #9 Milton (GA), including point guard Shannon Scott, against #1 Oak Hill (VA). Oak Hill found themselves down quickly to a surprisingly talented Milton team and eventually lost 75-69 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
The storyline of the game, though, was the play of Shannon Scott, an OSU Basketball signee. Scott, who was matched up against Duke signee Quinn Cook, scored 12 points in the first half on the way to a 24-7 Milton lead. While Scott was not forced to guard Cook one-on-one, he was still able to display great ability in driving past Cook to the basket. Cook scored 16 points and picked up 8 assists, but shot an abysmal 5-19 (26.3%) from the floor.
This is a great sign for OSU going into next season. With Aaron Craft doing so much this year, including what I believe to have been a breakout game for him against Penn State last night, along with Lenzelle Smith and Shannon Scott, the Buckeyes will be set at point guard heading into the future. This has been such a sore position of need for us the last few seasons, so it’s big to have a stable of great players to fit into the position. Scott will clearly provide another dimension, possibly playing a critical 6 man role by scoring off the bench. This would be exactly opposed to Aaron Craft’s more floor general, distributor style. A nice change of pace during the course of a game.
For more discussion of the Milton/Oak Hill game, the ESPN game preview can be found here.