Bucky tops the Buckeyes

Posted by Vico in Hoops |

On a primetime slot Saturday night, the Buckeyes showed how you can shoot 60 percent for most of the game, hold the opponent to 36% shooting, and still lose.  The Buckeyes were outrebounded on the offensive end 14-3 and turned the ball over 19 times in a 55-50 loss in the Kohl Center.

I was hoping the week off would make Ohio State well-rested so it could finally overcome that Kohl Center jinx.  If anything, the week off made them look rusty in the first half.  I don’t know if the appropriate metaphor is “ice cold”, or “rusty” or if the Buckeyes played with “hands of stone”, but the miscues in the first half were strange to say the least and ran the gamut of lazy dribbling, sailing an uncontested backcourt pass into the scorer’s table, and failing to secure an intercepted pass, and, yes, failing to secure a rebound.  These fortuitous bounces seemed to all go Wisconsin’s way.  A player like Joe Krabbenhoft doesn’t get 6 steals in a game unless you’re doing something seriously daffy.  There was nothing crisp about the first half for the Buckeyes, though they only trailed by one at intermission.  Sadly, the second half didn’t get too much better.  The Buckeyes did have a spurt here and there, but faltered in the final minutes for a 5pt loss.

There was poor run of play from just about everyone this game.  BJ Mullens had 7 points off 3-3 shooting, but 2, if not all 3, field gaols came from easy dunks.  His 5 turnovers weren’t particularly helpful, though his rebounding effort (7) was helpful in the second half.  Lauderdale again started, but his 2 points and 2 rebounds performance put him on the pine in lieu of Mullens for the start of the second half.  Jon Diebler only took 4 shots this game and his lone basket came on a backdoor cut and layup.  The commentators drew attention to who was guarding him (Bohannon, I think) and how he was face-guarded and effectively shadowed the entire game.  This is true, but it doesn’t factor in how Diebler still struggles to create his own shot and Mullens and Lauderdale struggle to spring him loose on the screen.  The screens are ineffective (and either of the big men rightfully get called for a moving screen here and there) and Diebler isn’t brushing off them, allowing whoever was guarding him (Bohannon, I think) to easily stick to Diebler.  Jeremie Simmons started, but was the height of ineffective this game (0 points, 0/3 shooting, 0 assists and 2 turnovers).  William Buford also took a step back in the second half.  He finished with 11 points on the game, but had only 2 in the second half.

Evan Turner, however, did show why he is a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate and, perhaps, the frontrunner for the award at this time.  With everyone else ineffective in basically all facets of offense — distributing, scoring, setting screens, you name it — Turner took it upon himself to put forward a Herculean, and almost compensatory, effort.  His 23 points off 9/13 shooting was good for 46 percent of the team’s offensive production for the game.  He also added 5 rebounds and 5 of the Buckeyes’ 10 total assists for the game.  Yes, he also had 6 turnovers, but this is an artifact of the basic fact that Atlas never had it so tough.

PJ Hill
While Simmons’ performance stunk out loud, PJ Hill again showed why he should be a fan favorite, if only the people that show up at the Value City Arena cared about the basketball game they’re watching.  He’s limited on offense, and even a little gunshy.  We saw as much when he inexplicably found himself driving towards the basket, found himself open, with the ball and under the basket, but hesitated and allowed Wisconsin to recover.  However, the effort on defense is fantastic, even if a little reckless (see: 4 fouls).  2 of his 5 points on the game came from intercepting an inbound heave to midcourt and affording himself a breakaway dunk.  Hill finished tied for a season high in minutes (26, same as the Purdue game) and points (5, same as his output against Houston Baptist).  His other basket came on a three pointer, where the soliloquy in my apartment started with an “oh noo…” when the shot was attempted and a Kool-Aid Pitcher-esque “OHHH YEEEAH” when the shot was good.

Again, mediocre-at-best point guard performance will hinder this team for the rest of the season, and Simmons — in spite of his performance — is probably the team’s best option going forward.  Yet, it’s good to know that the backup at the position will go balls deep every game.

With the loss, the Buckeyes slide to 4th in the Big Ten overall standings, but still firmly in the running for second place in a season where Michigan State is basically assured the regular season conference crown.  The Buckeyes next travel to Evanston, where I hope they will exact some revenge by pounding on the nerd school of the Big Ten.  The game played last night will be the only conference game between the Badgers and Buckeyes this season.


Written by: Vico | full bio

Vico is the nom de guerre of the founder and current website chair of Our Honor Defend. He is currently living in exile in Alabama.


3 Responses to “Bucky tops the Buckeyes”

  1. 1 WestNinth

    Tough loss. Hopefully the guys can come back strong from this one.

  2. 2 Kip

    Not sure if many people got that joke, but the MINE! reference made me laugh so hard I cried. Thanks for that.

    Oh and the end of that game was almost unwatchable from a stupid mistakes standpoint.

  3. 3 Vico

    I know that wasn’t picked up by a lot of people. I can’t imagine many people know the story behind that, but I like it that way.

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