I Got to Say It Was a Good Day

Posted by Vico in Hoops |

Evan Turner had a good day
Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God; I don’t know but today seems kinda odd.  Without continuing with the song in question any further than I already have, this must be a result of yesterday being a good day for both basketball teams for Ohio State.  The men went to great lengths to get off the bubble by holding on for a 52-47 victory over the nerds in the regular season finale.  Afterwards, the women doubled the pleasure with a strong show of defense in the final minutes, winning the Big Ten Tournament as a result.

The men’s team probably needed the victory in their season finale in order to make the choice a little easier for the tournament selection committee.  Failing that, the Buckeyes were left with a resume that had them a 19 win team, a 9-9 team in conference and losers of 6 of their last 8 games.  Workable, sure, but far, far from desirable.  However, Evan Turner’s 10 points with under 7 minutes left to play lifted Ohio State to the victory and safely (we should hope) into the NCAA tournament.  His 17pts (7/11 FG) and 5 assists were game highs among the Buckeyes and perhaps the biggest reason why the Buckeyes won this game in spite of themselves.  The Buckeyes stormed off to a 21-6 lead early in the first half, only to score 4 more points through the final 11 minutes of the first half.  When the start of the second half is considered as well, the Buckeyes scored an astounding 6 points in almost 20 minutes of game action.  Muy impresivo, indeed.  The not-so-stellar display of offense — or stellar display of turnovers in light of the Nerds’ 1-3-1 look, whichever you feel is appropriate — through this time afforded the Nerds the window necessary to rally from such an early deficit to take a slim lead halfway through the second period.  With the game locked in the final 10 minutes of the game, some quick points by BJ Mullens and Turner’s 10 points of his team’s final 14 were enough to lift the Buckeyes to the victory, avenging — to some extent — the loss earlier in Evanston.

The 17 points and 5 assists for Turner allowed him to finish 3rd in the conference in PPG, a very good .511 FG percentage, second in free throws made (t-1st in attempts), 4th in conference in RPG, and 9th in APG.  More importantly, if we treat the Big Ten’s MVP as something other than the best player on the best team, I see very, very few candidates more deserving than Evan Turner.  He leads his team in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals and is second in blocks.  Heck, he even leads his team in turnovers too.  Yet, perhaps the prevalence of turnovers — 4 against the Nerds in Value City Arena — is a metaphor for how much he has to do for the Buckeyes.  In short, nothing could get done for Ohio State, the 5th best team in the Big Ten, unless Evan Turner is the one doing it.  The only other player that I’ve seen for whom a similar claim could be made is Talor Battle for Penn State.

Get her on the court and she's trouble, Jantel Lavender fucked around and got a double double (25pts [11/15fg], 13rebs). Okay, I'll stop there.
Elsewhere, the ladies went to great lengths to show that they’re finally ready to do some damage in March by winning the Big Ten Tournament in an impressive fashion.  Sure, it wasn’t exactly the two asskickings that they handed out in their previous tournament games (70-53 over Illinois, 72-56 over Iowa), but the opponent was much more formidable (Purdue).  The circumstances that followed from playing a quality opponent in Indianapolis, where Purdue fans were able to show up en masse1, shows the grit this team finally has.  Samantha Prahalis, the electrifying freshman point guard for the Buckeyes, picked up her fourth foul early in the second half and rode the pine until just before the final TV timeout.  Worse yet, the Buckeyes also got almost no production from Shavelle Little and Brittany Johnson.  And yet, with all these negative factors working against the Buckeyes, the defense held strong.  In the final minutes of a tight game, the Buckeyes forced Purdue’s offense to degenerate into a shot clock violation, a jump ball on a trip and an errant shot to end the game.  Super soph Jantel Lavender’s last second free throw was enough to give the Buckeyes the 67-66 victory and coach Jim Foster his second Big Ten Tournament championship.

The way the Buckeyes have played of late provides optimism that this Jim Foster team may finally achieve something that has eluded previous teams during his tenure in Columbus: a tournament run in March.  Foster has had some great teams in his past, more than a few arguably better than this one.  However, unlike those previous teams, injuries and inconsistency hasn’t been the case here.  There’s been no faltering down the stretch, his players are healthy, and there seems to be no fatigue here.  Moreover, with a likely spot in the Columbus subregional, some home-cooking should propel this team into the Round of 16.  Jantel Lavender should make sure of it.  She’s unstoppable, inside and out.  I can’t imagine many teams will have a way to stop her.

  1. Ohio State was well represented too, but the Purdue fans helped make it a lively atmosphere for a title game. []


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.


One Response to “I Got to Say It Was a Good Day”

  1. 1 Ohio State Basketball

    The woman are playing better than men for sure this year. I hope the women can continue to perform well when the get to the NCAA tournament which has been an issue in the past.

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