Michigan State at Ohio State 2nd half timeout thoughts

First timeout – Drill Buckeyes did this week after Wisconsin where they practice with no rules seems to have made a difference. Can’t look cool and play basketball hard and well, unless you’re Julius Erving.

2nd timeout – Buckeyes 44-43 – Reffing a game is an impossible task. Nick Ward gets the benefit of the call when Trevor Thompson just whacked an arm on his tip in basket. Trevor did not get the same call first half.

This is a battle till the end. Can the Buckeyes overcome. These kids need a win bad.

3rd timeout – Buckeyes 52-50 A. JaQuan Lyle is playing great on offense. B. Marc Loving is not. TOO many unforced errors. Here’s the ball, take it. He knows he can do better.

Add in game note – When in doubt, back it out. Jae’Sean – No, what was that???

4th timeout –  56-56 Buckeyes have these games where they do not handle fast breaks well. This is one of them.

5th timeout – Buckeyes 64-58 If Jae’Sean Tate makes a deep corner three late in a close game with a rival, it sure feels like a great omen for Ohio State.

In game note – On his foul on the three – Trevor Thompson – You’re really tall. Just be a threat sometimes. Unnecessary foul.

6th timeout – Buckeyes 66-60 Giving credit, T. Thompson is playing very well. Kam Williams came out as aggressive and effective as I’ve seen him at Ohio State in this level of game. Big points early. Kam, have you taken a  shot in the 2nd half? 3:57 to go. Got to have this win.

Note – Miles Bridges is out of his mind shooting the three ball this game.

Note – Nick Ward is a true beast. One of those from the Jabberwocky poem, too.

7th timeout – Buckeyes lead 69-65…1:06 left to play. Ohio State possession. Is it possible Ohio State will win this game? This possession needs to go at the rim at some point. Use the clock. Get off a good shot.

8th timeout – 20.6 left…Buckeyes lead 70-67. Someone on the Buckeyes better make free throws. Can’t allow this game to be a ‘How in the living daylights did the Buckeyes find a way to lose this one?’

9th timeout – Prayers.

Note – Kam Williams is fouled. He is the guy I want shooting these shots.

10th timeout – Make the shots. Handle the MSU transition to offense.

Kam makes one. MSU misses. Tate rebounds. Fouled. Makes one.

Buckeyes win. I’m a grown man about ready to puddle up.

Yeah for the good guys!

 

 

 

ghost the @ Wisconsin 2nd half “When do the wheels fall off the bus?” edition

Wisconsin starts off the 2nd half leading 45-27….

Buckeyes start off getting Trevor Thompson a shot on right block.—>Vito Brown, a Bowling Green, Ohio native, responds with a three.

Lyle misses a shot, Thompson tips but misses—>Vito Brown hits a three…51-27…

Lyle misses a three, Tate strips Nigel Hayes, Loving misses a three…got to keep giving JaQuan Lyle credit here…he’s going to the lane and kicking the ball for OPEN-OPEN-OPEN three attempts and no one is a Scarlet jersey is hitting those shots!

Wisconsin turnover…Loving to Kam Williams right of key, pump fake and rive all the way to rim for two…51-29…

Hayes is fouled by Tate…misses 1st FT & 2nd…Lyle again threatens the lane…fouled on shot attempt…Buckeyes are losing BIG but Lyle has been solid, I think…no FTs, though…inbounds, Williams curls to right FT line elbow and hits the jumper…51-31…17:07…

Buckeyes are playing this game but down 20 they look sand blasted…a powerful force has ahold of them…they can’t get away…wondering what Thad Matta and his staff had to say to them at halftime…what were the expressed objectives in the locker room to try and get back in the game?

Hit shots would be first on my list. Dig in on D the 2nd.

Happ cuts R to L diagonally across lane, catches pass on time, Trevor Thompson stays with it to get the clean block from behind…2nd time he’s done that…Trevor, also, is solid…wish for more from him…he’s had a good season…

Just saw replay of the Kam Williams successful curl jumper…he was way up in the air…no chance to get blocked…another wish, get Kam opportunities like that as much as possible…there’s a player who can make plays offensively…

Wisconsin swings ball left to right, Brown isolated on right FT elbow, drives w/Loving on his hip, and is met at the hoop by Trevor Thompson…an emphatic SWAT of that shot…

Thompson has earned respect this season…congrats Trevor!

Koenig drills a top of the key three….54-31 — 16:32…Showalter ties Lyle up…held ball…to Wisky…Koenig again w/the three…15:46—>57-31…

Definitely have to go there…Third wheel on the Buckeye bus has fallen off after those consecutive threes by Koenig…Ohio State is a brand name every one wants to take on and beat up on, if possible…you think people in Wisconsin, football and basketball fans, aren’t harking back to football beatdowns and hoop wars by and with Ohio State? Teams want to defeat the Buckeyes every single shot they have…Ohio State is huge, successful name…OSU air rifle team? Yep, they’re Buckeyes, take ’em down…Synchro swimming? Yep, take ’em down.

Buckeye hoops wants to stay on top it needs to realize there is no quarter given at all. Bring it or get stung.

Tate picks up two on left hand drive.—>Hayes scores layup and is fouled by Tate…Hayes misses the and one FT…Badgers rebound…entry pass to Happ…passes back out for re-entry try…gets it immediately from D’Mritik Trice on the bounce. Happ baseline around Thompson…Thompson is off balance, am sure he’s not wanting to get that foul, Happ with two…

Wisconsin is up 61-33….Ohio State is methodically being taken to the junk yard by the Badgers…payback, I think…

As Buckeyes bring ball up, I notice there’s no expressed assumption on court that the almost 30 point deficit can be cut down. Off court, on the Buckeye bench, the entire team and coaching staff is sitting down. Nobody’s moving. Every single player and coach has is sitting with linked hands in lap. Absorption.

These kind of games have to stop. This is exactly when all the wheels fall off the bus for me….if there’s 28 wheels on the Buckeye bus they have all fallen off onto the highway surface, even though the vehicle is only moving forward at about 12 miles an hour.

This is the @Maryland game from last season all over again. Ohio State is again doing the opposite of the Energizer Bunny.

As a fan it’s difficult in the extreme to see a team you would walk the Amazon River to watch play as though these minutes don’t matter. I saw this happen @Maryland last season. My one hope this season was not to see that happen again this season. But it has.

Williams misses a three. Buckeyes foul on other. Replay of chicken wing Ethan Happ used to get around Thompson is shown. Call that, ref!

Nigel Hayes bakes Andre Wesson for a baseline dunk. Potter hits two free throws. Hayes and Andre Wesson are talking to each other a little at their foul line spots. Hope Andre is telling him that dunk is not going to happen again.

Ilkainen with a three.—>Lyle to Potter from behind the three line…Potter immediately back to Lyle…Three for JaQuan…good hoops play…Showalter strips Lyle…

Wisconsin 66-35 w/12:56 left. Ilkainen w/another three. Ilkainen’s shot unfolds like a crane heading from his hand to the basket.

Potter answers with a three. He and Ilkainen enjoy some friendly anything you can do I can do better banter heading back up the floor.

Moments like that I enjoy about the players, despite the huge Badger lead. It humanizes the players. Really, they are they just kids on the playground. Only the asphalt is wood and there are 15,000 people in the park watching.

Potter blocks a Badger layup out of bounds.

ESPN shows Nigel Hayes mom, Talaya, sitting in the stands. There’s a lady who dislikes Ohio State and, I think, Thad Matta. I don’t know the entire story but whatever hard feelings were accumulated came through the recruiting process.

Here’s part of how Nigel Hayes ended up at Wisconsin: https://sconniesportstalk.com/2016/03/10/nigel-hayes-family/

http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/pages/nigel-hayes

Note: Nigel’s brother, Kenny, was a member of the Ohio State football team before ending up at the University of Toledo. The reason why is online.

Showalter with two. Loving is stripped by Khalil Iverson, a late developing player from Ohio who I enjoyed keeping an eye on at Delaware Hayes, HS.

Iverson passes to Showalter who alley oops back to Iverson for a crowd pleasing dunk.

The spare tire has now even fallen off the Buckeye bus. Iverson can fly. Badgers 73-41 and there is still 10:56 left to play. 32 points? I can’t fathom it.

At least Thad is now standing up in the bench area. Everyone else over there is still in the same position.

Kam Williams hits another FT line elbow jumper.

Think I’m just going to watch now. There aren’t any wheels left, anyway.

Get ready for Michigan State in the Schott.

Let’s see if we can get a mechanic to put some of those wheels safely back on the Buckeye bus.

Go Buckeyes!

 

Part of the future of Ohio State basketball – Kaleb Wesson

Check this out:

ghost the @ Wisconsin 1st half “When do the wheels fall off the Ohio State bus?” edition

The first half of last night’s Ohio State at Wisconsin game featured a slow but sure skid downwards. There are more than a few reasons why the Buckeyes could not compete with the Badgers. But the simple, but mystifying, message I took as a conclusion why is Ohio State didn’t make open shots.

—  —  —  —  —  —  —  — —  —

When do the wheels fall off the Ohio State bus?

I’m at 14-7. Ethan Happ just made a left hand bank on the left block. Loving misses a shot after a diagonal, right to left, drive through the lane. Subsequently, Nigel Hayes scores in the very same spot on the next possession. Wisconsin, 16-7.

A Tate layup and a Lyle three brings the scoring deficit closer at 16-12. Hayes bricks a wide open jump shot at 45 degrees left. Lyle assists Trevor Thompson. Wisconsin 16-14.

7-0 run by Ohio State.

—This game is dialed in to a sleepwalk pace. Neither the Buckeyes or the Badgers are showing much ferocity.—

Potter blocks Happ. Delaware, Ohio native Khalil Iverson picks up the loose, shovels a pass to Huber Heights, Ohio native D’Mitrik Trice, and he slices in a three. Wisconsin 19-14. 12:37 left in the first half.

When do the wheels fall off the bus?

Just saw stat. Trice is making 53% of his three point attempts this season. Impressive.

Tate with an awkward turnover trying to pass out from under the rim. Stat. Wisconsin has nine FGs and no turnovers.

Potter thwarts Happ again at the rim. Buckeye fastbreak. Loving on the move at left half court with ball. Jackson on far side away. Loving splits two defenders in the lane, gets all the way to the rim, and finishes with his left hand.

Wisconsin 19-16. 11:35.

Deep Wisconsin three by Jordan Hill. —->Loving turnover. Wesson miss of a three, left side.

Bronson Koenig, short shot, left  lane for two.—> CJ Jackson, from Lyle, misses open three right corner.

Koenig drive right of lane for two.—>CJ Jackson, after drive and kick from Lyle, misses open rim out three, top of key.

(Lyle is doing his job as point guard. He’s finding teammates for open shots.)

Wisconsin’s Hill misses up close.—>CJ Jackson finds Williams for open three. Kam does not take it. Why? Moves left. Tries fade away, right foul line corner. Miss

Koenig pushes off in lane but Jackson is called for a foul. Laughable call.

Koenig makes two free throws. 6:54 to go. Buckeyes haven’t scored since 11:35. Score is now 28-16.

One wheel has at loosened up and is in the process of falling off the bus.

Thompson is fouled by Happ. Makes two FTs. 28-18.

Both teams still are sleepwalking through this game. Guess what I’m saying is I’d rather see the Buckeyes pushing, shoving and being pissed (although I have the benefit of knowing the final score) than being lulled to sleepy bye land by the Badgers. Wisconsin is used to doing this to teams at home. Don’t respect an opponent in any way. Sling bottles and bricks at them and hide the band aid box when blood is drawn.

Go down swinging, Buckeyes.

When does the next wheel fall off the bus?

Trice misses a foul line jumper.—->Lyle posts on left lane block, gets a entry feed from Williams, a nice new look, BTW, and score on a turnaround jumper. 6:10 left. Badgers 28-20.

Happ airballs in the lane. Why in the Land of Lincoln is ESPN showing a split screen of the game and Thad Matta? C’mon. Stop it.

Tate drives length of court, loses awareness and is picked by Happ for a turnover.

(#12 Brevin Pritzil is in for the Badgers. Isn’t he the same guy from Virginia, #5 Kyle Guy. Oh, it’s the man bun hairdo that got me.)

Loving with a block on Nigel Hayes. Tate with a block on Ethan Happ. Fading to the left, Koenig w/a right corner three. Badgers 31-20. 4:55.

Loving picks up a bounce pass turnover. Koenig drives on break & blocked by Loving at backboard. Buckeyes get two wide open shots at other end. Neither go down. Badger break at other end. Hayes fouled at rim by Loving & scores. FT goes down.

Jim Calhoun credits the Buckeyes for playing hard. Gives example of hustle on defense and blocked shot but also states Buckeyes aren’t making shots on offense. Not turning defense into offense.

Jackson drives baseline, dishes to Thompson. Iverson fouls. Trevor makes two FTs.—>Hill hits three for the Badgers. —->Thompson up fakes on block, spins to lane, left hand hook crawls around rim and falls out.——–>Koenig hits left corner three. 40-22. 3:02.

I’m busy watching the action. But a next wheel has fallen off the bus and I didn’t notice it happening.

The Hayes old fashion three, a Hill three and the Koenig three suddenly pushed the lead out to 18 from what was a 31-20 game.

Buckeyes move the ball. Loving is open left of the key and hits a three. Ohio State hasn’t hit enough of those to stay relevant in the Kohl Center in the 1st half. 40-25. 2:43.

It’s as simple as that. Start hitting open shots Buckeyes and things will get easier. Continue to miss and have troubles.

Not like Ohio State’s players can’t do it, either. Each player has played hoops his entire life. Concentrate and drain ’em.

Hayes tip in. 42-25. Tate airball bricks a three at left top of key. Bruises the backboard.

Iverson travel. Loving turnover. Throws a pass right to a Wisconsin defender while trying to get it to Trevor Thompson. Not a good look at all.

Hill three miss. Badger rebound. Happ drives & is fouled by Thompson. Happ bricks the 1st FT. (Didn’t he have trouble with that last season?) Bricks the 2nd.—->Jackson rebounds, drops it off to Lyle. He drives, bumps defender, dribbles a shot in. 42-25. 42.0

Buckeyes give up three to Koenig on other end. 45-27.

Lyle drives lane and kicks to Tate in left corner. Three attempt misses.

45-27. Wisconsin. End of 1st half.

Two wheels have fallen off the Ohio State bus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Buckeye hoop thoughts – Buckeye men’s recruits

Going to try this…even though thinking it might not be interesting to anyone but me…

I’ve run myself over with a number of local dump trucks in punishment for not setting my recording parameters properly to capture the Ohio State at Minnesota played on this past Sunday night.

The Buckeyes started off poorly. Playing on the road anywhere in the Big Ten is never easy. Minnesota’s Williams Arena, when rocking can, especially, be a most difficult location to get things done in. I’m hoping the team can lower its pulse rate early on at Wisconsin Thursday night.

It doesn’t get any easier at the Kohl Center, a place where Wisconsin rarely loses.

______________  _____________________

I’m going to start out with this so I don’t get accused of burying it…

Personally, I don’t think this is Thad Matta’s last season at Ohio State…unless this year’s squad falls completely apart, which means finishing the Big Ten schedule with a ratio of one win for every two losses, I don’t think Gene Smith will truly consider firing him…

A. The relative ineffectiveness this season, and subsequent loss for the season, of Ohio State’s pivotal talent, Keita Bates-Diop, has to be factored into the equation. Was he ever healthy this season?

B. Whatever any fan’s opinion of the current state of the program is, Thad has given some of the very best years of his coaching career to Ohio State. By any comparable standards, the positive quality of his career at Ohio State is undeniable.

C. IF he will someday step down, or be asked to, from the Ohio State head coaching position, it will be done with great care.

D. Thad Matta has earned the right to determine the future of his involvement at Ohio State.

That’s all I got to say about that.

___________  _________________

Watched the women’s team play at Michigan State Tuesday evening. I can’t recall many times I’ve watched Ohio State play in Breslin where it’s gone well.

I had no idea Spartan Tori Jankoska was anywhere near the all time Michigan State scoring record. She soon had 19 points on the way to 31 in the 1st half and I knew all about it then. The cherry on the top was after she passed the all time record, I think after Jankoska scored her ninth point, she then went on to record the single game scoring record by adding 11 points in the 2nd half for a total of 42.

I can’t recall a player setting two records of that type in the same game ever before. Can you?

__________ ______________________

The MSU game was maddening to watch. I love Kelsey Mitchell’s ability and most of the time she is off the charts with results. Her results on Tuesday reminded me of why I scratch my head about her every so often, though.

It’s hard to define Kelsey’s game. I’m not a coach. Just a long time observer. My observation is Mitchell is a player with exquisite shooting touch. So. How does she have streaks where she looks like the worst shot on the team?

She missed 14 of 18 shots she took Tuesday. At least nine of her attempts were total bricks. Five or six didn’t hit the rim, give or take a few, and came off the backboard at head bashing speed. Or missed everything.

Kelsey’s talent is amazing. When she’s on, and that’s a good bit of the time, Mitchell is as good a scorer as there is in college hoops, whether it’s the guys or the girls.

Just something I think about after she’s had a half or full game like that.

___________-  ______________

Overall, the Buckeyes acted like the basketball was way too hot to hold on to get a decent shot up at the rim. Their shot selection was u-g-l-y. Some of that is due to MSU’s defense but Ohio State badly missed many shots.  They appeared to sometimes just be throwing the ball at the basket. They made 23-74 in total and but eight of 36 in the second half alone. 31% overall.

Definitely wishing the Ohio State women a more effective and easier to watch game on Sunday at Purdue. They are 4-1 in conference so I’ll give them one u-g-l-y game and expect better for the foreseeable future.

——————– ________ —————

Ohio State Buckeye men’s team plays at Wisconsin tonight. The Badgers are 13-3 overall & 2-1 in conference.

Once again the Buckeyes have a shot to change the narrative. If you read this and are thinking there’s no way the Buckeyes can win tonight then I invite you not to watch. I have a prior commitment at 7:00 but I will make sure I get this game taped so I can view it in the morning.

Wisconsin lost 66-55 to Purdue this past Sunday after winning nine games in a row. There may be a bit of angst in Madison that came from the loss to the Boilermakers but it’s nothing like what the Buckeyes feel.

I always hope for the best for Ohio State hoops. This team needs to claw its way out of the hole it has fallen into. One that increasingly is filling with new dirt. After it does that, then we can talk.

____________ ______________

I try to watch as many Big 10 conference games as I can.

Non Buckeye players I’ve seen that I like in the conference so far are Penn State’s post Mike Watkins, Rutgers Mike Williams, Michigan State’s Nick Ward, Michigan’s Moritz Wagner, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Nebraska’s Tai Webster, Northwestern’s Vic Law, Malcom Hill from Illinois and Minnesota’s Nate Mason.

I don’t have a clear view of any Maryland, Wisconsin, or Indiana players I appreciate. Haven’t had the pleasure of watching much of those squads yet.

I think Watkins is going to be the envy of league post players for the next couple seasons. He’s good around the rim and mobile and lean, yet full of explosion and bounce.

Mike Williams seems to be a steady all round player with stats that reflect it. On a team that’s 0-4 in conference, with athletic talent like a Corey Sanders around, it’s hard to get noticed. But I appreciate the steady play of Williams.

Nick Ward is another player, and I say proudly, a Central Ohio person, who is a quality first year post player. Of the vaunted Michigan State recruiting class, he is the best of that crew. Hands down. Good show, Nick.

At 6’11, Moritz Wagner intrigues me. He can get some things done for you on offense, inside-out, outside-in. As a sophomore, he’s taken positive steps forward and exhibits a good attitude.

Neither Caleb Swanigan or Peter Jok need me to say too much about them.

Swanigan has gotten so much better this season. If you followed him through high school it was understood he had immense ability. I think what I’ve been most impressed with is the effort he’s put in to conditioning his body. It makes a big difference to be able to go, go, go when you start off with the large body he did.

Jok is a wonderful offensive talent to watch. He’s smooth as can be. A good leader.

Nebraska’s Tai Webster sometimes makes me think of former Ohio State all-time great, Jimmy Jackson. I’ve watched him motor down the court a number of times this season with the ball in hand and it’s been difficult for opponents to knock him off course. He’s powerful and fast and knows how to use those attributes. Another player who has made a leap.

Vic Law is long and athletic and is a hard matchup. He can go over or around you and is good on offense and defense. I’ve been waiting to see him play well on a consistent basis and this season he’s getting it done. (Honorable mention to Ohioan’s Dererk Pardon amd Gavin Skelly)

Malcom Hill. Another in a line of Illinois scorers who erupt with points. Fun to watch.

Nate Mason is a great point guard for Minnesota. Think I like the fact his speed is different from everyone else’s. Not his foot speed, although, he’s plenty fast. It’s his ability to change gears to get where he wants to go that impresses.

_____________ ____________________

Buckeye recruits are having good seasons, thus far, it seems.

Darius Bazley had to sit out 11 games I think when he transferred from Finneytown to Cincinnati Princeton. He should start playing within the next week. Looking forward to getting a few views of his ability in the high school setting.

Versailles Justin Ahrens apparently started the season off a bit slowly but has turned it on in a big way recently. He recently scored his 1,000th high school point and games I’ve read about lately he’s scored in mid 20s all the way up to 36. As just a junior Ahrens seems to be getting his feet set pretty well.

Upper Arlington’s Dane Goodwin has led his team to an 8-1 record and is near the tippy top of Columbus area scoring leaders. He was second on the list last time I looked at 27 points plus per game. Each season he’s played Dane has gotten better. This season he has the pressure of being the well known veteran on the Golden Bear team, who also committed to Ohio State a long time ago.

Hargrave Military Academy’s Braxton Beverly is in the midst of an excellent team season. He starts at point guard for Hargrave, often competing against top level competition. He is the snake in the weeds {A good snake : ) } that will strike you, if you aren’t paying attention, in terms of being a known quantity. Braxton is credited for his exemplary attitude off and on court. On court he is also credited for having a tenacity, and touch and feel for the game that will be a benefit for him at Ohio State when he is deployed by Thad Matta.

Kaleb Wesson’s Westerville South team has experienced two losses in a row, one to the Columbus area’s number one team, Pickerington Central, and the latter to an excellent and road seasoned Reynoldsburg squad. Versus Reynoldsburg hit an off balance three as time expired to win by a single point in regulation. Kaleb is scoring, rebounding, blocking shots, playing defense, and passing for assists not many big players can attempt. Wesson appears to continue to get in better and better shape.

Last thing on Ohio State recruits and Buckeye recruiting. Why is it that the Ohio State staff offers some deserving local/Ohio young players early on? Others, just as deserving, in Central Ohio/Ohio, aren’t offered in the same manner?

As an example, the one player in the Central Ohio area I think should have an offer by now is Pickerington Central point guard, 2019 class, Jeremiah Francis.

I know recruiting is far more complex than I can imagine. But I think the Buckeyes need to offer Francis soon.

 

 Change Duck to Badgers! Go Buckeyes.

Purdue 76 Ohio State 75 – Reaction

Last night’s one point Ohio State loss to Purdue was both excruciating and a certain type of fun.

Excruciating because every small movement within a portion of each play registered as a heavy plus or minus disturbance moving through the medium of the entire Ohio State season schedule.

A certain type of fun because, although, many might think the game was a waste to watch when the final score favored Purdue, I live to watch the players and team spill their guts on court representing The Ohio State University.

Since I was 10 years old it’s been that way and I watched Ohio State basketball games with my family even before that, too.

Ohio State hoops fans feel like we have some kind of understanding of what it must be like to compete at the level these guys are at. But in reality, unless a person has laced up basketball shoes, put on a collegiate level uniform and had to contend with some of the very best athletes in the world, it’s impossible to know how difficult it is.

Even people ultra dedicated to Buckeye hoops, like me and a few others I know of, are on the outside looking in where tangible evidence of the size, strength and speed, skill level, and basketball IQ are concerned.

But win or lose I watch every second of every game possible and last night’s Purdue game reminded me again of why hoops is my favorite collegiate sport.

It was an exciting game to watch. Even though the Buckeyes, despite many instances of excellent stretches of play, lost.

The very first collegiate basketball game I watched in person was a game between Ashland & Defiance held inside Marion (Ohio) County’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Ashland had a bunch of little guys. Defiance a bunch of bigger guys. The little guys won. It was a battle but speed and skill overcame size and strength. Those same variables have come into play in my mind ever since.

I’ve learned a basketball player is a basketball player no matter what their appearance might seem to divulge about them.

The Boilermaker program has always had it’s share of sizable people to represent it’s men’s basketball teams.

Joe Barry Carroll, Steve Scheffler and AJ Hammons are good examples.

This season’s Purdue team meet those standards. Isaac Haas is one of the biggest human beings I’ve ever seen play the game. At 7’2, it’s not only his height. It’s his size, strength, and shooting touch, too. He has some favorable physical advantages but he has some limitations as well.

At 6’9 250 or so, Caleb Swanigan is another big, strong Purdue player. He just happens to also have unusually large portions of skills, too.

On the other hand, Purdue’s freshman guard, Carsen Edwards, isn’t exactly huge. But he’s fast, quick, athletic and skilled.

Purdue, as a team, is put together pretty well. While not a top 5 team nationally the Boilermakers appear to have almost everything required to make a strong run at the conference championship and a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

To make the NCAA tournament this season, Ohio State needs to beat a few teams like Purdue in conference. Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin are a few of the teams that would fit nicely in that category, given the Buckeyes could earn a win against any combination of them. There are other in conference wins that would, also, be beneficial.

The Buckeyes coming so close last night to getting a win of that magnitude overwhelmed me with adrenaline I didn’t need in order to sleep after the game. I’m thinking the coaching staff, at least, and maybe the players, although they were probably worn out physically, faced the same battle to rest afterwards.

Sleep would have come much easier if the Buckeyes had won by a point, instead.

Back tracking a little, as last season trudged along pressure on the program built along the way. The team could never quite meet expectations. A crazy off season kept that pressure in place. The questions about this team picked right up as Ohio State stepped on court against the Naval Academy in November 2016.

Coach Matta’s ability to effectively coach at this stage of his career is a part of the conversation within that pressure. I have no idea what will happen this season if he cannot lead his team to an undisputed good showing when all is said and done.

But personally, I’m for Coach Matta all the way.

Then, last night after the game, more pressure was added when the news was announced Keita Bates-Diop will sit out the remainder of the season to have surgery on a leg stress fracture and to recover.

I didn’t know that during the game. I realized somewhere along the way he likely wasn’t going to play at all. But I had missed the pregame news he was out versus Purdue and now out for the season.

That’s awful news. It stinks. For Keita and his teammates.

Nevertheless, the season continues. Not much has changed.

Without Bates-Diop the Buckeyes played well enough to defeat Purdue. Ohio State has largely been without an effective KBD the entire season, anyway.

Near the end of last night’s contest and, especially, after Trevor Thompson picked up the loose ball under the rim at the end of the game and converted a shot to tie it up and was fouled giving Thompson a free throw chance to put the Buckeyes ahead, I thought Ohio State was finally going to add a very big win to its resume.

But it didn’t work out that way. There’s nothing for the Buckeyes to do except to travel to Minnesota and try to win on the road in The Barn/Williams Arena.

I have no reason to say it but I think Ohio State will walk out of The Barn with a win. The team has raised the level of it’s play. Minnesota is very good but Ohio State will play desperate with a lot of energy. The Gophers like an uptempo game, which I feel is a favorable style for the Buckeyes.

Sometimes desperate works.

Go Buckeyes!

 

Ohio State Buckeye women win at Northwestern

I haven’t been able to pay enough attention to the Ohio State women’s basketball team lately. If you are superstitious, then maybe that’s a good thing and I should stop writing right now. But I think I’ll go on and say a few things anyway because the Buckeyes are 3-0 in conference after a fun to watch 94-87 win in Evanston, Tuesday over the Wildcats.

Was finally able to watch my tape of the game this morning. First thing I noticed was freshman Kiara Lewis banking a three from the left wing. That was a beautiful shot.

I noticed Lewis and Tori McCoy, both from Chicago played a number of  minutes in this game near their hometown. Good for their family and friends to be able to see them take part in such a rousing victory.

Northwestern’s no slouch. Three Wildcats had 20 or more points and two others reached double figures. NU was also 2-0 in the Big Ten at tip-off.

This was an entertaining game to watch. Rarely was the action slow. These two teams went at each other. Ohio State also placed five players in double figure scoring and Kelsey Mitchell put on a show again with 33 points.

It’s Michell’s court, ball and hoop and the rest of the players are allowed to share it with her. Kelsey’s like an eel in how she moves. It’s inexplicable to try and describe her manner of getting things done.

But I’ll say the entire Buckeye team took on her sense of adventure and confidence inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. Games I’ve watched, or paid attention to highlights and comments from, earlier this season were against nationally regarded teams such as South Carolina and UConn. I saw some doubt present in those games.

There wasn’t any of that present in this game. Stephanie Mavunga, Sierra Calhoun and Linnae Harper have all added positive energy and talent. Where this team had questions was on defense. The effort and pressure the Buckeyes applied to a talented and athletic Wildcat squad impressed.

The main thing was this Buckeye team was having fun and showed passion for the game and those aspects translated into a very good win on the road.

Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff even got T’ed up when he disagreed with an official’s call. He was into it, too.

Next game for the Buckeyes will be a Saturday noon game versus Michigan.

Beat Michigan!

UConn at Ohio State…2nd half….Buckeyes get the victory…

 

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  • This can’t be a game Ohio State plays well in and loses…
  • Just can’t…
  • Brimah w/a hook over Potter…left baseline…
  • UConn are walling Ohio State from rim…
  • Vital w/two…38-32…
  • Tate goes for short yardage and is tackled…fouled…makes first FT…makes 2nd…calm stroke by Tate…needed those points…
  • UConn rebound, take and power dunk along side Potter…40-34 17:53…this one is slow crawling away from Buckeyes…Bucks have to make a run…
  • 42-34 UConn…
  • Lyle gets a drive to go…42-36 UConn 16:41…
  • Vital with airball…
  • Tate goes right at 7-footer…two…
  • Buckeyes with a mini-run…timeout…42-38..UConn.

Seems like whole season is in these last 15:00…wishing my Buckeyes well…

  • I like it…Lyle going to rim…doesn’t get hoop but gets fouled rebounding…
  • What will it take to get Kam Williams going?
  • Buckeyes D upgrade…
  • Lyle..fade at FT line…42-40 UConn…now Buckeyes need a stop…C’mon Buckeyes!
  • Jackson with a three with Kam Williams hand touching his nose…
  • BAD pass from Kam Williams…I know it’s reaction but….
  • Trevor Thompson needs to get the ball more in the offense…sweeping right hand hook at 11 feet for two…bounces lightly on rim and in…
  • 45-42 UConn…12:51
  • Clock foul up…Good to see students there tonight…crowd view looks like lower bowl at least has good coverage of fans…
  • Dang…Brimah with tip…late in time clock…
  • 47-42…UConn…11:45…timeout
  • Stops!
  • Buckeyes are digging…KBD to line…need two FTs…misses second…makes second…somehow…
  • Trevor Thompson fouled on rebound…Makes 1st…makes second…
  • 47-44…UConn…10:36…now’s the time to make a run…
  • Trevor Thompson with assist to KBD for dunk…47-47…timeout..

C’mon Buckeyes…you can do this…just stay solid and focus…

  • 9:59
  • UConn’s Enoch misses two FTs
  • C’mon Buckeyes…score…
  • Kam needs to just hit one!!!! C’mon Buckets!
  • Tate drive..no…
  • UConn travel…
  • Lyle drives and dishes…it’s a simple game sometimes…Thompson is fouled..makes one…makes two…BUCKEYES lead…49-47…
  • Now a stop, please…YES…
  • WORK THE BALL…no…quick shot…clang…if that look by Thad Matta is in response to Lyle’s quick trigger then I am right there with him on that…wide open, could’ve driven the ball…drive it for show and putt it for dough…get to the green JaQuan????
  • Timeout…Buckeyes 49-47
  • Stop, please…???
  • Purvis with a three…50-49…UConn
  • KBD misses a bunny….
  • UConn turnover…
  • Lyle with a layup…
  • Buckeyes with the ball and the lead after a UConn three airball…now wis the time to get buckets….
  • Nope…block by Lyle on Adams…
  • C’mon Buckeyes…this is killing me…but in a good way…can hear the students…Tate was fouled…have to, have to, have to make FTs…
  • Tate misses badly…why is it so hard?….makes second…sorry Jae’Sean…at least I’m into it…
  • Buckeyes 52-50…4:16…
  • Brimah with that easy going hook…late in the shot clock…and after a KBD block….dang…tie game…
  • Loving with put back…grit…let’s go
  • UConn post hits a shot…tied again…
  • Loving travels…one less bounce Marc…was looking to pass…
  • Thompson 15 pts/16 rebounds…all for not if Buckeyes can’t get a win…
  • How did Lyle not score? Makes a great steal and can’t finish…
  • Thompson with another rebound…fouled….makes both FTs….
  • Buckeyes up 56-54…Buckeyes with only 7 turnovers…2:22 left…
  • FINISH BUCKEYES!!! C’mon!
  • Get a stop!  YES! Purvis travels!
  • Now…points or FTs…
  • FTs, we’ll take it…Lyle takes it at Brimah…Brimah fouls out….make the dang free throws, Buckeyes!
  • 1:45 to go…
  • First goes down….second does, too…Timeout UConn…1:41…
  • C’mon Buckeyes…now put into practice what you’ve learned…
  • 58-54…get a stop…Buckeye D has been the wall lately…
  • YES!
  • Jae’Sean Tate…take the ball at the rim…instead, steps back and banks an airball….DANG!
  • Purvis misses an open three…KBD rebounds…58-54….46 seconds left…
  • Have to make FTs….Kevin Ollie was on the court in game…10 feet on it…technical???? What the heck????
  • Jon Crispin….THAT is not good officiating…No!  No! No!
  • Lyle at line…makes one…makes two…six point lead…Buckeyes…
  • 41 seconds left…
  • Game isn’t over…Buckeyes give a foul…UConn miss…Lyle rebound…fouled…makes FT…Makes 2nd…
  • Buckeyes utilize foul to give… 28 seconds left…
  • Adams banks a three….62-57 Buckeyes…Tate fouled…make those FTs Jae’Sean.
  • Badly misses 1st….shoulder shrug…wow…makes second…
  • Jalen Adams splits Jackson and Jae’Sean Tate…Tate hacks him and complains after made basket he didn’t foul…c’mon Jae’Sean…just wow…
  • Adams converts three point play…18.1 left….63-60…
  • Loving fouled….got-to-make FTs…C’mon senior…misses first…makes second…9.5 seconds left…Adams misses layup attempt…ball out after rebound scrum to UConn…
  • Oh my goodness! Buckeyes win…

I’m drained….Buckeyes answer a bad loss with a good win…that’s so good for this team…Now they can rest their weary bones a little and get ready for UCLA…

 

UConn at Ohio State…1st half…

 

 

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  • Excited, nervous, worried, hopeful for this game…
  • Jalen Adams gets off 1st – a two…
  • Looks like an active crowd…how many are there?
  • Great look by Lyle…three by Kam goes down.
  • Brimah hooks for two…
  • Another good pass by Lyle…J.Tate for two…
  • Quick, nonsensical pass by Tate…to Potter…comes in hot, unexpected and over his head backwards…can do better than those kind of decisions…
  • Lyle is under control tonight…layup, picks up UConn turnover at half-court, waits on team to come back down court instead of shootitng quickly, feeds Loving for a deep three!!!
  • 10-4—-
  • Tate left hand two bank
  • Jalen Adams for two…
  • Lyle to Potter to Tate…nice pass by Potter…
  • (Sorry, had to take a break to help with Christmas presents)
  • 13-10…Buckeyes have cooled off a little…

So far the pace and decision making is good for Ohio State…now keep making good decisions and trust the game plan…

  • KBD drops in a three-quarter hook jump hook….5 feet from rim after a drive…
  • Is that Thompson’s 2nd foul or KBD’s?
  • Jalen Adams is really good…rolls a fast break right hand going left bank shot in…
  • Trevor Thompson with the turn around rebound for two…
  • 17-13 Buckeyes
  • Potter is shooting too quickly…take another split second to gather and then shoot, Micah…
  • Nice drive and bounce pass by Lyle to Thompson…fouled…hits one…
  • Close game…Buckeyes are okay so far…I’m okay…LOL…
  • Dang big pile in lane after Thompson falls and gets bodies on top of him
  • 18-17…7:19
  • UConn slowly getting comfortable…Buckeyes are missing shots they get…not getting the good looks they earned early…

Won’t be able to deal with aftermath of this game if Buckeyes lose…fans will rant minus any mercy…

  • Adams hits two FT shots…UConn 19-18
  • Tate dumps to Loving cutting to basket…spin and pump fake…makes one FT…
  • Lyle’s hand too much on top of the ball…
  • UConn post, rebound and turnaround two..
  • Thompson hits first FT…off foul on offensive rebound…hits second…
  • 21-21
  • Thompson turns to the baseline…TWO! (I get excited when he makes shots within the offense)  : )
  • 23-21 Buckeyes
  • Loving bounce pass to Thompson…BOOM!
  • Thompson D rebound…pass ahead to Loving…drives..hard UConn foul…
  • Timeout

Marc Loving better make two FTs here…concentrate and make two, senior…

  • 25-21 w/two FTs coming…makes first…makes second…Ah-Ha! I knew he could do it!
  • CJ Jackson running the point…
  • Vital w/too easy of a layup…what the heck?
  • Rebound by Andre…fouled makes one FT…
  • J. Tate left hand in the lane…his usual money…
  • What happened on that oop? Jackson to Loving…was open…but didn;t get it over rim…
  • Steal, drive and hoop by JaQuan Lyle…
  • 32-28…Buckeyes…Timeout

On top of Buckeye runs they need to get stops!

  • 32.8…Didn’t get a stop…Timeout after a UConn three…Buckeye ball…23 seconds left on shot clock…32-31…Buckeyes
  • Buckeyes stunk out of the timeout out of bounds…Wide open UConn three by Adams….Tate left him to go all the way to the baseline to try and cover a Husky…UConn pulled the right trigger on the pass…halftime UConn leads 34-32…Tate’s shoulders sink in disappointment…

Buckeyes can win this…teams are evenly matched it seems…Jalen Adams is an excellent talent…UConn has momentum…