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tBBC 2nd Thoughts: Indiana

Discussion in 'News' started by Ken, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

    2nd Thoughts: Indiana
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    (Thad was as perplexed as we were on Sunday)

    Before I get started, I want to congratulate the Hoosiers on a great performance. Coach Crean had his team well prepared; their offense was crisp, sharp and effective. Their defense was high pressure and relentless. Indiana was certainly The Aggressor on Sunday.

    Ohio State’s seven game winning streak came to a screeching halt with the 80-65 beat-down administered by Indiana on Sunday. For you historically aware readers, it took the German blitzkrieg 4 weeks to conquer Poland. It took Indiana about 4 minutes to roll Ohio State. Granted, the score was only 10-0 at that point, but the tone of the game was clearly established. During this 4 minute stretch, Ohio State was 0-4 from the field with 3 turnovers. Indiana was 4-8 and had 3 steals. The next 36 minutes wouldn’t be significantly better for Ohio State.

    Viewing Experience

    This was not a pleasant game to watch. In fact I did not watch (I DVRd) the 2nd half. This was a case of a bit more experienced team, in front of a fervent home crowd, absolutely rolling a young (inexperienced) team from the start, then easing off the gas a bit in the 2nd half. After I watched the recording of the 2nd half, I immediately deleted the game. Nothing for me, no be learned from the game. For the team, aplenty to be learned.

    The Thad Matta Factor

    There wasn’t a whole hell of a lot that Thad could have done on Sunday. Several times the television camera caught Thad, in what looked like a bemused state, probably thinking, “Welp”. To Thad’s, and the team’s credit, they were full speed ahead in the 2nd half, actually “winning” the half by 5 points. Now, if they hadn’t been down by 30 …

    Actually, the 2nd half went pretty well for Ohio State. The Buckeyes started the half by withstanding a bit of an Indiana surge and actually counter-punched pretty well. And, before you get nay-saying, no, Tom Crean did not empty his bench in the 2nd half. A comparison of season-to-date games minutes vs Sunday’s game showed very little difference.

    Ohio State played, again, with effort, the full 40 minutes. With a team where inexperience will dampen a team’s productivity, the Buckeyes are still playing end-to-end. Take that as a positive.

    The Three Magi:

    The “senior statesmen” of Marc Loving, Kieta Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate were inconsequential against Indiana. That two of these players (Bates-Diop and Tate) are sophomores indicates there is not much in terns on “stabilization” that Thad can rely on during games like this. Kieta and Jae’Sean were a combined 3-14 from the field. KBD was 1-1 from the foul line. Fortunately, JT didn’t have to shoot any free throws.

    Lineup Mix-n-Match:

    This was one of those games where there wasn’t any player combination that was going to work for Ohio State. In games where Tate (1-6, 2 points) and Bates-Diop (6 points, only points scored this week) are not effective scorers, I thought there were some glimpses of future line-up possibilities.

    One change would be to bench Tate and bring in A.J. Harris as a point guard while moving JaQuan Lyle over to the shooting guard position. Another move would be to rotate Mickey Mitchell in for Bates-Diop/Loving to give the #3/#4 spots some rest.

    I do like the rotation of Thompson/Giddens at center. Although both will make some defensive mistakes this season, they bring a great deal of energy and effort to the floor. And, they’ll learn.

    Before I move on to the defense, I want to mention JaQuan Lyle’s play against Indiana. Despite a fairly pedestrian 1st half (5 points, 3 rebounds), JQL provided a D’Angelo Russell “moment” in the 2nd half, going off for 24 points and 5 rebounds in the final 20 minutes. It was too little, too late, but it was encouraging to see a young player play uninhibited and look outstanding. Something to build on, folks, something to build on.

    Getting Defensive about it:

    This was a good learning exercise for the young team on how to play tenacious defense. The Buckeyes were getting lost on screens, were late on their defensive rotations and completely befuddled by Indiana making the “extra” pass on pick & rolls and back door cuts. It looked as if the Hoosiers were running lay-up drills against the Buckeyes. Indiana scored 40 of their 85 points “in the paint”. Ohio State did force 12 turnovers, but weren’t efficient in converting them to points, scoring only 10 points off the turnovers.

    In contrast, Indiana applied consistent, at least in the first half on-ball pressure and even contested post possessions by Ohio State. They forced 14 turnovers, 11 in the first half, and scored 14 points off those turnovers. In addition to on-ball pressure, Indiana contested seemingly every offensive rebound put back by Ohio State.

    Interior play, Center(s) of Attention:

    My god, Indiana was running loose in the paint all afternoon. Indiana center Thomas Bryant had a season high in rebounds (13) and tied for 3rd high (18) in points. Indians’s starting front line of Williams (23), Hartman (8) and Bryant (18) scored 49 points and grabbed 23 rebounds. In stark contrast, OSU’s starting front line of Tate (2), Loving (12), Bate-Diop (6) and Thompson (1) scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. This was a pretty solid “win” for the Hoosiers.

    Up Next…

    The Buckeyes appear to get a bit of a mid-week break when they host B1G low-man-on-totem-pole Rutgers on Wednesday. The Scarlet Knights got dismantled 90-56 by Nebraska, of all teams, on Saturday. Then on Saturday, Ohio State takes on #3 Maryland at College Park. That game could get messy.

    The post 2nd Thoughts: Indiana appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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