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tBBC 2nd Thoughts: Ohio State vs. Penn State

Discussion in 'News' started by Ken, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

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

    (Thad is happy with Monday’s performance)

    Although it still had some flaws, Mondays 66-46 win over Penn State was encouraging and certainly interesting.

    This was interesting, to me, because it shows that with a young team, you never are quite sure where your points are going to come from. For example, against Purdue, Kieta Bates-Diop (0-2 FG) was scoreless in 3 minutes while Kam Williams (5-8 FG) went off for 14 points in 23 minutes. Against Penn State, KBD was fairly aggressive and efficient (8-14) and Kam Williams couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn (0-6).

    Viewing Experience

    This was a very entertaining game. Ohio State changed their intensity and energy for this contest and it paid off. This was one of the few games where the Buckeyes significantly outscored their opponent (10-2) from the free throw line. Ohio State was a respectable 70% (10-14) while Penn State was 40% (2-5). That seems like quite a disparity, but when you notice that PSU had 25 (of a total of 60) attempts from 3-pt range, then it makes sense that not too many fouls would be drawn.

    It was a good end to end effort by the Buckeyes except for the last 4 minutes of the 1st half where they went comatose to let the Nittany Lions back into the game. They did give up too many points off turnovers/transition points, particularly in the first half, but Thad seemed to have ironed that out a bit in the 2nd half. Ohio State just needs to stop having bad 1st half’s with this type of stuff.

    The Thad Matta Factor

    It looked like Thad pulled the right levers and pushed the right buttons for this game. He “inspirational” talk with Kieta Bates-Diop worked, he lineup change (Giddens -> Thompson, Harris -> Lyle) worked and the team made halftime adjustments to cut down on turnovers and easy PSU baskets. His game plan to force PSU into outside shooting seemed to work well, too:

    “I thought they loaded up inside, made it very tough for us to post up,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said. “We kicked out and we didn’t make ’em. They had five guys in the paint and did a really good job of taking away what we’re good at. Give Thad credit.”

    – PSU Coach Pat Chambers

    The good thing about Thad’s lineup and motivation machinations is that he is showing these young players what they are capable of achieving. All in all, it was a good night.

    The Three Magi:

    The “senior statesmen” of Marc Loving, Kieta Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate had a much better game against Penn State than against Purdue. Granted, PSU isn’t as big as Purdue is, but still…

    Thad’s talk with Kieta payed off for everyone (except PSU, which was the point of the whole thing). He was aggressive (22 pts, 8 rbs, 4 blocks) and efficient (8-14 FG, 2-2 FT). As much as the 22 points are nice to have, what impressed me was his rebounding and defense. Those aspects of the game require effort and focus. In the “2nd Thoughts: Purdue” article, I commented that:

    “..he’s one of the few players that Thad has that saw playing time last season. He needs to step it up.”

    Once again, Thad is way ahead of me…

    Jae’Sean Tate clearly played inspired ball. And he played, uncharacteristically for him, efficient ball. Jae’Sean was 6-6 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line! He had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. He was all over the floor.

    Marc Loving had a good-not great night against PSU. He had 11 points on 4-11 shooting, 2-5 from long range and 1-1 from the FT line. Marc had 5 turnovers, which led to 4 (maybe 5) PSU points. Maybe the results of the turnovers weren’t that awful, but the fact I had to research it, maybe…

    Lineup Mix-n-Match:

    Thad did make an interesting lineup change against Penn State by starting A.J. Harris at guard in place of JaQuan Lyle. It could have been for several reasons, none of them exclusive from one another. Maybe A.J. had a better few days of practice. Maybe JaQuan had a bit of ‘freshman fatigue’ from so many starts/minutes. Maybe Thad wanted to alter the style of play on offense. Although Harris had only 4 points, he did have 4 assists and only 1 turnover. This change may not be a “rest of the season” change, but expect to see more of it.

    The other lineup change was starting Daniel Giddens in place of Trevor Thompson. Giddens responded with 5 points and his typical manic 9 rebound/4 foul effort. This is another ‘we’ll see how it goes’ change, but working in two players with contrasting styles (Thompson is a bit more subdued than Giddens) does change the energy level of the team.

    Ball Control:

    The Buckeyes continued with their ball control issues, committing 15 turnovers. Ohio State committed 10 turnovers in the first half, contributing to 10 Penn State points. With 5 minutes remaining in the 1st half, OSU saw a 15 point lead (29-14) shrink to 7 points by halftime.

    Thad must have reminded the team about the importance of not treating the ball like it had cooties: OSU had 5 turnovers in the 2nd half that contributed only 2 points to PSU.

    Marc Loving had a dreadful night with ball handling. He committed 5 of OSU’s 15 turnovers. For a player who is not the primary ball handler or ‘offense setter-upper’, that’s pretty bad. A couple of his turnovers were of the “bounce it off the foot” and “throw it to no one in particular” variety. Thad’s chat with Kieta had a very positive effect on his play; made it’s time for Thad to have one with Marc.

    Interior play, Center(s) of Attention:

    Thad changed things up a bit by starting Daniel Giddens at center in place of Trevor Thompson. Sometimes a team needs a new “look”, sometimes a player just has a better week in practice. Giddens played 28 minutes, but only took two shots (he did go 2-2) and blocked 1 shot. However, he did grab 9 rebounds (2 offensive) so he was active while he was on the floor. However, he was whistled for 4 fouls, so maybe he was a bit too active. In Joe’s “BuckNotes” article, he did have a section on the “manliness” of Giddens’ game. Interestingly, to fill time very late in the game, 97.1’s Paul Keels and Ron Stokes were discussing whether Giddens looked more like a tight end or a defensive end (answer: rush defensive end).

    Meanwhile, Trevor Thompson had a lackluster 11 minutes on the floor. He grabbed 4 rebounds and blocked 2 shots, but he had 2 turnovers and was 0-2 from the field. Thad may need to take Trevor aside for a chat, too.

    Up Next…

    The Buckeyes (13-8, 5-3) head to Champaign, IL for a Thursday game against Illinois (10-10, 2-5). Tip off is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET. Illinois lost to Minnesota (76-71) on Saturday and is currently on a three game losing streak.

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

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