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tBBC 2nd Thoughts: Purdue

Discussion in 'News' started by Ken, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

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

    (Image courtesy of

    (Thad encouraging the troops)

    Despite the loss, I think that was a much better team performance against Purdue. Ohio State came out energized and focused, and but for a few brief minutes, held the lead throughout the 1st half. The shooting was stellar: 52% from the field, 67% from long range (thanks to Kam Williams) and 80%(!) from the foul line. However, things weren’t that rosy; they had 8 turnovers leading to 10 Purdue points, gave up offensive rebounds (leading to 8 Purdue points) and struggled defensively against Purdue’s Twin Towers of A.J. Hammons (10 pts) and Isaac Haas (6 pts).

    Viewing Experience

    This was a very entertaining game to watch. With the young team, there were plenty of “Good grief!” moments, but there were plenty of moments when Ohio State’s efforts and results were encouraging. Ohio State had the lead with just over 9 minutes remaining, but Purdue pulled away at that point. Of Purdue’s 25 points to finish the game from that point, 12 were free throws, so there was a lot of helter-skelter going on. The fact that Purdue was able to score 25 points in just under a “quarter” of play indicates the frenetic nature of the closing few minutes..

    The Thad Matta Factor

    In the previous 6 halves of play (Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland) Ohio State’s play was pretty abysmal for 5 of them. Against Purdue, Ohio State played an energetic, if spotty, effort in the first half. They were “in the game”. This was a nice bit of coaching by Thad and a very good response by the team. There are still some spots that need to be smoothed out, particularly with ball handling.

    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 had mixed results against Purdue. Jae’Sean Tate clearly played inspired ball; he led the team with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. My god, he was even 2-2 from the free throw line!

    Marc Loving did not have a stellar night, either. He had 9 points on 3-11 shooting, 0-3 from long range, but was 3-4 from the FT line. Ont thing that bothered me in this game was that Marc seemed to be forcing his play too much. There were several times when Marc tried to split a double team and committed a travelling violation. I can appreciate an upperclassman trying to lead his team by making plays, but there is such a thing as overdoing it.

    Kieta Bates-Diop… not so much. Kieta was very passive; he had only 3 rebounds and no points. He was 0-2 from the field and did not take a foul shot. He was way too passive against Purdue. Yes, he’s only a sophomore, but he’s one of the few players that Thad has that saw playing time last season. He needs to step it up.

    Lineup Mix-n-Match:

    This was interesting in spots with some of Thad’s combinations. Aside from being physically overmatched against Purdue’s centers, I still like Thad’s center rotation of Thompson/Giddens. I still believe that Mitchell provides energy and physical play, but at times, too physical. In 4 minutes of play, he had 3 fouls called on him. It’s tough to get the rotation at the #3/#4 spots to be effective when players aren’t on the floor for long enough stretches to get into a “flow”.

    There were numerous times, particularly when A.J. Harris was on the bench, when Jae’Sean Tate was assigned to bring the ball down the floor, thus moving JaQuan Lyle over, initially, to the #2 guard position.

    Ball Control:

    The Buckeyes had 12 turnovers, several of the “what the hell was that?” variety. Jae’Sean traveling just above the key, a ball bouncing off Kam’s face/hands, JaQuan losing ball out of bounds then later in the game having his pocket picked, Kieta grabbing a defensive rebound, then stepping out of bounds, etc..

    Aside from short-circuiting possessions, these turnovers fueled Purdue’s offense. Purdue scored 16 points off turnovers, compared to OSU’s 5. Unfortunately, with young ball-handlers, this can be a result.

    Interior play, Center(s) of Attention:

    Purdue’s superior size at the pivot position was a challenge to deal with for the young Ohio State centers. A.J. Hammons (7’0, 261 lbs) and Isaac Haas (7’2″, 297) repeatedly positioned themselves at the low post, then backed/dropped-stepped to the basket for easy buckets. The Purdue centers combined for 26 points (10-18) and 9 rebounds. This takes nothing away from Ohio State’s defensive effort; Thompson/Giddens/Bell were engaged and active (combined for 6 blocked shots), but Hammons/Haas were just to big and too physical. They are a tough match-up for any interior defense. Unfortunately, on Thursday, it was Ohio State’s defense that took the hit.

    I want to offer a comment (or two) about Daniel Giddens’ play. He was energetic and aggressive (4 rebounds, 2 blocks), but he was only 3-8 from the field. He did have one bad shot; at the 11:53 mark, Daniel had the ball in low post, made a nice square-up move to the basket, then shot an air ball. It was very make-able, and at the least, should have hit some iron.

    He also suffered some freshman “anxiety” on two of his shots when tried to shoot jump hooks. Rather than “square-up” with his left shoulder facing the basket with these jump hooks, it looked like he had his back more to the basket than he should, thus he didn’t have a good view/angle with the shot. That’s something that can be ironed out via film room/practice.

    Up Next…

    The Buckeyes (12-8, 4-3) would appear to get a bit of a mid-week break when they host Penn State (11-9, 2-5) on Monday January 25th at 7:00 PM ET. Penn State comes off a 66-60 loss to Wisconsin.

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

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