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tBBC 2nd Thoughts: Rutgers

Discussion in 'News' started by Ken, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

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

    (Thad’ guys had this one early.)

    The Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5) moved into 7th place in the Big Ten with Saturday’s 79-69 win over Rutgers. For the moment, this actually has Ohio State 1/2 game in front of Michigan State. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    This game was another “tale of two cities” game for Ohio State. The Buckeyes jumped out to a big lead (22-6 @ 8:30 mark), nearly lost the lead (22-19 @ 4:50 mark) then somewhat stabilized the situation, going into the half with a 35-26 lead. During the minute stretch when Rutgers went on a 13-0 run, the Buckeyes were 0-8 shooting, committed 2 fouls and had 1 turnover. Not a good three and a half minutes at all.

    The 2nd half had the Buckeyes stretch their lead to 52-36 at the 13:21 mark, but the Scarlet Knights, led by freshman Corey Sanders 10 2nd half points (23 for the game) and Mike Williams (10 2nd half points) pulled them to within 7 points and various times of the game, but they just couldn’t close the gap any further. That Rutgers has a “short” bench not doubt helped the Buckeyes stave off the Rutgers rally.

    Viewing Experience

    This game had some interesting statistics. For example:

    • Rebounds-OSU 46,Rutgers 33. Thad had the Buckeyes playing with better intensity Saturday. Interestingly, with their short bench, you’d think that Ohio State amassed it’s edge in the 2nd half. Not necessarily. The rebounding differential was about the same for both halfs; Ohio State just hit the boards early and hit them often.
    • Points off turnovers- Rutgers 21, OSU 13. If you’re looking for a way to keep an undermanned opponent in the game, turn the ball over. Fortunately, Rutgers shot poorly (38% FG, 15% 3-pt), so Ohio State got away with poor ball handling. It really needs to tighten this up coming down the home stretch. With a lot of freshmen and sophomores touching the ball, I’m not sure…
    • Three point shooting- OSU 9-24, Rutgers 3-20. Ohio State didn’t distinguish itself in this area (a bit above their season average), but Rutgers was godawful. Fortunately, this resulted in a lot of empty Rutgers possessions.
    • Free Throw Shooting- Ohio State (8-15, 53%). Speaking of godawful, the Buckeyes were back at it with their FT shooting against Rutgers. After going 19-23 (82%) against Northwestern, I guess I got my hopes up.

    The Thad Matta Factor

    I think that Thad’s juggling act worked out pretty well. Granted, it was against an overmatched (except for guard Corey Sanders) Rutgers lineup, but still… He had to overcome some ‘meh’ play from his centers and an atrocious game from one of his team leaders, Marc Loving. Fortunately, Kieta Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate and Kam Williams came up big.

    There are 5 games remaining in the regular season. For Thad to get to another 20-win season, the Buckeyes have to win at least 4 of these games. However, 4 of these games are against Michigan, Michigan State (2) and Iowa.

    Pending a favorable B1G seed, a 20-win season isn’t happening this year. Hopefully, the Buckeyes prove me wrong.

    The Three Magi:

    Well, as Meatloaf sings, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad“. The “senior statesmen” of Marc Loving, Kieta Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate combined for 46 points and 28 rebounds. That’s a pretty fair day’s work for these gentlemen. Let’s unpack this to see who-did-what.

    Kieta Bates-Diop had a career afternoon with 24 points (tied career high) and 14 rebounds (career high). He got off to a good start with 14 points (6-9 shooting) and 5 rebounds in the 1st half, but tailed off a bit with the scoring in the 2nd half. Kieta ended the game shooting 10-16 from the field and 3-6 from 3-pt range; a very efficient afternoon.

    But, that was OK, because Jae’Sean Tate (22 points, 13 rebounds) picked up the slack in the 2nd half with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Jae’Sean had a near perfect afternoon shooting 9-11 from the field and 3-4 from the foul line.

    If you’re keeping score at home, between Kieta and Jae’Sean, we’ve already accounted for 46 points and 27 rebounds. That implies that Marc Loving’s contribution was… 1 rebound. His play against Rutgers was useless ineffective. That may explain why, even without committing any fouls, his playing time was limited to 16 minutes.

    Lineup Mix-n-Match:

    Thad was further challenged to develop any team “rhythm” because he couldn’t keep his centers on the floor. His Three Towers committed a combined 10 personal fouls; Thompson (4), Giddens (3) and Bell (3). These fouls (10) were a substantial part of the team’s total of 22 fouls. It also added to the “choppiness” of the game due to frequent game stoppages while the opponent shoots free throws or puts the ball back in play.

    However, Thad did have quite a bit of success with his guard rotation. A.J. Harris didn’t score in his 14 minutes off the bench, but he did provide 7 assists. His ‘doppelganger’, starter JaQuan Lyle had only 4 points and committed 3 turnovers, but he did have 5 assists. It wasn’t a repeat of JQL’s triple-double against Rutgers of January 13th, but JQL did a fair job of keeping the offense moving.

    The crown jewel of the guard rotation against Rutgers was Kam Williams. This young man is “instant offense’ (just add playing time). In 26 minutes, Kam had 19 points (7-11 FG, 5-8 3-pt) and two steals. At the 3 minute mark in the first half, Rutgers closed to within 5 points, 26-21. Kam had had enough, and scored 7 points (3-3 shooting) and had a steal that led to a breakaway layup. His spurt powered an Ohio State stretch to give them a 10 point lead with one minute remaining in the half.

    Ball Control:

    The difference a game makes. Against Northwestern, the Buckeyes committed only 5 turnovers. Against Rutgers, they turned it over 19 times. That effort managed to tie the season high (vs Memphis) in Ohio State turnovers.

    Ohio State lost the “points off turnovers” battle 21-13. That might be OK against a poor shooting Rutgers team, but upcoming opponents may well enjoy the freebie points that OSU offers.

    Interior play, Center(s) of Attention:

    Thad reverted back to Trevor Thompson as his starter at Center. He had a solid game with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 19 minutes.

    Daniel Giddens had 2 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes. On the minus side, he did have 4 turnovers.

    David Bell was scoreless and reboundless in 6 minutes. However, he did go 0-2 from the FT line, committed 3 fouls and had 1 turnover. Not a good afternoon for young Mr. Bell.

    There just didn’t seem to be any continuity with post play against Rutgers, and the short-handed Rutgers lineup should have been that opportunity. The Three Towers were “credited” with 8 of Ohio State’s 19 turnovers. Granted a couple of the turnovers were the result of ‘moving pick’ fouls, but these guys entered ‘Amir Williams’ territory with ball handling.

    Up Next…

    The Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5) host Michigan (16-8, 4-7) on Tuesday, February 16th. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET. You can catch the game on ESPN, 97.1 or Gametracker. The Wolverines upset Purdue on Saturday and are 19-7, 9-4 on the season.

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

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