MBB Pregame Glance: Northwestern

Written February 18th, 2014 by Ken

nuThe Ohio State Buckeyes (20-6, 7-6) host the Northwestern Wildcats (12-14, 5-8) Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM EST. As bad as January was for the Buckeyes, February is turning out to be just as good. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are trying to right their ship. They went on a 2-week tear in mid-January to win four of five games, but have now lost three straight.

Here’s their Profile

  • School: Northwestern University
  • Location: Evanston, IL
  • Founded: 1851
  • Student Population: 8,600
  • School Type: Private, coed
  • Division: D-I
  • Conference: Big Ten Conference
  • Arena: Welsh-Ryan Arena
  • Seating: 8,117
  • Built: 1984
  • Head Coach: Chris Collins
  • Year: 1st

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Rumblin, Stumblin, Bumblin: Valentine’s Day Mojo

Written February 14th, 2014 by WVaBuckeye

It’s been awhile since we last visited RSB, so I will keep them short and sweet today. The amazing thing since football season is that I really have to search for things to write about when it comes to the Bumblin part, this week it was handed to me like a lob in slow-pitch softball. Let’s get trucking with the good!

Rumblin

mcguff_psu

BE MY VALENTINE!

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have been heading in opposite directions the past couple of weeks. Coach McGuff’s team has hit their hard part of the schedule and Thad Matta’s bunch has picked it up during a rough span save for the loss at home to TTUN.

Coach Kevin McGuff has actually done a great coaching job with this years unit who were not expected to compete in the B1G let alone upset some of the better teams with what was left in the cupboard by Coach Foster. Truth be known he has a first class staff that has been working it’s tail off, and the players tails, since day one. His organizational skills and the ability to get a lot out of those players has been rather remarkable. There is plenty of help on the horizon as he quite possibly has the number one class in the country for next year. Late in the season Coach McGuff and staff get a A- from me personally.

I want to go on record as saying that something I put into a basketball roundtable here a few weeks ago was way off base.

thad1

I WILL CONSIDER IT!

Thad Matta. I have been amazed at the coaching jobs he has done in the past with respect to letting his teams work themselves out of a slump or trouble. I have believed for a long time he could make any team better and is struggling to do so with this group. I don’t see a lot of improvement in them but we will see how they are when it really counts in March.

Funny what a little winning streak can do for a persons beliefs. What I have come to realize is that Thad probably is doing his best coaching job ever. I mean let’s face it, he’s working with far less than maybe he ever has since coming to Columbus. He will win a minimum of 20 games again to start his career. Yeah, think about that for just a second. He will have won atleast 20 games every season he has been a head coach. Really a remarkable statistic considering most people would struggle to 500 with a couple of those teams including the current one.

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MBB Pregame Glance: Illinois Two

Written February 14th, 2014 by Ken

illiniThe #22 Ohio State Buckeyes (19-6, 6-6), have dropped four consecutive games in the last two weeks. Next up are the Illinois Fighting Illini of Illinois (14-11, 3-9) on Saturday evening at the Value City Arena. Since they last played on January 23rd (OSU winning 62-55), Ohio State is 3-2 and sits four games from the top in the conference with six games to play. Illinois has lost four of five games and now sit at the bottom of the conference.

Here’s their Profile

  • School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Founded: 1867
  • Student Population: 44,000
  • School Type: Public, coed
  • Division: D-I
  • Conference: Big Ten Conference
  • Arena: State Farm Center (Assembly Hall)
  • Seating: 16,618
  • Built: 1963
  • Head Coach: John Groce
  • Year: 2nd

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Ohio State gets rolled, 70-60

Written February 11th, 2014 by Ken

#22 Ohio State (19-5. 6-5) hosted #15 Michigan (17-6, 9-2) this evening in their only regular season meeting. Despite a horrendous January, OSU entered this game three games behind MSU/UM in the standings, and with 7 games to play, a legitimate chance to win the regular season championship. This has been some season..

 

In a classic example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Buckeyes started out on fire, let Michigan back into the game before half, then  watched Michigan put on a rebounding clinic, to fall to the Wolverines 70-60. This drops OSU to 19-6, 6-6 and pretty much takes them out of any possibility for the regular season championship. This was a game where Michigan overcame a 1st half 10-point deficit by exerting their will over the Buckeyes. Defensively,  OSU was unable to block anyone out on the defensive boards. Offensively, despite early success with looking inside to score, had periods of settling for, and missing, perimeter shots.

 

This was as disappointing loss as I’ve seen lately, and in the past month and a half, I’ve seen several. The team got away, offensively, from what had been working, didn’t block out on the defensive boards, and generally let Michigan have their way.

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MBB Pregame Glance: Michigan

Written February 10th, 2014 by Ken
Wolverine

gulo gulo

The Ohio State Buckeyes (19-5, 6-5) host the University of Michigan (17-6, 9-2) Tuesday evening in the only regular season match between these teams. The Buckeyes, having stumbled through January (2-5) have now won three consecutive games. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have “speed-bumped” lately, losing two of three games in February.

Here’s their Profile

  • School: University of Michigan
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Founded: 1817
  • Student Population: 27,979
  • School Type: Public, coed
  • Division: D-I
  • Conference: Big Ten Conference
  • Arena: Crisler Center
  • Seating: 12,707
  • Built: 1967, last renovated 2012
  • Head Coach: Jim Beilein
  • Year: 7th

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Buckeyes Sweep Boilermakers in Series, Win 67-49

Written February 8th, 2014 by Eric

The Boilermakers visited the Buckeyes this evening in Columbus for the return match of their two game series. Despite a slow start, and a bit of back and forth play, the game was all Ohio State as the Buckeyes secured the 67-49 victory. Surprisingly, LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points, closely followed by Lenzelle Smith Jr. with 16. For the Boilermakers, Kendall Stephens put together 12 points off the bench, while AJ Hammons and Rapheal Davis both earned 11 a piece. The win gave the Buckeyes their third straight in Big Ten play.

Things started from a defensive perspective. Both teams demonstrated good movement against the offensive motion, and forced a number of turnovers early. The first points weren’t even scored until two minutes had elapsed, and Purdue was able to net the first three buckets of the game. The Bucks simply struggled to find good shots on the offensive end, and weren’t able to score until the fifth minute of the game on a Sam Thompson ally-oop.

The momentum changed in a hurry following the first TV timeout. The Buckeyes went on an 8 point unanswered tear to put together a 10-0 run and claim their first lead of the game. It was only ended by a Kendall Stevens three pointer after four minutes had ellapsed. Things had changed as the Buckeyes settled down in their attack, focused on getting the ball low against Purdue’s man defense. OSU also worked harder on the boards and began to balance the rebounding numbers.

With both teams locked into the game, they settled down into a steady back and forth battle. For the most part, it seemed that when one team was locked in defensively, so was the opponent. If one them started to pick up on the offensive end, it was reciprocated on the other end. That said, there wasn’t much in the way of offense through the first twelve minutes. The Boilermakers shot 5-20, while the Bucks hit only 7-18 by the third TV timeout.
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MBB: Ohio State defeats Iowa, 76-69

Written February 4th, 2014 by Ken

The Buckeyes rolled into cold, snowy Iowa City to avenge the January 12th loss to Iowa, 84-74. A win would get them to .500 in conference play and hoist them into a tie with Northwestern, and maybe Wisconsin, for 4th place. Well, the Buckeyes played a solid game and won 76-69, moving their record to 18-5, 5-5, and giving them consecutive road wins.

Ohio State was led by five players in double figure;sAaron Craft (17), LaQuinton Ross (13), Amir Williams (12), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (12), Shannon Scott (11) and Sam Thompson (9). Ross also pulled in 6 rebounds while Craft  had 6 assists and 6 steals. Iowas was led by Gabriel Olaseni (14 points, 6 rebs) and Mike Gesell ( 11 points,  5 reb).

Iowa’s defense, as expected was a blend of an aggressive man-to-man, extending the perimeter, then switching back to zone. The Buckeyes shot 51% (25-49) from the floor, including 44% from 3-point range (7-16), so whatever Iowa tried, it didn’t work that well.

The 1st half ended with Iowa holding a 33-31 lead, in a half with a couple runs by each team and some helter-skelter play at the end of the half. Iowa was 42% from the field (42%) and an astounding 1-11 from 3-point range. They were led by Olasebe off the bench with 8 points in 4-4 shooting, and he pulled in 4 rebounds. The Buckeyes were led by Aaron Craft’s 14 points; 5-5 from the field (2-2 from 3-pt range) and 2 F’T's. He also craftily had 4 steals.

OSU  had a 9 point run spanning the 7 minute-5 minute marks, to take the lead 26-17. However, the tables turned rather quickly, as Iowa outscored Ohio State 16-5 over the last 5 minutes of the half.

Evidently, Thad told his troops to mentally break he 2nd half into four segments, one for each television timeout. Consider these segments as battles, and the object is to “win” each battle. In the 2nd half, play was back and forth, and at the under-16 timeout, Ohio State held a 39-38 lead. Lenzelle Smith had 5 of OSU’s 8 points in the half.

Proceeding to the under 12 mark, OSU’s lead was 47-43. At the 10:30 mark, or so, Ohio State was in a bit of a “situation” with their frontcourt; Williams, McDonald and Thompson all had three fouls. At the 9:32 mark, Trey picked up his 4th foul. A flagrant foul on Gabriel Olaseni on Amir Williams at the 8:50 mark led to two Williams’ free throws and a FG to move OSU’s lead to 54-47. Moving ahead to the 4:09 mark, OSU still led 58-54, so things had stalled a bit for both teams.. Thad took a timeout with 2:17 remaining, and Ohio State with the lead 63-57. In the last minute of play, there was some trading of OSU free throws and the occasional Iowa field goal to bring the final score to 76-69.

Ohio State’s next game is against Purdue in Columbus. The game is Saturday at 6:00 PM EST. Television coverage will be via BTN, check your local listings. Live Chat will be at The Buckeye Battle Cry, approximately 30 minutes before tip-off. Please join us.

MBB: Buckeyes Nip Badgers, 59-58

Written February 1st, 2014 by Ken

A last second FG attempt by Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker bounced away and Ohio State held on to edge Wisconsin 59-58 at Kohl Arena. Both teams needed to get back into the habit of winning after going through rough patches in their schedules.  At this point, winning the Conference championship, regular season or tournament, is not likely going to happen, so the play is for eligibility to the NCAA’s in an “oh, we’ve got a couple of slots to fill” capacity. With the win, Ohio State is now 17-5, 4-5, as is Wisconsin

Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (13 points) and strong bench play by Amedeo Della Valle (11 points)  and Trey McDonald (6 points). Interestingly, Aaron Craft scored only 7 points, but they all came in the last four minutes of the game, to key a crucial stretch run. Ohio State shot 43% (21-49) from the field, but only 67% (12-18) from the free throw line.

Wisconsin was led by freshman Nigel Hayes (17 points) and Ben Brust (13 points). After starting the game 6-7 from the field, the Badgers ended up 18-45, 40%. In OSU’s closing run, they did get help from Wisconsin missed free throws, as the Badgers ended 19-29 for the game. Wisconsin’s last field goal was at the 6:44 mark, so their half court offense struggled down the stretch and aided in Ohio State’s come-back.

In the 1st half, the Buckeye defense roamed the paint much as Diogenes roamed the night; he was looking for a man of honesty, we were looking for a man to guard. At the half, Wisconsin held the lead 34-29. The Buckeyes were 36% (10-26) from the field, led by 15 bench points (Amedeo Della Valle – 9, Trey McDonald – 6). In addition to accurate shooting, ADV brought aggressiveness in looking to go to the paint.

After starting the game shooting 6-7 from the field, Wisconsin cooled off, ending the half shooting 44% (9-20), led by Ben Brust’s 12 points.

At the under-16 mark, OSU trailed 9-6. After OSU jumping to a quick 4-0 lead, Wisconsin ran off  9 consecutive points, before a Trey McDonald put-back staunched the bleeding a bit. At 10:15 mark, OSU trailed 20-16, with the offense driven by Amedeo Della Valle’s 6 points and Trey McDonald’s 4 points, all off the bench. OSU shooting 37%, Wisconsin 67% from the field. At 7:33, Wisc up 22-13. Under-4, down 26-23. both teams cooled off, Wiscy shooting 44%, OSU 36%. Both teams muddled around, with the half ending with the Badgers up, 33-29, on a Ben Brust hustle put-back.

Ohio State  began the 2nd half on a 9-0 run to take a 38-35 lead. At the 15-minute timeout, Ohio State held a 42-39 lead driven by 6-6 (not a typo) from the field.  At the under-12 point, Ohio State still led, 44-43, thanks to an ADV ‘look what I found’ put-back.  At the 8:30 mark, Wisconsin retook and grew the lead, 51-44. Of Wisconsin’s 18 second half points, Ohioan Nigel Hayes scored 11, on 5-5 shooting. By the time we get to the under-4 timeout, Wisconsin’s lead was down to 1 point, 54-53. As missed bunny shot, and turnover by Lenzelle Smith with :08.4 kept Wisconsin in the game.  Alas, a Sam Dekker FG clanked away and Ohio State comes away with the win