The Bucks Stop Here


In conference play, particularly in a conference as difficult top to bottom as the Big Ten, a streak of 3-games is either impressive or alarming.

Unfortunately for The Ohio State Buckeyes, the latter has proven true.

What’s wrong with Thad’s group?

After a stinging defeat in East Lansing to Michigan State in a top-5 battle (after an outstanding late second-half comeback) 72-68 in OT, a stunning home loss to Iowa 84-74 and last night’s collapse in The Barn at Minnesota 63-53, the Buckeyes need a new plan. Whatever is currently in place is not good enough and is not working. They can’t score, turnovers are happening in devastating bunches at critical points in games and there’s a lack of awareness and spontaneous creativity from a team with very talented athletes and players.

This is not Ohio State basketball.

Perhaps the most frustrating complaint from Buckeye Nation is that fans know the team is better than what they’ve seen the past three games on the hardwood.

What to do?

Here are a few suggestions for a mid-season comeback and identity resurrection for the 2013/2014 Ohio State Men’s Basketball Team:

  • Design plays for C Amir Williams to score a solid 7-10 points a game (baskets and free throws) by establishing a post-presence with him for occasional spurts during the game
  • Design and force more isolation plays for Q, Sam Thompson, Aaron Craft and Marc Loving. The athleticism, wingspans and/or quickness of all of them (a difficult 1 v. 1 match-up for most any player in America) could directly result in 2s and 3s or a pass inside for a 2 or a pass outside for a 3-point basket.
  • To mask the fact they don’t have a solid 20-25 point scorer and a 10-15 point accomplice every game, the Buckeyes need to make more 3-pointers. Bottom line. Pure and simple. Making lots of 3s is a cornerstone of every successful Thad Matta team. As simplistic as this reads, it would go a long way to restoring overall confidence in the Buckeyes.
  • Finally, they need to make steals and turnovers matter. Defense is an obvious strength of Ohio State and they need to maximize this supremacy in every outing with every turnover. They need to punish their opponents with points and momentum shifting dunks (Sam Thompson, anyone?) off of turnovers. Again, it’s become a necessity because of the team’s lack of reliable, quality offense.

Defense wins championships, but you need offense to win games.

The above suggestions would help Ohio State rebound for the second-half of the season. It will not solve all of their problems in the micro, but it’s a start.

Because as everyone’s seen in the last three games, it’s clear the Buckeyes need to go back to the beginning at square one.


Posted on January 17, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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