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tBBC 2nd Thoughts: MBB OSU vs MSU, Finale


2nd Thoughts: MBB OSU vs MSU, Finale
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


He did provide a lot of encouragement.

The Buckeyes (19-12, 11-7) had their season end abruptly with a 91-76 loss to #2 Michigan State on Saturday. The regular season was obviously going to end after this game, so by “abruptly”, I mean ‘over at halftime’. Midway through the 1st half, the teams were tied. Ten minutes later, MSU held a 10 point lead. At a couple points in the second half, the Spartans had the margin at 20 points.

This was a teaching moment for Thad and a learning moment for the young Buckeyes. In short, “Here is what an experienced team can do.”

Congratulations to Tom Izzo, the Spartans and to the three seniors who went out in style in front of their fans. Denzel Valentine, Matt Costello and Bryn Forbes performed well and proved the inspiration to their team mates.

One more thing… I want to tip my hat to Izzo’s classy move of putting senior forward Colby Wollenman into the starting lineup for his last appearance at Breslin. This was Wollenman’s 5th appearance this season. To be a starter in his final home game had to be special for everyone. Well done, Coach Izzo.

Viewing Experience

Aside from the final score, this game had some interesting numbers. For example:

  • Rebounds-MSU 34,OSU 24. Ohio State actually had more offensive rebounds than MSU, 6-4. But then MSU didn’t miss too many shots (below) so that’s understandable. There were 62 missed shots in the game, field goals and free throws. The fact that in 50 minutes of game time between Kieta Bates-Diop and Daniel Giddens, they came up with 1 rebound. That is inexcusably bad.
  • Ball Handling – OSU 10 Turnovers, MSU 13 Turnovers. This turned out to be a wash as both teams had 13 ‘points off turnovers’ Overall, this was a fairly good game regarding ball security.
  • Hot/Hotter. Ohio State actually shot the ball pretty decently, 47% in 3’s and overall field goal percentage. The problem was that Michigan State was much better. The Spartans shot 67% overall. In contrast to the previous outing where Bryn Forbes “3’d” Ohio State to death, the Spartans bludgeoned (40 points in the paint) the Buckeyes into submission.
  • Game of Thrones Runs (MSU). The Buckeyes and Spartans were deadlocked mid-way through the first half at 21 apiece. Over the next ten minutes, MSU stretched the lead to 9 points, then OSU would bring it back to 5 points, then MSU would extend, OSU would close. It was like watching an accordion; the lead would expand, then contract a bit, then expand some more, then contract a bit. The problem was, the “expansions” kept outpacing the “contractions.

The Thad Matta Factor

I’m pretty sure that Thad will take this game tape and show it to his team in the off-season. This will be excellent evidence of how a seasoned, in sync team plays. The younger players never wavered in their enthusiasm and effort. Some of the “older” players ran hot & cold in theirs. Kam Williams always brought energy and offense off the bench.

Well, the first regular season with the “young Bucks” is in the books. This is just about what I expected; a season-long teaching/learning experience. There are still some inconsistencies of play, but I thought the team made some progress. Unfortunately, with the schedule back-loaded with playing two of the last three games against Michigan State, you can see where the development looked a bit lacking.

The Three Two Magi:

Marc had an afternoon where he provided an efficient, and much needed 21 points and 3 rebounds to steady the Buckeyes. He had a decent (6-9 FG, 3-4 3-pt, 6-10 FT) offensive game. Marc also had 3 assists (1 turnover) to round out a solid offensive performance. Frankly, I was impressed with his aggressiveness to take the ball to the hoop on numerous occasions. It was obvious that he was trying to raise OSU’s offense to attempt to offset MSU’s onslaught.

Coming off a well played game against Iowa, Kieta Bates-Diop was a non-factor against Michigan State. His 6 points were comprised of 2-5 from inside the arc, 0-2 from outside the arc and 0-3 from the free throw line. I guess the most disappointing thing to me was that he had no rebounds. Nada. Zilch.

Lineup Mix-n-Match:

Mickey Mitchell looked more comfortable in the starting lineup and he may be getting his groove on. His line score of 25 minutes, 5 points (2-4 FG), 7 rebounds and a blocked shot were almost identical to his previous game against Iowa.

Kam Williams (5-12 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 3 rebounds and 2 steals) scored 15 points in 30 minutes. He again provided a higher level of energy, and production, that Thad was hoping for. He provides Thad the lineup flexibility that he can rotate through the lineup in place of Mitchell/Loving/Bates-Diop. Especially since Mitchell is still learning and Bates-Diop tends to run hot-and-cold.

A.J. Harris had a fairly productive 12 minutes. Although he was scoreless (0-2 FG), he did provide 4 assists.

JaQuan Lyle had a very productive game. In 30 minutes, he had 18 points (5-12 FG), 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He did have 4 turnovers, so no one is perfect. Good game, lad.

Ball Control:

The Buckeyes had 10 turnovers, which somewhat surprisingly to me was better than MSU’s 13 turnovers. Look, I’m aware that 10 < 13, but I was surprised that OSU took better control of the ball than MSU.

The points-off-turnovers was a push at 13 points for each team. The good news is that that phase of the game didn’t necessarily contribute to OSU’s loss. The bad news is that MSU was a bit more efficient in converting turnovers into points. That may have contributed to the loss.

Interior play, Center(s) of Attention:

In a pre-game email exchange with fellow writer Brandon Zimmerman, he expressed his concern that MSU’s interior play (Costello/Schilling) would be a tough matchup for OSU’s counterparts. He was correct. The Spartan duo combined for 23 points and 14 rebounds in 39 minutes. Ohio State’s Thompson/Giddens countered with 11 points and 4 rebounds in 34 minutes. Clearly a performance disparity, not in OSU’s favor.

Aside from Loving’s 21 points, our other forwards (Bate-Diop, Mitchell) struggled. They combined for 11 points and 7 rebounds (all by Mitchell). They also combined for 9 fouls. If your fouls are nearly keeping pace with your points, you’re doing something wrong. Although Bates-Diop/Mitchell were pretty good from the field (6-10), they were abysmal (1-7) from the free throw line.

Up Next…

The Buckeyes (19-12, 11-7) play Penn State (16-15, 7-11) Thursday evening in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Tip off is scheduled for 6:30 PM ET. You can catch the game on ESPN2, and/or 97.1.

The Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions 66-46 on January 25th. The winner “gets” to play #2 seed and #2 ranked Michigan State on Friday. Good god, not again.

The post 2nd Thoughts: MBB OSU vs MSU, Finale appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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