February's Challenge: How Will Ohio State Respond?

By Kyle Rowland on February 18, 2013 at 10:00a
83 Comments

Talent and coaching go a long way in sports. Rarely, if ever, do championship-caliber teams have those missing ingredients. What often pushes them over the top, though, is defense. The age-old cliché "defense wins championships" is probably overused, but there’s a reason it’s preached at every level, from fourth grade to the pros: it’s true. 

The beleaguered Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State is fortunate to have one of the top defensive players in the country on its roster. Since he first walked on campus three years ago, point guard Aaron Craft has personified relentlessness and effort. Head coach Thad Matta is a defensive-minded coach, but even he can’t teach the assets Craft brings to the team. His presence alone gives Ohio State a chance to win every time it takes the court.

Matta’s philosophies have lent the Buckeyes to being a defense first team. But suddenly, all has gone wrong. Whether it’s allowing opponents to make a high percentage of three-pointers, not protecting the paint or just giving up too many points, Ohio State’s defense has become nearly nonexistent.

On Sunday, concerns about defensive lapses and shortcomings evolved into panic about what’s now a startling trend. Ohio State didn’t just lose, it was embarrassed, falling 71-49 at Wisconsin. If the Buckeyes are to reach their potential, which could result in another memorable March, serious issues have to not only be addressed, but corrected.

“We’ve seen the results. If we’re not going to play defense, we’re not a good basketball team,” Matta said. “If we’re going to rely on trying to outscore opponents, that’s not going to happen. We have to get back to playing good defense.”

Two short weeks ago, Ohio State was 17-4 and still eyeing a fourth straight Big Ten title. A 1-3 record has eroded those chances and, in the process, made Ohio State stop and look at itself. Wisconsin shot its highest field goal percentage of the year at the conclusion of a week when the Buckeyes’ defense was already a messy topic due to consecutive questionable appearances.

Indiana roasted Ohio State a week ago, but the No. 1 team in the country playing flawless basketball doesn’t raise too many eyebrows. When a Northwestern team with only seven scholarship players leads for more than 30 minutes on the road, the distress become more real. And when you look as disinterested as Ohio State did in a game that could have finally served as a marquee road win, alarm bells start sounding.

During Ohio State’s 1-3 stretch, opponents have shot nearly 50 percent from the field and connected on 45 percent of their three-point attempts – a recipe for disaster.

“Where’s our defense? I don’t understand. I don’t know who’s in your jerseys right now,” Matta said to his team during Wisconsin’s decisive 18-0 first-half run. “In terms of being where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to do, we’ve got to get back to that.

Who will boost the team with a truthful discussion?

“We shut down defensively. Why? I don’t know.”

Blame doesn’t solely lie with the defense, though. On Sunday, Ohio State had its lowest scoring output of the season and shot less than 40 percent from the field. Take away Deshaun Thomas’ stats and Ohio State only made one-third of its field goal attempts.

Craft was 2 of 9 and LaQuinton Ross finished 1 of 7. The Buckeyes took some low-percentage shots and forced the issue early in the shot clock on several possessions. But the number of missed shots at the rim was almost unheard of.

“We walked off the practice floor in Columbus and I felt like we had two great preps coming in,” Matta said. “We were specific with what we were going to do. Whatever I did didn’t work in terms of getting this team to compete at the level we needed to compete at.”

Asked following the game if he thought the team was mentally prepared for the Badgers, Thomas said without hesitation, “No.”

“You can’t teach that,” he said. “Coach (Matta) really can’t get your mind right. He can help, but it’s on us. We have to be ready.”

The one factor still present, however, is that all seven of Ohio State’s losses have come against ranked teams, three to the top five, with No. 20 Wisconsin being ranked lowest. Still, three losses in four games, regardless of the strength of the competition, will cause the heart rate to quicken.

Ohio State will have an opportunity to help its case this week with games versus Minnesota and Michigan State, both at home. The Buckeyes are currently in fifth place in the conference, meaning they would not have a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Another rough stretch at this time a year ago served as the turning point in a Final Four season. Rock bottom also came in a loss against Wisconsin. But from there on, Ohio State was a completely different team, living up to lofty expectations. The makeup of the Buckeyes one year later, however, is wider than the Grand Canyon.

“The one thing about last year’s team, we had heart, we fought with passion, we trusted each other,” Thomas said. “This year, we don’t know what guys are thinking. We don’t know what guys want.”

It’s a powerful statement from Thomas, and behind closed doors, maybe it’s the kind of tough love Ohio State needs to jumpstart its postseason push. But there is some pause as to whether there’s a strong voice like Jared Sullinger’s present on this season’s team to deliver the hard truths.

“I want to win. I’m pretty sure my teammates wants to win,” Thomas said. “I feel like we need to just change it around and pick it back up. The season is about to end. We don’t want guys worrying and second-guessing each other. We need to trust in each other and stay together.”

Said Matta: “You have to take ownership.”

83 Comments

Comments

3cent's picture

Aaron Craft is the most overrated player in Ohio State history. His shortcomings were covered up when we had scorers on this team, but I knew back then he sucked. And I am getting tired of hearing about his defense and leadership.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Aaron Craft is being expected to do something he isn't. He wasn't 'covered up' when he had scorers on the team, he was able to do what he does best-defend and facilitate. This team has no consistent secondary shooter and no one seems able to grab the reigns on any given day once Deshaun gets his. How can someone be, arguably the best on ball defender in school history yet be the most over rated as well?
I'm not Craft's biggest fan to be honest, I think the offense works a little better when Scott handles the ball, but I also know what Craft is. An amazing defender who can chip in a few points when is shot is right. Saying he's over rated for something he's not supposed to be able to do isn't fair. Its like saying Eddie George sucked because he couldn't catch the ball all that well out of the backfield.
This team is athletic but lacks any real shooting beyond Thomas. Too many slashers, not enough shooters, no inside offensive game what so ever.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

3cent's picture

Your overrated when in the preseason you were on the Wooden POY list. And no one is expecting him to be a scorer, but when you are wide damn open you should be able to make a damn shot. Or when you drive to the hoop you should make a damn lay up. Or be able to pass the ball without turning it over.

toad1204's picture

Craft did not have a single turnover yesterday. 

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

iball's picture

Im not the biggest aaron craft fan either, I think he should be used in different situatiuons and scott is better all around. Im not calling him overrated though, he was expected to be the second scorer this year and it hasnt panned out thats all. He has an awful jump shot though... If he is such a hard worker then why hasnt that improved?

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

tampa buckeye's picture

Craft can't shoot and neither can Scott.  I think Scott atleast has a better stroke then Craft but they both shoot as a last resort.  Zero confidence is not a good thing.  Wisconsin basically gave both Craft and Scott wide open looks all game.
 Amedeo would atleast keep the defense honest. He is what you call a pure shooter.

gobucks96's picture

Aaron Craft's on ball defense is as good as you'll probably ever see... He's not a scorer and he needs find the scorers late in the game instead of taking himself, but he's been a valuable player throughout his time at OSU.....

TheBadOwl's picture

I personally think that Craft is pretty solid at driving to the basket. Hustles more on both sides of the floor than anyone else on this team. Not great vision, passing, or ballhandling skills, but I think he's a better shooter than people give him credit for (when he's on), and he's one of the best on-ball defenders you'll ever see. To me, he belongs in the lineup.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

tampa buckeye's picture

and he plays his ass off.  I'd rather lose with guys like Craft, Mcdonald and Amedeo Della Valle playing hard.  
The play that really pissed me off yesterday was when craft layed out knocked the ball loose around half court and Thompson just stood there and watched.  
Now they did pick up the defense out of the half but they were too far behind and could never hit a big three to get over the hump. 
Starting five needs to Craft, ADV, Ravenel, Thomas, and Thompson.  ADV can open things up for Thomas in the paint. 

andyb's picture

yeah..bad form sir!
 
You can't be the all time leader in Ohio State history (steals) as a junior..and tied 6th-7th on the all time B1G list...as a junior....and be overrated.
 
Quit being mad at one player because he's not all of a sudden a 20 point scorer because he hasn't needed to be..this team really seems like a lot of bad luck on Matta's part. They were all (almost all) McDonalds All Americans before coming to Ohio State...you can't really pick them any better than that...It's really confusing as to why they are all so terrible at shooting...and I mean Badddd.
 
Your anger is understandable but I think a little misguided.

3cent's picture

Okay, I get it guys. I made a over the top comment. You can stop piling on with the negative votes now..... Although I still think craft isn't very good.

iball's picture

Downvote for backpedaling!! Stick to your guns!!!

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

RedStorm45's picture

We can stop talking about Illinois as a "ranked" opponent loss.  They have been terrible since, with the exception of the IU game.
 
After the Illinois loss, they admitted they didn't practice well.  This game they did practice well?

Charlotte Buckeye Chip's picture

STOP WEARING THE LOGO JERSEYS!!!  They aren't working.  Go Bucks!

~Charlotte Buckeye Chip

buckeye20's picture

Definately the jerseys.  Screw those logo things.  They have a mojo on them.  We need to tell Matta to change his underwear too.  Those aren't lucky anymore.  Let's go back to the short shorts in the 80's.  Maybe they will move their feet on defense so people won't see their bare legs.
Not ready to play...what a joke.
 

3cent's picture

I noticed every time I say something negative about Craft that my comment is in gray and I have a negative number by name. Pretty sure that it is a bad thing, but what exactly does that mean? Is craft off limits?

toad1204's picture

You have been downvoted by more than 3 upvotes.  Its a way to keep the trolls out.  Your comment was not presented well.  Instead of saying Craft sucked you should have presented reasoning why you believe your point and then throw out the suck part.  Just throwing out the suck part will get you d/v 'ed and eventually the ban hammer will stomp you.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

iball's picture

No, but youre going off the deep end. "most overrated player in OSU history" cmon man...
 

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

tennbuckeye19's picture

Sure, you can criticize all you want, but you can't expect people to A.) agree with what you're saying or B.) appreciate a comment like "he sucks, blah, blah, blah". 

3cent's picture

Then I apologize. The more I think about it Craft is great. He is the best shooter I ever saw, I love when he shot puts the ball, and the way it comes off the rim after he bricks.

andyb's picture

Sarcasm...you're asking for it at this point dude. You may have an opinion on someone one way or the other and that's fine..no one said you have to worship a player or even like their style of play as you have obviously pointed out..both directly and by your sarcastic statement above.
 
but when you make comments like "most overrated player in Ohio State history" and he "sucks" ..you come off as ignorant and show that you are either venting with an undeserving target...or you're trolling...or it could possibly be that you just don't follow basketball very closely. either way..you bring nothing to the table and for that you get downvoted for wasting everyones time...sorry that's why downvotes exist.

3cent's picture

The problem is that I have watched basketball closely and never liked Crafts game. Even his freshmen and sophomore years, and thought he was praised too much. I saw this season coming when Sullinger and Buford left.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Why didn't you start with this comment and not 'he's the most overrated in OSU basketball history and he sucks'?

andyb's picture

This comment right here..is perfectly fine. I get that you don't like Craft and you probably never will..that's fine.
 
I admit his lack of shooting prowess is very very frustrating to me as well and I wish he wouldn't take some of the shots he does...again...there is a right and wrong way of critisizing a player...blanket statements like the ones you used above are going to get you downvotes...shake it off you'll figure it out.. no harm..it's only one thread I'm even going upvote your last comment to get the ball rolling.

3cent's picture

Thanks, so I guess I will now make a positive statement about Craft with no sarcasm. One thing he has improved on since his freshman year is his free throw shooting. He was terrible in the area, but now is good.

PWLafferty. TBDBITL. TRow.'s picture

The problem is thousands of people with much more basketball intelligence and experience than you have watched his game too, and they think he's a pretty damn good ball player.

"I'm up there with Chris and Dave Pass, getting ready to broadcast that game, and that band came out of that tunnel, I was wiping tears out of my eyes and all the memories came back." ~Urban Meyer

3cent's picture

And I guess I don't see that when I am watching. Matter a fact, I think he fouls a lot and doesn't get called for it.

Tommy's picture

That's not an accident.

Craft holds his hands higher up and farther from his body than most defenders do, so refs "are less likely to call a foul," he says, "even if there's a little contact."

Guess it's working.

"He physically beat up our guards," said Florida coach Billy Donovan after a loss to the Buckeyes last season. "And I'm not saying our guards got fouled. Totally within the context of the rules of the game, he manhandled them."

Link to full SI article.

cajunbuckeye's picture

Constructive criticism is always good, name calling is never appreciated.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

GrayDay's picture

Maybe Craft only seems dissapointing sometimes because he's not Evan Turner.  He can't carry a team on his own.  However he still is GREAT basketball player, especially when his teammates play sound basketball around him.  No, he's not a natural shooter and therefore will never be an offense force. But he can be very quick to the bucket and - when he's not pressing - actually has a nice short jumper.  Oh, and he frequently is the only one confident of handling the ball.  He knows what everyone should be doing and he outworks everyone.  All of this makes him a great point guard if there are other weapons around who do what they should be doing.  He's not perfect and makes mistakes - mostly when he presses to make up for others - but he's suffering due to the play of those around him not named Thomas.   

3cent's picture

So you said what I said in my original comment, great teammates make craft look good. Craft doesn't improve teammates, so how is he a leader?

GrayDay's picture

I was just saying you don't need to carry the whole team on your back offensively to be a great player or a great leader.  He's a role player, but an exellent one I think.  When teammates play well around him Craft is the kind of point guard who can help to win conference championships and make final four appearances, and that's awfully good.  His leadership has been crucial on defense where his effort is about the only thing prodding his teammates to make the effort.
His defensive effort is so unusual that he gets remarkable praise, and I can see how some view that as over the top, considering his game is otherwise often not spectacular.  Its fair for some to not even like his style, that's cool.  I do like it and when my son gets to basketball age I look forward to showing him Craft as an example of how to play the position.
 
 

Tommy's picture

Craft doesn't improve teammates, so how is he a leader?

Watch Shannon Scott play defense and tell me Craft doesn't have something to do with that.

3cent's picture

Every time I come on here I see many comments going hard on other Buckeye players (football or basketball) just as hard as my comments on craft if not worse, but those comments rarely get the gray box or negative number by their names. So again, craft is off limits from criticism, but other buckeyes are fair game I guess.

BrewstersMillions's picture

That's not true-its how things are said. Calling him the most over rated player in school history is a bold statement. I don't think its down vote worthy as it is just one person's opinion-with that said it does matter who is saying what and how its being said.
I spent all of this season being hyper critical of John Simon and only saw a handfull of down votes over the course of probably 3 dozen anti-Simon posts.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

3cent's picture

Again, I have seen harsher comments about other players Amir Williams, joe bauserman, Shannon Scott, posey, Pryor, Buford, etc... Without a a gray box or negative number. But because those buckeyes aren't as beloved as craft no one does anything. 

gobucks96's picture

Do you actually think starting off a thread by saying "___" is the most over rated Ohio State Buckeye ever isn't going to see a negative reaction? Especially when the player is only a junior..

3cent's picture

Pretty sure if it was the players I mentioned it wouldn't.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Which again is false. Few players in OSU lore have the love affair John Simon does. I personally took him to task each and every week last year and never saw a grey box.
There's a way to say things-maybe you just aren't saying them that way.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The only negative comments I made about Bauserman where due to the fact that where ever I sat in the stadium, he never threw one ball to me.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

andyb's picture

Now that's hilarious!
 
+1

gobucks96's picture

(Note to self: Cajunbuckeye was not an OSU WR two years ago)

chitown buckeye's picture

I had a right to be upset with Bauserman. One of his passes in the Nebraska game broke my bedroom window.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

You're just going to have to understand that some people on here vote based on whether or not they agree with you.  Once you've reached this understanding, you care a lot less about the negative numbers next your name.

Read my entire screen name....

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Why do you keep crying about downvotes?

Class of 2010.

buckeye20's picture

Remember last year?  We were in a major funk in February.  The likelihood of turning it around this year isn't as great.  But, Matta somehow finds a way every year.  Craft's shot does look ridiculous since Jent has worked with him to get rid of the hitch.  We need 10-12 from Craft everynight and we need more from Smith Jr. consistently.  EVERBODY needs to step up.  They ain't geting it done. 
I think the real reason is the new Ohio State logo.  Ever since it was introduced we went Tap City.
Reintroduce the O with the maraju...buckeye leaf and let's get busy.

3cent's picture

When you say 10-12 I hope you mean assists because I rather him not shoot.

OSUbucknut's picture

I agree that Craft is overrated as well as the whole team.  Craft is a great PG on a team filled with scorer's.  However, this years team does not have have that.  We are spoiled and expect Thad Matta to put a final four contender out there every year.  This years team will be bounced in the second round because they don't have any shooters.  They might as well just play Devalla and see what happens.  

tennbuckeye19's picture

They don't have a player named Devalla. They do have a player named Della Valle.

toad1204's picture

I've drank the Kool Aid all season but yesterday was painful.  The comments from Thomas suggest theres desention in the locker room. 
Really wish Q would get going but he's splitting minutes and his D is lacking.  Hopefully UW was a wake up call.  Then again it was a game against a top 20 team at their house which they dont lose at very often.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

collards's picture

This is off topic, but how does one upvote or downvote. I also don't think Della Valle hustles all the time. Twice he was under the basket on a miss and neither time did he attempt to boxout, jump or fight for position. Guards have to rebound on a team whose starting center won't. Della Valle watched both times. The bucks needed every rebound they could get. Shooting is far from what the complete game of basketball is about. Sure he is a frosh, but a frosh can put a body on someone. Sure he may have ran in from outside, but if you do that you have to do more than watch.

Collards

RBuck's picture

Once you reach 100 helmet stickers the option to upvote or downvote will appear on each comment.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

3cent's picture

I do wish you guys would look at the archives to see all the negative hate filled comments about Pryor that didnt not get down votes. And I am not talking about post tat gate, but before tat gate.

toad1204's picture

Voting system happened last September....  No voting during that period unless someone goes back and votes on those threads.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

3cent's picture

Okay probably true since I never noticed until today. But during those pryor years when negative comments were said about him, those comments were never met with any disdain or condemnation, but more agreement.

andyb's picture

At this point..just let it go. I can assure you a lot more people were mad at Pryor/Posey/Boom/Tressel for very more legitimate reasons I.E. Bowl Bans, Vacated Games, NCAA Sanctions, loss of scholarships...etc.
 
Craft is a record holder at OSU and was last years Defensive player of the year...yeah he's struggling this year but again your previous comments were a little offbase. You are allowed to have an opinion but the way you presented it was terrible and a little uncalled for.

3cent's picture

Okay I will let it go, but I would like to reiterate I am talking before tat gate. Also last year around this time, I remember many negative/harsh comments aimed at Buford for his poor play.

andyb's picture

Upvote/Downvote was not introduced until late last year so it would not have been a possibility..trust me..someone would have if given the opportunity.

PhillyBuckeye27's picture

If Amir sees the floor on Wednesday night in any significant capacity then I may seriously scream!  The dude is a massive creme puff....0 points, 0 boards and FOUR fouls.....may be the worst display I have seen from an Ohio State center in my 35+ yrs of watching (and we have had some really good centers in those times - and some really average ones)!

andyb's picture

definitley needs to come along a lot more than he has..I agree with you though, very frustrating.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Prepare to scream. OSU doesn't really have much choice but to play Williams. It's not like Ravenel and McDonald are going to be able to handle the bigs from Minnesota. 

3cent's picture

Wow no down votes for this one. Go figure, proves my point that certain buckeyes are off limits while others aren't. 
Edit: by the way, I agree with you. 

tampa buckeye's picture

haha.  had to down vote you.

tampa buckeye's picture

Love it. I think we all need a white russian after that game yesterday. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

Posting opinions and criticism is nothing new. Posting grade school rhetoric about someone will always get crushed. "He plays soft in the middle, and seems weak to me." will be accepted. Where, "He's a limp dic% pu$$y in the middle and he sucks", won't fly.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

andyb's picture

It's clear you don't get it...and/or refuse to see the difference between just coming out and saying someone "sucks" or is "the most overrated player in Ohio State history" without supporting facts..and providing constructive and at times passionate critisism.
 
*wipes hands and walks away*

PhillyBuckeye27's picture

I will down vote myself :  )

slippy's picture

Can we get a 1on1 match set up between 3Cent and AC4?

73buckeye's picture

It's amazing to me how Craft seems to be the focal point of all this criticism. He is the one guy on this tean that never seems to take a play (or sometimes a whole game) off.  His forte is obviously defense. Makes sense he fails when he is expected to carry the team offensively. The whole thing fall apart when the other 4 guys on the floor don't play defense too. This team should be come out of the dressing room playing a full court game, pressing for 40 minutes. They have the athhletes to do that. A team like Wisconsin doesn't. What they don't have are accomplished basketball players that can beat a good team in a half court game. Speed and defense are the team's strength, not shooting and should be possible every night. Defense is 100% hustle and desire.
If they play hard and  to their strengths, it's still not too late to suprise a few people in the tournaments.

ernie

3cent's picture

He gets criticized by me for the following reasons:
1. It seems as if people on this website can harshly criticize any other player. But craft gets a pass for his below average to terrible playing.
2. I am tired of hearing about his supposed leadership. If he is such a good leader then what is up with thus team. Oh I know the answer, it's everyone else's fault that they cant be lead.
3. His "great" defense is a wash with his equally bad offense. I have seen times when he steals the ball, but then misses a lay up in the fast break.

cajunbuckeye's picture

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

OldColumbusTown's picture

Seems to me many on here were led to believe from the very beginning of this season that Craft would turn into a scorer, and overall superstar player.  There was an impression from all the media/writers that he'd be the secondary scorer behind Thomas, and would pick up a great deal of the scoring that was lost from Sullinger and Buford.  The first few games of the season, where he averaged around 15-17 points, did nothing to quell that notion.
Now, he's obviously struggling to score because his confidence in his shot has been squashed, he has little help from everyone else on the offensive end (obviously this excludes DT), and he's clearly pressing to be more of a scorer than he should, based on the fact no one else can score consistently either.
I think too many reaped unfair expectations on him to be some high-volume scorer this year.  He's failed to do that, and the rest of the team has failed as well.  Expectations were there, and have not been met to this point.  So now we see folks coming out of the woodwork to bash him and the team.
Craft is who he is - the best backcourt defender in America, a heady player who is limited offensively, but tries to make up for it with his smarts and anticipation.  Let's not tear down the guys who are playing their hearts out for this team.  You could argue maybe a few of the guys on this team aren't putting forth that max effort all the time, but Craft is not one of them.

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Good post except that the expectations were not "unfair".
Craft is not a charity case, and he would be most devastated if we told him that we were sorry that we thought he could tranisition into an offensive threat.
Hopefully he can re-re-re-transition into being a respectable offensive threat ... stop putting the ball so high off the glass on his drives and stop short arming his 10 footers.
If he has a tournament like last year, all will be forgotten.
BTW, I like him even though the tranistion to scorer appears to have failed, for all the reasons you enumerated above

DefendYoungstown's picture

How long untill football starts?

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

cajunbuckeye's picture

No matter what day it is, the answer is not soon enough.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

IBleedSandG's picture

As horrible as Sundays game was too watch, maybe it was what the team needed. Although, I kinda thought the same thing after the IU loss @ home. This team is better than they played on Sunday, and I'm not sure sconny could have played much better. Things have to get better b/c they can't get much worse.
I hope Thad starts giving Amedeo some more minutes. The kid may be a little skinny and unproven and streaky from 3, but he could help open some things up on the offensive end. Q needs to start ahead of Thompson too. Sam is so passive on the offensive end its ridiculous. I just don't understand how a kid that athletic can't ever try and drive to the rim. As soon as he receives a pass, he takes a couple dribbles and passes it back to Craft or whoever is at the top of the 3 point line.
I can't believe the lack of progression from the soph class. I'm not sure which player is the most disappointing. I guess I'd go with Amir b/c he has no hands, little-to-no desire and is about as poor a rebounding 6'11'' guy I've ever seen.
At this point, I'd be pretty shocked if this team made it past rd 2 of the tourney. B1G or NCAA.

"You pick up the rifle and go as hard as you can possibly go."
-UFM

OldColumbusTown's picture

I love Thad Matta, and rarely oppose his decisions just for the simple fact he does nothing but win games, but please, oh please, don't ever have the four-some of Craft, Scott, Thompson, and Willams/McDonald on the floor at the same time.  I don't care who is the fifth man on the floor. 
Four guys who almost literally cannot score for certain stretches of a game does not work.  Anything and everything you may "gain" defensively is much more than lost offensively.

PhillyBuckeye27's picture

How are we still ranked 18th in the country?  We have beat nobody worth a hoot on the road and have lost to 6 of the 7 ranked teams we played. 

3cent's picture

Just to be clear, I don't take back anything I said about Craft. He is overrated and sucks. Just because he runs around like an out of control  jack rabbit with his face turning red while getting away with fouls doesn't make him good. You guys are always crying about proof and backing up my statement, well watch the last 2 minutes of the Michigan game. There I said it, bann me. I will just go back to lurking like I do most of the time anyway

Brutus's picture

Thanks for clarifying.  I was beginning to get a little worried that someone as principled and rational as you would succumb to the pressure of group think and start to back away from your well-reasoned arguments. I'll sleep better tonight.