More Mayhem: Della Valle Bidding for Increased Role

By Michael Citro on July 26, 2013 at 11:30a
Will we see more Floppy Haired Mayhem in 2013-14?

As we told you on Sunday, Ohio State guard Amedeo Della Valle led Italy to the 2013 FIBA U20 European Championship, held in Estonia. For his efforts, he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Della Valle’s 19 points in the championship game — including 13 in the final five minutes — secured his country’s 67-60 win over Latvia and the country’s first ever gold medal in the U20 European Championships.

Without Della Valle’s contributions, Italy could not have won the tournament. His triple in the waning seconds sunk Spain, 76-73, in a crucial matchup on July 15. He had a huge game against the Spanish (who finished third in the tournament), scoring 27 points and pulling down seven rebounds. He also knocked down a buzzer-beating bomb off one leg in the quarterfinals against Lithuania to send the game into overtime, where Italy eventually prevailed, 75-72, a week ago today.

Della Valle averaged 13 points per game in the tournament to lead the Italians. He averaged about four rebounds per game (3.7 to be precise) and finished the tourney with eight assists, 14 steals and four blocks. At 1.4 steals per game, it looks like Della Valle’s defense is improving. Being Aaron Craft's teammate probably helps a bit in that area. He also drew 4.3 fouls per game against his opponents.

In his 10 games during the tournament, Della Valle finished with a positive plus/minus — meaning his team outscored the opposition while he was on the floor — in seven of them; he was even once and had two minus games. He was a whopping +23 in an 88-70 win over Russia on July 17.

His international experience on the big stage should be a boost for Della Valle’s confidence entering his sophomore season.

Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. will be the only seniors in the regular rotation in 2013-14, so younger players will have to step up and contribute not only points, but also intangibles. Della Valle is on the roster because of his outside shot, which may resemble Jon Diebler’s before ADV’s career is over, but developing leadership qualities and his defense will lead to more minutes on the floor. By all accounts, he showed outstanding leadership skills in the U20 Euro tournament, particularly by example, hitting several clutch shots.

Can Della Valle parlay his European vacation into more playing time this season? Maybe. Playing against the best competition Europe has to offer in his age bracket certainly can't hurt, especially considering how well he performed.

Happy happy joy joy!Della Valle will try to use his Euro experience as a springboard
to a successful sophomore year at Ohio State.

Della Valle is coming off a freshman season in which he saw action in only 15 of Ohio State's 37 games. He averaged 7.2 minutes and scored 2.5 points per game off the far end of the bench, right next to the walkons. The Italian international hit 38.5% of his 3-point shots and 37.5% from the field in general. It shouldn't be hard to improve upon those numbers in his second season.

One of the most important demands Thad Matta makes of his players is that they play sound, fundamental defense. Matta’s teams use defensive pressure to fuel offense and choke opponents into submission over 40 minutes.

In order to see the floor more this year, Della Valle will have to become a better defender than he's shown in college thus far. Improving his footwork is the key to doing that — a must if the floppy-haired sophomore is going to expand his role on the team. If Amedeo can earn Matta’s trust with solid D, he’ll get more minutes.

His steals and blocks totals in Estonia may indicate Della Valle has already started to improve defensively. If he can develop into as good a defender as Diebler was, his skill set speaks of the potential for a similar career path. That would be huge for Ohio State, which must improve its sometimes-dicey perimeter shooting if the Buckeyes are to continue to challenge for the Big Ten championship.

The tools are there. Whether ADV can put them all together remains to be seen.


Comments Show All Comments

Idaho Helga's picture

Suddenly I'm hungry for some Lasagna.

L-TownNut11's picture

Is there any footage of this tourney on youtube of him ballin?  I wanna see this floppy haired kid in action......

idontsmellgood's picture
On the side you can click on the different games they had and view the highlights from each.  He wears #8.
Here is one of the games (Quarterfinal Italy vs. Lithuania)


"This kid scares me a little bit because I've seen him on film drop back and ...boom, boom, boom." Tuberville moved his head, mimicking Barrett checking through his progressions. "That scares me right now. Has all week."-Tuberville on JT Barrett

idontsmellgood's picture

Here is a fan made video of him from the game vs Russia.  Pretty terrible quality tho.

"This kid scares me a little bit because I've seen him on film drop back and ...boom, boom, boom." Tuberville moved his head, mimicking Barrett checking through his progressions. "That scares me right now. Has all week."-Tuberville on JT Barrett

BuckeyeinExile's picture

I wish they would allow the B-Ball team, our Italian friend in particular, to spend some quality time with Coach Marotti

D. Anthony's picture

At the very minimum we ought to be able to use him to provide a spark off the bench like that little annoying Spike kid from mich

D. Anthony

Schwizzle1985's picture

I think adding strength will be key for him.

DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

I think the thing ADV needs to improve on is his overall strength, and confidence handling the ball. I remember watching him last year, and every time he had the ball dribbling around, I was nervous. He just looked as if someone could come take the ball from him at any time. He is clearly best suited to be a spot up shooter, which is something the Buckeyes need. If he can improve on his defense enough to get him on the court, he needs to go spot up somewhere. We have enough ball handlers that can make plays happen and find him for a kick out 3.  I hope he gets his chance, because the kid is deadly when he is set up outside.  

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.

"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

pjtobin's picture

He sounds like a pure stud baller! Can't wait till he is scoring for us this year. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Nutinpa's picture

Hopefully he will improve his D and all-around game to see some significant minutes next year.
Lord knows....this team, Ross aside, will need some help on O with outside shooting as nearly everyone in the past 3 seasons who were counted to score are now gone.  Going into this season, Buckeye Nation is left to only "hope" that Craft, LSJ and Sammy T will find some semblance of outside shooting touch that is consistent.

Squirrel Master's picture

not to rely too much on freshmen but the 2 incoming players are both scoring machines! Kam Williams can shoot and drive to the hoop very effectively. Marc Loving has a great outside shot from the corner 3 and is a big lanky kid who I think is still growing and could be a scoring PF on this team.
I truly wouldn't be surprised if the starting lineup ended up with either freshman starting near the end of the year. Mostly because either Lenzelle won't continue getting better and still lacks polish all around and Kam Williams just becomes a better option, or that easier buckets becomes such a need that Loving starts a PF next to Amir and Ross moves to SF (with Thompson moving to SG). Loving and Ross might be the best scoring duo on the whole team, overall scoring not just 3's!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

sb97's picture

I was surprised at how good ADV looked on the court even in limited time last year.  Sure he had his weaknesses but I do think he was a better player last season than he was given credit for.  I do want to see him get a real chance at playing time this season or next.

Toilrt Paper's picture

If ADV doesn't see his minutes go up significantly look for him to transfer.