Notes from Ohio State Basketball Practice

By Kyle Rowland on October 22, 2013 at 7:48p
Great Scott! Shannon impressed at both ends of the court.

The Ohio State men’s basketball team held their annual Agonis Club practice Tuesday night. Here are some news and notes from the festivities:

  • The Buckeyes did not go with a starting five vs. a second five. The two units were all mixed together. It would have been impossible to have the usual five anyway, because Lenzelle Smith was not suited up. Thad Matta said Smith is battling an infection. He did not elaborate on what kind of infection.
  • Ohio State and West Virginia will scrimmage on Saturday, Matta said.
  • Former Buckeye David Lighty practiced with the team. Matta introduced Lighty as his all-time favorite Buckeye.
  • Amir Williams had a shaky practice. At first, it looked bright as he asserted himself down low and caught a bullet from Aaron Craft and finished with a dunk at the expense at Trey McDonald. But it went downhill quickly for Williams.
  • He missed a defensive rebound and was stripped by Shannon Scott as he went up to dunk on consecutive possessions. There were several more offensive possessions that ended with Williams being stripped or losing the ball. When he connected on a dunk late in practice, the crowd responded with a Bronx cheer.
  • Scott was by far the most impressive player on the court – on both ends. He had at least 11 points, including three 3s, and was able to create by penetrating into the lane, once against Aaron Craft. He was defending well, too, knocking the ball away from Williams on one attempted dunk.
  • Marc Loving was solid. He can definitely get better on the defensive end of the court, but his offense was as advertised. He made multiple 3s and had a really smooth jump shot and stroke. Matta lauded Loving for the level of play he’s brought to practice so far.
  • Amadeo Della Valle knocked down a buzzer-beater to end the practice a la his summer leading Italy to the gold medal.
  • Craft didn’t shoot a whole lot. Instead, he concentrated on distributing the basketball, which he did well. Guys didn’t always finish, but Craft was busy feeding them the basketball. He did make a couple shots, including a three-pointer. Shooting motion looked good. He was also the most vocal member of the team and took time to chat with Loving, likely helping the youngster with nuances of the offense and defense.
  • LaQuinton Ross didn’t shoot 100 percent, but his misses were close. He only put up on ill-advised NBA 3. I thought his shot selection and flow in the offense was what Ohio State will want in the regular season.
  • Thompson didn’t make himself real noticeable, but he was able to make a couple big defensive blocks, usually blocks. On offense, he connected on a few jump shots and a floater.
  • Matta said Ohio State cannot afford miss open shots this year. The coaching staff has put a premium on offense. Matta also said this year’s team could be the best of his career in terms of defense.
  • “We’d like to be 40-0.” -Matta on his ideal record this season.
  • Matta was asked by a fan who the toughest opponent OSU faces all season. He deadpanned, “Morgan State on Nov. 9.” Matta added that he thinks Michigan State is the team to beat in the Big Ten.
  • Asked who the most improved player in the team is, Matta mentioned Scott but added the whole team has been clicking in practice. Matta also mentioned Williams and McDonald when talking about improved players. He said post play should be effective.
  • “If you don’t have great kids in your program, you’re going to pay the piper.” -Matta
  • Kam Williams, the Buckeyes’ other freshman, was out with mono. Matta expects him to miss another 2-3 weeks.


Comments Show All Comments

NoVA Buckeye's picture

How is Shannon Scott being really good a spoiler? Those who payed attention last year closely enough to him should know he's poised for a breakout year this season.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

DatDudeSA's picture

My guess is there was a little sarcasm involved there.

"fear is an obstacle to some people, but it is an illusion to me"––Michael Jordan.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I guess I'm just biased. I'm sick and tired about hearing about Aaron Craft from every girl on campus I talk to... Don't they know when to quit?

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I don't hate him, I just hate hearing about him from people that don't know what a 2-3 is.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Knarcisi's picture

Needs to keep working on that jumper. Also his free throws. He could get to the line at will with that quickness. 

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I watched almost every minute of every game and I saw a player that showed flashes of greatness but made too many mental errors. My guess is Matta saw this as well. I find this update encouraging. At the very least it will put the verbal vomit of "why didn't Matta recruit Burke" to rest.

Julius Erving's picture

Shannon was good last year.  I don't think he was *really* good.  He definitely has shown flashes of the player he can be.  If he can consistently knock down an open jump shot and continue to be the defender and distributor that he was last year, then he can have that breakout year that we are all hoping for.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Thats great if Scott balls like this. Perimter D for days. If Loving can hit shots opposite Ross...Craft and Scott shred...Slam T and Lenzelle throw in their once every 3 or 4 game scoring outbursts...we just need a big or 2 to board and hammer home put backs.
I know its football season but I like this years hoop squad.

TheChase's picture

Sad but not surprising to hear Williams being stripped and losing the ball.  Was hoping he would have worked on his strength and keeping the ball up higher during the offseason.  Need him to figure it out this year for this team to have a consistent threat down in the paint.

DatDudeSA's picture

I just hope loving gets some PT you know how much matta loves using his bench. Us buckeyes fans are so spoiled with our teams.

"fear is an obstacle to some people, but it is an illusion to me"––Michael Jordan.

IBleedSandG's picture

Really excited for the season. As Matta said, the d should be really good. I think the offense will progress throughout the year. If Scott and Craft can shoot a decent percentage from 3, that will be a huge bonus b/c we know Q can stroke it, and I think Thompson has a nice jumper. I think ADV should be able to contribute some threes this year. The bench should have some solid outside shooters by the end of the year.


UrbanCulture's picture

Can we get coach Mick some 1 on 1 time with Williams?
This team is kind of under the radar, just where I like it.

WiliestBuckeye's picture

Honestly, I'm really excited for this basketball season. I feel like if we have some semblance of a post presence from Amir or Trey or whomever, that this is the year we finally break through to the title game.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

tennbuckeye19's picture

I loved reading this, except for the stuff about Amir. I'm still gonna support the kid and hope he can make good strides this year, though. 
Looking forward to this season. Go Bucks!

dubjayfootball90's picture

Williams needs to man up. Time to show the nation how to play down low at a high level. He has to.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

sbentz4's picture

I think that OSU can make it to the round of 32 or maybe sweet 16 without strong play down low, but needs Williams to step up if they are thinking elite 8 or better IMO.

Gametime's picture

Maybe Amir should just focus on defense and rebounding...

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

OurHonorDefend09's picture

If Shannon Scott develops any type of jump shot, holy shit watch out. Assuming Craft's offense continues to build off of last year, this team is going to have one nasty back court.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

AlphaMaleBettor's picture

Reaaaally was hoping AW would improve his hand strength in the offseaseon.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Shannon Scott has been an underachiever to date from the standpoint of offense, glad to read he is making strides in that department.  He couldn't throw the ball into the ocean his freshman season, last season he was definitely better and was on his way to becoming an outstanding point guard.  He and Craft will probably be one of the best guard tandems going.  Shame about Amir, seems like did not make the miraculous improvement we were hoping beyond hope for.  Sometimes it takes the big guys longer, we might be in trouble down low this season.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

whobdis's picture

From what I've heard..Williams has been working on his conditioning. But the kid needs to work on upper body strength. If that still sucks he won't have to worry about conditioning because he won't be playing that much.

ChazBuckeye's picture

Let's hope this good 'practice' shooting translates into good shooting for him during games. He wasn't nearly as good as advertised before he started getting playing time for OSU.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

pcuzz1's picture

Shannon was probably my favorite player to watch last year.  He has some quick hands on defense, which allows him to victimize post players, like he did to Amir, by helping down on the post.  He is also a lot of fun to watch on the fast break. Very quick, great vision, and can pull up from the elbow and knock that jumper down.  Would not be surprised if he one ups his efforts last year of all conf for defense to overall all conference.  Dude is a straight menace guarding the ball.

pat cozzens

Jelligrim's picture

Hope Craft and Scott worked this offseason with Mike Conley.  They could dominate if they had a runner like his!

ronhack's picture

Our defense will be solid. Matta is going to make sure of that! Im nervous where are scoring is going to come from. Our bigs can't score and Craft is not a huge scorer. SCOTT , DELLA, , ROSS , and SMITH I'm hoping . Football season now but at least when its over we also have a first class basketball program to fall right into. Take that alabama!

Ron hack