Things: Marquette

Chris Lauderback's picture
November 17, 2013 at 7:26p

Like some of you, I had two TV's going yesterday as Ohio State vs. Marquette overlapped with Ohio State vs. Illinois yesterday and since most of my focus was on the football game, I gave the hoops game a re-watch today after cranking out the Illinois version of Five Things. 

I was most interested in taking a closer look at LaQuinton's shot selection, Amir's performance on Gardner and Otule and the anatomy of Ohio State's big 2nd half. 

Thad's crew ended Marquette's 27-game home winning streakTHAD REMAINS RAD

The numbers don't lie when it comes to Q's offensive night. He was 0/6 from the floor including 0/3 from three with a turnover and one o-board in 18 minutes. His first shot of the night was a sign of things to come as he backed down his defender and took a fallaway jumper that hit little chance of finding the bottom. Twenty-five seconds later he took his best shot of the day, a three from the left wing in good rhythm off a feed right into his shooting pocket but it went off back iron. 

Four minutes later, he rushed a three early in the shot clock that was off the mark. Leading into the under-8 media timeout, Ross lost his mind in forcing a drive down the right side of the lane, giving the ref no choice but call a charge. A few minutes later, he took a so-so look from three off a feed from Craft. No problem with him taking the shot but it was a dud. 

Moving to the 2nd half, Ross made another poor decision about five minutes in as he forced the issue off the drive again. He took an off-balance, forced shot in traffic when he had Lenzelle wide open on the wing for three. 

Since his D wasn't exactly lights out and his O was struggling, Matta had pretty much seen enough:

“Q just didn’t have it today. He’s got to, for what we need from him, he’s got to be a little bit better than that.”

It really was a poor effort for Ross who is now a combined 3/16 from the floor including 2/8 from three over his last two games, scoring 10 points with six boards and two turnovers. You could see Craft get in his ear a few times trying to extract some energy and emotion but Ross just had that calm, distant look on his face. 

Amir didn't exactly light it up defensively in his duel with Marquette bigs Davante Gardner and Chris Otule but I thought he did some good things on help-side D with five blocks. He added three boards and four points and generally stayed out of foul trouble (3) though he played just 19 minutes after seeing 27 minutes of action against Ohio when he recorded a 14/10 double-double. Gardner did total 10 points and six boards but turned it over three times while Otule managed just four points and three boards with four turnovers. Trey McDonald actually played more minutes than Amir (2), posting two points, a rebound and a block but at minimum, he didn't hurt the cause. 

As for the 29-9 run to open the 2nd half that buried the Golden Whatevers, Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson and Aaron Craft deserve the bulk of the credit. 

The trio combined to score 25 of the 29 points and dished out 11 assists during the 15 minute stretch with Amir doing some work early in the spurt with a out-of-body lefty half-hook, a forced travel on Marquette, an altered shot and a block before Scott took over defensively with a series of steals. Scott also did a great job pushing the ball up the court off empty Marquette possessions, helping OSU post a 16-0 edge in fastbreak points on the day. 

Sam looked confident with his stroke scoring nine points during the run while Craft chipped in eight points with eight assists. The defense on the perimeter was spectacular and Marquette missed 18 of 21 shots during the run. 

Overall, the offense is still a work in progress in the half court but you have to love the defensive effort this team brings.

Though I'm not sure I like how Buzz Williams seemed to buzz Tom Izzo's tower, I loved his unsolicited comments on Matta:

“I have the utmost respect for coach Matta. Love him. If he talked about himself the way most guys who sit in this chair do, he’d be on every Dove commercial there is. But that’s not his nature.  He’s a great husband and a great father, done a phenomenal job, and he’ll be in the hall of fame before he retires.”

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rosycheeks's picture

Having not seen one second of the game, Chris, I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to feel about it. The score and stats indicate bad basketball. Or should I feel good about the defense?

Jonnferrell's picture

Luckily, when OSU couldn't shoot for crap, Marquette was worse.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

Chris Lauderback's picture

It felt a lot like a B1G game. Ohio State looked great defending the ball and playing the passing lanes though they struggled on the glass a bit. Offensively, that first half wasn't pretty but they did shoot 57% on the 2nd half (15/26) thanks largely to the defense creating opportunities which is something they'll have to rely on at times this year. 

I'm concerned that OSU won't develop a definitive go-to guy and the team will struggle at times to knock down threes but overall, it's a long season and OSU is off to a solid start. 

rosycheeks's picture

Certainly can't argue with the win. Thanks Chris.

OldColumbusTown's picture

This was a REALLY good win, on the road, against a Marquette team that may win the Big East. This was very much a B1G type of game, and it is wins like this that will help tournament seeding tremendously.

OSU struggled like crazy offensively, but still found a way to dig deep and win pretty convincingly. Baby steps for this group, but I hope Q finds his way because if he can be a reliable offensive threat, this team can be dangerous late in the season.

RedStorm45's picture

This felt like watching a game in it a Wisconsin thing?
Yes, the offense was atrocious at times.  But this is how A LOT of games are going to be won by this team.  Stifling defense (seriously...16 2nd half points given up) and just enough plays made in transition.  They are not a half-court team, and don't have a "go to" guy as evidenced by Q's struggles.  Amir is going to have foul troubles pretty much every game.  Loving will probably see 6-8 minutes a game as a stretch 5 with McDonald also likely to be in foul trouble.
ADV - not a great game for the Italian.  He just looks out of control on defense.  He is improving and expanding his offensive game, but it's going to be hard to have him out there for more than 4 minutes a half when he's so bad on the defensive end.  It felt like a tourney type game on TV and the moment may have been too big.  Love the kid though.
Free Throws - how Matta's teams continually struggle at the line is perplexing.  Practice, fellas.  They even had Jent the last few years to help with any shooting stroke troubles.
Craft and Scott are going to be really tough to go against.  They remind me of some of the Big East team's of the past that have ridiculous ball hawks at the 1 and 2 spots, which will be a sacrifice on the offensive end from 3 but it's a worthwhile trade off.
Don't watch the basketball team this year looking for "style points."  They're going to win ugly a lot.  But for as bad as the offense might be, the defense should keep them in every game.

d5k's picture

Marquette consistently has a swarming defense every year.  They do not allow drives to the basket and force contested jumpers.  We won the game in transition in the second half and just smothered their offense.  We will score more effectively against worse defenses.  Getting to the line will be important for this team though, as we have a lot of quick guys that have very little midrange game so it should be a lot of drive and kick.  Hopefully Thompson starts to perfect that little floater as he can get that shot a lot with his quickness and burst off the floor.

thatlillefty's picture

You could see Craft get in his ear a few times trying to extract some energy and emotion but Ross just had that calm, distant look on his face.

This bothers me worse than the missed shots. You might be struggling, but keep you head up.

CptBuckeye24's picture

This is the type of game that will be pointed at once committee and seeding are discussed.  OSU goes out on the road; wins in a tough venue, beats a great team, plays tremendous defense, and it is a statement type win.
The Committee loves these types of games.