A Few Thoughts on KU-OSU.

themostbrian's picture
March 27, 2012 at 9:38p

Just watched OSU-Syracuse again and have a few thoughts:

1. Craft is FAR and away our most important player. He is unimaginably disruptive to the opponents lead guard, he brings patience, stability and a calming presence on offense and he is an emotional leader out there who pulls the team together and keeps everybody's mind focused on the present task at hand. Craft almost NEVER rushes things, almost NEVER makes a bad pass and his decision-making is routinely superlative.

2. Tyshawn Taylor vs. Craft will go a long way to deciding this FF matchup. The first time around, Taylor had 13 assists, 7 TOs and only 9 points. Kansas shot nearly 60% from the field, so that's what accounts for some of those assists - And they still beat us without Sullinger by only 11 at home. My prediction is that Craft dominates Taylor this time around - Craft has already seen Taylor once and Craft only gets better when he sees a player multiple times - Ask Trey Burke.

3. Deshaun Thomas is the biggest matchup problem in the FF. He can hit perimeter shots, he can dribble drive, he's a monster around the basket and he is probably the best 6'6 offensive rebounder I've ever seen play college basketball. If Kansas starts their big guy, Whithey, on Sullinger, then that puts Thomas Robinson on Thomas, which would be an incredibly big mismatch in Thomas' favor. And if KU sits Whithey down and lets Robinson guard Sullinger, then KU loses their shot-blocker as well, which frees up the interior. KU left Robinson to guard Hummel (a similar player to Thomas) against Purdue and Hummel had a field day before they switched up in the 2nd half. How Kansas decides to guard Thomas will be a huge factor.

4. Look at the stats from the earlier KU-OSU game. We shot horribly, turned the ball over, got outrebounded, had foul trouble and played Jordan Sibert for 15 minutes - All in a road game against a top team without Jared Sullinger. And somehow it was a 6 point game with less than 2 minutes to go. Looking at that, I have to say that I feel very confident that as long as we play our game and bring the intensity on the defensive end.


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Certainly, both teams have good reason to be confident.  Having Sullinger this time around is obviously huge for us, plus the way our team has banded together in this tournament.  Not to mention how close the last game was despite all of the factors mentioned in the post.  Also, Kansas is playing much better now than they were playing in December.  One of their guys said that they didn't play their best basketball in that game against us.  It's going to be a great game.

The X factor for this one, IMO, is the man who has had a less than stellar tournament, but our team has overcome that so far - he wears #44.  A big game by Buford would go a very long way to getting us to the biggest game of all.

Class of 2010.

Alex Root's picture

I don't think Buford really needs to have a stellar game for me. He just needs to get around 10 points for me and only take around 7-8 shots, Sully needs to score, thomas needs to score and the other guys can get their points in. If we play like we did against syracuse I think we win. Smith Jr. needs to hit some 3's as well. I just don't want Buford to put up 15+ shots if they aren't fallling and I think he has done a good job of that in the tourny, if they are falling he doesn't shoot a lot and drives a little more.

P.J Hill over Aaron Craft's picture

^Exactly. Im ok with buford not being on his game as long as he doesnt try to shoot himself out of it (last year Kentucky). We need efficiency from buford, not a HUGE game.