Ohio State Basketball Forum

Ohio State Basketball Forum

Ohio State men's and women's basketball discussion.

The Season is Not Yet Over...

OldColumbusTown's picture
March 3, 2014 at 1:52pm
42 Comments

I'm as frustrated as anyone else watching the team this year.  After the past two games, I am not even sure I can stomach a similar performance in the home season finale this weekend.  However, that does not mean I am not still a fan and will not support the team until I cannot any longer this season.  I have seen a lot of negativity and bashing of specific players and the team as a whole, so I feel like it is time to issue my yearly reminder...

There is still time to correct this season and win a few games in the tournament. I'm actually quite disappointed so many people are ready to write off the season when the only time that truly matters has not even started yet. This isn't football - you can lose games and still win in the tournament. It happens every year. Why not cheer the team on until we're no longer able? Why not celebrate guys like LSJ, and especially, Aaron Craft for being the types of student-athletes they've been the past four years?

This is a team full of guys who've never had to be "the man" in college, and whose skillsets (other than Ross at this point) are not setup for being a primary scorer. Inconsistency has ruled all season. Many, including myself, hoped that either someone would take over this year who could be counted on to score, or, a group of 4 or 5 guys could be counted on to consistently put up double figures night in and night out. That just hasn't happened.

This team is at its best when it moves the ball, attacks the basket, and takes advantage of what's in front of it, rather than forcing things like three after three, or drives into traffic. There too many bone-headed plays still, and lack of focus at times. I never expect any team to play perfectly and not make mistakes, but this team seems to make so many mistakes that could be easily avoided, and it ALWAYS ends up biting them in the end.

We've seen this group play so well at times, to the point I'm not sure anyone could beat them.  The 2nd half of the Minnesota game is a prime example.  They can correct many of these mistakes they are prone to commiting and still do something special.

buckeyestu's picture

Anything is possible and the fat lady has not sung yet, however, if I was a betting man, I say this team is not going far. Lack of a decent post game, and a lack of 3 point shooting will prevent this team from going far at all. They may be able to win two in the big dance, but I would not bet on that at all. I will be rooting hard for the boys, especially Aaron Craft, who is my favorite player on the team. I will miss him not playing once this season is over.

OldColumbusTown's picture

I don't disagree.  Things are trending in the wrong direction, much the same as they were during that 5-6 game stretch in January.  Yet, this team did figure something out and righted the ship for a bit.  I realize they've lost two games in a row, on the road, to teams many would expect they'd beat, but it is the B1G and as we've seen this season, nothing is guaranteed.  All it takes is a few shots to fall, a few inspired plays, to get things rolling again in the right direction.

A Sweet Sixteen appearance in any season is a success.  It is HARD to do that in today's NCAA men's basketball.  OSU has done it 4 years in a row.  A 5th would be sweet, and any wins after that are icing on top.

Let's see what happens when the Buckeyes get away from the B1G schedule.  Who predicted Butler to make back-to-back NCAA championship game appearances?  Who thought George Mason or VCU could make the Final Four?  This OSU team is more talented and battle-tested than any of those teams were.  You never know in CBB...

+1 HS
Earle's picture

To paraphrase Doc Rivers, Havlicek and Lucas are not walking through that door. 

Just say no to italics abuse.

+2 HS
vitaminB's picture

I think that you're referring to Rick Pitino.

+1 HS
Earle's picture

You are correct, sir, though it does seem like something Doc would say.

(Note to self:  Fire fact-checker.)

Just say no to italics abuse.

+1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

This team has one more great run left in them.

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I like the optimism. I like to think like that as well. Way crazier things have happened in March. We have a senior-led team with a lot of upperclassmen. I wouldn't even be that surprised to see us make a run. Regardless, I can't wait for my favorite time of the year (MARCH MADNESS)!

RedStorm45's picture

MSU - loss.

Could easily draw PSU at the Big Ten tourney.  Hmm...loss?

A 9/10 seed in the NCAA tourney - loss.

Just end this season already.

 

-2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I hope the season never ends, because that means I miss out on the enjoyment of watching the Bucks until football season rolls around. You can keep on being the "fan" you are, while I and a few others on this site stick around to support this team and enjoy March. One of my least favorite things about the general 11W population is its attitude toward the basketball program. No one really gives a shit unless the team is doing incredible, and when the team isn't doing incredible they act like they're entitled to an incredible basketball team.

I'm with this team and this program until the day I die, through the shitty losses and the great March runs. What's sad is that you and every other person on 11W will jump back on the bandwagon if this team somehow pulls together a run in the tournament.

P.S. As of today Lunardi has us as a 6 seed in the tourney, so yeah.

+3 HS
Unky Buck's picture

Jumping on the bandwagon would imply that we don't really root for them to win on a normal basis and probably don't even casually watch it. Anyone with a current gripe about this team that has watched enough games this year is not exactly a "casual fan." To label us all bandwagon fans because we aren't as optimistic about any sort of postseason magic (like you are when you said they're going to the Final Four) is pretty ridiculous. I think the majority of us are rather logical in our reasoning that this team has severe deficiencies when it comes to scoring and are nowhere even close to being an elite team. It doesn't mean we won't and watch the games, but that we know this team has limitations this year and it's not the Final Four.

...

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

You're right in that bandwagon was the wrong term, apologies for that. However, it is a pattern that every year (sans 2010-2011 when we were unreal good during the regular season) there is complaints about the basketball team. I think it has to do with us being a football school so our fans aren't able to grasp losing 5-8 games a year yet it not being the end of the world, but that is just a guess. My rant was influenced by years of stupid, unreasonable complaining about the basketball team, so even if this year's complaints are more reasonable than others, I can't take them seriously with the track record some people have on this site in regards to basketball.

+3 HS
RedStorm45's picture

A team that is 7-8 in their last 15...and likely to be 8-9 (ish) coming into the tourney won't be a 6 seed.  We'll be the 6 seed in Indy.

 

It's like you're not watching the games.  It would be one thing if they just ran into superior competition, but the Big Ten is WAY down this year.  They hit free throws at the rate of middle schoolers.  I mean...ONE shot outside of the paint against IU? Come on.  They repeatedly make the same mistakes.  The missed layups/dunks is astounding.  I mean we know what the excuse is - lack of talent.  It's a very experienced team with no one who is an elite talent.  It still doesn't explain the putrid shooting rivaled only by some lower-tier high schools.  Or the consistently dumb mistakes game in and game out.

 

But you're right, let's not be frustrated.  On to the 2nd round (of the B1G tourney...maybe)!!

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Its like you're mistaking me for saying this team is playing well or well enough. How do I respond when you just formulated an argument opposing something I didn't say or believe?

Zimmy07's picture

One ray of hope could be that we're 16-3 at home & 1-0 on a neutral court this year, so maybe we'll do well in Indy as long as we don't draw Indiana.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Great point. Losses to Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, and Indiana aren't as bad when you consider they were on the road. Most of them still shouldn't happen, but in March no team is going to have a distinct home court advantage.

RedStorm45's picture

LOL a loss at Penn State isn't as bad?  They're 3-11 against the rest of the B1G.  They are terrible.

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Correct. They're not a good team. For whatever reason, whether it be something they have or something we don't have, they had our number this season. That can happen. We also have road wins against Wisconsin and Iowa. This Buckeye team is not horrible. We've had our great moments and our bad moments, but the magic of March should never be questioned. Any team that simply makes it to the big dance has a shot at a run, especially a defensive-savvy team led by seniors and upperclassmen, no less.

+2 HS
OSUFlash's picture

The season isn't over but it soon will be. If they can beat MSU, win 1 game in the BIG 10 and 1 game in the NCAA tourney that'll be a success. I'll trade an MSU win over the latter two for Aaron and Lenzelle's sake.

osuflash

unc4life's picture

It's hard to watch this team play. They will have spurts where they look great, and spurts where I'm not so sure that a top level high school team couldn't beat these guys. There are a few things that really stand out though. 1. Aaron Craft is such a liability on offense. He usually is good taking the ball the hoop but that's all he can do, so when he does he gets met by three guys at the rim and he forces it usually ending in a missed shot or a turnover. He has turned himself into a one tool player, he plays hard. So its great that the best player on your teams best attribute as a basketball player is he plays hard. It takes a lot more then that to be a good basketball player.  2. The offense they run is just terrible, but it is emphasized even more by the fact that this team is just so hot and cold from the outside. 3. This team has put so much pressure on themselves that they play stupid. I have never seen a team make so many dumb mistakes, they miss dunks, they miss layups, they get out of position on offense and defense, they make poor passes, they don't communicate and on and on. The hardest part is there is nothing this team can  do, this is who they are, they can be good, but they can also be really bad. I just hope they can catch something going into the big ten tournament and the NCAA tournament.  

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

LOL at the Aaron Craft dissing. He's not meant to do much on offense. The kid is unbelievable and if you think his best attribute is "playing hard" and that he doesn't have to much help then okay, guy...

+1 HS
Jack Fu's picture

Unc4Life's point was that Craft is a liability on offense. You can ignore it if you want to, and focus on the rosy cheeks and the clapping and the hustle, but he is right. Craft can't shoot; that's fine, point guards don't have to be scorers if they can take care of the ball and distribute. But Craft's turnover percentage (25.0%, per stat sheet) is almost equal to his assist percentage (26.2%). His lone positive offensive attribute is that he gets to the line a decent amount. He is a liability on offense, one of several on this team. As I said, if you want to ignore all of that, by all means, that's your prerogative. But if you "LOL" at someone who points out this fact, please have more than "the kid is unbelievable" as a counter-argument.

JakeBuckeye's picture

The only reason Craft is a "liability on offense" this season is because he's being forced to take charge on the offensive side of the ball because we don't have much else to work with there. Craft's skill is mostly defensive and non-scoring offensive, obviously, and its to no fault of his own that he is being forced to do something he is not meant to do which is be our offense. Craft is a unique player that you only see once in every decade or more. His defensive skill is equaled by none. But I guess don't color me surprised that we are scapegoating him for this team's lack of success in Big Ten play, nothing I hear from Buckeye fans during basketball season surprises me anymore.

+2 HS
Jack Fu's picture

I agree that it's not entirely his fault. Doesn't mean he's not a liability.

+3 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Craft is not the liability. The other guys who are supposed to be our scorers but haven't been able to come through are our liabilities. Craft has continued to play well in the situations where he is supposed to be playing well. Craft's lack of offensive luster is nothing new, that has always been his game. I don't think it was ever the plan for him to have to be our offense.

Jack Fu's picture

A point guard who can't score and can't take care of the basketball is a liability on offense. He's not "the" liability, as your first sentence seems to imply was my argument. But he is one of several.

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

He can take care of the basketball when he's not being forced to drive into the paint against three defenders because that's virtually our only option on offense sometimes. 

So I guess you're right, he's a liability when he's being forced to be something he is not at all. But then again, that sounds pretty damn stupid because who the hell wouldn't be? Imagine a world in where Shaq was forced to take threes because somehow that was the best option offensively for his team and the supposed shooters weren't playing up to par. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be calling Shaq the liability, I'd be calling the shooters the liability.

But whatever, I guess we can call Craft a liability because we're disappointed and looking for scapegoats.

+1 HS
Jack Fu's picture

So I guess you're right, he's a liability when he's being forced to be something he is not at all.

If he can't score and he can't take care of the ball, what exactly is it that he "is," offensively speaking? And his role isn't drastically different than its been in any of the previous years: he actually uses fewer possessions this year than in either his junior or freshman seasons (his sophomore year his usage rate was miniscule), and he's on pace to have fewer field goal attempts this year than last year. In the past we had scorers who could mask the fact that Craft was a liability on offense. This year we don't.

He's a liability on offense, plain and simple. As I said, he's not the only one, but to ignore the fact that he is a liability on that end of the floor is just obtuse.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

The Schott? 

Sealed off. 

Brick by brick. 

We'll have us a ticket bbq in the yard. We'll dance around it like wild Illini, they'll see the flames for miles.  You get him?  ...Or his he being obtuse?

 

Give "em another game to think about it.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+2 HS
OldColumbusTown's picture

I agree with both JakeBuckeye and Jack Fu's points here in this string.  I would point out that the majority of Craft's turnovers all seem to consistently come at the same point in every game.  Normally, when the team is down and there is not much time left.  I'd be interested to know what his TO percentage is while tracking it based on specific increments of each game.

Craft is definitely not someone you want to rely on to score consistently.  It's not his game.  Unfortunately, no one else on the team seems capable or willing to do much when the chips are down, so Craft in turn is forced to try to create something/anything even when there is nothing there.

I saw an interesting tweet (can't remember by who).  It went something to the tune of "Craft made a good team better as a freshman and a bad team is making him look worse as a senior" and I think it is so true.  He's being forced out of what he does best.

unc4life's picture

Here is my problem with saying "its everyone else around Crafts fault". I would probably buy that if he was constantly trying to get other involved down the stretch of games, but he is not. He had 4 positions in a row yesterday where he went 1 on 1 without making a pass, and turned the ball over. I might let other point guards off on that, but Craft already is so offensively challenged you cant have that. If I'm game planning for Ohio State you give Craft everything outside of two feet and double him on the dive. You do that Craft only scores from the free throw line. If you want to continually praise Craft for his great D that's fine, but he is an A defender and an F offensive player, which means he is average at best., and right now that is killing this team.

+1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

I was surprised to see that Joe Lunardi STILL has OSU as a 6 seed in his latest Bracketology. This is AFTER the losses to PSU & IU.

At this point, I'll gladly take it....thought we'd for sure be a 7 seed.

I thought if we beat PSU, IU and MSU..we had a shot a 4 seed.

I think if we either beat MSU next week, and/or win at least 2 games in the B1G Tourney, we can jump up to a 5 seed.

 

OSUFlash's picture

Who on this team isn't a liability??? Everyone on this team has stunk it up numerous times this year. Craft hasn't been a true scorer since he got here and that's no surprise. His turnovers this season is very bothersome and I just think it's him trying to lead or will his team to victory out of a sense of urgency which is back firing. Let's face it, the young man sees his career coming to an end and he's desperately trying to make something happen and you can't fault him for that.

Remember prior to the season starting we all felt this year's team would be better than last years and that just isn't the case.

osuflash

+1 HS
Jack Fu's picture

Remember prior to the season starting we all felt this year's team would be better than last years and that just isn't the case.

I have no words. Who the hell thought that, and what kind of drugs were they on?

MichaelJ721984's picture

Cocaines a helluva drug

brandonbauer87's picture

I've said it all season. This team could get hot at the right time and make a run. They've been somewhat disinterested lately. I don't think that'll be an issue in the tourney. An early exit wouldn't surprise me, but I haven't given up on them. I'm a fan through ups and downs, and I think they're going to win every game. Doubting my team makes me more of an analyst and less of a fan. I'm no analyst. 

+2 HS
halfmile78's picture

I don't know. I see a team that can't get out of its own way. At times they can do nothing right. If someone were to tell me the Bucks will drop the next 3 games, I don't think I could argue against them. I'm just not seeing improvement, and they are running out of time.

Halfmile78

Seattle Linga's picture

Hang in their crew - we live and die with the way you play

+1 HS
Doc's picture

Put a fork in 'em, they're done

 

"Say my name."

mrspray's picture

One thing I've noticed recently is that comparing the team's record this year (22-8) isn't all that far off of last year's team's record for the regular season (23-7). Those seasons are drastically different (worse OOC schedule this year, losses only to ranked teams last year), but that gives me a little bit of hope that they won't just roll over and die come both tournaments. They started their 11 game winning streak a little earlier than now last year, but must-win time isn't necessarily now. It is coming AWFULLY soon though...

Josh P's picture

It's really, really, really hard to watch Craft's career end like this. As my favorite OSU basketball player of my short 21 years of life, I kind of felt going into the season he wasn't going out on top as a national champion. But a forgettable 2nd round tournament exit as a 6-8 seed?  I know he's got some percentage of the blame for the lack of success this season, but it's still gonna be extremely difficult to watch him walk off that court for the last time as a loser because he is anything but.