Just wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts from this season with you guys.
From this point on, we only have one guaranteed game to watch :(. That means only one more game to watch Aaron Craft irritate coaches and opposing point guards, to see all of our fans on here get agitated (rightfully so) at the ineptitude of the offense.
This season started off great. A lot of people bitched about our non conference schedule, but it was actually very solid. Ohio was a 20 win team. American was a 20 win team and won the Patriot League. Maryland was decent ACC team. Notre Dame was decent until they lost to us. North Dakota state won the Summit and had 25 wins. And even Delaware won the CAA and had 25 wins. So the non conference schedule was not as bad as perceived. In fact, it was pretty decent.
Then conference season arrived. A win at Purdue and a win at Nebraska started us off before derailing and losing 4 straight games. At this point, you began feeling like this team was not going to be anything like the teams we've seen in the past 5 years. Inconsistent offense. No proven scorer. Inability to score down low were all issues that we had, but one thing we had going for us was defense. I can't tell you how proud I am of this team's defense. We haven't had a decent defense in football since the 2010 season, so I'm living vicariously through the basketball team's defense. Aaron Craft is Aaron Craft. Shannon Scott cemented himself as an elite defender this year. It seems like he is constantly getting 3 or 4 balls deflected each time he comes in. Amir Williams showed flashes of being a post presence, but often got himself in foul trouble which is something he definitely needs to work on. Trey McDonald was solid defense and energy off the bench. He will never be great, but I like his hustle and the energy he brings to this team. Lenzelle excelled in on ball defending like he always did and had a decent defensive year. LaQuinton Ross looked lost out there at times, but has shown that he can defend to a certain extent.
Unfortunately, this team did not have a Deshaun or a Jared which ultimately became our downfall this season. The inability to score when a basket was needed hurt us all year in several games such as the first Michigan State game and the Michigan game at home. Ross has shown that he can be that guy lately, but we need a solid #2 guy to give us 15-16 points a night and that hasn't happened all year save a few LSJ and Craft appearances with 12+.
As we enter what could be our final games watching this team this weekend, I want to remind everyone what a great coach we have. If this is a down season for us, I will take a down season every couple years if it means we have the sustained success that we've had in Matta's tenure! While this is not the greatest team to ever play at Ohio State, they are still Buckeyes and I will still be rooting for them hard until the final buzzer sounds on the season and we go into full football mode. Next season brings promise although we are losing Aaron. We bring in a solid group of freshman, plus a redshirted Kam Williams. Loving should evolve as a player and everyone should improve. I'm looking forward to next season. This team could lose to a 12 seed or go all the way. You'll never know. Enjoy the ride and Go Bucks!