Comeback Trail Ends Against Michigan

By Kyle Rowland on March 15, 2014 at 3:49p
131 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS – It wasn’t the OK Corral, but Ohio State and Michigan gave the Old West a whirl. The bitter rivals countered made baskets until the scoreboard featured triple zeroes – and Michigan 72, Ohio State 69.  

For the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (25-9), it marked the end of the comeback trail. For the Wolverines, it’s their first trip to the Big Ten Tournament championship game since they won the inaugural event in 1998.

“It sucks,” senior point guard Aaron Craft said.

Ohio State trailed by 16 in the first half and 12 in the second half before authoring another thrilling comeback. It stirred visions of Friday’s thriller against Nebraska.

The Buckeyes first lead was 61-60 at the 7:57 mark, and they led again 68-65 with less than four minutes remaining. But unlike Nebraska, No. 1 seed Michigan (25-7) answered Ohio State’s flurry.

The Wolverines outscored the Buckeyes 7-1 over the game’s final 3:45. During that run, Ohio State missed all five shots from the field and three of four free throw attempts.

“[Friday] I said it was going to cost of a game,” Craft said. “It’s very unfortunate it cost us today. We shoot enough of them in practice. We try to shoot them when we’re tired. We’re capable of making them. We’ve done that throughout the year. I don’t know [what to say].”

Head coach Thad Matta chose to rely on the Buckeyes’ stout defense with 44 seconds left down two points. They came up with a stop, but a failure to box out contributed to Pickerington native Caris LeVert’s game-saving rebound. Spike Albrecht made one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, giving Michigan a three-point lead.     

Craft’s desperation three to force overtime never came because he lost control of the ball as he went up to shoot. A mad scramble ensued, and time ran out on the Buckeyes.

“I feel so fortunate right now,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said.

It’s the first time in six years Ohio State won’t play on Sunday in the Big Ten Tournament. Asked how he’d spend Sunday in Columbus, Matta was speechless and said he didn’t know.

LaQuinton Ross had 19 points, Shannon Scott finished with 18 points, six assists and three steals and Sam Thompson had 11 points.

Nik Stauskas paced Michigan – winners of seven straight – with 18 points, LeVert had 17 points and eight rebounds and Glenn Robinson III had 11 points, three steals and two blocks.

One day after a miraculous come-from-behind victory over Nebraska, Ohio State found itself facing an almost identical situation. Michigan led 15-2 before four minutes came off the clock after its triumvirate of Stauskas, Robinson and LeVert made back-to-back-to-back threes to open the game.  

The lead grew to 32-16 midway through the first half, as the Wolverines made seven of their first nine threes. But Ohio State ended the half on a 21-9 run, thanks to a trio of threes from Marc Loving, Scott and Craft.

Michigan scored four points in the final six minutes.

“I feel like as a team when our head’s underwater, we start fighting more,” Scott said. “We started doing that again today.”

For the second straight day, Ohio State received a lifeline from its bench. It was Amedeo Della Valle on Friday and Scott’s turn on Saturday. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field, including four threes, and applied pressure on the defensive end.

“Shannon was tremendous. He got us back in the basketball game,” Matta said. “Conversely, on the defensive end he was really creating havoc done there. I was really happy to see him playing at that level.”

The Buckeyes shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and 48.2 percent for the game. They made seven threes on the heels of making 18 of 71 the previous six games. But when your opponent shoots better than 50 percent from every area on the court, it poses problems, hence the constant double-digit deficits.  

“Our head was underwater,” senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. said “We fought back. But we didn’t have the toughness to get that last rebound.”

A 56-44 Michigan advantage with less than 14 minutes evaporated in six minutes after Ohio State limited the Wolverines to one field goal over an eight-minute span. There were three lead changes in the final seven minutes, with Michigan going on top for good with 2:55 left.

Craft spent almost 10 minutes on the bench in the second half due to foul trouble, and his absence coincided with the Buckeyes’ late rally. They outscored Michigan 17-11 with Craft on the bench and couldn’t withstand his missed free throws, a three-pointer that rattled in and out and a last-second turnover.

“I’m disappointed in myself,” Craft said. “I came down the stretch and didn’t make free throws and missed a couple shots our team needed.”

The Big Ten Tournament history for these archrivals differs greatly. Ohio State’s won five championships, more than any other program, and had won 13 of its past 14 tournament games. Michigan hadn’t won consecutive games in the conference tournament since the last millennium. Their record against the Buckeyes: 0-6.

Despite the loss, Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament with a semblance of momentum. They’re 9-4 since Feb. 1 with five wins over teams that’ll hear their name called on Selection Sunday. 

“We’re a better basketball team today than when we got here,” Matta said. “Some guys showed that they can make plays when they need to make plays. We learned a lot about our defense. We’ve got four or five days to continue to build on this.”

Said Ross: “We gave people a different view of Ohio State basketball.”

131 Comments

Comments

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

Unreal. Hit your fucking free throws.

That and don't get down by 15

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

+2 HS
OSUPhilosopherAndHomer's picture

Unfortunate. They did well in the B1G tourney and in my opinion they proved that they can play pretty dang tough.

“This is America! And in America, if something sucks, you're supposed to be able to get your money back!”
-Stan

+7 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Heck yes. And they've earned that 5 seed now. 3 weeks ago, we wouldn't have been able to say they were worthy of a seed higher than 7 or 8.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

Seattle Linga's picture

Too Bad - no free throws when it counts - Love this team but didn't have it down the stretch today

+6 HS
TatumRuled's picture

Gonna say it, gonna get a ton of down votes: Should've kept Craft on the bench...

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum                       

+19 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Its hard to keep your best player on the bench in the biggest game of the year, but yes, for whatever reason it seemed like this team found themselves in this game without Craft.

Jack Fu's picture

Best player?  AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH SERIOUSLY I'M TOO TIRED TO KEEP GOING.

Oh shit, he might be our best player. Shit. We're .... shit.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

I reluctantly must agree. When they took the timeout under 4 they didn't put him in and we kept rolling, but at the media timeout he went in and you could tell the chemistry was off. Still, we took them down to the wire and that's with their unfathomable shooting performance. Can't be upset by how we came out. If we play like this in the tournament we'll be dangerous. Shannon Scott!!

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Hell, if Scott plays like that every game in the tournament and we don't completely fuck up on free throws, we may win the whole damn dance. Problem is, its hard to ask for a game like that out of Scott every time. LaQuinton Ross has to shoot better from the outside, Lenzelle needs to not have completely horrible games, and we have to make free throws.

+3 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

To be honest, though, we SHOULD expect him to play that way every time.  That's why we recruited him over Trey Burke, remember?  If this is how he plays next season, and if Q sticks around another year, we're going to win the national championship.  Here's to hoping...

Doc's picture

With a minute or so left they should have put LSJ on the pine and gotten Slam out there. Lenzelle is not a scorer and at least Sam can rebound and shot block. 

"Say my name."

+1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

Sam pretty much lost the game when he failed on a rebound...

LEBRON

+4 HS
RonnyPBuckeye's picture

Beat me to the punch.  Don't worry as this scUM tourney run will also be deleted from the record books some time down the road.  Stauskas looks too much like Lance Armstrong to not be cheating...

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Its at the point now where the one thing Lenzelle had over Sam (shooting from the outside), Sam is now better than him at. There's not really any reason to have Lenzelle out there at this point. And I say that with much sorrow, cause I really like Lenzelle and I really like the idea of being led by multiple seniors.

+2 HS
moopdawg's picture

Lenzelle did a great job on Stauskas.  Smith is an effort guy who unfortunately can't find his jump shot.  Hope that he and the rest of the team show some consistency from the outside and from the free throw line.  Really pleased with the defense and the hustle of this team, but a lot can be cured by simply making them at the charity stripe. 

Ross and Scott are looking like the leaders of the future -- that's good to see.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Unfortunately, Ross may be gone after this year :(

+2 HS
moopdawg's picture

Yeah, I fear this too.  However, if he's not strongly projected as a first rounder, he should definitely stay put.  Second rounders aren't guaranteed anything in the NBA. So if he's not a first rounder, he may need to buy the Rosetta Stone and learn some Greek or something.

 

IGotAWoody's picture

Didn't Thompson foul out?

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

throttlefinger's picture

Agree. Unfortunate but true. They gained a nice flow with him on the bench. That translated to a lead. Think the prudent thing would've been to wait until that flow was disrupted or they lost the lead. 

Sometimes the best move is to keep the best player on the bench. Don't think the D could've been any tighter in the front court and the O was certainly more in rhythm. 

+1 HS
TheNorthernBuckeye's picture

10+ fouls against less than 6? That officiating is disgusting. Getting penalized for being more physical is so wrong. 

"You're an angry football team, and I'm proud to be your coach." - UFM

+11 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Good game. Other than seeding purposes and the moral of beating Michigan, we proved a lot in this game and I think this is a good sign for the NCAA tournament.

But yes, free throws are so frustrating. Craft and LaQuinton, probably the guys we count on the most at the line... And I want Ross shooting that shot at the end, maybe Scott because he played so well. Damn, this one hurts.

+5 HS
dbit's picture

Completely agree.  Oddly enough, this may have been one of our better games.

+1 HS
RuGettinIt's picture

Craft at the line? Are you kidding me? He has missed more free throws down the stretch....clutch from the line he is not..

+1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

ttun had DBL Bonus and we didn't even have normal bonus.... If I had a dollar for every time McDonald or Ross got fouled in the paint, I would be living in a mansion.

LEBRON

+4 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

11 fouls might be the fewest called in any B1G game all season. That's really hard to fathom.

Having said that, we've had the foul advantage in the vast majority of our games, and people here still complained constantly. I don't think officiating was a compelling factor in the last 3 minutes, when we had the lead and then forgot how to make baskets.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+1 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

we never had this type of foul advantage where we were in the double bonus and only racked up 4 fouls....that is a big disparity.  especially when the team that has the advantage is shooting 23 three point attempts and we had 10 more shot attempts than them.  then again the official lamont simpson has called bs calls against us all year and somehow we get stuck with him in the important games

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

God I don't want to say this but I have to. How many times have we not called a timeout and then Aaron Craft doesn't pass the ball and fails to get a shot off? That's like the third time this season why don't we learn from our mistakes?

+5 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

Really wish Craft would have passed it off there at the end, we had time for a better look.

Football is complicated...

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I think we need to call timeout there and set up a play for Ross or Scott.

But that's just my opinion. In the end, I trust Craft. If he felt that was our best chance to win the game, then perhaps it was. One thing Craft is not is selfish.

+2 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

I love Craft but he's not our best shooter and he was out of rhythm after being on the bench most of the game. I don't think he was being selfish it was more bad clock management, you're right a timeout there would have been smart. It wasn't to be though. Still proud of the boys, they fought hard.

Football is complicated...

+4 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

Smith was open on the wing. Granted, he's not exactly money, but beggars can't be choosers.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+4 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I'd rather die by Aaron Craft than die by Lenzelle, but that's just me.

+4 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed LSJ had plenty of chances during the game and the box score doesn't lie!

+1 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

Pass to who? The only player in his line of sight was Smith Jr. and I would rather Craft punt it up instead of passing to him. Craft's mistake looked to be indecision on the pass or the shot... shoulda shot it.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

-1 HS
Doc's picture

Good game fellas. AACC may have won, but they're still a bunch of Douchers. 

"Say my name."

+5 HS
painterlad's picture

Super double douche on the dude who drove the length of the court and slammed it when the game was over. Typical lack of class.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

Tim's picture

It was also a pretty pathetic dunk for it being a full-court drive with no defenders.  Stauskas seems so soft.

-1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

I wasn't really expecting to win this game considering this is our third game in a row. Not the outcome I wanted but I really want to be in ttun's region when the brackets come out tomorrow. We'll beat em if we play again. It's also hard to beat a team when they make twelve 3's.

LEBRON

+2 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture
FOOTBALL PLEASE.

 

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

+8 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I don't know. After a game like that and all the fun I had watching us in the Big Ten Tournament and watching March college basketball in general, I wouldn't mind if March never ended. Its the most wonderful time of the year for me. Too much fun.

+4 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

It must take him forever to get drunk

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

That's the first thing I thought when I saw that gif...he's gonna need a lot of shots.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

TheNorthernBuckeye's picture

Officials hate physical teams which is too bad.  Is it football season yet?

"You're an angry football team, and I'm proud to be your coach." - UFM

JakeBuckeye's picture

I think it depends on the officials. A lot of the time (maybe most), we get officials who call the game favorably to us. Sometimes we don't.

-2 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

we never get officials who call the game favorably to us.  we have had some games where they allowed more physical play but they still always give craft 1 or 2 bs touch fouls when he isn't even trying to steal the ball and have constantly let teams set moving screens at will against us all year.  TTUN was in the double bonus in both halves and we never made the bonus stage in either half. 

JakeBuckeye's picture

Dude, I'm sorry, but if you think we never get officials who call the game favorably to us, you're not even wearing scarlet and grey tinted glasses. At that point you had scarlet and grey LASIK surgery done on your eyes.

+6 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Can't a person just disagree? Why not just say "well, that's not the way I see it, but that's cool."

I happen to think B1G officiating is pretty equal - they piss off fans from EVERY team!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

-1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

That's pretty much what I'm saying. EVERY B1G fan base complains that the other team got favorable calls EVERY game that's played.

IGotAWoody's picture

It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

JakeBuckeye's picture

I didn't really think what I said was mean or anything. His statement was just a little biased, that's all.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

"I think it depends on the officials. A lot of the time (maybe most), TTUN gets officials who call the game favorably to them. Sometimes they don't."

Fixed that for you.  Horrible fucking officiating, par for the course when it's TTUN though. 

Class of 2010.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Fuck double post.

Class of 2010.

BME_Buckeye's picture

People complaining about the foul discrepancy is laughable are at best. As much stuff as we get away with, OSU fans should be the last group of people complaining about fouls. Refs called a decent game. Blame the team for not making foul shots in the end.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

Deadly Nuts's picture

Still trying to figure out how ttun only fouled like five times in one half. As much bullshit we get away with that has never happened us.

LEBRON

+2 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

This season, Michigan has committed the fewest fouls of any DI team in the country.  Michigan doesn't foul very much.

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/team/642

Ohio State is 28th in the country.  They've committed 522 fouls this season.  Michigan has only committed 439 (all stats prior to today's game)

 

+3 HS
BME_Buckeye's picture

Well for one Michigan knows how to defend without fouling see the above stat. Second,  Michigan runs a 131 and 23 zone and is not a physical team like OSU. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

+2 HS
mrspray's picture

I thought there were a couple questionable calls - your usual block/charge issues, one play where Amir got pushed out of bounds on a layup - but I agree, it was a pretty well called game.

OSUPhilosopherAndHomer's picture

The game wasn't called against us, if you ask me (not that anyone did or ever should). If the game wasn't called right, it was at the very least called consistently wrong.

“This is America! And in America, if something sucks, you're supposed to be able to get your money back!”
-Stan

+1 HS
mrspray's picture

Obviously disappointed in losing to scUM after making a strong comeback in that game and taking the lead, but there is some definite optimism to be had for this team.

I hate to say it, but Craft should never have come back in... The Scott/Ross/Thompson lineup looked like they're ready to go primetime, and maybe that the LSJ/Craft period is coming to an end. I think we'll have all next year to debate how that will go, but this game gives me a huge amount of optimism to play teams in the NCAA tourney that don't shoot 53% FG and 52% 3PT. Any one of TTUN's plays doesn't go through or Craft hits his free throws, the game is completely different...

+2 HS
Bucks_Rule's picture

If the three that LSJ just missed with about two to go goes in, I think we could have pulled it off. We would have been up by 4 but then Stauskas made that miracle layup and we never got the lead back.

mrspray's picture

I think once LSJ misses a few 3PT shots, he should come out for ADV. Especially if they have Craft and/or Scott/Thompson, they probably don't need the defensive boost that LSJ could give. At this rate, having Scott, Ross, and ADV on the floor is their best chance at hitting threes.

Bucks_Rule's picture

Hope we can get on the 5 line tomorrow night. I'd prefer to get in Wich St's region or Mich's or Wisky's if they are one seeds. 

+1 HS
sgehrich's picture

Is it just me, or does ttun only recruit players with extremely punchable faces? That little guy on their bench who was dancing a jig with every made made ttun basket was the worst.

+3 HS
texbuck's picture

Stauskas has the most punchable of faces.

-1 HS
ColoradoBuck's picture

That was Dan Dakich's son. More reason to hate him.

Brutal Brutus's picture

I'm at a loss! How can we go through an entire season and STILL NOT BE ABLE TO HIT OUR F*CKING FREE THROWS!  Still, a great run in the tourney that hopefully, sets us up for a good run in the big dance!  Good to see Shannon Scott show up (better late than never)...

Fear the Nut...

+1 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

Ohio State shot 66% from the line (8-12).  Michigan shot 52% (10-19)  It was Michigan that put themselves in a disadvantageous position with poor free throw shooting, not Ohio State.  Michigan hits 76.3% of their free throws, and today they barely shot 50%.  They were the team that was choking away the game from the line.

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

While that's true, Ohio State missed theirs at the wrong time. We actually were shooting well from the line up until the final minutes, where Craft missed two and then Ross split a pair. We were 7-8 from the line (which is awesome by our standards) up until the 2:27 mark in the second half. From there, we went 1-4 from the line. If we make those, I think we win this game.

Unfortunate.

teddyballgame's picture

Tough loss today, but the poise they had to weather the storm and be right there at the end was impressive.

I'm cautiously optimistic going into the tournament after watching the Nebraska and Michigan games. 

We're definitely not a team that others want to play...

+3 HS
Brutal Brutus's picture

TRU DAT TEDDYBALLGAME!

Fear the Nut...

+1 HS
Oneida54's picture

Craft and Ross ran a two man game the last 3 possessions Craft missed a 3 and two FT's Ross split two ft's, Ball Game! We got killed in the half court..should have pressed more in 2nd half..thats how we ended the 1st half 21-9.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Serious question, has any player in recent memory gotten noticeably better while at tOSU?  Smith and Craft haven't. Thomas didn't.  Scott seems the same as when he got here.  Williams is a definite no. Sullinger was a finished product when he arrived.  Buford and Deibler didn't. MAYBE Conley. I really cannot think of a definite player. It seems like they either stay the same or regress.   Pretty disheartening. 

-5 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

YOU'RE RIGHT FIRE THAD MATTA MAN WHY DONT WE HAVE JAXBUCKEYE IN THERE MY MAN HAS BEEN DEVELOPING TALENT FOR YEARS THIS DUDE WILL HAVE JAKE LORBACH WINNING THE NAISMITH.

+2 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

Why are you such an asshole?  It's a legitimate question. God forbid someone doesn't start every thought with, "go buckeyes!"  Free thought is actually a good thing. Do you want this fan base to be like Penn State's?  The king can do no wrong!!!!!

Get a life and stop fucking stalking me!

-4 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

I gave you a serious response below, your comment was just so ridiculously wrong that I had to laugh a little bit. I'm not stalking you. As you can see, I've commented a lot on this thread, not just your comment.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Nothing ridiculous at all. This program consistently beings in all Americans and Mr Basketballs and more times than not they underachieve. You can disagree all you want. You are part of a certain element here that gets insulted if anyone questions anything and it's ridiculous. 

-5 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

You can see my new response below. You asked for stats and I supplied. Its not that I don't agree with anything negative said about this team (I've expressed frustration multiple times in this thread, even), its just that you are so hot-headed and unable to handle losses that you say incredibly ridiculous things to cope with your anger. That's just my theory.

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Sorry, Jax, but he's spot on. There have been a number of players that have improved over their careers, including pretty much every player you listed.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

A serious response though. I truly question how long you've watched Buckeye hoops or if you actually pay attention to the games. And that's a serious statement.

Diebler didn't get noticeably better? I can't be the only one who remembers his horrid freshman year. Thomas didn't get noticeably better? You've got to be freaking kidding me. He went from a liability because of his dumb shots and selfish play to an amazing offensive leader. Evan Turner too. He went from alright and a hothead to PLAYER OF THE YEAR and a leader. The list goes on. No offense, but I don't have it in me to not respond to stupid comments like this. Its amazing how wrong you are, its like you just said something as a shot in the dark and hoped it came out insightful.

+3 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

I seriously doubt you know a thing about basketball and question if you know a thing about the players. All three you cite were big time players coming in.  Turner was already a star so he simply lived up to expectations. Deibler 'so freshman year sucked but it was the outlier. He was a good shooter in HS and a good shooter the rest of his time. Thomas was Mr Basketball and never stopped. Look at the stats.  Try educating yourself before you talk down to others and act like an asshole. 

-7 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Just because they were hyped in recruiting does not make them good players. None of them were great players in their first years, but they developed into great players because of our coaching.

Jon Diebler's freshman year he shot 28% from 3 point range. His sophomore year and junior year he shot above 40%. His senior year he shot 50%. But you're right, that's not "noticeably better" at all... 

Evan Turner wasn't a slouch in his first two year by any means, but the difference between his freshman and junior years is large. 8.5 points, 2.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 69% from the free throw line his freshman year. Contrasted with his junior year: 20.4 points, 6.0 assists, 9.2 rebounds, and 75.4% from the free throw line. Not to mention it is well documented that he was not the best teammate in his early years and grew mentally into a leader later in his career. But again, you're right, not "noticeably better" at all...

Thomas averaged 7.5 points per game his freshman year, 15.9 his sophomore, and then 19.8 points his junior year. And anybody that watched his freshman year and witnessed his shot selection can tell you his improvement over time there.

Even though I just debunked your argument with stats, I'd also like to point out a double standard you're holding. You claim Diebler, Turner, and Thomas' improvement can't be credited to coaching because they simply "lived up to recruiting hype." In that case, you can't blame Thad for players like Amir, because Amir simply "isn't living up to recruiting hype." You see, it goes both ways there. Sorry.

+9 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

Diebler really couldn't shoot at all as a freshman -- he was adjusting to not being the do-everything guy like he had to be at Upper Sandusky, when he was just more physically gifted than anyone else he ever played. He got much, much better.

I share some of your frustration, but we've had guys get better while here, Evan Turner being probably the most dramatic example. I would say that almost all of Matta's players have to show something early, or else they get buried on the bench and end up transferring. What we don't have much of here are the sort of 4-year "program players" that have been the key to Wisconsin's continuing success, or even the sorts of guys Sparty has had. Izzo has a way of bringing guys along slowly till they 're ready to do damage by their junior and senior years.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

What we don't have much of here are the sort of 4-year "program players"

I think we have the most 4-year program player in the country in Aaron Craft. Lighty, Diebler, Buford too.

And your comment implies that Wisconsin has had better continued success under Bo Ryan than Ohio State has had under Thad Matta. That's a pretty shoddy statement. We've had way more success than them, and the same amount of success that Izzo has had at Michigan State recently.

+1 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

I don't think Wisconsin has been better than us -- and I'm pretty sure I didn't say that or come close to implying it -- but they've had remarkable success for a team that basically recruits on a Jim O'Brien level. 

Lighty is a good example of the sort of player I'm talking about. So is Smith, though I think it's fair to question how much he's improved these last three years. Dallas Lauderdale is another one. But those are basically the three players I can think of who were brought along slowly and stayed for four years. Craft and Buford were key rotation players from the time they showed up on campus. MSU and Wisconsin (and Purdue in the Keady years) always have a couple of those guys every year. 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+2 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Fair enough. I misunderstood your comment. My apologies.

+1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

Amir has gotten a lot better in his time at OSU. He was never really good in the first place.

LEBRON

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

What?  He was a McDonalds all American and considered one of the best centers in his class. In fact, if I recall one of the sites noted his good hands. Not kidding. Totally underachieved. 

-3 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

Underachieved but overrated when he came out of HS.

LEBRON

+2 HS
3cent's picture

I think Diebler improved every year. He was terrible his freshman year and was a sharp shooter his senior year. Turner also improved a lot from where he started. Ditto for Lighty.

RedStorm45's picture

And yet Craft and Smith flat line or regress.

-1 HS
yrro's picture

Evan Turner made National Player of the Year as a junior.

Do you even remember how much everyone hated Threebler his freshman year? How overrated everyone said he was?

David Lighty was no kind of offensive threat when he got here.

Swatterdale had some huge improvements from his freshman year - somewhat unfortunately, as we barely got to see him at his best as Sullinger took his spot.

Do you remember when Scott was a freshman? Dude couldn't hit an unopposed layup to save his life, let alone a 3-pointer.

I don't really see how it's possible for Craft and Smith's offensive games to have regressed as much as they have, but we've had plenty of players improve.

Hello_Heisman's picture

Congrats on a hard fought game folks.  I always thought UM would bring parity back to The Rivalry in football before they did in basketball, but I'll take what I can get.  Whenever I watch these two play, I think how ridiculous either team would be if OSU added Stauskas or if UM added Craft.  That's what each roster is missing and what's keeping both from being legit Top 5 teams.

60% of the time it works.....every time

+3 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

I'd settle for parity in basketball right now. 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Hello_Heisman's picture

In the last 4 years, the two teams have played 9 tines with OSU winning 5 and UM winning 4. Each team has won at least a share of 2 regular season titles and been to a Final 4. There's been a couple momentum swings for each side within this period but overall it's been pretty even. And most of the games have been very close as well. What we're seeing is the very definition of parity.

60% of the time it works.....every time

+1 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

Since Michigan made the Final Four and we didn't despite a dream draw, the trend has all been one way -- and the Wolves are the younger of the two teams, so it isn't likely to improve in the near future.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Hello_Heisman's picture

But you guys made the Final 4 the year before in 2012 while UM lost in the 1st round to friggin Ohio. I think you're focusing too much on the last couple games and not enough on the bigger 4 year view.

60% of the time it works.....every time

+2 HS
BME_Buckeye's picture

Get outta here with your congrats.  We just lost to you again.  Let us wallow in disarry as we argue over the game and I solve this stupid 4x4 rubix cube. Jk. 

Good game today.  Just sucks the way it ended.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

Hello_Heisman's picture

There was a problem with the way the game ended? You don't say. Good luck with that rubix cube!

60% of the time it works.....every time

Oneida54's picture

Thads best teams have one and done's(though Sully stayed two years)..Jabari or Wiggins make this team a #1seed

buckeye4life050233's picture

Sad part is he is actually really good at recruiting guys that are good defensively.  The scorers (sully, Deshaun, turner) were liabilities on defense.  Good news is this team had the conference winner beat if they made their free throws down the stretch and if they could put together a full 40 minute game with no 5 minute stretches without points.  Even when TTUN was going through lulls during our run they put up 5-10 points to styme the momentum shift

DWright's picture

Michigan sucks.

 

BME_Buckeye's picture

You mean the team that just beat us sucks? Well what does that make the loser of the game....

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

I would say we're the second best team in our conference.

Buckeye fan from PA

+1 HS
mrspray's picture

Seeing how MSU is giving Wiscy a beating, I'd say OSU is at LEAST the 3rd best, considering they nearly beat MSU twice...

JakeBuckeye's picture

Maybe losing this game will be good for us in the long run. This team appears to have a weird mentality, and perhaps going to the Big Ten Championship game/winning the tournament would have given them a sense of accomplishment that would perhaps have resulted in a lackadaisical NCAA Tournament performance. Losing to Michigan in the semis (especially so close) may really motivate this team.

It may be an abstract thought, but maybe its true.

Youngbuck85's picture

I've said this after literally every loss this year and it's never been true, don't know why it would start now. Nice effort today from our guys, that's pretty much their ceiling. 

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I don't know...maybe it was a good thing. It was certainly not a bad thing for UM to lose fairly early in the B1G tourney last year. I tend to think OSU is not much better than a sweet 16 team. I'll be happy if I'm wrong.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

+1 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

The recipe for success in the tourney will be keeping Smith Jr. off the floor. Get him some pom poms and a skirt........

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

-1 HS
countrybuckeye's picture

Bleedscarlet --- I say out him in for the rebounding, and run him baseline -- side to side -- like a dog in the back yard.  It will be a new wrinkle, and frustrate the crap outta whoever has to cover him.  

 

I am am dead serious here, my bruthas

kevdale86's picture

We need him on the floor for his defense and rebounding, he just needs to stop chucking up 3 pointers all game long.

vball10set's picture

Bottom line, 4th year seniors don't miss free throws with the game in the balance. Period.

+2 HS
wyatt's picture

I agree with those who say Craft should have stayed on the bench when the team was going well.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Lenzelle was MIA. Shannon Scott got my respect though. Didn't understand how Craft can miss so many critical shots, free throws and have turnovers at the worst times. I hate losing to ttun anytime, anywhere in any sport.

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

The seniors sucked today. End of story.

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

I actually think one of our better played games of the year.  We took their best shot. They shot out their ass and we still took it to the wire. I think the fast pace actually helped us offensively. I think scUM played stupid.  They took a lot of bad shots very in early in the shot clock with big leads. Fuck them. 

Hello_Heisman's picture

Your post literally reads like dozens of MGoBlog posts I read after the OSU-UM football game last November. You can rationalize it all you want or tell us to fuck off all you want, but it still doesn't change anything. These teams have played a number of close basketball games over the last 4 years.

As a Michigan fan, I was not the least bit surprised that this one went down to the wire, nor do I feel like there was any moral defeat inherent in the fact that the game was so close after blowing a couple big leads. These teams are generally close enough in talent and coaching now that there should be no expectation of a blowout, and there should be no assumption that a big lead is safe. Examples of the latter include yesterday's game and the 2013 and 2014 tilts in Columbus.

I get that you're pissed about your team losing to a rival but there's no need to play the sour grapes card of how stupid UM was for "letting" OSU back into the game. OSU got back into the game because they're a good team that usually doesn't quit when things go bad early. I fully expected them to fight back regardless of what Michigan was doing. What you saw yesterday was the typical outcome that occurs when two good basketball teams play each other on a neutral court - nothing more, nothing less.

60% of the time it works.....every time

Knarcisi's picture

No, you guys were undisciplined and stupid. The way you were shooting, should have beat us by 20. Up 10+, you continuously took bad shots very early in the shot clock. 

MikeEagleBuckeye's picture

Did Ohio State ever actively recruit LeVert or is he another Trey Burke case?

Knarcisi's picture

Didn't recruit him. Fuck me. 

buckeye4life050233's picture

he was under the radar going to Ohio University while Groce was there and then Groce went to Illinois and didn't have room in the class and meatchicken scooped him up.  sadly kinda like the trey burke situation in which belein cherry picked central cbus for a starter who should've been on our squad

MikeEagleBuckeye's picture

If the incoming class wasn't so good, I'd say there's a problem with recruiting/identifying talent.

DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

Couldn't watch live today, and despite knowing the outcome, just finished watching on DVR. Couple things stood out to me:

1.Wow, Michigan was lights out shooting the 3 ball. Especially in the 1st half. Extremely impressed OSU was able to come back after taking multiple punches in the gut, but that has been the memo all year..

2. Wow, Lenzelle was bad today. Did he make a 3? I know he didn't make any of the many wide open looks he had.

3. Shannon Scott was terrific. Would love to see him take some of that confidence into the NCAA tourney, and into his senior year next year.

4. Finally, and most importantly, the game was completely changed when an ice cold Craft came off the bench, and decided to become our first offensive option on almost every possession. I love the guy. He has had an incredible career, and he will be greatly missed, but he has to be smarter than that. He sat the bench for a while. Not that he was in any type of a groove before he went to the bench, but dang. I know he hit a big time shot for us last year in the NCAA, but still, I do not think him pulling up for an outside jumper is our best look to end a game.

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.
"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

+1 HS
vball10set's picture

excellent post, well done!

Shangheyed's picture

Stange to be happy to be a 5 seed (or that is what its looking like... but this is a 2-3 seed team).  We feel lucky because of all the close victories...and VERY poor play in others.  IMO This team has under achieved to this point, but happy to be where we are because it could have been much worse.... lets see what they do in the Tourney.  

As much hustle and effort we seem to have we still can't put a full game together. 

I think Craft said it best... "I DON'T KNOW" .... I don't think anyone does...

 

 

Chark's picture

I think this team misses Chris Jent on the coaching staff. As much as I want them to win it all, I just can't imagine it happening this year.

Alcohol will not solve any of your problems, but then again, neither will milk or water.

RuGettinIt's picture

Agree, they certainly need someone who can work with them on their shooting.  Craft's mechanics are horrible for a player at his level and for his position.  

Shangheyed's picture

Need someone who can develope big men... That is what is missing IMO.

Go1Bucks's picture

Feeling good at least that _ichigan lost to their little brother after we beat them on Senior night.  Shows that our league is stronger than we are being given credit this year, and that the weird seedings may come back to haunt the organizers when that B1G Dance starts.

Go Bucks!