Three Things: Michigan

By Chris Lauderback on March 15, 2014 at 5:26p
Aaron Craft had a tough final 2:55 as Ohio State fell to Michigan in the B1G tournament semifinals
40 Comments

Losing to Michigan is always a kick in the giblets but Ohio State once again showed some fight, nearly taking down the regular season champion before falling, 72-69, this afternoon in the B1G tournament semifinals. 

The loss, depending on what happens with the other conference tournaments, probably slots the Buckeyes as a #5 seed in the Big Dance which isn't horrible when you think about the roller coaster ride of a season. 

LaQuinton Ross once again paced the attack with 19 points, giving him a gaudy 21 points per game average over his last five outings and Shannon Scott came out of nowhere to give Ross some help but more on that in a moment. 

For now, reluctantly tip your cap to Michigan for being able to do that thing Ohio State too often can't which is MAKE SHOTS while you digest three things from today's defeat. 

seniors come up short

For Ohio State to have a chance at an upset they needed legit production from their two seniors and both Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Aaron Craft came up short today. 

Smith was far more culpable as he clanked six of seven shots including all four from distance to total three points. Frankly, Smith, Ohio State's 2nd leading scorer, has been nothing short of awful over the last six games, failing to reach double figures in five. He shot over 30% just once in those six outings when he blew up for 19 on 9/15 from the floor against Indiana. 

He totaled just six points during two tournament games, missing nine of 11 shots. 

Unless Shannon Scott plays out of his mind again and/or Sam Thompson steps up, it could be a quick tourney exit if Smith doesn't regain his stroke and confidence before next week. 

Craft had a decent stat line with nine points, seven boards and six dimes albeit against four turnovers but his play down the stretch helped the Buckeyes avoid the winners circle. 

On the bench with four fouls, his team went on a modest 17-11 run to turn a 56-51 deficit into a 68-67 lead before he reentered with 2:55 to play. 

The rest of the way, Craft missed two free throws that would've given OSU a 70-69 lead, nearly picked Nik Stauskas clean but in failing to do so yielded a baseline layup, missed a wide open three that would've tied the game at 71, and finally, with the clock running out, lost the handle on a semi-desperation three attempt ensuring there would be no overtime. 

Twitter was a dumpster fire following the game with delirious Craft detractors clashing with his uber-defenders but the bottom line is that even Aaron Craft will tell you he struggled down the stretch. 

SCOTT ANSWERS THE BELL

How good was Shannon Scott today? The junior logged 32 minutes producing a season-high 18 points to go along with six assists, five rebounds and three steals against two turnovers. 

He connected on a scalding 7/10 from the floor including 4/6 from distance, improving his B1G tourney shooting to 10/14 overall and 5/8 from behind the arc with 11 assists against seven turnovers. 

Trailing 32-16 at the 7:39 mark, Scott fueled a 21-9 run allowing Ohio State to close to 41-37 at the break. The Buckeyes scored nine straight points to open the blitz as Scott assisted on a pair of triples and splashed one of his own in between. 

His contributions were sorely needed as fellow guards/wings Amedeo Della Valle (0/3) and Smith (0/3) gave Craft and Ross little help. 

With Smith's jump shot on life support, continued offensive contributions from Scott would do wonders for Ohio State's hopes of making some noise in the Dance. 

SLOW STARTS CAUSE FOR CONCERN

A day after Nebraska opened the 2nd half on a 17-2 run to take a 48-30 lead, Ohio State struggled at the beginning of each half against Michigan. 

Today, the Buckeyes surrendered a 15-2 blitz to open the game as part of a larger 32-16 Wolverine start before finally getting their act together. Ohio State missed five of six shots and turned it over three times during the first five minutes of action. 

After closing the half on the aforementioned 21-9 run to cut the deficit to 41-37, the Buckeyes sputtered out of the 2nd half gate, giving up a 13-5 Michigan surge pushing the hole to 54-42 with 16:02 left in regulation. 

Ohio State dug out of the hole again, actually taking a 61-60 lead with 7:58 left but after playing with fire over three straight halves, they finally got burnt as Michigan outscored the Buckeyes 7-2 over the final 2:55. 

The same act next weekend could prove the fatal blow to Ohio State's season. 

 

40 Comments

Comments

JozyMozy's picture

:(

Close game, good fight, but still. 

:(

Seattle Linga's picture

So close but no 

 

+4 HS
Buck Commander's picture

Sad and sickening.............mostly sickening

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

+1 HS
Soundgarden5's picture

Same song, different day, tired of the same and I know Thad is too.  Unfortunately, this class lost a lot to the NBA, which is more than we can say about UM

BCKIIS's picture

Somehow there has to be a recruiting advantage here!

scUM PJ Party - This is how many guys I hope 2 have 2nite!

 

+1 HS
seafus26's picture

In the building scUM plays in, they should never out recruit us. Couple that with a talentless state they are set in, they should never beat us. Ok, never is an Over statement. It's not a level playing field, yet they are making more with less, in basketball the last 2 years

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

-2 HS
Hello_Heisman's picture

On the talent side, I think you're confusing basketball recruiting with football recruiting. Michigan historically has had good high school talent, especially in Detroit and Flint. UM has struggled in the last 10-15 years to recruit the top players in state, but prior to their sanctions in the late 90's/early 00's, UM made a living recruiting the top players from Detroit. After Michigan's program went in the crapper, a lot of those guys started going either to MSU or out of state.

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

+1 HS
Travis's picture

I highly doubt they have been making more with less the last two years.

Last year they had Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke to pair along with their big man who is currently out with a back injury and Stauskas.

They had a pretty damn good team last year and they have played very well this year.

They need a 2 to tie, a 3 to win it; Sylvester for threeeee... OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHHHH WITH FIVE POINT ONE TO GO!!!

+1 HS
andretolstoy's picture

How does someone like Caris LeVert (Pickerington) first go to OhioU. then transfer to Michigan? C'mon Pick town boys you know better than this. I understand the Picktown-Ohio connection, but ScuM?? I'm almost embarrassed to claim my diploma from my old HS when I hear this garbage.

ScarletGray43157's picture

I watched him play a lot as a Tiger.  They won the state title his senior year.  The best offer he had was OU until UM came calling late, very late; he never went to OU at all.  OSU did not offer.  To be fair, he didn't have a B1G body in HS, although he was the best ball handler I ever saw in person.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

BCKIIS's picture

Run mouse over image

+1 HS
RuGettinIt's picture

As great a payer as Craft has been throughout his career, he has struggled many times when in clutch moments.  I have no idea why he was taking shots down the stretch, especially the last shot.  A PG that can't make free throws at this level on a semi consistent basis is absurd.

+5 HS
topgun67's picture

cannot wait until Smith and Craft are gone.  sorry but i am ready for new chapter ....good kids but if OsU are to compete for bigger stage, we need better talent....they hustle yes but not talented enough.

-10 HS
HailChiefWahoo's picture

^^Negative Nancy. 

Craft is arguably the best defender in OSU history and one of the best in B1G history.  Those two have also won quite a few games together...

Besides, is the season over?

 

+6 HS
4thandinches's picture

You have to be more than just a defender to play PG. You need to be able to make FT consistently, not turn the ball over so much, and not have an absolutely atrocious looking form when shooting. I'm not saying he needs to be draining 3's, but you have got to be able to make more than just layups. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

Killer nuts's picture

yeah, I hate 1000 point career scorers who are also the all time leader in assists in school history and all time leader in steals in conference history. Can't win with those types

+10 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

it just happened to come at a time when we had no-one else on the roster who could put the ball in the bucket from the free throw line and 3pt line when it matters

Jack Fu's picture

Dude, the first rule of 11W is you can't say anything remotely negative about Craft on 11W. The second rule of 11W is you can't say anything remotely negative about Craft on 11W. You will get downvoted into oblivion. Live and learn. For one, maybe two more games.

-2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

F arrogant Beilein and the skunkweasels, hope they lose to another MAC team in the NCAAs.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Hate losing to Michigan, best I can do at times like this is turn to Kipling "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same."  Life goes on and the buckeye's hopes live on, I think they proved they are worthy of a five seed.  Who knows, maybe a couple of players will get hot each game and the bucks might surprise everyone, it happens almost every year in the big dance.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+1 HS
funky123's picture

Have to say that only playing man to man defense all the time hurts this team.

+1 HS
Mikefletcher24's picture

Basketball, badminton, checkers..I don't care what it is..... Losing to those baby shit yellow clad assholes always hurts. 

+2 HS
hspbuy1's picture

3 Things- all the 3's they rained on us early was quite annoying, but I liked the way the Bucks kept their composure & made a great comeback before half. Luck was the biggest factor in my opinion. they had the better of it today.

hspbuy1

+3 HS
Nutinpa's picture

It wasn't luck, buy.   They are a better basketball team.  Beat us twice.  

We had them by the ballz today and let them up off the mat.  We could not make foul shots or key plays when they counted. It's time to accept this Ohio State basketball team for what it is: a team that is capable of playing really great and really horrid basketball; a team with bigs who are no threat to score and a team without perimeter shooting skill. That they have come this far is pretty amazing.  

By this time next Saturday night, unless I am completely surprised, we'll be focusing on the Spring football game and whether Q will return for his senior season.

+3 HS
RedStorm45's picture

What happened to the press?

+1 HS
Travis's picture

Our press is ridiculous and puts an insane amount of pressure on... everyone.

If it wouldn't dog our guys, I'd say run it the whole game.

They need a 2 to tie, a 3 to win it; Sylvester for threeeee... OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHHHH WITH FIVE POINT ONE TO GO!!!

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Or in intervals and really keep teams off balance. Take advantage of Craft, Scott, and Smith, Jr.; three very pesky defenders.

Never enjoyable to lose, but today was more encouraging than discouraging.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

We didn't utilize it much at all in the 2nd half.

countrybuckeye's picture

I love all my Buckeyes.  I took a sneak peek at the possible Bracketology and found -- wait for it -- (6) B1G teams and (3) SEspinC teams.  Them boys down there are the be-all, end-all in sports I am told.  

 

Do they have a second sport they compete well in?  Baseball?  Hockey?   Swimming?  Golf?  Soccer?  Lacrosse?  Wrestling?  Crew?  Track & Field?  Volleyball?

I don't know.  

-1 HS
Travis's picture

It's fairly well known that the B1G and the ACC are the premiere basketball conferences and before the Big East killed itself, it was probably 2nd tier.

The biggest problem with the B1G this year was it was cannibalistic. Honestly 8 B1G teams should be in the tournament.

They need a 2 to tie, a 3 to win it; Sylvester for threeeee... OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHHHH WITH FIVE POINT ONE TO GO!!!

+2 HS
Jack Fu's picture

nearly picked Nik Stauskas clean but in failing to do so yielded a baseline layup,

This play pissed me off so much. You've got him trapped in the corner without his dribble and you just slap at the ball and, in so doing, give up possession, and allow him to gather the ball and drive in and get a layup ... that's, that's bad defense. No other words. Bad, ignorant defense.

+1 HS
Bourbon Meyer's picture

Craft came off the bench and forgot how to play basketball. Maybe he was thinking about Rubik's Cube or PI, or Tiger Beat magazine.

 

+4 HS
ralEbuckI's picture

Awful and awful shooting are not the same thing.

+1 HS
funky123's picture

But if you look at the box score, not knowing the outcome of the game, you could easily pick the Bucks as the winner. 

Smanpoint10's picture

We have got to start playing good for 40 minutes

ScarletGray43157's picture

So if Michigan wins today they get a #1 seed.  OSU should have beaten Michigan on Saturday.  For some reason that gives me hope, IF ONLY the Bucks can find consistency in the tournament.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

Agreed, consistency in effort, attitude and thinking would help a lot. Consistency begets poise and confidence, and those lead to W's.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

iball's picture

Nobody talks about what a pussy Amir Williams is. My seven yr old daughter could box him out. What a pud. Thad needs to set him up with Coach Marotti real quick.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

-2 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

I know Aaron was really channelling one of the Harlem Globetrotters on that last play -- or was it the Washington Generals?

-that said, no biggie, Aaron deserves a pass, he is after still a human and his D is a big reason I have a dance ticket and I'm not crying in my room wishing the ugly girl had asked me to go.

Go Bucks!