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Member since 30 August 2010 | Blog

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Comment 06 Jan 2014

Top 2 storylines for me so far this season:

1 - The emergence of Amir Williams

He's gone from making me hate basketball, to an imposing presence in the paint on both sides of the ball.  This is why you have patience with a guy of his stature.  He has finally developed some strength with the ball (more a mental thing than physical it seems) and even the beginnings of a bona fide back-to-the-basket low block repertoire.  When he leaves the game for rest or fouls, the drop off is most noticeable on defense however.  He has a become a true rim protector.  If he keeps this up in Big Ten play, it won't be long before the NBA scouts are drooling.

2 - The debut of Marc Loving

The guy is legit.  He has a smooth shot from 3, but attacks the basket like a veteran.  He has the length and versatility to play many different positions.  He is forcing Matta to find him minutes on a team stacked with talented upper-classmen.  He still has big strides to make on defense, but it's not hard to envision him being "The Guy" on future iterations of Buckeye basketball.

These 2 guys in my opinion have raised the possibilities for this team.  We are the Pacers of the NCAA, a well-balanced, experienced team with dominating defense.  I actually think we are built for March.

Comment 18 Feb 2013

That's not an accident.

Craft holds his hands higher up and farther from his body than most defenders do, so refs "are less likely to call a foul," he says, "even if there's a little contact."

Guess it's working.

"He physically beat up our guards," said Florida coach Billy Donovan after a loss to the Buckeyes last season. "And I'm not saying our guards got fouled. Totally within the context of the rules of the game, he manhandled them."

Link to full SI article.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

If you are interested in playing time neutral stats, percentages would be the better way to go.  Or per min or per possession stuff.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

The reality is in today's college basketball, you will not be a championship contender if you do not have at least 3-4 guys on the floor at all times who can hit the 3. Right now, we usually have 1-2.

It's just one of many criteria, but right now it is the difference between us and the better teams in the big ten.  Teams have learned they can go under every screen and pack the paint against us.  It's no coincidence that we can't get good looks within 15 ft anymore either.

I have stopped looking for ways this team can improve because it's mostly too late for that.  The blueprint this team has to follow is defense first, creating offense. Give up nothing easy.  Deshaun scores 20-25 and we hold the other team to 50 or so.

The story of this season to me is what happened (or didn't happen) in the off-season. I can see 1 guy that is noticably better this yr than last, and that's Shannon Scott.  Craft and Thompson didn't learn to shoot, Deshaun and Ross didn't commit themselves to getting better on defense, and Amir still plays like a highschooler lost in the B1G.

McDonald might have made a good leap but we didn't see him enough last yr to accurately judge.  The whole team is basically talented as hell so there's plenty of room to make it happen before next season, but something will have to be different this summer than last years.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

There are a lot of places to place blame for this season.  The inability of Williams and Ross to develop thus far is at the top of my list.

At the current rate, McDonald will be the better upperclassman.  It may be time to start filtering him Williams' minutes. Would be a bonus if that's what finally got Amir going, whether now or in the off-season.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

I agree with this except for the leaderless comment.  That's a slap in the face to Craft.  A team doesn't have to be Final Four caliber to have a great leader.  Knock his jump shot, not his leadership.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

Hopefully he will concede to letting up a few more points so we can actually score


This is the only reason that Ross sees any minutes at all.  I'm not convinced Della Valle can't hold his own on d anyways.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

Seems odd considering we are 16-1 against teams not currently in Top 25. In other words, against teams like the one we would face in the first round.

Comment 17 Feb 2013

You realize Lenzelle has the highest 3pt% on the team, highest rb% of anyone who doesn't play the 5, highest ast/to ratio of anyone who doesn't play point, and the same true shooting percentage as Deshaun, right?

Comment 06 Feb 2013

I'd like to see Thompson be the guy that gets put on a hot shooter from now on.  Scott and Smith were on Hardaway I believe during that run he had from 3.  Both good to great defenders, but neither has the length of Thompson that could really disrupt a shooter.  Gotta make him put the ball on the floor and disrupt the rhythm.

Comment 12 Nov 2012

I don't really understand how he/they could make a "calculated decision" to underperform, because that's what he did.  If he is going to bang in the Big Ten, he should be dominating lesser opponents.  But he is constantly out of position and getting pushed around.

I expect Craft and Thomas alone to ensure we are contenders all year in a tough Big Ten, and probably a Sweet 16 team.  But if we want to be real national championship contenders, we need Williams to make huge developmental strides before March.

Comment 19 Mar 2012

a bearcat is that thingy that gets into your garbage to dig out the rotting scraps of leftover food


So whoever came up with this had foresight into recruiting in-state talent against tosu then?

Comment 29 Feb 2012

Totally agree with this.  You have an athletic team that struggles to score in the half court when defenses pack it in.  The same team is one of the best defensive units in the nation per the advanced stats.  Pushing the ball and allowing our d to create offense before the other team gets set seems too obvious. 

Comment 29 Feb 2012

the Craft/Scott combo could be key over the next couple of weeks years

Craft isn't going anywhere so I think it's wise to start figuring out a way to get these guys playing well together despite both being true point guards.

I hope sometime down the road I'm reading about their endless summer shooting sessions together too.

Comment 14 Feb 2012

I know it seems like we need an outside shooter, but the advanced stats are pretty much screaming for us to give Weatherspoon more PT.

Comment 14 Feb 2012

You keep saying we should slow tempo to reduce the number of points we need to win, but unless slowing the tempo causes us to become more efficient and raises our points per possession, this will do absolutely nothing.

Against Mich St we scored 48 pts in approx 64 possessions (per kenpom) for .75 PPP.  Say we had successfully slowed the tempo to create only 58 possessions, we would have been expected to score only 43 or 44 pts total.

In order for a change in tempo to make any difference, it would have to lead to a fundamental change in something else that would in turn change our, or our opponents, PPP.