After wasting the last 2 hours of my life watching Ohio State slug it out with Coppin State, I feel an overwhelming need to keep this brief.
The Buckeyes returned from their 9 day layoff with a new starting lineup as Evan Turner replaced Jon Diebler and led OSU with 13 points in the 47-39 victory over the lowly Eagles. Turner recorded 3 steals and shot 3/4 from downtown in support of Jamar Butler.
Trailing 33-31 at the 10:37 mark, Butler hit a 3 pointer to give OSU a lead it wouldn't relinquish as the Buckeyes closed the game on a 16-6 run. Butler totaled 13 points, 6 assists and 3 steals on the night.
The fact that a 16-6 run was even needed is reason enough for me to wonder aloud just how much better this team is going to get. As predicted, Matta used the layoff to work on the 3/4 court press but it didn't lead to many easy opportunities. Of course, they didn't have many chances to set it up making only 18 shots.
Without any easy buckets, the offense again lacked movement as evidenced by 22 of the 41 field goal attemps coming from behind the arc. Eight different Buckeyes attempted a three pointer including Jon Diebler who went 0/3 lowering his 3FG% to 15% on the season (7/45).
On the inside, Othello Hunter (6) and Kosta Koufos (8) combined to shoot 58% from the floor but managed only 14 points as neither got to the line. Koufos was at his passive best notching 0 rebounds in 24 minutes. He spent some time on the pine in the second half in favor of Matt Turdwiggler. To his credit, Matt his a big 3 to put OSU ahead 39-34 with about 6 minutes to play.
Overall, it was another lackluster performance as this year's squad kept with tradition getting outrebounded 29-19 including a 12-4 disadvantage on the offensive glass. They also committed 13 turnovers, 5 by Turner. David Lighty continued to struggle after a 1/5 night totaling 4 points.