Roster Construction Leading to Somewhat Predictable Holes in Ohio State Basketball

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BuckInNashville's picture

This all sounds so academic. But why is it that one and done freshman not only don’t hit the wall (in January no less) at other schools, but they use the entire season to pave their way to an NBA draft ranking ? And yet we can say straight faced that the TWO freshmen that we recruited aren’t even Big Ten ready ?  

HS
bsk33's picture

'Ohio State knew it needed at least one of the upperclass guards to step up. All three have been rough recently.'

I agree that the guards have been awful. Duane was really good until his injury, but has been a different player since. And Luther and CJ were solid until the last 2 weeks and their play has fallen off a cliff.

But just to nitpick, the definition of upperclassmen is 'a junior or senior in high school or college.' The Buckeyes have one upper class guard (Walker), two if you include Danny Hummer.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

HS
vball10set's picture

Disappointing to say the least, especially with Luther and DW....btw, was it ever disclosed how he “injured” his ribs? I’m a little suspicious that the ‘how’ may have a little bit to do with the ‘why’ here—the timing of this downslide is a little too coincidental.

HS
IronPastor's picture

Not sure what you are getting at, but from what I read, I understood it to be a basketball injury.

GEAUX BUCKEYES

HS
Huskerbuck's picture

If our guards don't turn it around soon (shooting touch and less turnovers) we may be doing good to go .500 in the B10.  Even the freshmen have nearly a half of season under their belts so it is time to step up and help the team. . .  not to mention sophomores Muhammud and Washington.  

HS
Sanitarian2's picture

9 for 26 from three is not the end of the world, assuming I read the box score correctly, shooting worse from two is a major concern. T.O.'s are not a symptom of the "Frosh Wall", perhaps a decrease in shooting percentage/rebounding, tired legs, etc. T.O.'s can be a symptom of a frustrated player trying to do too much or someone that simply has not adjusted to college speed and athletic ability yet.

Sani

HS
Buckpasser51's picture

Couldn't agree more. Everyone appears to be pressing and not because they want to be "the guy" but because they feel that they need to be "the guy" who picks the rest of the team up. You can't be an effective scorer when you're thinking. Good shooters feel the shot.

HS
Blackcoffee's picture

West Virginia is a good enough prelude to what was awaiting them in conference play. Terrence Dials should suit up and bang around with these guys in practice. The only question really is how many more games they lose before they get tired of being punked and win one.

HS
IronPastor's picture

I am not sure if it is a roster issue, or just a slump.  I feel like Duane can score, as can DJ, as can Andre and even CJ as they have all put up big games.  The problem is the inconsistency from game to game.  I think the physicality of the B1G this year, even on Kaleb has everyone off their game.  This is a cause and effect to confidence, which I think is the big killer right now.  We are hesitant on decision making, shot taking and finishing at the hoop.  If we can get our confidence back, I think we have the "ability" on the team to beat anyone in the B1G.  The question is, will we?

GEAUX BUCKEYES

HS
macdaddybuckeyesupreme's picture

The freshman wall is an excuse. Obviously strength and conditioning program is not doing a good enough job.

Luther Muhammed sucks, the only reason he plays is because he sometimes plays good defense. He can't score.

Our best shooters get benched, guess what Holtmann basketball is changing to where defense isn't as important as scoring the most points.

Successful people do what they have to, whether they feel like it or not

HS
Buckpasser51's picture

If you are referring to Washington, he is being taught by Holtman. At this level, you can't just play one end of the floor. My hunch is that this has been an ongoing issue for him and he is in the tail end of the "progressive" discipline process. What good does it do to score 10 points when you let your man score 16?

HS
macdaddybuckeyesupreme's picture

What was the lesson, good job scoring 50 some points today, we only gave up 60 something.

If we had scored 70 we win, instead you bench your best scorer

Successful people do what they have to, whether they feel like it or not

HS
Buckpasser51's picture

Yip. That's called coaching. And he is NOT the best scorer! He's averaging 10.7 ppg. Good job on the math though. How many more pts would Indiana scored if he remained on the floor half-assing it on defense? No one will ever know if he would have made a difference had he remained in the game. But everyone should know that there is a lot of the season left and Washington simply can't score more  pts than the opponent. 

HS
ibuck's picture

instead you bench your best scorer

Actually, Washington is not the best scorer, Kaleb is. And Carton has scored 10 more points on the season. Over his last 3 games, DW is shooting 8/30, or 27% from the field. Could be the injury; could be getting him more attention from B1G defenses.

If you are not scoring, and you keep messing up on defense, and have just 18 assists to 17 turnovers, in what entitled world do you keep getting a ton of minutes?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
Keze's picture

We just aren't a good team, sure we played over our heads at the start of the year but reality has caught up.

HS
ibuck's picture

we played over our heads at the start of the year but reality has caught up.

There may be some merit in what you post, but I don't think it's as simple as that.

Injuries, bench depth, illness, rugby-like officiating, inexperience & Hoops IQ all contribute to this string of losses.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
BuckeyeDevil's picture

If your opponent is scoring 60-65 points you should have enough offense if you are a good team to win games. This isn't a good team and at this point going .500 in league would be somewhat miraculous.

This was never a top 5 team. Your traditional top teams were losing games and Ohio State caught opponents at the right time of the year and were shooting better than expected to start the season. With the exception of UNC which is historically horrible this year, they would never beat the likes of Villanova and UK again. 

This is a very disappointing season. Just when I thought the basketball team could ease the pain of December 28th.

HS
Blackcoffee's picture

Your first mistake was counting on the basketball team to ease the pain of December 28th. They are kids. They played West Virginia Dec. 29, feeling the pain of the football team and Young's appendix. Beating Kentucky, Villanova( any of their wins in fact) wasn't an illusion, or smoke and mirrors.

HS
buckeyestu's picture

This hit the wall thing, i have noticed a lot of freshman who dont hit the wall. 16 games into the season and these guys have hit the wall? In high school do they only play 16 games a year? Sounds like a weak excuse to me. Maybe Holtman should get some advice from Coach K or Calipari.

HS
ibuck's picture

Yeah, it's too early for walls. Seems to be a lot of guessing & grasping by many commenters as well as some 11W staff. 

This team is very young, inconsistent, beaten up and playing in a very tough league, and they appear to get rattled too often. As they get healthy and buy-in more, I suspect they will become more consistent (in good ways) and fare better. Which should help their confidence.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
westcampus's picture

Our basketball talent level is the equivalent of a 8-4 football team so not sure why there is a mass panic. Look at the big ten standings. It’s going to be a mess. If Michigan loses today they’ll only be 2-3 and they’re also a good team. until the schedules balance out a bit (another month) we won’t know where the teams stand. OSU has not lost to a bad team. Neither has Michigan. Neither has Michigan State. 

HS
Blackcoffee's picture

Not sure why you got downvoted. Purdue just kicked MSU to the curb. A 30 point drubbing. Nebraska beat PSU, at PSU a few days ago. The B1G is crazy!

HS
Kalmar's picture

Well, I hope the author has learned to never say 'freshman wall'. I'm sure it'll turn around soon. If not, we got a lot of other sports at OSU to follow

HS
BUCKEYE3M's picture

Hopefully Washington is still suffering from a lingering injury that heals, and heals fast! Also, I hope that these guys collectively take better looks at the basket .

They can't afford to take a bunch of low percentage shots, because frankly none of them are good enough shooters or scorers to not take high percentage looks.

That, as I see it, is a discipline issue. 

HS
Buck61's picture

This team held Indiana without a field goal for just about the last 10 minutes of the first half and could build anymore than a three point lead. They were 11--24 from the field in the first half and 7-12 from the three point line, very acceptable numbers, especially on the road. After the break they shot 6-28 and 2-14. At the foul line they were 5-6 in the first half and 6-13 in the second. This leads to a fairly simple question, do we have a conditioning issue.

On another front< i never have been one who follows the recruiting process closely but how in the world could  they have Carton been considered a five star player and the second best high school point guard in high school, unless the pool of players at that position is extremely bad. He has ball handling issues, has a very slow and low release on his shot and not a lock down defender.

They can't execute a fast break when the limited opportunities present themselves, seems as if every possession is a challenge.

One final thing the game is being officiated differently now, they are allowing much more physical contact, especially on players driving to the basket, they have to play through the extra contact and finish the plays.

HS
ibuck's picture

Carton ... has a very slow and low release on his shot

Agreed: often looks like a shotput motion. Methinks getting stronger would help, but if he's a good athlete, with proper coaching, he should be able to rebuild his shooting mechanics for a higher release and arc. However, that's offseason work.

and not a lock down defender.

Yeah, but few players are. If he works at it, he can get better at D.

One final thing the game is being officiated differently now, they are allowing much more physical contact, especially on players driving to the basket, they have to play through the extra contact and finish the plays.

Absolutely: many coaches, announcers and sportswriters are saying this. And the game is suffering. 

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
bsk33's picture

I have no problem with DJ Carton's shot, other than maybe having a little quicker release. I have seen that complaint on other threads as well.

DJ is shooting 48% from the field and 41% from three point land. During this 4 game losing streak, he is the only player, besides Andre Wesson, that is shooting the ball well from deep: 5-10.

His turnovers are a big reason why the Buckeyes are struggling. But his shooting is just fine. In fact, it is pretty damn good.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

HS
ibuck's picture

But his shooting is just fine. In fact, it is pretty damn good.

If Carton is satisfied with playing D1 ball and has no pro aspirations, keeping his blockable shot might be OK. But if he wants to play in the NBA, a higher starting point (i.e., above the head) is needed. Aaron Craft (OSU career FG 45.9%) was reluctant to change his shot too, and he played in the D-League and in Europe, but not in the NBA.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
Buck61's picture

Carton is a very good athlete with lots of natural skills, he needs lots of work on his shooting and getting stronger. I have seen him inside more than a few times and be the first to a rebound in traffic.

Next game watch his shot closely, as he plays against longer and quicker guys that low and slow release will be an issue. Nothing a good shooting coach and many hours of practice can't cure with his natural talent.

HS
bsk33's picture

It hasn't been an issue yet (nearly 48% from the field and over 40% on threes) in 16 games, but will be going forward. Got it.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

HS
Rone2002Osu's picture

We have 2 very quick point guards. This stupid ass offensive set everytime down the floor where we do sideways PnR at the top of the key over and over again doesn't work. Let our quick point guards take their man off the dribble then have a screen to which ever side he starts to drive. Help side D then comes and then he can blow by said defender or kick it out. Screens at the top of the key going side to side just isn't a good offensive strategy.

And for God's sake we need to crash the offensive boards instead of sitting and watching every shot like we're never going to miss!

Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever

Shane Falco

HS
tcm1968's picture

I don't think it's scoring as much as it missing a closer. Despite the poor shooting we've scored enough to be in these games late in the second half. We bog down the last 5 minutes or so because we don't have a go to guy and then it becomes a game of hot potato. We end up with bad shots or turnovers because no one is in catch and shoot "i'm going to close this thing out" mentality. 

In an ideal world the closer is probably Carton... but that doesn't look like it's going to happen this season...  given the options I'd run things through Andre Wesson to close out games. He's 11-20 the last two games with only 1 turnover.. 

Go Bucks!

HS
actionstanleyjackson's picture

This team should not be tied for last in the big ten ever. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

HS
ibuck's picture

This team should not be tied for last in the big ten...

The players' way has gotten them to 1-4 in the B1G. What will their record be if they play more the way the coaches are telling them (i.e., buy-in)?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Unless the current trend changes, the NIT will be the best that can be hoped for.  

No, I didn't forget to use the /sarc font.

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

HS
tcm1968's picture

They need to go 9-7 to make the dance... they'll be dancing.. That was the toughest 5 game stretch in probably a decade.. things get easier the rest of the way. They will lose more games but there a bunch of softballs coming up.. 

Go Bucks!

HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Don't get me wrong, I do think that the things that need to be fixed will get fixed. I really hope they do get fixed, for sure.

The poor play needs to turn around in the other direction, and soon, for this team to 9-7 or better, to finish the regular season.

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

HS
TheBigCat's picture

Our offense right now looks like something you would see in a pickup game at the RPAC.  No leadership in the backcourt at all.  The ofd thing to me is this seems to be an issue now that has spanned two coaching staffs.  Anemic offense that just stands around looking for a playmaker, but we don’t have “that guy” on the roster to help.  Wesson isn’t the type of guy who can light it up and drop it in bunches.  Very strange

HS
aerobuck's picture

This team reminds me of the later Matta teams... a roster full of one-dimensional players several of who are offensively limited.  Walker, Muhammed, Young, Ahrens are all one trick ponies.  Jallow, if he were healthy, could be thrown into that mix as well.  Diallo might be ready in two years, but not now.  Andre Wesson is contributing about as should be expected.  If Washington and K Wesson are both scoring, then the other guys can fill in around them.

I think Holtman needs some time to put together a balanced and talented roster.  Give it a year or two until Liddel, Carton, Gaffney, and Suing are experienced B10 battle hardened players.

HS
ibuck's picture

 Give it a year or two until Liddel, Carton, Gaffney, and Suing are experienced B10 battle hardened players.

Probably take 1 to 1.5 seasons for Liddel, maybe two for Gafney (and Diallo). I think Carton & Suing will be fairly effective next season.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

I imagine all of these guys are looking in the mirror. Hope they realize it's time to step up. 

Coaches need to do the same. Our offensive set is very predictable, including in bounds plays. Matta used to draw up a lot of scoring plays on in-bounds. I can't remember one this season.

Two injuries before the season really thrust our freshmen into bigger roles. Musa's redshirt (his offensive production was poised to take a step), and Ahren's back injury. I saw enough from Justin in a couple games last year to know he can play at this level. He seems like a chill kid, maybe needs to play with a more aggressive mindset and channel Chris Jent.

HS
ibuck's picture

Ohio State has zero offense right now. 

Come on, David. What a negative take! 

It's only true for 3 to 6 minute stretches now, but it happens several times per game. OTOH, Wisc, IU and Md all defended well vs an injured Buckeye team, and Minnesota just beat TTUN.

And Carton was tripped!

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

HS
Blackcoffee's picture

and Purdon't just punked MSU, held them to 41 points! Wild stuff this year.

HS
CDUB26's picture

Meanwhile the rest of the Big Ten is also struggling for wins on the road. The season is not over and as I said before, the Big Ten is fun to watch with all the parity in the conference. The Basketbucks will get better and get their swag. But when games get ugly to a young player, they don't have the patience, and that is where coaching comes into play. I said it before a great performance starts in the dressing room(practice)and WORKS its way to the stage. These losses they will learn from and you will see a more tempered team. This is about cohesiveness and KYP.,.which comes in time

HS