Midterm Report Card: Grading Ohio State Basketball Halfway Through The 2017-18 Season

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Hovenaut's picture

Fair grades, especially for Holtmann and staff.

HS
CptBuckeye24's picture

Overall, I would give this team a B or B+.  This team's effort and attitude has improved but also they have shown improvement across the board. That is a reflection on Holtmann and his staff. 

Like someone said below, they deserve an A for the culture change and it appears there is buy in from the players.

HS
SaltyD0gg's picture

KBD should just take 40 shots a game. Kid can ball.

And when Jallow finds his shot (and some confidence), look out.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

HS
OSU069's picture

I agree. KBD can flat out fill it up and we lack a lot of consistent scoring. When we get into big ten play, I honestly think he needs to take even more shots, even force some if he has to. 

HS
TossTrap's picture

Fair grades all around. Holtmann is like someone opened the door in a fart factory.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

HS
FalcotoyourMartel's picture

He definitely is a spark to a possibly explosive season.  Am I mixing metaphors here?

Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever. -Falco

HS
toad1204's picture

smells about right

The offseason is the longest season.

HS
Huskerbuck's picture

Very pleased with the new coach and staff's progress to date. . .  especially with what they inherited. Who honestly thought going into the year that we would be 11- 4 at this stage of the season? We need some of the young Bucks like Young and Jallow contributing more, especially offensively, and for Potter to toughen up a bit and contribute more offensively as well.

HS
NorthBerg's picture

2017-2018 Buckeye basketball is about changing the culture surrounding the program. A solid A for that aspect of the season.

Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72

HS
Shayla39's picture

They are actually a pleasant watching experience this season vs feeling like I was having a root canal.

Future is bright.

HS
Buknut03's picture

I could not agree more with this. I could hardly stand watching them play the last couple of years. This team is enjoyable to watch and with the exception of UNC, should have/could have won in all of those losses

HS
semperfibuck's picture

Holtmann ha done a superb job of getting the Buckeyes to care... or at least seem to care. Unfortunately, during Thad’s tenure that attitude had eroded. And predictably the fans will return when they see a team that hustles, plays extremely hard and wins... all things missing the last year or 2.

HS
Baroclinicity's picture

It's a shame that I'm just too caught up in football etc. that by the time I get to OSU hoops, half the season is gone...

Priority #1:  Beat Michigan

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

On Jan. 2, 2017 the Buckeyes stood 10-3 but finished the B1G 7-11 and lost in the first round of the B1G tournament to Rutgers (smh) to finish 17-15 overall. The team won only 3 games in the month of January and won only 4 in February and won only 4 games after January 28.

On Jan 2, 2018 the Buckeyes stand 11-4 but are already 2-0 in the B1G including wins over TTUN and at Wisconsin, a place the team had not won at in over 10 years.

Gotta think Holtmann has the team on pace to surpass last season's win total. Even if it equals last season's 7-11 B1G record the Buckeyes finish the regular eason 18-15. However, I think our B1G record will be MUCH better this season. It's just a gut feeling I have. The hustle and effort we've been seeing should net us at least two more wins if not more.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

HS
Lighteyes's picture

The big difference between last year's 10-3 and this year's 11-4 is how the team's actually looked. This year's 11-4 might be a slightly worse record on paper, but the on-court results don't include any kind of shaky "wait, what happened, why was that close" games against Florida Atlantic and divisional UNC (twice!) that ended up being a really bad omen for the B1G schedule.

Also helping: The remaining B1G schedule for Ohio State is surprisingly favorable. The general assumption is that the Top 5 teams in the B1G (skipping Ohio State) are Sparty, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue, and TTUN, in some order. Ohio State has only one more game against each of those teams. By comparison, the five worst teams in the B1G are Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, Rutgers, and Iowa (combined conference record: 2-11, with both wins coming against Iowa). Ohio State has seven games against that group of losers. 

So they can top last year's record (and most projections of the season) simply by more or less holding serve against the mid-tier and dregs of the conference, even if they go 0-5 in the remaining games against conference contenders.

HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

My one criticism of Holtmann is that he has to figure out that when we're up against the likes of a North Carolina, benching KBD because he's on the verge of foul trouble is the same thing as a forfeit. The game is over if he comes out for a protracted period of time, so might as well play him till he fouls out. 

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

HS
BrutusB's picture

Against UNC he played KBD with 2 fouls for a long time in the first half before finally sitting him. 

HS
G.'s picture

He should definitely stop letting urban coach the offense /s

G.

HS
ibuck's picture

benching KBD because he's on the verge of foul trouble is the same thing as a forfeit

Versus watching him foul out with 10 minutes to play?

To me, the latter is closer to poor coaching.

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

HS
jpfbucks01's picture

I am very happy with the results so far.

Before the season started I thought their record right now was an outside shot.

I more likely expected them to be around 8-7 or maybe 9-5 at this point and winless in conference.

That said I think 1 of the grades above are a bit high.

Guards to me would be a C- not a C+, as the 2 guard on most nights is effectively non-existent.

Yes Jallow has a ton of potential and Kam flashes on a rare occasion, but on the season the 2 are shooting below 42% combined. At Shooting Guard!!!

Kam is averaging nearly 8 a game but that is misleading as he scored 16 in the opener and 15 in the last game, but averaged barely 6.5 per game in between. and outside of 1 game Jallow has been an offensive liability. 

HS
bsk33's picture

Agree with JPF on the guard grade. I have been pretty happy with CJ especially since his turnovers have gone down quite a bit over the last few games. And Dakich has done alright, considering his ceiling is awfully low. But the SG spot is by far the weakest on the team right now.

On the other hand, I would give the Center grade a B. I think Kaleb Wesson should get an individual grade of A/A-. For a true Freshman to come in and average 12 pts and 5 rebs, with pretty efficient shooting #s (55% FG, 75% FT), it's hard to ask for much more. For a team in desperate need of consistent scorers, getting between 7 pts and 19 pts in the first 15 games is pretty impressive.

Potter has been pretty disappointing, but he is hard to give a fair grade given his health issues. And they have had some solid success playing small ball with KBD at the 5 spot.

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

HS
BrutusB's picture

My only hope for this season was that they looked like they were actually trying and to maybe make the NIT.  We're still on course for both of those.

HS
OSU069's picture

I know Young and Wesson haven't given us a lot so far, but I still think the forwards deserve an A- because of KBD's play. I'm sure no one expected us to look as solid as we have so far this year and its mostly because of him. 

HS
Buck61's picture

Over the course of three and half  seasons Tate hasn't developed a shot that he can consistently make outside of three feet from the basket, seeing his explosion on the dunks has been a pleasant surprise. Bates- Diop is finally showing the talent many thought he possessed, he seems to be fully recovered from last years injury.

HS
buckzilla1's picture

Holtman deserves an A+ in my opinion. To change the way the basketbucks played last year to what we get to watch this year is  nothing short of fantastic. I see growth in the smallest of things like hustle. I can see that the players are showing signs of getting better each and every game. I see that all though we have still got allot of we don't belong in the minds of most of the players, getting over the hump by beating a team like Sparty should set the table for something special for many years to come as far as culture and buy in from recruits on Holtman and his program. Can this team do it? I think Holtman is the guy to make sure it happens. Think the grades are fair for the players. I wonder where they would be if this was Holtmans 2nd year. 

The only true worry we should have about this 2019 team is this:

Why is Sevyn Banks wearing number 12?

HS
BrutusB's picture

Crazier things have happened, but I really don't think we're beating Sparty any time soon.  Just focus on getting better any worry about stuff like that in 2ish years.

HS
analyticalguy's picture

My first reaction The only "blot" on Holtman's performance is not stemming the total collapse at the end of the Butler game. Yes, I know, the players still have to execute, but whether it was better pre-game preparation or better in-game adjustments, he needed to find a way to stop at least a few of the stupid things that were happening.  Other than that, though, I have no complaints with what he has done, bringing back more hustle and a better attitude.

I would have bumped the center grade up to, say, a B-.  Wesson has been solid even if though not dominant (the only real negative being foul trouble), and Potter has been slowed by injury.

HS
Jersey Boy's picture

The biggest improvement to the team's attitude and effort probably has more to do with the absence of Loving than a new coaching staff...

HS
analyticalguy's picture

Loving, but also Lyle in roughly half the games.  If that was the biggest problem faced last season, the coaching staff could/should have done more to deal with it.

HS
IronPastor's picture

I am okay with the grades, especially because we have had some tough games so far (UNC, Gonzaga, TTUN, WISC) and we have played tough in those.

I think the month of January will be a key factor in our Tourney chances.  If we can show well against MSU(maybe sneak a win at Home), and win 6 out of the remaining 8 for a total of 6-3, or 7-2 for the month of January...i will be pretty pumped.  

Continue to make progress and get better each day.  Do Today Well!

GEAUX BUCKEYES

HS
ibuck's picture

Ohio State entered the season with just two true point guards in C.J. Jackson and Andrew Dakich

Come on, James! 

CJ is a 2-guard and Dakich is a bench player. Neither is a "true point guard." To his credit, Holtmann has induced both to play half decently as point guards—so far. There are still too many turnovers by guards or those playing as guard (JT). Yet again, Holtmann & staff deserve kudos for getting them to reduce the TO's—especially the bad ones near center court that often lead to opponent layups.

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

HS
analyticalguy's picture

My two biggest concerns this season were PG, and depth at C. That the team has weathered an injury at C reasonably well is a credit to the players and the staff. The PG situation still has me holding my breath, wondering why the other team isn't continually in a full-court press. Again, a credit to the staff (and players) for minimizing this deficiency.

HS
bsk33's picture

I would argue that Dakich is a true point guard. He just isn't a very talented or athletic one. A 'bench player' isn't a position. Obviously it is less than ideal that he is our back-up PG, but considering the roster Holtmann was left in June, I am ok with Dakich getting the minutes that he has. I think he has done pretty well, but his last 2 games have probably been his worst outings of the year.

As far as CJ goes, I would describe him as a combo guard. He may not be a true PG (I am not sure how many of those exist nowadays), but it is not like he is a traditional catch and shoot SG. He is a little too loose with the ball, but CJ can create his own shot and can create for others. And he is a solid passer (4 assists a game).

I think your description of the guards was perfectly fine, James.

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

HS
wigmon's picture

I agree with most things in the writeup.  I think you can look at grades in 2 different ways (versus expectations/prior 3 years and versus the rest of college basketball) and I feel like the grades are kinda a mix of these 2.  Not to pick on Dakich, but as an example if you compare him to expectations, I give him a B, if I compare him to backup guards in major conference he gets a D.

While I think the coaching staff has done a solid job, I don't believe I would have given them an 'A'.  We didn't get any decent non-conf wins, had a loss at home and a collapse at a neutral site.  Now, I think some of that was due to fatigue with how the schedule played out and not having much depth, but still, we ultimately failed to win any of those non-conf games.  We beat the teams we were supposed to beat, so I look at the non-conf as pretty much a C+ as far as results are concerned.  The staff gets a bump for the 2 conf wins in fighting back against UM and destroying Wisky on the road, for handling of the player rotations with a less than complete roster and for getting KBD the ball in the low and mid post where he's been very effective.  I think the culture thing mostly took care of itself, so the staff didn't really have to come in and do anything differently than they would have done or were doing at Butler.  Its not like Tate, KBD, CJ, etc. were the issue.  I think the staff deserves a B+.  Get us into the NCAA tourney, they get an A.

 

HS