Mid-BigTen Season Basketball Grades: Part 3

Block O.bmpToday we finish the three part series.

Part One: Mike Conley Jr., Jamar Butler, and Ron Lewis
Part Two: Ivan Harris, Daequan Cook, and David Lighty
Part Three: Greg Oden, Othello Hunter, and Matt Terwilliger

Feel free to add your grades and evaluation in the comments section.

Greg Oden.jpgGreg Oden: A-
My first thought about Oden is there is a good chance the Buckeyes will get to see him at 100% healthy. Oden’s offensive abilities have been limited by his injured wrist, but he has been a beast on defense. Last night while watching the game I heard one of the announcers say. “There should be a stat for shots altered.” Oden’s impact on the defensive end goes way beyond his shot blocking ability. The team struggles getting Oden involved when opponents are in a 2-3 zone defense (which I was reminded of last night). I think more and more teams will notice that and if the Buckeyes don’t figure out more ways of attacking the zone, it could be trouble especially come tournament time.

Othello Hunter.jpgOthello Hunter: B
For me Hunter has been a pleasant surprise. As a junior college transfer he was the most unknown of the Thad5. I like the rotation when Hunter and Oden are on the floor at the same time. It gives an additional option for guards to drive and dish. Also, the two are a dynamic combination on the defensive end. Hunter is still developing offensively. He has not shown a mid-range game yet.

Matt Terwilliger.jpgMatt Terwilliger: B-
Terwilliger has seen his minutes dwindle since the insertion of Greg Oden into the line-up. Most of his minutes come when Oden needs a rest or is in foul trouble. Terwilliger understands and accepts his role, as explained in a recent Columbus Dispatch story.
Terwilliger provides much needed depth to the nine man rotation. A third big man is an integral part of any team.


  1. I haven’t watched nearly as many OSU bball games as I am sure others have, but I have watched some big ones ( UF, MSU, UNC, etc.. ). I would like to see oden not compeltely disappear for entire halfs at a time. I’m not sure if it’s the play calling, the guard play or just oden adjusting to the fact that, unlike HS, other teams have good players too.

    Whatever it is, he needs to develop into a much more assertive player against the better teams he’s facing. He has no problem demolishing PSU, but against UF, with a great front court, he shrinked from the spotlight. This happens sometimes with players who are espeically dominant on one level. They don’t respond well to getting, figuratively, punched in the mouth.

    Otherwise, they’re primed for a great run in march.

  2. Two words: zone defense. If the Buckeyes can’t find a way to solve a simple zone defense, they will not make a run in the tournament, plain and simple. They have the athletes to break down a zone, but I can’t figure out why they won’t penetrate or get Greg Oden a touch. Both of those things would cause a zone defense to collapse on the ball-handler, freeing at least one shooter.

  3. Griffin – I’m not the b-ball expert here at MotSaG, and it’s just my opinion, but I don’t think we can look at the Florida game and get any idea about Oden. He had only been back for a game or two, and still had the full cast on his primary hand. Night and day since then.

    Also, I can’t remember which blog it was (BBC, Pfef, or Buckeye Commentary), but the analysis was done on Fla’s numbers and it turns out their own performance was unbelievably aberrant (in a good way for them). I.e., during that early second-half run, they played better than they ever had before, at the same time the Bucks had a similarly aberrant (in the negative side) poor showing. Combining that with Matta’s unusual time management, and UF got the blowout.

    So, it’s kinda a hard game to judge both teams by.

    The “responding well to getting punched in the mouth” factor seems like a coach’s problem to me. I think we tend to forget that this is still a very young squad. They seemed to respond well when NC “punched” them, and the same with Wisco. They just need to do it consistently.

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