Today we are going to recap The Ohio State University men’s basketball teams first 4 games of the year. I have appropriately titled this breakdown, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. I have chosen this for many reasons, Most namely, the inconsistency of the team thus far. Here is the breakdown.
- 4-0. The best result that can happen in any game is a win. So having a perfect season thus far, even though we are only 4 games in, has to be a positive.
- Big Road win. Beating a team many considered the favorite to win the Big East at their home court is also a plus. Regardless of the Big East’s prominence taking a bit of a hit with expansions, this win will be looked at come seeding time at the NCAA tourney.
- Shannon Scott. After being put into the starting lineup in order to create a formidable backcourt, Scott has provided a huge spark on both ends of the court. He is the leading scorer on the team at 12.5 points a game as well as being second on the team in both assists and steals.
- Marc Loving. College Basketball has always proved a tough transition for a true freshman, regardless of the talent level. Loving has proved that he belongs at a big time program and has provided some much needed energy off the bench. When watching Loving, you get the sense you are watching a future All Big Ten team blossom.
- Defense. Holding your opponents to 51.5 points a game and 34.4% from the field will win you almost any contest. Sure the schedule isn’t the toughest but this is still tough to do at any level.
- LaQuinton Ross. 4 Games into the season is hardly a barometer for the entire season but it would be hard to call Ross’ start to the year anything less than a disappointment. He is averaging 7 points per game, good for 6th on the team and 22.5 minutes per game, good for 5th best. While much was expected a Ross, he is under performing so much so that Matta has made him sit on the bench for 15+ minutes on two separate occasions. It appears he just needs to find his shot and gain a little confidence. Matta appears to be doing everything he can to “wake up” Ross and I have confidence he will find his game again.
- Slow starts. It seems that the Buckeyes have had trouble getting the scoring going in the first half. Against Marquette, it took a last second 3 from Loving to get their first half score to 19. Against American, getting to the free throw was the only thing buoying them to a first half lead as they only made 5 field goals. I believe that most of this has to do with the new foul rules making it hard for the Buckeyes to get in a flow. Once they get properly adjusted, they’ll be fine.
- There is no other way to say this, but shooting 28.6% from 3-point range is downright ugly. As mentioned before, it could have something to do with the new foul rules, but most of the looks Ohio State is getting from long distance, are good looks. 4 games in, no one should be worried. Matta knows how to get his team to score.
As you can see, there are way more positives than negatives so far this season. There is still a long way to go as well as lots of time to improve.