Re: Tough Couple of Nights for the Buckeyes
As of 1/9/07, Wisconsin is the best team in the Big 10. They are pretty darn good, very impressive, but they are probably playing about as good as they are going to right now.
OTH, the Buckeyes can only get better, because they really cannot get any worse given the talent they have assembled. I am pretty mellow watching games (my wife disagrees, but I'm comparing myself to others I have watched sports with), but I was ready to throw things last night, and here's why:
1) Commit to something on offense. There is absolutely no offensive pattern that I can detect. They do not cut, they are rarely setting screens, it is find a spot behind the three point line and chuck it. Sure, high volume 3 pointers even shooting at low percentages can win, but it makes for inconsistent offense and does not fully use the many talents they have. Michael Conley needs to penetrate and kick out like the NC game regularly, but he has not been doing much of that lately.
2) Basically, every offensive player is going one on one. Get the ball, make a move, take a shot. Last night's shot selection was stunningly bad, and this is ongoing, but last night it was horrible.
3) Get more high-low games going to free up the 3 instead of forcing 3s
4) Get Daequan Cook more PT. He is riding the pines way too much.
5) Oden was frustrated with his teammates a few times on D, and rightfully so. I saw him one time after he picked up a foul helping a teammate who had totally lost track of his man yelling "YO! YO!" with a real intense look, trying to get the teammate's attention for shoddy defense. I hope he steps in and starts leading more, because Lewis and Butler just aren't vocal leaders.
As for last night, Butler and Lewis were horrible. They made some of the ugliest turnovers last night that seniors cannot be making on a young team. I cut their playing time gradually to get Cook and Lighty more action. And still, they got a shot to tie it at the end. That was amazing all things considered.