Ohio State Men’s Basketball is at a turning point, in terms of this season. The Buckeyes, at 10-2, have had an incredibly disappointing season thus far. For many other teams, 10-2 would be a great start. For the Buckeyes, 10-2 is simply unacceptable.
We knew this Buckeyes team would have problems, but we didn’t know just how big they would be. Sullinger and Buford would have to be replaced, leaving room for guys to step up. Thus far, no one has stepped up. Aaron Craft has shied away from the spotlight, LaQuinton Ross can’t seem to make his way off of the bench, and therefore, the Buckeyes are a 10-2 basketball team.
Ohio State had an incredibly easy non-conference schedule, that’s what allowed them to win 10 games. Easy wins against teams like Winthrop, UMKC, and Savannah State gave Ohio State a false confidence that was simply shattered by Duke and Kansas.
On their home floor, Ohio State was run out of the gym by a decent Kansas team. The Buckeyes couldn’t hit a bucket while their defensive efforts couldn’t keep them in the game. It was an incredibly sad afternoon for Ohio State who, after their run deep in Cameron Indoor Stadium, were confident that they could defeat Kansas at home. Kansas outed the Buckeyes as posers and immediately pointed fingers at Thad Matta and Aaron Craft as two of the more disappointing factors this season.
A loss against Duke in Cameron Indoor could have been a fluke. Craft, Matta and the Buckeyes played admirably against the Dukies, especially in such a harsh environment. Clearly, the Buckeyes had glaring issues, but maybe they were simply as a result of the tough situation. The Jayhawks proved that these issues were real and Ohio State is not a true contender for the Final Four.
Let’s hope the non-conference schedule scared the Buckeyes and lit a fire under Coach Matta to give this team a real boost. As they stand right now, the Buckeyes are headed for an early exit come March. They’re good, but not good enough. Someone is going to have to step up, and step up quickly. DeShaun Thomas can’t take this team to the Final Four by himself. He needs another offensive weapon to step up and join his cause.
The Big Ten is the toughest conference in college basketball and, as of right now, the Buckeyes are in for an ugly surprise. Indiana, Michigan, and Michigan State, among others, are ready to take home the Conference Title. I don’t know if the Buckeyes are up to the task. They’ve looked lethargic and leaderless in many important games, a trend that will hopefully not continue.
If the Buckeyes are ready to change, the time is now. The Big Ten is coming, and they are hungry. Ohio State is just going to have to prove they are hungrier. There are no more excuses. It’s time for Ohio State to win, and now.