Well last Saturday didn’t go as I had anticipated it would, and it was rough being surrounded by Spartan fans. Although it may be a good thing they lost, that way I was able to leave East Lansing with my life. The Buckeyes played tough except for the first few minutes of the game which was very ugly and embarrassing to watch. So I’m not going to go into much detail about this game but Deshaun Thomas played lights out. Every time he touched the ball I was yelling “Mama there goes that man!” He single-handedly kept the Buckeyes in the game, considering no one else scored more than six points. I was also wondering why Shannon Scott jacked up that ridiculous shot at the end, instead of giving the ball to Thomas who had the hot hand. But the games in the past and we’ll just have to avenge the loss February 24th in Columbus.
This past Tuesday the Buckeyes beat Iowa (13-6, 2-4 B1G) to get back on track, but at times they looked lazy to me. I mean they blew a 24 point lead and hung on to win by only 9 points, basketball is a game of runs but that’s just not going to cut it if the Buckeyes want to win the Big Ten. On a celebratory note Aaron Craft also known as the “Man of Steal” became the all-time steals leader at Ohio State, passing the great Jay Burson. Craft may have as hot to break the Big Ten record and possibly the NCAA record if he keeps this effort up. The B1G record is 324 which is held by Bruce Douglas of Illinois and the NCAA record is 385 which is held by John Linehan of Providence. So keep it up Aaron and get your ass into the record books.
Now looking ahead to Saturday, the Buckeyes travel to Penn State (8-11, 0-7 B1G) to take on the Nittany Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center. Tip-off is at 12:00 PM ET and the game is on ESPN2/WatchESPN for those of you who can’t get to the bar or a TV. I see this as an easy win for the Buckeyes, seeing as the Nittany Lions are winless in Big Ten conference play so far this year. Although the Buckeyes should be alert and not get caught napping on them, the Lions of Nittany are going to be upset minded and hungry for their first Big Ten win. The Buckeyes are going to have to stop Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill the two leading scorers for the Nittany Lions. I haven’t seen many of the Nittany Lions games so I don’t know all that much about these two, but what I have seen from them they look like decent ball players.
Mully’s Keys to Victory:
1. Be Alert! DO NOT get caught napping, we do not want to give the Nittany Lions any momentum or thoughts that they can hang with us.
2. Get Craft-y on D: play good defense all game long, follow what Craft does on defense he is the one who will need to set the tone.
3. Rebound, Rebound, Rebound: We tend to not want to rebound early in the game giving up second chance points because of it. So we need to clean the glass and grab more boards, we’ve been out rebounded the last 2 games. With Amir Williams, Evan Ravenel, and Thomas we should not be getting out rebounded.
4. Someone else score: Thomas has been or only source of offense at times this year, and he can’t do it all by himself as we saw in the loss at Michigan State (17-3, 6-1 B1G). Someone else needs to show up and start scoring whether its Lenzelle Smith Jr. or Sam Thompson, someone just needs to step up. Deshaun is going to get his the others just need to get theirs.
I see the Buckeyes dominating this game if they don’t fall asleep and stick to my keys. So I am going with a 70-52 point victory, over the Penn State Nittany Lions. So maybe we will get to see more LaQuinton Ross and Amedeo Della Valle, if the game goes our way with a blow out. Hopefully this will be a good tune up and confidence booster for the team before the next big test.
Up Next: Three days after taking on the Nittany Lions the Buckeyes will welcome the Wisconsin Badgers (13-6, 4-2 B1G) to Value City Arena. I look for this to be one of the toughest games of the year for the Buckeyes. Bo Ryan always seems to have the Badgers ready to play in Columbus and the Badgers have come out of nowhere this year to be in the hunt for the Big Ten Championship. I’m anxious to see which Buckeye team shows up on Tuesday night.
Until next week Buckeye Nation, be safe and as always Muck Fichigan!