Wow, is all I can say about last night’s game against the Northwestern Wildcats (13-12, 4-8 B1G). This was a game that should have been a confidence booster heading into a tough game on Sunday, but the Buckeyes had other plans in allowing a bottom of the barrel team to hang in with them until the last 2 minutes of the game. I was shocked at how little the intensity was in last night’s game that I had to get off the treadmill and get away from the TV. The defense wasn’t there I saw numerous cuts to the hoop that just were not guarded at all, and again a team came in and hit the three ball. The Wildcats shot 42% last night from beyond the arc, this tells me they need to work on defending the three ball better before the tournament. Deshaun Thomas kept the Buckeyes in the game, with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Let’s hope the Buckeyes can come out with a little bit more attitude and intensity in Sunday’s game.
The Buckeyes head to the land of cheese on Sunday to take on the #20 Wisconsin Badgers (17-8, 8-4 B1G) at the Kohl Center, the game is at 1:00pm and will be on CBS. Let’s hope this time around being on CBS we come to play, because last weekend against Indiana (22-3, 10-2 B1G) we were out played all game long. Indiana is the best team in the nation and it showed last Sunday. As for this game on Sunday Ohio State is going to need to bring their “A” game because the Badgers are going to be looking for revenge. In the previous meeting the Badgers held their own in Columbus, until the middle of the second half. When the Buckeyes who were led by Deshaun went on a 15 point run and that gave us the victory. This game will be different as the Badgers are extremely tough to beat at home, where they are 5-1 this season the lone loss coming from a surprising Michigan State (21-4, 10-2 B1G) team. The Buckeyes are going to need to show up this game as this has become somewhat of a rivalry game due to the Badgers feeling hatred towards Ohio State (18-6, 8-4 B1G), and Coach Bo Ryan’s “Deal With It” comment. So as always here are my keys to the game.
Mully’s Keys To Victory:
- · Play Craft-tastic Defense: The Buckeyes always play good defense but in this game they are going to have to play it differently. They need to defend the three point line a lot better than they have. This means if a shooter gets a screen you do not go under the screen, go through it or over top of it. As well as the second defender needing to step out on them to not give the Badger shooters an open look at a three. I also want to see Aaron Craft come away with a few more steals to continue his journey to being the biggest “thief” in Big Ten basketball history.
- · Rebound!: Wisconsin is good at rebounding and we don’t want to give them easy second chance points so everyone is going to need to chase down long rebounds.
- · LQR10: Meaning get LaQuinton Ross the ball, he has played very well the last few games against TTUN and Indiana. I like him coming off the bench because it gives us a spark off the bench, and without that our bench scoring would be pathetic. Although he didn’t score on Thursday night I look for him to rebound in this game because we are going to need him.
This hopefully will be a good outing for the Buckeyes and not another Sunday Funday let down, like last week’s game. This is a very winnable game for Ohio State, if they play their basketball and not let Wisconsin get any momentum. Especially since the Badgers are going to be fired up because of the loss they suffered to Minnesota (18-7, 6-6 B1G) on Thursday night. The Buckeyes will need to keep an eye on Ben Brust who has been deadly from behind the arc, as well as Mike Bruesewitz “The Ginger” as people on twitter refer to him. Defending the three point line needs to be Ohio State’s biggest concern for this game. I look for the Buckeyes to come away with a victory in a low scoring slober-knocker, just like they did earlier this month. I also predict that the winner of this game will be the one who scores 50 points first.
Until next week Buckeye Nation stay safe and as always Muck Fichigan!