So what happened Wednesday night? Who was that team? Where the hell has this team been? The Buckeyes destroyed the Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-9, 6-8 B1G) on Wednesday evening. The whole team played very well and I was honestly surprised with this team. Since the last few games we played seemed to lack intensity and focus. This team needed a big win over a decent opponent, the Gophers haven’t lived up to the hype that I gave them at the beginning of the year but they are still a quality team. The Buckeyes were ripped all week long by both the media and the fan base because of the lack of effort we have seen in the last few games. Some players actually going public and questioning the team, Deshaun Thomas was quoted as saying “This year, we don’t know what guys are thinking, we don’t know what guys want.” to me hearing that come from one of the leaders of this team concerns me, not to know what your team is thinking or if they may or may not even want to be out there is nothing you want to have on your mind. So a win Wednesday was big for this team, and hopefully it can lead to a turnaround for the season.
The Buckeyes will get another shot at getting a victory on Sunday Funday, this weekend. When the 4th ranked Michigan State Spartans (22-5-11-3 B1G) come to town, and the game will be on CBS, with tip-off scheduled for 4:00pm. I have to be honest I am a little worried about this game for a few reasons. #1 the last 2 Sunday Funday games the Buckeyes have played in against the #1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers (24-3, 12-2 B1G) and the 20th ranked Wisconsin Badgers (19-8, 10-4) they didn’t show up, and in the latter they were embarrassed. Reason #2 Sparty is coming off of a loss to Indiana, so they are looking to get back on the right track. Plus before we played Indiana and Wisconsin they both lost the game before our match-up and they came out and pounded on us. I don’t know why but Sunday just doesn’t seem like a good day for the Buckeyes to play on, but this game has to be where we turn our losing ways on Sunday around. As always here are my keys of what needs to be done in order to beat the Spartans.
Mully’s Keys to Victory
- Play Craft-tastic Defense: the Buckeyes are going to have to defend the post and not let Derrick Nix get going, so Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel are going to have to play good, smart defense, and try not to get into early foul trouble. As well as the perimeter, Gary Harris is playing lights out for Coach Tom Izzo right now, and the Buckeyes will need to keep an eye on him when he gets the ball outside the arc.
- Control the Ball: In the last meeting the Buckeyes turned the ball over frequently in the first 6 minutes of the game, this time around they cannot do that. Limit the turnovers you have and you will give your team a shot to win.
- Someone else score: Someone else for the Buckeyes needs to score for them to have a shot. Last game Thomas was the only Buckeye in double figures and yes we had a shot to win that game but Thomas isn’t going to be able to carry this team again, the Spartans are just too good. So I see LaQuinton Ross and Shannon Scott getting more playing time this time around.
This is going to be a big test for the Buckeyes to see if they have the right mindset going forward. This should be a tight defensive game between the two best defensive teams in the Big Ten, but the Buckeyes can’t lapse and go on long stretches without scoring or else that will spell doom for them. Against a team like MSU the more momentum you give them the better they get just ask TTUN. If the Buckeyes come out and play like they did in the second half against Minnesota and how they played against TTUN in Ann Arbor, I see them winning this game but if they lapse and do not come out fired up it will be another long Sunday Funday for Buckeye Nation.
Congrats to Aaron Craft on getting selected to the 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-America Division 1 Basketball Team! This is Aarons second year being on this team. I need to spread the word about the Cousy Award of which Aaron is a finalist for this award and he needs our help, go to http://www.cousyaward.com/ and vote for him!
Stay Positive Buckeye Nation, and Muck Fichigan!