(Photo courtesy cbssports.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

Thad, I feel your pain.

The Buckeyes (10-6, 0-3) continued their search for self Sunday evening with a 78-68 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-2, 3-1) at The Barn.

I guess this game came as either a surprise or was completely expected after the heart-breaker against Purdue. Ohio State came out completely flat in the first half and never recovered.

The Buckeyes had three players score in double digits; Jae’Sean Tate (20 pts), Trevor Thompson (15) and JaQuan Lyle (12). Trevor accomplished a double-double by grabbing a game high 15 rebounds. Jae’Sean Tate pulled in 9 rebounds.

The Gophers had four double-digit scorers; Amir Coffey (19 pts), Akeem Springs (18), Nate Mason (12) and Reggie Lynch (10). Jordan Murphy had 11 rebounds.

Here are my thoughts and opinions…

  • According to TeamRankings.com, Ohio State has a 20% chance of making the NCAA tournament. If you plan to vacation in the Phoenix area this March, safe travels and enjoy your stay. I’d just hold off on getting tickets to the NCAA’s if you want to see the Buckeyes.
  • Offensive rebounding good news: Ohio State had 15 offensive rebounds! That’s over 50% of their missed field goals. This is a significant improvement.
  • Offensive rebounding bad news: maybe because offensive rebounding is something new to OSU, they weren’t very efficient converting these second chance opportunities to points. The Gophers had 15 2nd chance points to OSU’s 10.
  • Here’s an example: at 17:33 in the first half, Kam Williams missed a jump shot (see below), rebounded by Trevor who immediately missed his jump shot that was rebounded by Marc, who came down off-balance (travel) which turned the ball over. Superb effort by the Buckeyes that came to naught. They deserved a lot better on that series.
  • There was a shortfall of production from two team leaders against Minnesota. Marc Loving and Kam Williams, combined, shot 4-21 from the floor. For two “gunners”, this was a piss-poor performance. They had as many turnovers as field goals.
  • Free throw shooting was abysmal; 11-21 (52%). There was a time when OSU would shoot that percentage from the floor.
  • Ohio State and Minnesota were tied. One time. At 2-2.
  • Ohio State let the game get away from them in the first 10 minutes. The 2-2 tie was at the 19:21 mark, barely into the game. At the 11:18 mark (a span of 8 minutes or so) the Buckeyes were outscored 16-6. During this stretch, OSU’s possessions comprised of 0-9 from the field, 2-6 from the foul line and 7 turnovers.
  • ¬†Finally, I’m not sure what the next step is for Thad. This year’s team has accounted for 80% of last season’s minutes, so it’s not like he’s playing a bunch of freshmen. For the athletic talent on this team, there doesn’t seem to be a high basketball IQ. There doesn’t appear to be a lack of effort, just a shortfall of production.

Up Next

Things don’t get easier for Ohio State. They travel to Madison to play Wisconsin (13-3, 2-1) on Thursday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.