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

Thad, Thad, Thad; that’s how I felt around 10:00 PM’ish Thursday night.

The Buckeyes (10-7, 0-4) lost to Wisconsin (14-3, 3-1) 89-66 at the “My Namesake” Center on Thursday. Despite the wide margin for the Badgers, the game wasn’t that close.

Ohio State came out completely flat in the first half and never recovered. At the 18:27 mark in the first half the scored was tied at 4 all. That’s as good as it got for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes had four players score in double digits; JaQuan Lyle (13 points), Kam Williams (12, all in 2nd half), Trevor Thompson (11) and Jae’Sean Tate (10 pts).  Trevor nearly pulled another double-double since he also grabbed 9 rebounds.

The Badgers had only three double-digit scorers; Bronson Koenig (21 pts), Nigel Hayes (15) and Vitto Brown (12). However, of the 15 Badgers that saw playing time, 11 of them scored.

Full disclosure: I watch ed first half “live”, then switched to the Golf Channel because I couldn’t take it any more. I watched the (recorded) 2nd half Friday morning to get the full effect. It’s two hours in my life I’ll never get back.

Here are my thoughts and opinions…

  • According to TeamRankings.com, Ohio State now has a 13% chance of making the NCAA tournament. This season will be over by the Ides of March. They are not going to the NCAA and right now, sitting in 13th spot in the B1G, their Conference tourney draw will be a tough one to win. This sort of opens up your Spring viewing schedule.
  • Offensive rebounding good news: nothing, really. They had 10 offensive rebound, about 31% of their misses. And, they didn’t do much with those additional possession opportunities. Their 10 ORs led to 9 second chance points, a .9/OR for those of you keeping score at home.
  • Offensive rebounding bad news: Wisconsin put on a clinic. They had 21 ORs that fueled 28 second chance points. The Badgers were much more aggressive (or maybe more fundamentally sound) and more efficient when they did get offensive rebounds.
  • The end of the first half was a microcosm of OSU’s season to this point. After a Bronson Koenig 3-pt FG (5-7 for the lad) Ohio State attempts to answer with a Jae’Sean Tate 3-pt attempt (16% 3-pt shooter) from the corner at the buzzer. It ended as you would expect.
  • I’ll tell you right now; Trevor Thompson is this team’s MVP. He is (generally) a high effort player that produces for Ohio State. There is no other player at that level right now.
  • I’d actually give Andre Wesson and Micah Potter more playing time. These freshmen remind me of puppies; not quite sure what to do at the moment, but they do whatever it is with enthusiasm.
  • Conversely, I’d actually bench Marc Loving. His play is an absolute detriment to this team.
  • Free throw shooting was impressive; 19-23 (83%). Wisconsin shot a very un-Wisconsin like 33% (5-15). If only that game were a free throw shooting contest…
  • Ohio State and Wisconsin were tied at 4-4 a minute and a half into the game. The other 38.5 minutes were all Badger-ball.
  • Ohio State let the game get away from them in the final 10 minutes of the first first half. A 22-16 deficit went to a 45-27 deficit. At that point there was no doubt how it would end.
  •  Finally, I’m not sure what the next step is for Thad. There is no post-season in sight for this team. For the athletic talent on this team, there doesn’t seem to be a high basketball IQ. Sometimes this team appears to just go through the motions. Time to get the freshmen some playing time and find time to hit the recruiting trail.

 

Up Next

The Buckeyes host Michigan State (12-6, 4-1) this Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:38 pm EST. The game can be seen on CBS and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.