The Buckeyes had to hold off a surging Tigers of Texas Southern Thursday night at Value City Arena in Columbus. The Tigers chipped away from an 18-point disadvantage to two. The Buckeyes thankfully had enough stamina to outlast the surge.

Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, and Micah Potter each scored 17 points. The Buckeyes would win this wild one, seeming closer than it actually was 82-64.

Ohio State led the Texas Southern Tigers by 18 at the 17:12 mark remaining. The Tigers, though, would use their opportunity of the Buckeyes looking the other way, to surge within 2 points with 6:58 remaining.

Keita Bates-Diop would be the man. He would pull in 12 rebounds. Musa Jallow had 13 points and four steals in his first career start while C.J. Jackson scored eight with nine assists for Ohio State (3-0). The Buckeyes held a 39-30 rebounding edge.

Both teams struggled early to find some offensive consistency. But the Buckeyes pulled away with Jallow’s dunk which sparked a 16-2 run.

THE LOOK INTO THE MIRROR:

The Buckeyes are now 3-0. What does that mean – especially bumping against the comp they have faced thus far? Truth: It’s positive. Practice and jelling often means something. Though – Hmmmm! # 17 Gonzaga is coming up.

With Texas Southern pulling within reach in the second half, Coach Chris Holtmann
called a timeout – this, of course, was an aiding tool to regroup. Instead of the approach of many coaches – there was not any anger attacks – only calm. Micah Potter detailed this after the game: “Coach was calm. Guys this is exactly what we want. This is fun…”

Bates-Diop’s 36 minutes of play would deliver 17 points and 12 rebounds. Thus far this young season Keita is averaging 19.3 points per game along with 11 rebounds, 22 of which have been defensively. He is shining.

MY PERSPECTIVE:

This team is better than they are being given credit for. I understand that the competition thus far is far from a top-notch national power. But no team really jumps into the fray of fire at the onset. The Buckeyes look good thus far. Of course the competition come the 17th of December against the 17th ranked Gonzaga will show something – then there’s North Carolina – even Clemson.

My point – frankly is relax this year. What did you honestly expect? The Buckeyes, in my opinion has something to prove – and that is – nationally speaking – no one believes – even Buckeye fans. But, and I will be real, Knicks mania and Porzingas hopes for a dried up franchise is more than on the horizon – this is in my mind. The Knicks are but a player away from being real. That to me is exciting. So – when it comes to the Buckeyes – whom I have expected “not much” – I will be quite happy with all victory’s that come along. I hope memories of what I wrote last year of Bates-Diop is still fresh in all of your minds.  Last year in my detailing of the Buckeyes I outlined the supreme abilities of Keita Bates-Diop – then he got hurt. I stick with my last year assessment. This kid is real. He will be in the NBA. And though he will not be a scoring giant he will be the next Charles Oakley, or Anthony Mason. Watch what I say!

Next up – Northeastern – on Sunday the 19th.  Be there!  I will …..