(Photo courtesy Ohio State Athletic Department. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)
Ohio State wrapped up its extended stay in Portland, OR for the three game set to help Phil Knight’s (Nike honcho) celebrate his 80th birthday by playing in the PK80 Invitational.
The Buckeyes (5-2) could not control the ball, nor control Butler (5-2) in losing 67-66 in overtime. This was an interesting game in that Buckeye coach Chris Holtmann has recently roamed the Butler sidelines as their coach.
The story of this game was OSU’s inability to close out Butler. They had a 15 point lead, 54-39, with 5:31 to play and could not hold on for the win. In the span from that point to the end of the game, in 11 possessions, Ohio State:
- 6 turnovers
- 4-4 free throws by C.J. Jackson
- 1-2 free throws by Andre Wesson
- 1 missed FG by C.J. Jackson
- 1 missed FG by Andre Wesson
Notice anything unsettling, other than the high number of turnovers and low number of points? In the +5 minute home stretch, neither Jae’Sean Tate nor Kieta Bates-Diop took a shot. These are your upper class team leaders. This was a bad day for these young men.
The Buckeyes were led by C.J. Jackson (19 points, 7 rebounds) and Kieta Bates-Diop’s double-double (16, 11). Jae’Sean Tate (9, 7) and Kaleb Wesson (9, 5) also had solid, for the most part, games.
Butler was led by Kelan Martin (24 pts, 6 rebounds), Kamar Baldwin (14, 2, 4 asst) and Paul Jorgensen (10, 6).
Ohio State shot 46% from the field (24-52), 33% (5-15) from 3-point range and 72% from the foul line (13-18).
Butler shot an anemic 36% from the field (25-69), 19% from 3-point range (6-31) and a terrible 55% (11-20) from the foul line.
With those shooting percentages, how the hell did Ohio State lose this game? Well, I’ll get to my thoughts, below.
What Went Right
Kieta Bates-Diop was effective when he was “engaged”. He was 7-16 from the field and pulled in 11 rebounds.
The Buckeyes did pull in a nice number of rebounds, 41.
Due to Micah Potter’s limited availability (ankle injury, I assume) there was extended playing time for freshman Caleb Wesson.The young man had 9 points, 5 rebounds and an assist in 27 minutes. This was a good “seasoning” experience for Kaleb.
I’m pretty hard pressed to come up with anything else, so let’s move on.
Turnovers, jesuschrist, the turnovers. Ohio State had 24 turnovers for the game – a season high. Incidentally, they also had 24 made field goals. A FG/TO ratio of 1:1 is not ideal. That is a lot of empty possessions. A quarter of these turnovers came in the last 5:31 when the Buckeyes were staggered by Butler defensive pressure.
Kieta Bates-Diop was completely out of the game mentally, coming down the stretch and in the overtime period. We saw a similar performance against Gonzaga. The competition starts to get stronger now; KBD can’t fold his tent against better teams.
There was no “let’s get this done!” going into overtime. Ten seconds into OT, Jackson turns the ball over, again. At the end of OT, KBD takes a questionable 3-pointer, then plays ‘matador’ defense at the other end letting Kelan Martin get the uncontested game winning layup.
- Ohio State did not shoot a free throw in the first half. In the first half, the Buckeyes had 12 points in the paint, so it’s no like they were avoiding going into the lane. They average about 22 FTs per game.
- Ohio State’s lack of depth at guard was again clearly evident against the pressure defense of Butler. The Bulldogs clearly drew the blueprint to defeat Ohio State. On-ball pressure is a challenge for Ohio State. That’s just the way it is. Accept it, cheer for them and hope for the best.
- As the schedule stiffens up, reality will set in for fans. I advise you to adjust your expectations accordingly. Last year’s team (17-15, 7-11) is gone. If this year’s team, with the roster composition it has, can approximate this record, then that’s the way it is.
- To elaborate on the “pressure” bullet point above, specifically: Ohio State has three play-makers – Kieta Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate and C.J. Jackson. Butler figured out the pressure points. Of Ohio State’s 24 turnovers, these three committed 17 of them.
- I want to end this on an “up” note. In 27 minutes of play, freshman Kaleb Wesson had no turnovers. That’s encouraging.
The Buckeyes host Clemson on Wednesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Tigers (5-1) average 79 points per game while allowing 66 ppg. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 79 and allowing 68. They average 38 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game. Ohio State averages 41 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game. Not much to choose from here.
In this young season, Clemson has five players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Donte Grantham (16.0), Elijah Thomas (13.0), Shelton Mitchell (11.8), Marcquise Reed (11.7) and Gabe Devoe (11.0). Ohio State has four players averaging double figures; Kieta Bates-Diop (17.0), Jae’Sean Tate (14.5), C.J. Jackson (13.2) and Kaleb Wesson (10.8).
The game is scheduled for a Wednesday tip-off at 7:15 pm ET. The game can be seen on ESPN2. and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.