(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

The Buckeyes (8-3, 2-0) continued their run with an impressive 97-62 home win over the William and Mary Tribe  (6-3, 0-0). This Ohio State’s third consecutive win after a couple stutter steps around Thanksgiving. Coach Holtmann juggled his lineup again and it seemed to work. Kam Williams and C.J. Jackson started at guards with Musa Jallow coming in from the bullpen as needed. Holtmann was a bit shorthanded in his front line with neither Micah Potter nor Kyle Young playing as they are nursing ankle injuries.

The visitors actually had a lead, 19-20 at the 12:28 mark in the first half. They held their last lead for :37 before an Andre Wesson 3-point shot gave Ohio State the lead for good.

 

The Buckeyes were led by a career high Kieta Bates-Diop (27 points, 5 rebounds), Kaleb Wesson (17, 7),  C.J. Jackson (16, 3, 6 assists) and Kam Williams (13, 3). Jae’Sean Tate (8, 3) and Andrew Dakich’s season high (8, 3) balanced the Buckeyes attack.

The Tribe was led by David Cohn (15 pts, 3 rebounds, 5 assists), Nathan Knight (13, 3) and Connor Burchfield (12, 1). Justin Pierce led W & M in rebounding with 5 rebounds.

Ohio State shot 65% from the field (35-54), 52% (11-21) from 3-point range and 70% from the foul line (16-23).

William & Mary shot 52% from the field (27-52), 31% from 3-point range (5-16) and 50% (3-6) from the foul line.

What Went Right

Pretty much everything. I don’t want to get overly optimistic, but it appears Holtmann’s team is starting to play some solid basketball.

On offense, the Buckeyes were very efficient by shooting 65% from the floor on while committing only 11 turnovers. Their ball movement (19 of 35 FGs were assisted) and shot selection 38 point-in-paint drove this efficiency.

Consequently, they put together several scoring runs to blow open the game. They had a six minute stretch in first half (9:53 – 3:44) where they outscored W&M 12-2 to open a 39-24 lead. They went on a similar run in the second half (11:38 – 4:16) outscoring W&M 16-0 to move ahead 92-52.

Their ball handling was much improved, committing only 11 turnovers, compared to 18 for W&M. Guard play was outstanding: C,J Jackson, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich combined for 62 minutes of playing time and committed 1 turnover and had 9 assists, 6 by Jackson.

On defense, Ohio State had “active” hands by creating 18 Tribe turnovers, which led to 26 Buckeye points.

They were called for only 12 personal fouls, resulting in a negligible 6 Tribe free throw attempts.

There are probably a few other things, but we don’t have all day, so let’s move on.

What Didn’t

Clearly, not much. However, there are still a couple things that ought to get ironed out.

First, Ohio State’s interior defense/transition defense wasn’t too sharp. Although OSU had 38 points in the paint, so did W&M. And we’re not really into the meat of the B1G season yet.

Jae’Sean needs to be a bit more careful with the ball. His 4 turnovers in 29 minutes “lead” the team. Granted, he probably handles the ball as much as anyone on the team but in 28 minutes, C.J. Jackson, of all people, had no turnovers.

I’m sure there will be other games where I have legitimate gripes – just not this game.

Other…

  • Coach Holtmann is understandably looking for various player combinations, and this combination of starting C.J and Kam with Andrew getting significant minutes working out well against W&M. In addition to the otherworldly assist/turnover ratio (above) the trio combined for 37 points on 11-15 shooting.
  • In addition to Keita Bates-Diop obtaining a career high 37 points, I believe that Andrew Dakich also had a career high 8 points. It’s the most Andrew has scored at Ohio State and (I went back 2 years) at Michigan.
  • Ohio State, although having a relatively light 31 rebounds (9 offensive) they still significantly out-rebounded W&M’s 19 rebounds (5 offensive). But then they combined for 62-106 field goal attempts (58%) so there weren’t that many rebounds to be had.
  • This was an encouraging game for Buckeyes. Early in the season, Ohio State had a tendency to let leads get away from them, to the point of losing the game. Against W&M, there was no such tendency. Ohio State scored 48 points in the 1st half and 49 points in the 2nd half. They actually expanded their lead in the second half. Maybe the Buckeyes are learning to finish games.

Up Next

The Buckeyes host the Mountaineers (Appalachian State, not WVU, thankfully) next Saturday, December 16th. The tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 pm ET.  The game can be seen on BTN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.

Appy State (5-6) average 88 points per game while allowing 76 ppg.  They average 43 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 78 and allowing 67. Ohio State averages 38 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game.  The Mountaineers are a bit faster paced than the Buckeyes, averaging 63 shots per game compared to OSU’s 57. They will be a challenge to OSU’s perimeter defense with 44% of their shots coming from 3-point range (compared to OSU’s 34%).

Appalachian State has three players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Ronshad Shabazz (21.8), Justin Forest (16.8)  and Griffin Kinney (11.0). Isaac Johnson leads Appy State in rebounding with 8.5 per game. Ohio State has four players averaging double figures; Kieta Bates-Diop (18.3), Jae’Sean Tate (12.8), C.J. Jackson (13.5) and Kaleb Wesson (12.2). KBD also leads the Buckeyes in rebounds with 9.5 per game.