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

Kam williams sizes things up.

The Buckeyes (10-3) continued their run with an impressive 94-65 win over The Citadel (5-7) Tuesday evening at VCA. This Ohio State’s fifth consecutive win after a couple stutter steps around Thanksgiving. December has been a good month for Coach Holtmann and the Buckeyes. C.J. Jackson is back in the starting lineup and had a very good evening with 13 points, 7 assists and only 2 turnovers in 22 minutes of play.

The game was tied for 39 seconds at 2-2. Ohio State broke the tie at the 18:28 mark on a layup by Jae’Sean Tate and that 2 point differential was as close as The Citadel got for the balance of the game.

The Buckeyes were led by Kieta Bates-Diop (27 points, 4 rebounds), Kam Williams (17, 2), C.J. Jackson (13, 2, 7 assists) and Andrew Dakich (10, 4, 5).

The Bulldogs were was led by Kaiden Rice (15 points), Zane Najdawi (11, 6 rebounds) and Alex Reed (11 points). Quayson Williams led the Citadel in rebounding with 7 rebounds.

Ohio State shot 50% from the field (37-74), 37% (13-35) from 3-point range and 78% from the foul line (7-9).

The Citadel shot 32% from the field (23-71), 30% from 3-point range (13-43) and 75% (6-8) from the foul line.

What Went Right

Pretty much everything. Conference play begins at the end of the month and I think Holtmann has this team heading in the right direction.

On offense, the Buckeyes were blistering in the first half, shooting 59% from the floor on while committing only 11 turnovers. Their ball movement (27 of 37 FGs were assisted) and shot selection, 40 points-in-paint, drove this efficiency. I’m not sure how really god The Citadel’s zone defense is, but the Buckeyes, who normally struggle against a zone, had no problems with it.

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 still at a pretty decent level. The 12 turnovers were okay, I guess, but the 27 assists were impressive. I want to mention the high level of play from guards C.J. Jackson and Andrew Dakich. In a combined 38 minutes, they combined for 12 assists and only 2 turnovers. They also combined for 23 points.

The Buckeyes were high energy – 22 of their points came off fast breaks.

 

What Didn’t

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

First, the offensive rebounding by Ohio State’s starters was abysmal. Of Ohio State’s 16 offensive rebounds, the starters had 3. Two by Kaleb Wesson and 1 by Kieta Bates-Diop. Jae’Sean Tate had no offensive rebounds in the game.

Ohio State had only 12 turnovers, but The Citadel had 19 points off those turnovers. Coach Holtmann may want to look at how OSU gets back into some type of transition defense. You can give up ‘points-off-turnovers’ when you are dominating an opponent in half-court play. That situation will be less likely as the season progresses.

That’s enough for now.

Other…

  • In 19 minutes off the bench, Micah Potter (4 points) grabbed 8 rebounds, 6 of them offensive.
  • This was a fairly “muffled whistle” game. Each team was called for only 12 fouls. Ohio State shot 9 free throws and The Citadel shot 8 free throws.
  • The Buckeyes went on a couple impressive runs against the Bulldogs. At the 10:56 mark in the first half, Ohio State held a 6 point lead, 18-12. Six minutes later, Ohio State was sitting on a 22 point lead, 37-15. They went to the intermission with a 21 point (44-23) lead. At the 9:53 mark in the 2nd half, Ohio State held a 31 point (74-43) lead and coasted home from there.
  • Until the last 3:50 of the game, Ohio State was actually shooting very well, so you’ll have to take the final shooting %’s with a grain of salt. They went on an 0-7 stretch from 3-point range that lowered their their field goal percentage from 55% to 50% and 3-pt accuracy from 46% to 37%. Those are big drops in a short period of time.

Up Next

Things get a bit tougher on Saturday, December 23rd, when Ohio State travels to New Orleans for the CBS Sports Classic. The Buckeyes face the defending national champions North Carolina Tarheels.  The tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 pm ET.  The game can be seen on CBS, obviously, and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.

(Edit: update on North Carolina’s record following loss to Wofford) 

North Carolina (10-2) is average 89 points per game while allowing 71 ppg.  They average 45 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 79 and allowing 67. Ohio State averages 38 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game.

North Carolina State has three players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Luke Maye (19.5), Joel Berry III (16.5) and Kenny Williams (13.5). Maye also leads the Tarheels in rebounding at 10.3 per game. The 6’8″ Maye will provide an interesting matchup for Kaleb Wesson or KBD. Ohio State has four players averaging double figures; Kieta Bates-Diop (18.2), C.J. Jackson (13.0), Jae’Sean Tate (12.9),  and Kaleb Wesson (12.3). KBD also leads the Buckeyes in rebounds with 8.9 per game.