(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)

Ohio State (13-7, 3-6) was completely outplayed by #5 Michigan (20-1, 9-1) on Tuesday evening, 65-49.  In a nutshell, this game was marred by poor ball handling and poor shooting by the Buckeyes. In the first half they had 11 turnovers; in the 2nd half they shot 30%. They had 19 turnovers and shot 36%; that’s not going to keep you in many games. Ohio State’s 49 points were the lowest offensive output since a 72-48 loss to Wisconsin on March 8, 2015.

Ohio State held the lead, despite the first half turnovers, for most of the half. With 2:27 to play, the Buckeyes were up 26-25. Coming down the stretch, OSU’s last four possessions were 2 missed shots and 2 turnovers, allowing UM to go a 7-0 run and end the half with a 32-26 lead. 

Two and a half minutes into the second half, a 3-pointer by Kaleb Wesson got OSU within 3 points, 32-29. Then things basically went to hell. Ohio State’s ball handling was better in the 2nd half committing 8 turnovers, but they shot only 30% for the half, so it’s not like “better” ball security would have lead to additional points.

The Buckeyes had two players in double figures, barely. They were Kaleb Wesson (12) and C.J. Jackson (11). Jackson led the team with 8 rebounds and with 4 assists. C.J. had a relatively good night.

The Wolverines were led by four players in double figures. They were Jordan Poole (15), Ignas Brazdeikis (14), Isiah Livers (12) and Zavier Simpson (11). Simpson was the star-of-the-game with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Ohio State shot 36% from the field (19-52), 24% (5-21) from 3-point range and 100% – yah! (6-6) from the foul line. 

Michigan shot 41% from the field (22-54),37% (10-27) from 3-point range and 92% (11-12) from the foul line. 

What Went Right

Not much.

What Didn’t

The offense struggles to maintain possession of the ball, and when they weren’t turning it over, were missing open shots. 

Defensive spacing and rotation was lacking. Michigan’s offense frequently caused Ohio State players to be out of position and creating a lot of open shots.

Other…

  • Staying with the offense for a bit, Ohio State is pretty poor at entry passes. Part of it could be a lackadaisical approach to passing, which explains in large part their high number of turnovers. 
  • The other issue I saw, is the Ohio State players, hoping to receiving a pass, were not coming to the ball. This is just basic basketball. Always work your way towards the ball. For a bunch of guys who have been playing basketball for probably a decade, this is inexcusable.
  • According to teamrankings.com the Buckeyes are projected to finish the regular season 19-12 and 9-11 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 32nd best team in the country and #8 in the B1G. Their chance to make the NCAA’s is 33%. 

 

Up Next

The Buckeyes host Rutgers for a Saturday afternoon 12:00 noon (Eastern Time) game. You can watch the game on BTN or listen to it on 97.1 The Fan. Or both.

The Scarlet Knights (10-9, 3-6) are 1-up on the Buckeyes this season, having beaten them 64-61 on January 9th. Rutgers is averaging 67 points per game while allowing 67 ppg.  They average 39 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 69 and allowing 70 points per game. Ohio State averages 34 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game.

Rutgers has two players that average double figures scoring per game. They are 6’7″ F Eugene Omoruyi (13.9) and 6’4″ G Geo Baker (13.5). Omoruyi averages 7.3 rebounds per game and Baker averages 4.1 assists per game.  

In the previous meeting, Omoruyi was held scoreless and had no rebounds in only 7 minutes of play. The scoring damage came from Guards Montez Mathis (16 points), Baker (15), and Ron Harper, Jr (12).