Billas with high praise for Buckeyes

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Last updated: 02/24/2011 12:48 PM
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Men's Basketball
Bilas With High Praise for Buckeyes
By Brandon Castel

Having played at the highest levels of college basketball, Jay Bilas is one of the top analysts in the game today.

He helped Duke to the Final Four and the National Championship game back in 1986. He went on to play professionally overseas in both Italy and Spain after initially being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks.

When he talks, people listen, and Bilas had some interesting things to say about the 2011 Buckeyes after Tuesday night’s 89-70 win over Illinois.

“Watching tape of Ohio State,” Bilas posted on his personal Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.

“Jared Sullinger has every post move, but he tries to post deep enough so he doesn't have to use them.”

The top freshman in the country, Sullinger is averaging 17.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season. He had an off night Tuesday, and still finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
It was the 13th double-double of the season for the Columbus native, but he had totaled only eight rebounds in his two previous games. That includes an 11-point, 2-rebound performance in a foul-plagued win over Michigan State last week.

Sullinger had trouble establishing position against the Spartan big men, but did a much better job against both Purdue and Illinois.

“Jared Sullinger does not post a spot, he posts his defender, and plays angles,” Bilas posted.

“He points where to pass the ball in order to get the angle.”

Whenever he didn’t have the angle, Sullinger passed the ball back out to the perimeter and reset his position in the post for a better look. When he gets that deep, he’s nearly unstoppable around the rim.

He has scored in double-figures in all but two games this year (Morehead State, UNC Asheville), including all 15 Big Ten games. He had to take a back seat on Tuesday, however, as David Lighty stole the show, and everything else from the Fighting Illini.

“David Lighty just took the ball from Illinois ball-handlers last night, and probably took their lunch money, too,” Bilas said of the fifth-year senior.

“An adult in a kids' game.”

Lighty finished with six steals and a game-high 21 points, including 17 in the second half. He did just about everything for the Buckeyes, including hitting threes and free throws, and even threw down a momentum-swinging dunk.

Afterwards, however, Lighty sat at the post-game podium and whispered to fellow senior Jon Diebler that he “got his Aaron Craft” on.

Ohio State’s other star freshman finished the game with 12 points and six assists, with zero turnovers in 29 minutes. He is averaging 4.7 assists per game this season, but it’s his defense that has made Craft such an impact player in his first season.

“After being guarded by Aaron Craft for forty minutes, you must feel like applying for a restraining order,” Bilas posted.

“He can really guard the ball.”

Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey tallied 15 points and six assists at Ohio State Tuesday, but he also turned the ball over five times in the loss. Craft had a pair of steals to go with his offensive numbers and has now totaled 12 thefts over the last three games.

He leads the Big Ten with 1.89 steals per game this season and Lighty is second at 1.82 per game.

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