Buckeyes Register Annoying 64-35 Win Over UT-PA
By John Porentas
No doubt about it, the game between No. 2 Ohio State (8-0) and Texas-Pan American (2-7) was really annoying to watch. Here's something even more annoying. Bronc's head coach Ryan Marks wanted you and everyone else to be annoyed, and he got his way.
"For us, we did a very good job of sticking with our game plan. We needed the game to be methodical, not a lot of flow. We talked about this, trying to make it an annoyance game to the Ohio State players," said Marks.
Photo by Jim Davidson
His Bronc's managed to do just that, taking away any semblance of run and gun for fun from the game, and in the process taking away much of the advantage the Buckeyes had due to superior athleticism. They did it by conceeding the rebounding war to the Buckeyes and instead back pedaling to get back on defense whenever the ball went up.
"We really gave up offensive rebounding, and that's probably an area that we weren't going to have a lot of success anyhow." said Marks.
"We had changed our offensive rebound coverage in that way. The most times they got in transition was off of turnovers, so I thought we did a nice job of being cognizant of when the ball went into the air of getting back and making it a half-court game."
OSU outrebounded Texas-Pan American by a whopping 44-24 margin, but scored no fast break points.
It made for ugly basketball, and Marks's loved it, because he figured the game itself was an annoyance, so why not just make it super annoying for everyone.
"We're an annoyance in the sense that we're sandwiched in between Duke and Kansas to begin with, so the fact that they have to play this game now is probably not one that by nature they are thrilled or exuberant about," said Marks drawing laughter from reporters in the post game interviews.
They were also an annoyance on the court. With Jared Sullinger out due to injury the Broncs decided that senior forward William Buford was OSU's main scoring threat, so wherever Buford went, at least two Broncs went with him. That annoyed Buford into a 1-7 shooting night that helped make the game all the more ugly, and all the more annoying.
"We knew that obviously Buford is always a volume scorer and would be even more so today with Sullinger out, and I thought we did an outstanding job of competing against him and making the game a little bit of a nuisance for him," said Marks.
Marks is really not a mean guy who set out to make it a bad day of basketball for playing or watching, just a guy who had seen enough of the Buckeyes against Duke to know that his team wasn't going to match up well...at all.
"The other night at half time the dog was chirping at me to get out from under the couch I was so petrified watching the Duke game," said Marks.
To the extent that he kept the game from being a total blowout, his strategy of just plain annoying the Buckeyes worked.
"I kidded our guys at half time. I said 'At least we know we're a little bit better than Duke because they were down 19 at the half. We're only down 17. That means we rate pretty well. In my mind I was elevating myself to the first-best coach ever from Chicago," said Marks drawing a king-sized laugh from reporters this time.
Deshaun Thomas and Evan Ravenal each scored 11 points to lead OSU. The Bronc's Jared Maree led alls scorers with 13. UT Pan American shot a miserable 32.5% from the field and turned the ball over 21 times.
The Buckeyes didn't fare much better, shooting just just 39.7 percent from the field, but OSU got up 63 shots as compared to just 40 for the Broncs. The Buckeyes also went to the free throw line 15 times, converting 11. UT-Pan American was three of four from the stripe.
A total of 11 Buckeyes saw action, with 10 of them logging 14 or more minutes.
Season Stats Year to Date
Dr. Thad says Sullinger probably back for Kansas
First Thoughts after a win over Texas-Pan American