Five Things We Learned in a Lackluster Win Over Delaware
By John Porentas
1) The Buckeyes are still capable of being flat on a given night. The Buckeyes have been very sharp in their last five games before this one, but were definitely flat when this one began. Really, it is no revelation that a team can have a flat night, because they all do, but sometimes after a string of good games we can forget that a not so good game is always lurking just around the corner. The best any team can do is minimize their number of flat games and hope to find a way to win then they do crop up.
2) The Buckeyes are able to find a way to win when things aren't going according to plan. This was not a great shooting night for OSU. They shot 40 percent from the field and just 33 percent from three,. The trio of Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson combined to go 4 for 20 from the field for a 20 percent shooting percentage, yet with those three key Buckeyes struggling OSU still found a way to win. Craft was just 3-10 from the field but ended up with 12 points by getting to the line and making five of seven free throws. Craft did not have a particularly good night handling the ball with four turnovers, but offset his own miscues with four steals.
3) Amir Williams' game is still growing. Williams posted another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. A couple of plays stand out. In the second half he showed a drop-step spin move on the baseline that he has not before shown in a game. It's probably something he's had all along, but just hasn't had the confidence to do it when the lights are on the the seats are full. He has shown a pretty consistent jump hook, but if he can add that spin move to his repertoire on a consistent basis he will be much harder to guard. Another play that stood out was a dunk he got in an offensive rebounding situation. He has a tendency to sometimes take a dribble to gather himself after an offensive board, but on this play he grabbed the rebound and went right back up for the two-handed power flush. It looks like another step forward for him.
4) The Buckeyes were able to manufacture points when the shots weren't falling. It was a luke-warm shooting night at best, yet OSU put a respectable 74 points on the board. The Buckeyes managed 11 second chance points to just 4 for Delaware by simply owning the glass. OSU out-rebound Delaware 46-30 overall, but more importantly the Buckeyes got 17 offensive boards to just eight for Delaware. That edge in offensive rebounding led directly to the edge in second chance scoring. They also got out and ran the floor to earn an 18-9 advantage in fast break points.
5) Amir managed to stay in the game despite foul trouble. Williams picked up his third personal at the 15:50 mark of the second half and went to the bench immediately. He came back in at the 8:13 mark and managed to play the rest of the game without picking up another foul. He was on the floor for the entire last 8:13. Delaware's guards were really penetrating so there was plenty of opportunity for Williams to pick up that fourth or even fifth foul, but instead he played under control and kept himself on the floor in doing so. It's just another sign of growing maturity and confidence.
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