Five Things We Learned in Loss in Bloomington
By John Porentas
1) OSU's losses have common theme. Look at every OSU loss this season and you find on thing in common - poor shooting. The Buckeyes failed to make as single three against the Hoosiers, the first time they have gone without a three-point field goal in a game since January 10, 2004 against Penn State. It isn't like they didn't get any opportunities. The Buckeyes took 11 three-point shots, most of them open looks at the basket. They just didn't make them. It wasn't just three pointers they missed. They were equal opportunity missers. They shot just 60 percent from the free throw line, missing nine of their 23 free throw opportunities.
2) Two effective scorers is not enough if the support from everyone else is anemic. LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. combined to go 16 of 26 from the field (61.5 percent) for 38 points. Each of them scored 19. The rest of the team combined to go 9 for 33 from the field for 27.27 percent. . That's 18 total points from the field for the other seven players who saw action. It's just not enough.
3) The Buckeyes couldn't capitalize on the advantage they had. When Hoosier freshman center Noah Vonleh was scratched from the game due to injury Indiana was left with little in the way of size or a post presence. Amir Williams got off to a great start, and the Buckeyes had an early eight point lead. Williams picked up two early fouls and went to the bench. Trey McDonald did the exact same thing, and the Buckeyes were stuck playing small for about 10 minutes against a team whom they should have had a size advantage. With Williams and McDonald sitting the Hoosiers erased OSU's lead and established a nine-point lead of their own at the half.
4) Bloomington is still a tough place to play. It has not been a banner year for Indiana basketball, but it's not like the Buckeyes are the only team to lose to them on Bloomington. The Hoosiers have defeated Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa at home this season. The only conference front-runner to gain a win there was Michigan State.
5) The Big Ten is a better league this year than last. There will be some who will argue that the top of the league isn't as good as it has been in past seasons, but there can be no doubt whatsoever that the middle and bottom of the league is very much improved. There are literally no automatic wins as the league standings and won/loss records show. Everybody wins some and everybody loses some. Everybody.
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