Five Things We Learned in a Second-Consecutive Road Win
By John Porentas
1) Making shots makes a big difference. The Buckeyes did something at Iowa that they haven't done much of this year. They made shots. OSU shot 50 percent from the field against the Hawkeyes, and in doing so looked like the team that won 15-straight to start the season. They also shot 79 percent from the free throw line, making eight of nine down the stretch to ice the game. Making shots on the road is the way to win on the road. The Buckeyes did just that.
2) It helps a lot when the opposition doesn't make shots. Iowa shot 46 percent from the field, which isn't bad really, but they really struggled from three point range. They went 3-20 from long distance. If you're mathematically challenged or a recent college graduate, that's 15 percent. Horrible. Some of that has to be credited to Ohio State's defense, but a lot of it was just a bad shooting night for Iowa. That was evident from the free throw line as well where they made 12-19 for 63 percent. Even you are looking through the most scarlet of glasses you can't see that as great free throw defense by the Buckeyes.
3) This was by far Aaron Craft's best game of the season. Craft had a game-high 17 points and game-high six assists on the offensive end. His offensive game was not limited to driving for layup. He also knocked down a couple of threes. Just as impressively, he drew the defensive assignment on Roy Marble, perhaps the league's best player, and held Marble to 10 points, well under his average of just over 16 points per game. Marble also turned the ball over four times. Craft had six steals, also a game high.
4) When the Buckeyes get balanced scoring they are a dangerous team. Four starters scored in double figures, and the fifth starter, Sam Thompson, had nine. Shannon Scott added 11 off the bench to give the Buckeyes five scorers in double figures. A team with no outstanding individual scorer has to have that balance. They got it against Iowa and were a tough team to beat. I actually think the Buckeyes are a better team when LaQuinton Ross isn't the leading scorer. Q is going to get his points. When somebody else gets more, that means the Buckeyes are getting some offense.
5) There may actually be some hope for production from the post position. Both Amir Williams and Trey McDonald contributed in the win, but the single play that stands out in my mind is the dunk that Williams had when the Buckeyes inbounded the ball under their own basket with just two seconds left on the shot clock. Williams made a great cut to get open, then handled the lob pass for the thunder-dunk. It was a hustle and desire play as much as it was a skill play, which it also was. If Williams can find that fire and desire on a regular basis, there is hope for him and hope for the Buckeyes.
Five Things We Learned After the First Meeting in Columbus
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