Five Things We Learned in a Throttling of Louisiana-Monroe
By John Porentas
1) Louisiana-Monroe is a bad basketball team. We usually confine our remarks to those related to OSU's play, but LMU was so bad that they just had to make this list. There was little to no skill on their roster. To the credit of the Buckeyes, they didn't fall into the trap of playing down to the competition. They opened both halves with killer runs to set the tone. Once the Buckeyes had them down, they not only kept them down, they kicked them a little.
2) Thad Matta keeps more stats than are in the box score. Following the game Matta was asked if he was pleased with LaQuinton Ross' consistency at putting up double-doubles. of late. Matta quickly corrected the reporter who asked the question, pointing out that Ross had recorded triple doubles. When it was obvious that no one in the room knew what he was talking about, Matta grinned and explained that since the man Ross has been guarding has been scoring in double figures too, Ross' line was more of a triple-double than a double-double. It was funny, and also a not-so-subtle dig at Ross and his defense of late.
3) The Buckeyes got better in the preseason. OSU finished their non-conference schedule at a perfect 13-0. More importantly, they were a better team in the 13th game than they were in the first. The offensive woes that plagued the first five or so games have pretty much disappeared. They've also become a better rebounding team. Probably most importantly, roles have been established for the nine players who will see playing time this year, and those players have an understanding of what those roles are and how they benefit the team.
4) Something weird was going on with LMU. After being ground into meat in the first half, the Warhawks did not play their starters in the second half. That in turn resulted in more ground meat in the form of a 10 minute scoring drought to start the second half. Following the game, the LMU coach did not attend the post-game interview session, nor were any players made available. It was very strange indeed.
5) There are still some things that are evolving. The Buckeyes were definitely better tonight than they were in their opener, but here are still some unsettled issues. For starters, LaQuinton Ross has to become more consistent as a defender. Offensively, Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, and to some extent Aaron Craft can disappear from games offensively in terms of scoring. On the up side, freshman Marc Loving keeps looking better and better. His role is likely to grow as he evolves as a player and settles in to the college game.
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