Five Things We Learned in OSU Fourth-Straight Loss
By Brandon Castel
1) It's time for Thad Matta to go out and buy four cement blocks. When the wheels fall off your car, you jack it up and put it up on cement blocks. After watching the Nebraska game, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the wheels have fallen off for Matta and his team. They can't score and they are still turning the ball over. That's a combination that is nearly impossible to play over, and that's why you have an 0-4 streak. A road loss to MSU isn't horrible, but a home loss and now this loss to Nebraska are bad signs indeed.
2) Thad is struggling for answers. Maybe Matta hasn't come up with an answer, but he is certainly trying. He took the step of playing small late in the first half and in the second half, and got results, but it still wasn't enough down the stretch. He got Marc Loving more playing time, and he used Amedeo Della Valle, but that wasn't enough either. It's hard to imagine what else he can try, but it would not be surprising if we saw some major shakeups in his rotation in upcoming games. The status quo just isn't going to cut it.
3) Some guys just haven't developed as hoped. Matta has said on several occasions that Sam Thompson has the ability to be as good as anyone who has ever played at OSU. It's pretty safe to say that Thompson hasn't come close to achieving that level of production. Shannon Scott has not developed as a scorer, and during this losing streak, Lenzelle Smith has not played like a senior leader. Amir Williams has regressed after a decent start to the season. That's four guys in an eight-man rotation that are significantly under producing. I'm not ready to put Aaron Craft in that group yet. Craft's miscues hurt, but many of them are a result of trying to make plays that other guys are supposed to be making. Same it true for LaQuinton Ross. When you're the only credible scorer on the floor the guys on the other team are going to find you.
4) It has taken just two weeks for the conversation to go from Final Four to Bubble Team. At 15-0 people were talking about the Buckeyes at a contender. After 0-4, people are starting to wonder if the Buckeyes will make the NCAA tournament. It's hard to blame them. It's clear there are problems on this team, and Matta is trying to figure out just what that is. So far, with little success.
5) You have to give Nebraska some credit. The Huskers absolutely took it to the Buckeyes for most of the first half. When the Buckeyes rallied from 16 back in the first half to take a lead in the second half it would have been easy for Nebraska to wilt, especially after the beating the Buckeye put on them in Columbus. Instead, they rallied to regain the lead and win going away.
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