Five Things We Learned in a Blowout of North Florida
By John Porentas
COLUMBUS, Ohio - We saw some things we haven't seen before this season in OSU's blowout win over North Florida. Here are five things we learned.
1) Turkey can cure a shooting slump. Well, not really, but North Florida Head Coach Matt Driscoll joked after the game that he knew Thad had had the team to his house for Thanksgiving day dinner, and Driscoll wanted to have the turkey drug tested for whatever it was that had the Buckeyes shooting so well. OSU shot nearly 70 percent from the field (69.2) and over 60 percent from three. (60.9). It was by far their best shooting night of the season. When they can put the ball in the basket like they did tonight there aren't a lot of teams that can beat them. One good shooting night like this can go a long way toward restoring a team's shooting confidence.
2) LaQuinton and Amedeo can both stroke it. Both those guys were really struggling with their shooting, but both really broke out against the Ospreys. There is no guarantee there won't be relapses, but both proved that they have the stuff it takes to be a shooting threat. Ross was 6-9 from the field and Della Valle was 5 of 8. All eight of his shots were from three point range. Both Ross and Della Valle ended up with 17 points.
3) Amir's play is not a mirage. The competition will ramp up in Big 10 play, but it's pretty safe to say that Amir will be a much-needed part of the puzzle for the Buckeyes this year. He scored a game-high 18 points on a night when the Buckeye shooters were scoring a lot of points from the perimeter.
4) Marc Loving is the real deal. Loving is getting more and more comfortable on the floor and it shows. He knocked down a three against North Florida and looked good doing it. He also put it on the floor to get a thunder-dunk as well. He rebounds and hustles on defense. After the game Thad Matta predicted he would be great player in his career at Ohio State. It would be tough to argue with that assessment after seeing how quickly Loving is developing and what his skill level is. A year in the weight room will help him, but he's already pretty good. He will be an asset this year.
5) The OSU basketball crowd can be cruel. The Buckeyes led big late but were stuck on 99 after Della Valle hit a three with 1:52 remaining. The crowd wanted 100, and implored the Buckeyes to go for it. The crowd came its feet in anticipation when walk on Jake Lorback was fouled in the act of shooting giving him two free throws with just 17 seconds left to play. Lorback missed them both, and the crowd groaned. I guess the 35 point margin of victory just wasn't enough for them. They did get a consolation prize. Each of the 14,758 on hand was entitled to a free Big Mac as a result of OSU reaching 80 points. That turns out to be around 3,000 pounds of beef which would require around five cattle. Hopefully that will satisfy their blood lust. (And yes, that was tongue in cheek. Don't write to me one way or another about red meat. FYI, I eat it all the time.)
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