Five Things We Learned in a One-Sided Win over Northwestern
By John Porentas
1) In basketball, a single swing and a miss can be an out. The altercation that marred the second half left everyone wondering if any players from either team would be suspended for the next game. In a statement released by head official Ray Perone, it was learned that a swing and a miss caused Northwestern center Nikola Cerina to be out of the Wildcat's next game. Perone's statement was as follows:
“By rule, No. 45 [Nikola Cerina] for Northwestern after he committed the common foul, a push on No. 23 [Amir Williams], took a swing with a closed fist or closed hand at No. 23 for Ohio State. That act is deemed to be fighting by rule, which is Rule 10, Section 5, Article 8: ‘Any time an individual uses a closed fist in an unsportsmanlike manner it shall be deemed that the individual has initiated a fighting act and be penalized accordingly.’ He does not have to make contact – the fact he swings with a closed fist is deemed to be a fighting act. No. 45 for Northwestern was disqualified for fighting and that carries a penalty (Rule 10, Section 5, Article 11): ‘The first time an individual participates in a fight during the season the individual shall be suspended from participating in the team’s next regular season game.’ No. 10 [LaQuinton Ross] for Ohio State was disqualified for two deadball contact technical fouls, which results in disqualification. No. 10 was not disqualified for fighting and will not be suspended for the next game.”
2) Making shots opens up other scoring. Both Thad Matta and Sam Thompson talked about how making shots opens up other scoring. According to Thompson, when you knock down a couple from the outside teams have to guard you differently. They can't just lay back in the driving lanes waiting to pick up a driver. They have to challenge the three point shooters, and that in turn opens up the driving lanes. Matta agreed with that, and added that making a few threes also makes it easier to score in the post.
3) The Buckeyes thought they could get to the free throw line against Northwestern, and did. Thad Matta said after the game that before the game he told his team that if they executed their offense they would get 25 free throw attempts. They actually got 29, but four of those were on the technicals that resulted from the fight incident, so Matta's prediction was very, very accurate.
4) These are not the same old Wildcats. Tonight's game was pretty one-sided, but following the game Sam Thompson and Lenzelle Smith described the Wildcats in terms not usually associated with Northwestern basketball. Here's what Thompson had to say.
"Northwestern is a physical team. That's their basketball thing. They're probably the most physical team we've played all year. That's just their style of play. It was about us matching their intensity. It took us a little while to do it, but once we got there we did a good job of it. "
5) The Buckeyes still view the Penn State game as their low point even though they have since taken a home loss to Michigan. Lenzelle Smith said the following:
"At one point I felt like we were at rock-bottom. We lose at home to Penn State. I think our team has bounced back from that and I think we're not where we want to be, but we're fighting and we're getting better as a team. We communicate and we found some of the things we were missing from that game. We've picked ourselves up from that point."
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