Five Things We Learned



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Last updated: 11/26/2013 2:55 AM
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Men's Basketball
Five Things We Learned in a Win over Wyoming
By John Porentas

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Buckeyes trailed briefly early in the second half, then righted the ship to win going away against Wyoming. We learned a few things along the way.

1) The shooting slump was just that, a slump, not a permanent problem. After a couple of cold shooting games the Buckeyes shot the ball reasonably well, particularly from three. For the game OSU was 34.8 percent from three and 41.1 percent from the field overall. Not great, but not slumpy either.

2) Shooting the ball isn't going to be enough. Despite shooting better, the Buckeyes still found themselves in a dogfight, particularly for the first 37 or so minutes of the game. They gave up just too many easy shots to Wyoming over that period, and that kept the game close. Thad Matta's teams are always built around defense, and this one is no different. When they don't perform on the defensive end, things get dicey. The Buckeyes finally turned it up defensively over the last 10 or so minutes of the game, and that was the difference. They created offense from the defense, and with a few shots falling as well, they won going away. Without the defensive effort, they were just another team. With it, they were pretty darned good.

3) Aaron Craft has to score a little. Craft didn't even put up a shot in the first half, and the game remained in doubt. In the second half he was able to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He ended up with 10 points, and there's little doubt that when he's scoring it makes things easier for everybody else on the court for the Buckeyes to get shots as well. There's no playing off him to help out on another Buckeye, and that pays big dividends for OSU.

4) LaQuinton is still in a deep funk. You might call it the LaQ-funk, or the LaQunk. Whatever you call it, it's a little tough to watch. Ross just can't get himself together offensively at the moment. I thought when he scored a basket early he might break out in this game, but no such luck After the early tip in he was 0-6 from the field. Without his shooting results the Buckeyes shot 45 percent from the field including 40 percent from three. With him it was 41 percent overall from the field and 35 percent from three. The Buckeyes need him to be a part of their offensive equation, but right now he's just an unknown variable.

5) Sam Thompson's versatility may be important at the four spot until Q breaks out. I fully expect that some night LaQuinton is going to catch fire and go for like 30 points, and from that point on he'll be fine. Until then, the Buckeyes have to find someone to man that four spot, and although he is really a perimeter player, Sam Thompson might just be the guy. Tonight he brought energy and athleticism especially to the defensive end of the floor, and that helped create the offense that allowed the Buckeyes to separate. He's also a matchup nightmare for a bigger player at the offensive end. If he can rebound he might just be the answer while the LaQunk continues.

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