Men's Basketball

Buckeye Basketball Notebook: ‘They were the more physical team the entire night’


Should Have Done More

With Penn State’s 82-79 upset win over No. 13 Ohio State, the Nittany Lions showed the rest of the Big Ten that when they are at full strength, they can be a difficult team to beat — especially when they hit 11-of-14 from three-point territory.

PSU guard Tony Carr led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 4-of-5 from three-point range. Three of those points came at the buzzer, giving the Nittany Lions the win.

Sometimes it’s just your night and everything is falling. That was the case for Penn State Thursday evening, but OSU head coach Chris Holtmann believes that his team could have done more to get the win.

“You look at them, and they’re really talented. I think Carr is clearly a pro,” Holtmann said. “He will be a first-round draft pick here at some point. He was 10-for-14 and four-for-five tonight. Their guys just played well.

“We have got to figure out a way to put our guys in better position defensively, and then we have to come out with more presence than what we did.”

Let’s Get Physical

Penn State hit 28-of-48 (.583) shots for the game, scoring from deep and inside. They painted a fantastic box score, but according to Holtmann, the difference wasn’t the way the Nittany Lions shot it, it was the way they brought it.

“They were the more physical team the entire night,” he said. “One of the most physical games I’ve coached in and we have to do a better job of responding.”

The Buckeyes responded at the end, and nearly pulled the game out, but the response ended up being too little, too late. Now they have a Big Ten loss in the standings, but Holtmann will make sure something positive comes out of this game.

“Win or lose tonight, we were going to need to learn a lot from this game because of how physical they were,” he said. “Again, I thought they were more physical than we were, and they just made more effort plays for certain segments of the game. So, we were going to need to learn from this game one way or another.

“I think our guys, because of this stretch, it’s mandated they get two days off, and they need that physically and mentally. This is not unlike what we thought could happen at some point, we will see how we respond. Indiana is really good, playing as well as anyone in the league, so we need to be better and hopefully we will.”

Nice Recovery

In the hours leading up to the game, Ohio State announced that Keita Bates-Diop was battling an illness and may not play against Penn State, but he was out there for warmups from the outset.

“When I got here I knew I was going to play,” he said. “I was pretty hydrated before the game so I felt pretty good.”

It was obvious that he felt “pretty good” by his 25 points and clutch three-pointers down the stretch.

“He has played great against us every year,” said Penn State head coach Pat Chambers. “He has been fantastic and when he went down last year, I knew it was going to be rough for Ohio State. The shots that he made tonight were unbelievable. He is a big-time player.”

KBD wasn’t interested in taking all of the credit, however.

“Coach drew up plays with multiple options, and coming down the stretch I was an option on all of them,” he said. ‘I was just trying to make the right play. Jae’Sean got a layup down the stretch too, so it wasn’t all me.”

Not a Definition

After the game, Chris Holtmann spoke to his team in the locker room. What did he tell his players?

“He just made sure that everybody knows that this is just one game so it won’t define us for the rest of the season,” said Jae’Sean Tate. “We’ve got eight more games left in the Big Ten. We’re going to learn from this one obviously, and do what we can to make sure we don’t lose anymore.”


7 Responses

  1. Pretty much every PSU player had a career night shooting the ball. They had been shooting 37% on their 3-pt shots all season, and shot 79% last night. One dude made a free throw that did a 720 degree spin on the rim before going in. Zemgulis had 13 points all season on 33% shooting. Last night he was 2-2 with 5 points. I think the announcer summed up how lucky PSU was all night after Zemgulis made a trey that was barely high enough to clear the rim. “It looked like an Elaine Benes dance move, but the shot went in.”

    The fact PSU still needed a lucky bank shot to win after they all careered doesn’t have me worried at all about the Buckeye’s talent or effort.

    1. Forgot to mention another PSU dude who made a trey with one foot out of bounds right in front of the OSU bench and they still counted it.

    2. You’re right. The Nittany Lions gave a tired Buckeye squad their best shot, they made shots they could only have dreamed of making, the refs didn’t help OSU at all, and still the Buckeyes nearly pulled out a win.
      In college basketball, even the best lose some. Now that this loss is out of the way, the Bucks can return to winning next week. Gives them something to work on and not rest on their laurels.

      1. There’s what……..2 guys on the roster who are barely 20 years old………and they’re TIRED. Give me a frigging break.. What I saw was a team in PSU who had fight in them for 30 minutes of the game and the Buckeyes just let them beat their teeth in. Late on defending, weak on the boards, slow footed off the dribble, and lousy in ball security.

        Feel sorry for me cause we have had a tough schedule. PLEASE just stop. EVERY team has a tough schedule. That’s one of the SUCK parts about basketball. Designed for mulligans because teams have players who decide they’re tired, AGAIN, at 20 damned years old with some of the best nutrition and training under the sun. Just stop. Maybe they were mentally tired because Ohio State has a trend going. They eventually fold under the mental pressure because that is what the basketball teams at Ohio State are used to doing.

        Maybe that culture will change if Holtmann can find the right guys with 40 minute finishers hearts in the coming years. If not, well, the excuse machine will continue to spin around the airwaves.

        If the Buckeyes were worthy of their ranking, boohoo I’m tired should never happen, especially on their home court against a bad team.

  2. Pretty sloppy play for about 38 minutes.
    Not sure why Carr wasn’t double teamed and denied the inbound pass. Last night he would have made that shot from the parking lot blindfolded. Glad to see there was no quit in the Buckeyes. They are so much more fun to watch this year!

    1. Refs called tick tack fouls on our 2 best players. Bates-Diop sat for 8 minutes with 4 fouls in second half Tate was limited by 3 then 4 fouls so could not be as aggressive. So how could they double team? Yet PSU was shoving, literally ran a OSU player over yet the refs swallowed the whistle. “Physical” means they were hacking and fouling but refs were not going to call it.

  3. It was a great comeback at the end, but defensively it is unforgivable to give up 11/14 on 3s…need to get more physical. I didn’t think that the refs were very good last night. I think the Bucks need this break between games, they looked tired with sloppy passes and struggled to inbound the ball. Hopefully this test will make them better…time will tell. Go Bucks!

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