Well, that was a lot better than the first meeting,wasn't it? The Buckeyes 23-5 (11-4) came out very focused against Illinois 16-12 (5-10) and really put them away pretty early. As you saw, the offense came out very efficient, and flipped the shooting percentages from the first game against Illinois. In the 1st half, OSU shot almost 71% from the field, and 60% in 2nd half. If you “cool off” to 60% shooting, you're fairly torrid for the night. Again, you all probably watched last night, so you have a pretty good idea of how the game flowed but here is the box score.
If you're statistically inclined, or just curious about this stuff, go here; www.statsheet.com.
For the Illini, Myers Leonard (21 points, 5 rebounds) and D.J. Richardson (12 points, 6 rebounds) were pretty much it for them. We were spared getting “Brandon Paul'd” since B.P. had 9 points on 2/9 shooting.
Brandon Paul's 43 points came on 11-15 shooting (8-10 on 3's) which calculated out to an eFG% of 100%. That's pretty good.
Last go-round, Illinois' starters scored with a couple points to average except for the aforementioned Mr. Paul. For the Buckeyes, most of the starters hit or exceeded their season scoring average. Not a surprise that Tank lit up the scoreboard on 8-12 shooting, since he's been carrying the team lately.
Here's what I see for Tuesday. I’d like to see emphasis on OSU getting the ball into the paint. Meyers Leonard can be a bit of a challenge inside, but Sully is a good matchup in this case. That wasn't quite what happened. Sully scored 9 points on only 4/7 shots before fouling out. Oops.
Tank needs his continued frenetic play at the offensive end, particularly rebounding. Tank did get 5 rebounds, but did he ever have a great game! Again.
Craft, or whoever draws Brandon Paul, needs to continue on-ball pressure like they did last game against him. Paul can't do this two games in a row. OK, went fairly well.
Smith has to be in a position to take more than 4 shots..He only took 4 shots, but did make 3 of them, and grabbed 3 rebounds. His put-back in the 1st half was a thing of beauty.
Buford has to have a decent scoring, low turnover game. In the alternating universe of Buford-Ball, this is Good Game for him. This was a GoodBuf game, although the 3 TO's didn't help. Picky-picky-picky.
Defensively, we need to stay with their shooters on the perimeter. For the sake of all that's good in the world, talk to each other on screens and not let Paul roam around the baseline and wings. Held them to <40% FG. Done.
In terms of bench play, I'd like to see more time for Thompson and Williams. A bit more playing time for our young skywalkers will complement Sully's post play. Interesting substitution pattern in this game; good minutes for Thompson and decent minutes for Williams. The clever move was inserting Shannon Scott into the game to play with, rather in place of, Aaron Craft.
Despite our recent flailings on offense, this can be a very winnable game. Providing we play the basketball that they should. This was a much better team effort than the past few games. Although at first glance at the box score the 17 turnovers are an “Aargh!”, the Bucks were not too bad until the end of the game. When both teams emptied their benches, the game took on a bit of a helter-skelter feel. In the final 2 minutes, we committed 5 turnovers.
Next up on the to-do list; Wisconsin on Sunday.