Friday, November 30, 2012

Boomer's Thad Minute: Recap of Buckeye Hoops in November

Aaron Craft & Co. fought hard and lead for most of the night, until
the Blue Devils rallied late winning 73-68 in front of the Cameron Crazies.

On the same night, the Women's team lost their Big Ten/ACC Challenge game
at UNC, 57-54, their 2nd loss this season vs. Top 25 team.
Post Thanksgiving report on Buckeye hoops. As the calendar turns to December (already!?!) tomorrow, lets take a look back at the first month of the season for both the Men's and Women's hoops teams at THE Ohio State University.

The last time I blogged about basketball, it was the day in which the Men's and Women's programs were to have their season openers on the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier down in Charleston, South Carolina. Well, due to unsafe playing conditions (condensation on the court) the Men's contest vs. Marquette was cancelled. As you would think, I was very disappointed, as I waited around all day to watch the season opener, and then it gets cancelled. To my reaction, for the rest of the weekend, "its stupid playing basketball games outside, in November". The Men's game wasn't the only game cancelled on a ship, due to the same problem Georgetown & Florida had to stop their game after halftime down in Jacksonville, FL. Another, game out west in San Diego between Syracuse & San Diego State was PPD a few days due to rainy weather. Lets put an end to aircraft carrier games, and find some indoor facility that can host the games. The Women's game was able to be played earlier that afternoon, as the Lady Buck's lost a hard-fought game against Notre Dame, 57-51. The Notre Dame Lady Irish have played in the past two National Championship Games (losing both).

Once things got back to normal, and games were played indoors, things started out well for the Men's program. The Men's team, opened their season with a 22-point victory over Albany, 82-60. The weekend before Thanksgiving, the Men's team picked up wins over Rhode Island (69-58) & Washington (77-66) to win the Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament over in Connecticut. A 46-point blowout a week ago vs. UMKC set up a showdown this past Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor against the #2 Duke Blue Devils. Two of the nations top 5 programs, went head-to-head in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (which went 6-6, by the way), and for most of the night the #4 Buckeyes were in control, lead by Junior's Aaron Craft & Deshaun Thomas. Unfortunately, you have to play a 40 minute game, especially in front of the Cameron Crazies, and the Blue Devils rallied late, winning 73-68. In defeat, I saw some positives moving forward with this team, who had a great chance of ending Duke's 90+ home game winning streak vs. non-conference opponents. The Men's team now heads into their cupcake non-conference schedule, with a Dec. 22 date vs. the Kansas Wildcats looming large. A win over KU and that would be a nice resume builder, heading into the Big Ten schedule. Thomas (22 ppg), Craft (13 ppg) and Junior Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (11 ppg) are all averaging double figures in the early part of the season.

I was pleased in the way the Women played against ND, despite the 6-point loss. A couple breaks here or there, and the results could have been different. The Women's program is known for laying a egg in games vs. the nations best, and I was glad seeing they were in the game till the final seconds. Since the ND defeat, the Women's team ran off 4-straight wins against Cincinnati (87-49), Winthrop (78-53), St. Francis PA (70-54), and Wright State (82-52). The Women's team in the four wins were lead by Senior guard Tayler Hill, with scoring outputs of 21, 16, 23, and 17 points. However, the ladies were unable to win another Top 25 match up, dropping a 57-54 contest late in the game at North Carolina in the Women's version of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (won by the ACC 7-5). Tayler Hill lead all scores with 24 points, but was the only Buckeye in double figures. The Lady Buckeyes have seven non-conference games left, including games out west @ Washington State & @ Gonzaga, before the Big Ten schedule begins in January. 

Remember, I told you before, about not talking about hoops till after Thanksgiving, well, now I'm telling you lets regroup after the first of the year, and I'll have a recap of the December games and a look at how I see the Big Ten season playing out for both programs. Enjoy the Holiday season, and take a minute to check out a basketball game or two on the Big Ten Network.