Monday, January 7, 2013

Thad Minute: Update on Buckeye hoops, as conference play gets underway

Head Coach Thad Matta will have his work cut-out for him,
as the Buckeye Men's team enters a tough stretch of games.
Greetings! Hope everyone got back into their regular routine (reality) following the holiday season. The last time we discussed the Men's & Women's Buckeyes basketball teams they were both coming off tough defeats on the road in their Big10/ACC Challenges. Stay with me for a little bit, while I recap the month of December and the current status of the two teams as conference play got underway this past week. 3....2....1....BUCKETS!

Junior Forward DeShaun Thomas, had a game-high 24 points, in
the Buckeyes blow-out loss out in Illinois this past weekend.
Following the the loss on the road to Duke, the Buckeyes ran off 5-straight W's against a few cupcake opponents. Then the team's Dec. 22nd match-up vs. Kansas, a team that beat Ohio State twice a season ago. Although, this one was in the comforts of Value City Arena, (previous two @KU & in the Final Four) the Buckeyes (once again) dropped one to the Jayhawks, 74-66 defeat. The Buckeyes had a very poor shooting afternoon in that one, going 20-65 from the field (30.8%), including a dreadful 8-31 (25%) from behind the arc. At 9-2, the Buckeyes beat Chicago State (by 43) in the team's final non-conference game, then opened up Big Ten conference play, by knocking off Nebraska (by 26) in Columbus. Unfortunately, poor shooting, doomed the Buckeyes this past Saturday afternoon over in Illinois, as the team shot 33% from the field (20-60) & 25% (4-19) from behind the arc, in the team's 19-point loss (74-55). At 11-3 (1-1), the Buckeyes have beaten the teams they should have beat, and lost the toss-up games. The team heads into a tough stretch of games over the next couple weeks with games: @ Purdue, vs. Michigan, @ Michigan State, vs. Iowa. Leading-scorer Junior (Forward) DeShaun Thomas, is averaging 20 ppg, is looking for some scoring help from the guys around him, as fellow Junior (Forward) Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (11 ppg) is the only other Buckeye averaging double figures at this point of the season. Starting PG Aaron Craft (Junior), continous to struggle in the scoring column as he was only reached 10 or more points, twice in the past five games. This team is pretty talented on paper, but has yet to show up (unless you wanna count the first half vs. Duke) so far in big games this season, and as everyone knows, conferences game's are big. The Buckeyes better turn things around quickly, as the Big Ten is very talented/deep this season.

Tayler Hill nails a three-pointer in the home loss Sunday afternoon,
to Illinois, 79-73.
Senior guard, Tayler Hill leads the Women's team in scoring (21.1 ppg) this season, and she's just asking for one thing, "A LITTLE HELP WOULD BE NICE"! Following the team's six-point loss on Sunday at home to Illinois, the Women have dropped their first two Big Ten games this season, including another six-point loss (77-71 in OT) last week in Iowa. Following the team's loss to UNC during the Women's Big10/ACC Challenge, the women won six out of seven, with the only loss coming in that stretch on the road to Washington State (by 7). Things were looking promising following the team's 10-3 start, heading into conference play, but following the back-to-back losses the ladies need to regroup, if they want to contend for the Big Ten regular season crown. Hill, has been the team's high scorer in all 15 games (shared the mark once) so far this season, as teammates Ashley Adams (9.8 ppg) & Amber Stokes (9.7 ppg) hoover just below the 10-point average on the season. The women need to forget about the two-tough losses to start out conference play as they travel out to Minnesota & nationally ranked Purdue for their next two games, with home dates against nationally ranked teams: (Jan. 27) vs. Penn State & (Jan 31) vs. Nebraska looming large, at the end of the month.

Both the Men's & Women's teams have started their conference play out not the way they expected, but with conference play it's very long and you need a grind-it-out attitude, because it's not how you start, its how you finish. I'll meet you back here in a month or so, and provide you with an update on how the two team's are looking. LET'S GO BUCKEYES!

Because we all know, it's just a regular season game, not the BIG DANCE in March...