Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for HoopsOnLane.com Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State Buckeyes loss to the Michigan Wolverines in a game played on Sunday, February 18th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Final Score: Ohio State 62 @Michigan 74.
With this loss, the Buckeyes’ Big Ten record drops to 13 wins and 3 losses, a tie for second place with Purdue, who beat Penn State Sunday night. Purdue and Ohio State are one game behind the Michigan State Spartans who sit alone in first place with a record of 14 wins and 2 losses.
The good news is that the Buckeyes looked much better than last Thursday night against Penn State in State College, PA. Ohio State improved on defense compared to the game against Penn State – The Buckeyes defense was strong enough to win this game – without the easy baskets Michigan got on turnovers, Ohio State’s defense in the half-court would have held Michigan to about 60 points. Michigan made 7 of 20 3-point shots for 35%, about their season average. In the first half, their bench player, Guard Jordan Poole, made 3 of 4 3-point shots. There were good half-time adjustments and Poole was only able to take 1 3-point shot in the second half, which he made, but he didn’t hurt us with his 3-pointers in the second half. And, Duncan Robinson was 0 for 2 on his 3-point shots. Ohio State out-rebounded Michigan by a 40 to 30 margin, which included 15 offensive rebounds for the Buckeyes.
With any kind of decent offensive play, the Buckeyes could have won this game. It was close the entire game until the last 3 minutes. But the Buckeyes committed 14 turnovers, and shot a pathetic 9 of 19 from the free throw line, and several of those misses were on the front end of a 1-and-1.
Buckeyes Coach Chris Holtmann gave Michigan’s defense credit in his post-game comments, but I disagree – there were more bad plays by Ohio State’s offense than good defense by Michigan – Buckeyes dribbling into the corner and picking up their dribble – throwing the ball away on an inbounds pass – dribbling the ball off a foot – these were unforced errors – 14 Buckeye turnovers, not great Michigan defense.
Keita Bates-Diop finished with 17 points and made 3 of 6 3-point shots, but his overall shooting from the field was just 5 of 17, which means he was 2 for 11 on his two point shots.
Here is my recommendation for Keita – he needs to do a better job of moving without the ball. When the Buckeyes are on offense, and the ball is on the other side of the court – Keita is too often just standing there – waiting for someone to pass the ball to him. When he finally gets the ball, he is defended and is relying on his own ability to create a shot. At the end of the first half, Kaleb Wesson gave him a screen at the top of the key and Keita made a nice 3-point shot to cut the half-time lead to just 5 points. I was hoping there would be similar plays in the second half – screens so Keita could get an open shot.
However, the Buckeyes played selfish offense the entire game. There were only 8 assists the entire game for the Buckeyes compared to 12 for Michigan. There were too many offensive series where only one player got to touch the ball – no passes whatsoever.
Keita Bates-Diop was the beneficiary of an assist only on one play the entire game – an assist by Kam Williams which resulted in a made 3-point shot with 9 minutes left – that basket cut the Michigan lead to 51 to 55 – the Buckeyes were in it and could have won this game.
After that made 3-point shot, Michigan failed to score on its next 3 possessions – but the Buckeyes offense was unable to score but one point. From the 9 minute mark to the one-minute mark, an 8 minute span, the Buckeyes scored just 8 points, and Michigan pulled away.
Final Score: Ohio State 62 – Michigan 74.
If I could offer any advice to Keita Bates-Diop, I would recommend that he watch tape of former Indiana basketball player Calbert Cheaney to see how a forward can move around without the ball and create open shots for himself. Cheaney was the best I ever saw at that – he was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1993. Now, I will admit that he benefited from having a 45-second shot clock in 1993, and therefore, the game has changed significantly since there is only a 30-second shot clock now, but any increased movement by Keita without the ball would be an improvement. And, let me be clear – I’m not saying I long for the days when Bobby Knight was coaching or that I wish he was our coach, because I really like Coach Holtmann – but I am saying that I think we can learn something from Bobby Knight and Calbert Cheaney on the subject of moving on offense without the ball.
Up next for the Buckeyes, the final home game of the year against Rutgers on Tuesday, February 20th. Come to the Schott and cheer for the Buckeyes!
This is Dave Horning for HoopsOnLane.com Fan Podcast. Go Bucks!