Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State Buckeyes victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a game played on Tuesday, Februry 20 at the Schottenstein Center – the final home game of the season for the Buckeyes which means that is was also Senior Night for Andrew Dakich, Keita Bates-Diop, Kam Williams and Jae’Sean Tate.

Final Score: Rutgers 52 @Ohio State 79.

It may have been Senior Night, but someone forgot to tell Junior CJ Jackson – I could have sworn it was CJ Jackson night! CJ came off the bench to score 18 points and lead the Buckeyes. He shot 8 of 12 from the field, including some fantastic floaters in the lane – he just couldn’t miss!

CJ Jackson hits floater #1

CJ Jackson hits floater #2

CJ Jackson goes baseline and puts up an incredible shot – floater #3 that soars high and scores 2!!

CJ Jackson makes floater #4

CJ Jackson scores his final floater #5

The 6-1 Junior Shooting Guard did not get the start, as Coach Holtmann decided to start as many Seniors as he could. The Buckeye Starting Lineup featured Andrew Dakich at Point Guard, Kam Williams at Shooting Guard, Jae’Sean Tate at Small Forward, Keita Bates-Diop at Power Forward and Freshman Kaleb Wesson at Center.

Keita Bates-Diop still has one year of eligibility, but he has finished his 4th year at Ohio State and has completed his requirements to earn his degree – so he is a Senior academically. But Buckeye Nation wants him to return next year, so when the game was over, the crowd was chanting “One More Year!, One More Year!”

Keita scored on some great assists by Andrew Dakich, but he only scored 6 points all night, and was 0 for 4 on his 3-point shots.

Keita Bates-Diop scores a bunny on a great pass and assist from Andrew Dakich

Another great pass by Dakich allows Bates-Diop to score another bunny!

Over the entire game, the Buckeyes had 18 assists – which is great to see.

It was great to see the Buckeyes win without help from their best player. This shows that the Buckeyes are a strong team, but we will need Keita Bates-Diop if we want to win any remaining games this year, whether at Indiana, in the Big Ten or NCAA Tournaments.

However, sometimes Keita Bates-Diop appears to be hesitant in shooting the 3-point shot when he has a chance. The week off between the Big Ten Tournament and the start of the NCAA Tournament will help the Buckeyes, and hopefully Keita bates-Diop to regain his confidence.

This was a great game to attend in person and a joy to watch. It was the perfect game for the Buckeyes to recover from two road losses – at Penn State and at Michigan. The Buckeyes defense was superb – they played Rutgers tough all night long on defense.

It wasn’t the physical kind of defense or “basketbrawl” that Michigan played last Sunday – it was an aggressive defense that put Ohio State in the right spot to force Rutgers into low percentage shots. There were only 13 fouls called on Ohio State and only 10 personal fouls called on Rutgers the whole night. Ohio State controlled the rebounding battle by a margin of 35 to 24.

The best news was that Kam Williams is back on track, and he scored 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including 3 for 5 on his 3-point shots. I love the way he never shoots a fade-away shot – he is always either moving towards the basket with momentum, or going straight up.

Kam Williams hits a 3-point shot to give Ohio State a 6 to 4 lead early in the game – a lead which Ohio State will never give up!

In the second half, Kam Williams goes up straight (he never shoots a fade-away – either jumping up straight or moving with momentum towards the basket) – I love his form!

Jae’Sean Tate shows how he can drive and score with his left hand off the glass

Kaleb Wesson was dominant down low, scoring 14 points. He showed strength in scoring down low and also a nice shooters touch. He was 6 of 7 from the field. Rutgers had no way to stop him.

Kaleb Wesson has the size and strength to be an unstoppable force down low …..

….but Kaleb also has a nice shooters touch as he shows on this play.

And, Kaleb Wesson knows how to pass for the assist – on this play Andrew Dakich scores an easy layup.

Rutgers scored the first basket of the game, but Ohio State applied stifling defense, and soon the Buckeyes gained the lead and grew it to 11 to 4, 15 to 6 and 30 to 11. But Rutgers did not give up. They outscored the Buckeyes 16 to 2 in the last part of the first half to cut the half-time lead to just 5 points. But the Buckeyes controlled the first 5 minutes of the second half, and went on an 18 to 2 run over the first 8 minutes to build the lead to 50 to 29. It was all over at that point, and just pure fun watching the Buckeyes play out the season and cruise to victory.

Even Matt Lehmann was able to make a 3-point shot against Rutgers!

At the end of the game, even Joey Lane and Matt Lehmann were able to make 3-point shots. That should be a wake-up call for Keita! Nothing like some good natured ribbing to shake a player out of a slump.

Final Score: Rutgers 52 @Ohio State 79.

After the game, it was Senior Night Farewells for Andrew Dakich, Keita Bates-Diop, Kam Williams and Jae’Sean Tate. It’s been a great year and there’s more to come!

This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast. Go Buckeyes!

Andrew Dakich’s Farewell Address to Buckeye Nation on Senior Night:

Keita Bates-Diop speaks on Senior Night – he still has “ONE MORE YEAR!”, but will he return or leave to turn pro?

Kam Williams gives his Farewell Address on Senior Night to Buckeyes Nation:

And, finally, it is Jae’Sean Tate’s turn to give his Farewell Address on Senior Night to Buckeye Nation: