Saturday, December 22, 2012

Poor shooting dooms Buckeyes

Kansas guard Ben McLemore swoops in to defend against a shot from Ohio State forward Sam Thompson during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore swoops in to defend against a shot from Ohio State forward Sam Thompson during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after Ohio State win

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 74-66 victory over Ohio State on Dec. 22, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore

Kansas players Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk after the Jayhawks' 74-66 victory over Ohio State on Dec. 22, 2012.

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Box score

KU-Ohio State

— Dec. 25 can’t come soon enough for Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta.

“I asked Santa for Christmas to improve our jump-shooting,” Matta said with a wry smile following OSU’s 74-66 loss to Kansas University on Saturday afternoon.

The Buckeyes kept their turnovers down (13) and performed well on the offensive glass (17 offensive boards) but simply couldn’t overcome a poor shooting night.

OSU made just 20 of 65 field goals for a frigid 31 percent.

“You gotta put the ball in the basket in a game like this,” Matta said. “We couldn’t do it, and it became contagious throughout.”

The Buckeyes’ field-goal percentage was their second-worst in the last five seasons. Only a 26-percent effort in a 58-48 home loss to Michigan State last year was lower.

“All in all, basketball’s a simple game: Get stops, and put the ball in the bucket,” OSU guard Aaron Craft said. “We weren’t doing either tonight, and Kansas was able to do that.”

The Buckeyes especially struggled in the second half, going 10 minutes, 9 seconds during one stretch without a field goal. During that time, OSU missed 12 straight shots from the floor.

A reporter asked the OSU players if they could remember a time — in a game or practice — when they had remembered being that cold shooting.

“A long time,” OSU forward Deshaun Thomas said.

“Not really,” Craft added.

Matta was quick to credit KU afterward, saying it was one of the two best teams that had played Ohio State at Value City Arena during his tenure. The other team was 2004-05 Illinois, which ended as the national runner-up.

The dismal offensive showing was so frustrating that Matta even turned to his coaches during the second half and said, “Hey, let’s call a play where we can score.”

After making 46 percent of its threes in the first half, Ohio State made just two of 18 after halftime.

“We needed that one to go. We needed the tide to turn for us,” Matta said. “I thought we had some great drive and kicks and just ... one after another (missed).”

OSU attempted 31 three-pointers, the most for the team in the last three seasons.

It didn’t work. The Buckeyes made just eight of those tries (26 percent).

“We knew against these guys ‘drive and kick’ was going to be huge,” Matta said. “We knew we were going to have to shoot a better percentage from three than we actually did.”

The Buckeyes made just nine of 36 field-goal tries in the second half (25 percent).

“Pressure has really taken us out of our offense,” Craft said. “That was one of our big emphases going into the game, really trying to execute offensively and stay in our offense regardless of what they’re doing.

“First half, I think we did a really good job. Second half, we had more broken plays. We didn’t execute as well.”


Jeremy Caudle 8 years, 11 months ago

I guess I'll be first here. The most exciting moment of this game for me was not just the realization that these guys can play against stiff competition on the road and win. That was a great sign for things to come. What stuck out most to me was seeing the bench reactions. Specifically Rio. The dude was having fun and celebrating with the team! I'm not Jaybate so I won't go into details but if the starting five can perform at this level, the subs can play as they did and improve (Tharpe was impressive!), and "everyone" on the bench can celebrate others success...good things are on the horizon!

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 11 months ago

I didn't want to give the team credit for being quite as good as they looked the past 3 games before this, now they've earned some serious optimism. Defensive rebounding improved dramatically in the 2nd half (maybe Releford's best rebounding effort this year I thought) and Tharpe played like a stud. Just great team ball out there, I love it, and as you say the reaction from 'Rio on BMac's oop-dunk was awesome to see. You think that guy loves being a Jayhawk?! Just wish he'd been able to pressure without fouling to end the first half, but he'll get there. Incredible win, I'm sure I'll state that on multiple articles on here. I may have overestimated OSU by a little, but geez, with all the guys back and then adding Scott to the mix, they've got a lot of athletes on that team.

actorman 8 years, 11 months ago

And let's not forget that they also had the revenge factor going in for motivation. It's incredibly hard to beat a very good team three times over two seasons, especially when the third one is on their home floor and the previous one was in the Final Four. This was a huge win.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

79hawker - I posted on the postgame thread that I thought Tharpe was the MVP. Sure, he didn't drain 15 points, or play 30 minutes, but he gave us exactly what we desperately needed at a crucial time ... stellar ballhandling, steady control, efficient shooting. He seemed to settle us down. The guy has transformed from a jittery, unsure freshman, into a guy that by next year (assuming just half the progress he made this past offseason), could easily be our starting point guard without concern. I also liked his penetration a couple of times. Great day for Tharpe.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 11 months ago

I couldn't agree more, HEM. Tharpe played great. In the past I have been concerned when he comes in during tight games. Yesterday he took control and the offense ran smoothly when he was in. I also thought he ran the offense well when both he and EJ were in at the same time.

I would, however, give the MVP to Withey. I have never seen a top 10 team become so one dimensional on offense. OSU had absolutely NOTHING going on inside in the second half. They were unable (or maybe afraid) to attack Withey in the paint at all. He changed the entire tone of that game. Any of their inside baskets in the second half were on missed shots or broken plays. I kept waiting for the announcers to say something about the poor shots they were putting up and the need to at least attempt to go inside and then kick back out for a better shot, but they really didn't comment on that. I thought that was as big as anything in us winning the game.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

rap .. you're right, of course. Withey just changed the entire game. In some games, when we have Young and Ellis in, for example, when Withey is out, we play fine. That game, we needed Withey for all of the 34 minutes he played.

With Tharpe, I just think a game like that will mean a lot for the kid going forward. At least it should.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 11 months ago

I too was happy to see Rio involved. It stood out in a positive way as compared to the last few games. He is talented and his time will come. They truly looked like a team in every sense of the word yesterday.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 11 months ago

I thought OSU looked tired the second half. Harried and tired. Frustrated. Their shots bricked time after time, usually an indication of being tired.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 11 months ago

They're too deep for fatigue to be that big of an issue. Maybe for Thomas, but between Ross/Craft/Scott/Thompson/SmithJr they've got too many quality guards to blame it on fatigue. And the guys that might get tired from battling Withey and company all day since they're really only 3 deep with Williams/Ravenel/Thomas, I thought displayed the most energy late with Williams blocking a couple shots and Thomas committing fouls trying to force the action. The only guys to play big minutes were Craft and Thomas and they hit 5 of 13 from the outside. SmithJr and Scott only played 26 and 25 mins, took 25 total shots and hit only 1 of 10 from 3, that one being a bank shot from the wing by Scott.

KULA 8 years, 11 months ago

I wouldn't say tired, I'd say beaten. In the last 7-8 minutes, they just looked like a beaten team.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

How about tired and beaten? They seemed to be dragging (except Amir Williams), and had that look of inevitabilty on their faces and in their body language. They did look beaten. Our last stretch where we kicked it to 12 was huge. If we could have made those two easy layups we missed, it would have stretched it to 16. At the time, I felt if we had done that (made those two easy shots), we win by 20.

KULA 8 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. Could've easily been a 20pt win with a few made free throws and layups.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 8 years, 11 months ago

All the comments above are essentially correct. The observation not made is how much Kevin Young contributes in the paint. Rebounds, can and does score, makes Withey even more effective by covering his(KY's) territory. His rebounding is a major contribution. Watch him and see how many things he does to contribute.

actorman 8 years, 11 months ago

So true. Young is one of those players that will never get the credit he deserves. I love watching him play.

WichitaRaider 8 years, 11 months ago

Very true on your points about KY. He will be the impetus for the success of this team. At least for this season.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

As I speculated last night after the game, Matta and Craft had no clue what KU was doing.

Drive and kick?

That is so last year, so naught decade.

The "Slide Off the Spots Spread Offense" (SOSSO) rules now.

Everything has changed but the way Thad thinks.

And Allen. And Deshaun. And all of the Buckeyes.

Thad, here's a hint.

Driving to collapse defenses and kick out is over.

That was what you copied from Self the last couple of years.

Like Basketball Picasso, Pablo Self has moved on to the next formal movement.

If they want to knock you off your spots, slide the direction of their pushing.

Tumbleweed Buddhism now says, "Offensive movement now like judo. Turn enemy's force application to one's advantage. If enemy shoves right, move right, then hook and take feed on way to rim. If enemy shoves left, move left, then hook and take feed on way to rim. Move with the force. Use the force to help move you. Do not fight force. Absorb opponents force and use it to move him out of his position."

Never collapse a defense. Spread the defense out, so that long skinny players can use their quickness to make plays.


gchawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Great assessment as usual. I realize it's difficult for some people (coaches in particular) to humble themselves after a game, but Matta still couldn't just come out and give credit, at least very much, where credit was due. Our team had a lot to do with their shooting woes, I can't remember a time, especially in the second half, where our defense was any more tenacious than yesterday. Congrats to all our coaches and players for the great game plan and execution.

WichitaRaider 8 years, 11 months ago

Zen Buddhist master Self, huh? I like how that sounds!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

jb: So, kind of Princeton offense-esque in a way? Exploit the overplay?

Interesting observation.

What I have observed, in a less technical way, is simply spreading things out with the goal to keep the double team off of Withey. I guess my observation was I was "just kind of seeing that generally." In particular, in relation to the location of our 4 to Withey. Where Robinson or Withey would have been closer to the opposite block when the other had the ball last year (many times), the 4 is further away when Withey has the ball. That's pretty much my observation.

And man, does KY make Withey even that more effective? If I'm Ellis, I'd watch KY, and do what KY does. It seems though when Ellis is in, he's posting up. As an aside, it seems like putting Ellis at the high post might help him some (since he's very good with the ball, and getting to post position or a scoring spot low off the dribble is in his bag of skills).

Also, jb, this is why I like reading your observations, and where you're at your best. Good stuff.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Thx, HEM.

KU is at least doing what you are saying. Spreading it out.

And maybe what I am saying.

It will take some more reps to see if what I think I am seeing is really what they are doing. But it sure looks like a duck to me after these last 3-4 games.

Its all done in the hi-lo set though.

And while the Princeton spreads it out, it runs cutters converging with pickers to try to create traffic for defenders to work through.

What Self appears to be doing is just the opposite. KU is screening/picking less and less, trying to avoid creating traffic. And the screens/picks set are softer and softer. Even the weave out front is looser.

To reiterate: Jeff and Kevin are too light to stay on spots, so have them slide off the spots as they are pushed and have the feeds come not once they establish position on the spot, but as the sliding away from the shoving gets them open.

In essence, everyone is trying to hook their man and get open on the way to the hoop all the time.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 11 months ago

"Never collapse a defense. Spread the defense out, so that long skinny players can use their quickness to make plays."

You make a good point. However, isn't this also what OSU tried to do to us without any success? At one point they had no offensive players anywhere near the goal and we didn't have a single defender in the lane. The announcers even commented on how open the lane was. Still, our guards were quick enough to stop the penetration and Withey was always lurking somewhere near the goal. Whatever offense you run, you have to have the horses to get it done. KU had them yesterday. OSU did not.

HawksWin 8 years, 11 months ago

"Buckeye fans experienced some post-traumatic Kansas disorder this Saturday when the Jayhawks came to Columbus for a Final Four rematch. Frankly speaking, the lack of a killer instinct is a major reason why Ohio State has now lost to Bill Self’s team three straight times."

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 11 months ago

I was reading all of these comments, and most are really good points. I also thought Tharpe played great! Before he came to K.U. one scout said, this is a steal for Kanas. People don't realize how good this kid can be, in time. Smart scout. Tharpe has been playing a lot better, of late. I think a big part of that is that Coach Self is Trusting him much more, and he isn't looking over his shoulder every time he makes a mistake, and hears the horn blow. His confidence is soaring. Tharp, to me, seemed to be a calming influence, when I thought Johnson was struggling with his handle against the pressure, and he did a great job when Elijah go his 3rd foul, and had to go to the bench. I did think OSU looked fatigued in the 2nd half, but mental stress, leads to physical, and we were definitely in their heads. Now, pertaining to Rio. I don't know if he views this site, but I hope he understands that Self gets on him like he does, to make him the player he needs and can become. Self did the same thing with Russell (who I think also considered leaving). Rio, needs to work harder than ever, learn, and be patient. When people leave because the going is tough, they are viewed as soft (Mentally), wherever they end up. Same with Perry, be patient, keep working hard (which I know he is doing-but he looks very frustrated from time to time), but just stay focused, and good things will happen. We all have to remember, that our young players are just going to get better, and better, as the year progresses, and I'm wondering just how good we will be, two thirds of the way through this season. The thought of it makes me smile! Merry Christmas to everyone in Jayhawk Nation. Respect the game, and Respect each other, and their opinions. After all, if I knew what I was talking about, I would be on the bench with Coach Self! LOLLLLLLL

Stan Unruh 8 years, 11 months ago

Glad Rio did see some action. Tharpe was outstanding. I really expected to see AW3 in this game?

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 11 months ago

Ohio St. has the capacity to be a another finals type team. It's a long way off, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the bracket committee arranging "game 4" given the opportunity. High viewer numbers....REVENGE!!!! whoops

I may try to market a Thad Matta bobble head doll. The head turns bright red, bursts into flames, then completely melts. (batteries and fire extinguisher not included)

The Jayhawk defense was stellar. Blhawkzilla didn't get credit for some of his work. The end of the game will provide some valuable teaching opportunities. KEVIN!!!!!

Thanks, monk aka Ricochet Rabbit.

WichitaRaider 8 years, 11 months ago

I actually did 'laugh out loud' at the Thatta head doll! Need an investor to get this to market? Let's talk!

JayhawkPurist 8 years, 11 months ago

AW3 didn't get into the game because his ballhandling isn't strong enough to handle that kind of on-the-ball pressure. If EJ and BMac were having trouble not turning it over, AW3 would've too.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

AW3 didn't get to play because .. well, Self is Self. In a big game like that, he regularly compresses the rotation. It's nothing White did wrong. Self was simply playing the players he felt gave him the best chance to win that game. It's how it always is. I've said it before. It's a simple concept. Win. And Self does that quite well.

The opposing view is that he missed a valuable opportunity to get AW3 some big game, road experience. Heck, 8-10 minutes' worth would have sufficed. JayhawkPurist points out AW3's ballhandling. At the the 3, it's not that imperative. But wouldn't the experience have been nice, likely like nothing he has ever been a part of before?

But the guy (Self) just doesn't think that way. On this one, I don't see much fault with it. My guess is White will get that road experience in Big 12 play. He seems to have earned it.

And I am not going to argue with a clear statement win, on the road, vs. a top 10 team. It was a brilliantly coached game, starting with the defensive game plan and the "kick their a** scoring" on inbounds plays.

The question is, in a tight game in March, will Self play an Andrew White when our shots aren't falling from other guys? It's a long way off.

REHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm willing to wager that, by midFebruary, Bill Self will call upon Andrew to save our bacon against some upstart league squad which has drilled us with a hot hand. That was a nice coaching touch yesterday, inserting Rio for a specific need in closing seconds of first half. If Rio, Andrew, Jamari and Perry retain patience while learning the Bill Self game, I look to see this become the first Self team to employ 10 players, going down the stretch toward and through tournament play. I am certain that Bill would abhor the thought, probably declare in no uncertain terms, "That just isn't going to happen!" But I think we are going to see it. Maybe not all 10 of them in one specific contest; however, the talent lies dormant for Andrew and Rio to make strong contributions if they can polish their current optimum roles. (Seems obvious that Perry and Jamari will continue to see lots of action from game to game.) Gametime experience is so so necessary. Naadir Tharpe is certainly growing into a stud!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 11 months ago

The best team to play there since Illinois' 2004-2005 powerhouse. That team was undefeated, last game before the Big 10 tournament, OSU, probably not even a tourney team, and somehow knocked the Illini off with Self's players being coached by Weber. Still one of the better college teams of the last 20 years or so.

lawerencejayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

HighEliteMajor, your post about AW3 have been right on target. From AW3's play, we all agree he has earned minutes even in a game like OH state. Self has 200 minutes a game and White didn't even bet one. (Must be personal). AW3 keep working hard! Sometimes life (and basketball) isn't fair. We love our freshmen in Lawerence!

Steve Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

This team is scary good.

Whether they get a ring or two is to be decided. For now, they appear to be having fun, learning what Bill wants, and enjoying the moments.

Sometimes I miss the old days when we didn't have the three point shot, there wasn't a shot clock, freshman didn't play, you weren't allowed to 'dunk' the ball, and we jump ball instead of alternate possession. We played home games in Hoch. Only midwest teams went to the Midwest region for the March tournament. Then I wake up out of a deep sleep and give thanks for the game has evolved and realize what counts hasn't changed, Crimson & Blue, the Chant, the championships, the waving of the wheat. You youngsters appreciate these will be your good old days, soak it in. Mighty proud to be a jayhawker!

This team is scary good.

ku_foaf 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree with the comments on Kevin Young. He is very high energy, I love watching him play!

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