Buckeyes fall to Iowa

The Buckeyes ran into Iowa at the wrong time and fell 67-62 to the Hawkeyes. Iowa won this game with their defense, which ranks fourth in the country. They held Ohio State to only 35% from the field. Still, the Buckeyes had a good shot to come away with the win late in the game against a veteran and talented team. I think this quote by head coach Thad Matta sums things up best-

“It’s another one of those games where we’re there, but we just have got to find a way to get over the hump, and win the damn game,” Matta said to the AP.

This is becoming a recurring theme for this Ohio State team. They have the talent to play with anyone and make no mistake, they are a good team. But just a good team. Can they be great? Maybe, but like Matta said, they are going to have to find a way to get over the hump and finish teams off. At the end, it just becomes a battle of wills and who wants it more. On Saturday, it was Iowa.

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Buckeyes taking care of business

Some thought there would be a letdown for Thad Matta’s Buckeyes after the big win against Wisconsin, and to some extent there was with a sloppy first half against the Nittany Lions. However, when the chips were on the table, the Buckeyes did what great teams do and hung on for a very solid win on the road.

This wasn’t as impressive as their first win against PSU, but many knew the rematch would be closer. Je’Kel Foster had a strong start to the second half that really helped get the Buckeyes going, and the entire team did a great job on the glass in the 2nd half, allowing the Nittany Lions to get only five 2nd half rebounds (they had 23 in the first half). All in all, a solid win for Ohio State.

Recap

Buckeyes come up with a big win

The Buckeyes came up with a huge 77-67 win over the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday night. This is a big win in a lot of ways. It is the most notable win so far for Ohio State, but it also showed that this team is for real. They are no longer forced to cling to narrow losses to Indiana and Michigan State to prove they belong as they proved they are the Big Ten’s second-best team tonight (still behind MSU at this point IMO) with a strong showing.

Note to Ohio State fans- Thad Matta is a fantastic basketball coach. Yes, this Buckeyes team is underrated, but Matta is a big reason they are a top-20 team. A lot of people close to the program keep telling me that the coaching is the reason they are where they are this year and it’s looking more and more like Matta is one of the great young coaches in the game right now.

It is a great time to be a Buckeye basketball fan.

Buckeyes fall to Spartans

The Buckeyes showed a lot of heart in their double-OT loss to Michigan State, but in the end it’s the tough non-conference schedule that gave MSU the experience they needed to grit it out at the end. The Buckeyes had their chances, but Smith and Sylvester both missed 3-pt shots late in the game.

“They’ve been in a lot of games like that,” Sylvester told espn.com. “They’re very tough mentally and physically. I think it reflects on the character of Tom Izzo.”

That is mainly because the Big Ten completely screwed MSU by giving them a brutal schedule, but, as it showed yesterday, it pays off in big games.

Still, if you are a Buckeyes fan, there is a lot to be positive about. For starters, they are playing fantastic defense. When was the last time a winner in a double-overtime game scored only 62 points?

They also nearly beat the best team in the Big Ten. Now the Buckeyes know if they can hang with MSU, they can hang with anyone in the Big Ten.

OSU’s two losses this year are to ranked teams and are by two and three points- also, they lost to Indiana when they had DJ White, who is now out for the season.

The only thing that really surprised me is how much of an effect losing Je’Kel Foster in the second overtime had. He didn’t shoot well against Michigan State, but he completely shut down Maurice Ager- a feat most teams haven’t accomplished.

The way Ohio State is playing right now, you have to think they are the second-best team in the Big Ten. And they will only get better.

Buckeyes bounce Boilermakers

Ohio State continued their strong Big Ten start with an 80-64 win over Purdue. Je’kel Foster tied a career high with six steals and finished the game with ten points. The important stat here is the six steals, as it was the defense that keyed the victory.

OSU forced 21 turnovers that led to 30 points and Purdue never had a chance. Thad Matta finally has this team buying into his system and the results are staggering. This isn’t the Purdue of the Gene Keady days, but a win like this on the road is still impressive.
Thad Matta= great coach.
OSU=underrated Big Ten team.

Still, they have some big games coming up, including a tilt with Michigan State. We will have a much better idea of just how good this team can be after that game.