The Buckeyes bashed the Cornhuskers with a steady diet of Deshaun Thomas and a defense that showed no mercy.
Thomas dropped in 22 points, once again proving he is the offensive leader of this team, and the Buckeyes’ effort on defense was solid as they limited the Cornhuskers to 30 percent shooting from the field en route to winning their 15th consecutive conference opener.
“Coach (Thad Matta) told me, ‘I need you to start well,” Thomas said in a post-game press conference. “The whole team got off fast. And our rotations were good on defense and we got stops when we needed. It was on from there – fastbreaks and dunks and everybody was just rolling.”
Yes, at least on this night, the Buckeyes rolled, and that is a requirement at home in a conference where life on the road is going to be tough.
Some will show concern in the fact that Aaron Craft did not score, but Craft does so many of the little things right and he finished with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. He also didn’t turn the ball over.
Here is the other thing about Craft. He understands how important it is to be ready to play every time the Buckeyes step on the floor.
“That’s the biggest thing you have to try to get across to the guys who don’t play as much or haven’t in the past years — every team can go off and you can be knocked off,” Craft said in a post-game press conference. “You have to have the right mindset, right attitude, every day in practice and in games.”
Not every win will come as easily as it did Wednesday night, but if the Buckeyes take Craft’s words to heart, they will be fine in the long run.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.