People have questioned Aaron Craft’s ability to be a legitimate scoring threat for Ohio State, but on Sunday afternoon against Michigan State, the junior point guard did more than his fair share of scoring.
Craft dropped 21 on the Spartans, 15 coming in a pressure-packed second half that elevated the Buckeyes to a much-needed 68-60 Big Ten win over the Spartans at Value City Arena.
His tough, hard-nosed performance, which the Spartans had no answer for, left quite an impression on Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.
“Give Aaron Craft credit,” Izzo said in a post-game press conference. “In the second half, he tore us apart. It was Aaron Craft. He beat us every way you could beat us.”
Craft challenged the Spartans on defense, driving to the basket several times and drawing contact that earned him trips to the free-throw line if he didn’t manage to score on layups.
He was also his usual tenacious self on defense, giving the Spartans fits when it came to running their offense, and there is no question that his effort played a vital role in the success of the Buckeyes on this day.
Craft, who had scored 17 in his last three games, doesn’t need to score 21 every time he takes the floor. All he has to do is make sure that he is aggressive and finds ways to make consistent contributions on the offensive end of the floor.
His effort against the Spartans was a step in the right direction, and Craft can build on that performance, the Buckeyes are going to be a tough team to deal with come March.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.