Following the Ohio State Buckeyes‘ 63-52 victory over American University Wednesday night, it’s clear that there is one major flaw on this team and it lies on the offensive side of the ball.
Defensively, Ohio State is one of the most sound teams in the country. They have good feet, quick hands and play man-to-man just as good as, maybe better than any other team in the country. They’re a classic Big Ten basketball team in that they play great defense.
While they play excellent defense, their ability on offense is very poor and that is something to be concerned about when they come across their tougher challenges. While Ohio State managed 89 points against Morgan State and 79 points against Ohio, those are two lower-level teams that they should demolish. Against Marquette, they struggled to 52 points and had to fight for their 63 point total on Wednesday night.
When you watch them play, there seems to be a lack of organization and rhythm when they have the ball down on the offensive end. Senior Aaron Craft is the quarterback of the offense, but he often called his own number and only used 5-10 seconds on the shot clock. Everything was rushed, bad shots were attempted and they shot just 35.7 percent from the floor.
Ohio State needs to find their shooters, and I mean that quite literally. LaQuinton Ross had a solid performance against Marquette, but followed that with a 1-of-7, four-point performance against American. Shannon Scott seems to be their only shot-maker (well, taker) as he’s consistent and took a team-high 10 shots and finished with 13 points.
They say that offense sells tickets but defense wins championships, and that’s true no matter what. However, the Buckeyes are going to have a hard time winning basketball games against teams that have top-level defenses.
Their next toughest test will be Maryland on December 4, and we’ll learn a lot about them in that contest. After that, the Buckeyes won’t face a tough opponent until the new year where they’ll get Michigan State (twice), Wisconsin, Michigan and the rest of the always-tough Big Ten.
Ohio State has a lot of improving that needs to be done on the offensive side of the ball. If it weren’t for their stellar play defensively, it’s not a stretch to say that they would only be 2-2 with losses to Marquette and American. Fortunately, they sit 4-0 thanks to their strong play on the defensive end.