For the Ohio State Buckeyes, their biggest weakness this season is going to be their offense. Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott are going to be able to hold things down defensively, but they need to find consistent playmakers on offense.
As of right now, they have at least one in Lenzelle Smith Jr. He currently averages just over 12 points per game and had just nine points on Wednesday night in the Buckeyes 86-48 victory over Bryant. For LaQuinton Ross, he seems like the most likely candidate to step in and be the other guy that can make the plays offensively for the Buckeyes.
Since Ross became a Buckeye three years ago, we’ve seen some pretty inconsistent play from him. He’s capable of scoring 20 points per game, he’s done so twice this year, but averages a measly 11 points per game. If he wants to up his chances of making it to the NBA and help the Buckeyes put together a good run this coming college basketball season, he’ll need to find some consistency in his offensive game.
While Ross has scored 20 and 23 points in a pair of games this season, he’s also scored zero against Marquette, four against American and three against Wyoming. As the Buckeyes turn the calendar over and head into the 2014 part of their schedule, they can’t afford to have Ross have games where he plays that poorly. He’ll need to bring 15-20 points to the court every night.
In the second half of the year, the Buckeyes will play Michigan State twice, Iowa twice and Wisconsin, all three are ranked inside the top 25. You also can’t sleep on Illinois as they always play tough in the Big Ten schedule. In a conference that is dominated by defense, points are at a premium and you can’t get by with having just one player, in this case Lenzelle Smith Jr., scoring all your points.
Whether it’s putting up extra shots in practice or Thad Matta designing some plays to get Ross better looks, Ohio State needs to figure out how to improve his offensive ability and elevate his shooting percentage from the low 40-percent where it currently sits. If they don’t Ohio State could run into some trouble when they get into the meat of their Big Ten schedule.