The Ohio State Buckeyes have been known more this season for their defense, but recently have found their offensive rhythm.
This is due to LaQuinton Ross stepping up and filling the scoring void left by the departure of Deshaun Thomas. He has scored 15 points or more in the last three games, scoring 20-plus points in two of those games. They found the perfect balance of offense and defense on Wednesday night in their 86-48 win over the Bryant Bulldogs and proved to be too athletic for the Bulldogs to handle. The Buckeyes had a 20-point lead at halftime.
First of all, the Buckeyes totaled 13 steals for the game and 10 blocks. Most of those steals came from Shannon Scott, with Aaron Craft and Ross also contributing, while the majority of the blocks came from Amir Williams with some help from Ross. Ross is truly on top of his game as he is producing good numbers on both sides of the ball. As a whole, Ohio State did a good job of creating turnovers and capitalizing on them. They had 13 points off turnovers in the first half alone. Instead of fouling, the Buckeyes used their good defense to slow down the Bulldogs. They only had 11 fouls the whole game. They held the Bulldogs to less than 30-percent shooting. The Buckeyes’ defense never ceases to be great. It will win a lot of games for them this season, but tonight it was their athletic abilities defensively as well as offensively that won the game for them.
Ohio State did a good job of rebounding as well, with most of their 38 rebounds being defensive rebounds. Offensively, they have shown much improvement. They did a great job of creating plays and improved on their interior passing, much to the joy of coach Thad Matta. They had 22 points in the paint just in the first half. The Buckeyes are also beginning to establish who their secondary scorers are, which is very important to have when Ross isn’t on top of his game. Those secondary scorers are likely to be Lenzelle Smith, Jr. and Williams. Smith Jr. led the team on Wednesday night with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Williams totaled 12 points and nine rebounds and added six blocks. The Buckeyes made over 50 percent of their field goal attempts.
This athletic performance of the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball proves why they are the No. 2 team in the nation. The fact that they have finally found their offensive rhythm and can contribute well on both sides of the ball is something Matta should feel great about, especially as they head towards tougher competition.
The Buckeyes found the perfect balance and it proved to be very successful. They just keep on getting better.