It’s a real good thing the Ohio State Buckeyes had Aaron Craft for their Big Ten opener against the Purdue Boilermakers. The senior provided the spark and led the way over the upset-minded Boilermakers.
If you’re the opposing team coming in to play Purdue, you better be ready for a rough crowd and that’s exactly what the Buckeyes were given. Not only was the team upset-minded, but the entire fan base was as well. Thanks to the level-headed play of Craft, Thad Matta‘s bunch were able to win the conference opener and improve to 14-0.
Craft did it all for the Buckeyes. He played all 40 minutes of the game and was the most important player on the floor, despite LaQuinton Ross dropping a game-high 25 points. He picked up eight rebounds (all defensive), 10 assists, four steals, one block and seven points. He did a good job setting up his teammates to make plays as well as running their transition offense.
While Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. are the Buckeyes’ main scorers, it’s clear that this team will need Craft to get through their Big Ten schedule. With the conference being one of the most fierce defensively, they need the best defender in the country, Aaron Craft, if they want to be in a good position come March. While scorers are emerging, defensively they lose a lot with Craft on the bench.
Through their non-conference schedule, Craft was fairly quiet as Ohio State’s scorers took center stage. Now that the Buckeyes are moving into their Big Ten schedule and defense becomes even more important, Craft will become an even more essential piece to the Buckeyes’ puzzle; if it’s even possible for him to be an even more important piece.