Todd Mayo struggles to score vs Ohio State defense down low.
#2. Marquette lacks scoring in the backcourt.
Derrick Wilson (1-6), Jake Thomas (0-7) and Todd Mayo (3-15) all struggled to shoot the basketball vs. Ohio State. As a team, Marquette was 10 of 53 (18.9%) from the field. It was just one of those games where the shot was not falling. Wilson admitted that the team came out flat to begin the second half when Ohio State started to pull away and grab the momentum for good. Unfortunately for Marquette, their usually strong post presence was well defended by Ohio State and struggled too making for a very low scoring affair. Davante Gardner, Chris Otule and Jamil Wilson all were in foul trouble and each picked up two fouls before halftime so it was tough to establish rhythm offensively.
[Buzz Williams looks on as Derrick Wilson takes it up court]
3. Defensive game all-around for both teams.
Coach Williams was pleased how his guys were able to hold a nationally ranked top 10 team in Ohio State to 52 points. Marquette outrebounded Ohio State on the glass, 50-34. Steve Taylor Jr. had another impressive showing grabbing a team-high 9 boards. Marquette had 10 second chance points from their 18 offensive rebounds. However, Ohio State shot 57.7% in the second half to help break a first half scoring drought and cruise to victory.
Steve Taylor struggles to score inside vs Ohio State.
4. Ohio State thrived in transition and paint.
The Buckeyes scored 16 points on the fast break and were stellar in transition. Ohio State also outscored Marquette in the paint, 26-16. Williams stated after the game that 61% of Ohio State's points in Big Ten Conference play last season came off penetrate and pitch. Marquette's 2-3 zone was effective at times until Ohio State got hot shooting in the second half and figured out how to attack and score against it. Marquette committed 20 turnovers which Ohio State fed off also. Sixteen of Ohio State's 22 baskets were assisted. Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson led the Buckeyes with 13 points apiece. Aaron Craft followed with 10 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds.
5. Don't Overreact. MU will be a Sweet 16 team by March.
In my initial preseason predictions, I expected Marquette to fall to the Ohio State Buckeyes even on their home floor where they have been so dominant over the past year. For Williams, it's not about wins in November, it's about wins in March which is why Marquette has had such good NCAA tournament success and three straight appearances in the Sweet 16. "When you play this caliber of a game in the first week of the season, I do think you learn a lot about your team," said Williams. "But, will that help us open our eyes to what we have to do to get better? I hope." Williams was quick to take 100% blame for the loss and will look to improve as the Golden Eagles hit the court again on Nov. 21 vs. New Hampshire at the BMO Harris Bradley Center for a 7 p.m. CT tipoff.