The RedHawks held the ball for much of the game and kept the Buckeyes from establishing any sort of offensive rhythm in the contest. With as many weapons as OSU has, I would be surprised if it does not see similar approaches when Big Ten season rolls around.
Yes, the Big Ten is going to be deeper and more athletic than in past years. Yes, I expect it to be a dogfight on most nights. However, I am not sure there are a ton of teams who can match the Buckeyes athlete-to-athlete. As a result, this might be something we see with more regularity than OSU might like to see.
It wasn't always pretty, but consider it a hard-fought victory and move on.
I think … that again, credit has to go to fifth-year senior forward David Lighty for having another big game. With the RedHawks holding the ball, Lighty showed a great first step to the basket and consistently found driving room.
Credit to him for seeing the mismatch and finding ways to exploit it. When he is under control, Lighty is one of the best drivers in the Big Ten. Plus, on this night his outside shot was falling as he hit all four of his three-point attempts.
When he hit his final trey with a little more than three minutes left, it was so pretty that even the official smiled at Lighty as he backpedaled down the court.
I think … that in not having William Buford on Tuesday night, the Buckeyes saw how much the junior means to this year's squad.
He only had seven points, but he did plenty that did not show up on the stat sheet. Buford was all over the court while in action and one play stood out in my mind.
With a loose ball along the sideline, Buford and one of Miami's players went diving for the ball. When OSU was awarded possession, the junior Buckeye was sat upright near midcourt and pumping his left fist, grinning. Great hustle play.
Plus, head coach Thad Matta said after the game that not having Buford forced his hand into playing Lighty, Jon Diebler and Aaron Craft for the entire 40 minutes. This time, all but Lighty got some solid time off. The fifth-year senior went for 36 minutes while Diebler went for 29 and Craft 26.
That's more manageable and a better sign for when Big Ten play rolls around.
Buford admitted to being winded as the game went on and he went 30 minutes against the RedHawks. It was a good step back into the lineup for Buford.
I think … that I will never be able to make up my mind what I think about freshman Deshaun Thomas.
He looks deliberate with his motions and awkward at times, almost like he woke up and was suddenly his listed height of 6-6. But he scores. He finds ways to get to the basket. It's almost uncanny in the early going.
I have not seen a scorer like him in my five years of covering the Buckeyes. He can hit the occasional open jumper, but I would not classify him as a shooter. He can post up, but I would not describe him as a true post player.
Matta said the other day that the ball seems to just find its way into Thomas' hands. When it does, he is usually in position to put it through the net somehow.
He is the most unreliable scorer I have seen in some time, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment.