Senior forward David Lighty likes to use the word "unflappable" when describing how the team plays when things get tough, but they certainly looked flapped in this one. The Buckeyes committed two unenforced turnovers in the final two minutes of the game that helped the Wildcats draw even and missed more free throws down the stretch than I care to count.
It went along with the fact that the Buckeyes committed several fouls in the final seconds of the shot clock and allowed too many offensive rebounds that helped the Wildcats maintain possession for at least a minute at a time. After the game, head coach Thad Matta pointed out that some of the NU offensive boards were grabbed behind the three-point line. Situations like that are almost impossible to simulate in practice, but there is one way to protect against that.
When you are guarding your man and the shot goes up, locate him and put your butt squarely on him no matter how far you are from the basket. That might help cut down on the long rebounds.
It was not pretty by any stretch of the definition, but it was a victory. To be unbeaten halfway through the Big Ten schedule is an impressive feat, especially when only one other team has two losses or less.
I think … that this was not a day the Buckeyes will use to highlight Lighty's defensive prowess.
The senior obviously knows how to play defense and has manned up on a number of exceptional players throughout his career, but this was clearly not his day. The senior was beaten to the baseline, taken off the dribble and looked out of sync for much of the contest.
The Wildcats play a different style of basketball that might have given Lighty some problems, but I would not expect a player of his caliber and experience to have looked like he did in this one.
I think … that although it was not a great game for him by any stretch of the definition, Jon Diebler deserves a lot of credit.
The senior guard hit his only three-pointer immediately after the Wildcats took the lead with less than four minutes remaining. It was only his third shot attempt. Although he was not getting looks, Diebler never appeared frustrated and did not resort to gunning shots or forcing things that were not there.
Instead, he stayed patient, found his moment to contribute and seized upon it. He went the full 40 minutes in the win, which shows that he was doing something right.
Exactly what you want from a senior.
I think … that I found a stat that should blow your mind.
In seven minutes of action, freshman forward Deshaun Thomas attempted exactly zero shots. What else can you say?