Where are the twin towers in Dallas Lauderdale and B.J. Mullens? Why, aside from Lauderdale, is there no inside defense in OSU's zone? Why do the Buckeyes still struggle mightily to rebound out of that zone? Who will emerge as the team's go-to shooter when OSU desperately needs a basket?
These are all legit questions, and I'm not sure we will get answers to all of them for some time. The Bowling Green game did not kill all the optimism I felt after the Delaware State game, but it sure did temper it a bit.
I think … the team needs to be concerned about the fact that other teams are finding holes in OSU's zone defense. The Falcons had plenty of open looks, and had they connected on just a few more of them the final outcome easily could have been different.
After the game, head coach Thad Matta said he felt like his players were wearing concrete shoes judging by how they moved on the court. The Buckeyes have today (Tuesday) off, and they desperately needed it.
Still, there needs to be better closing speed, particularly in the corners, for this defense to reach the level it played at last season.
I think … that although confidence is never a bad thing, the confidence this year's team has might be a bit misplaced. After the BG game, Evan Turner, David Lighty and Jon Diebler all said they had no reason to panic when the Falcons made a second-half run because the Buckeyes go so hard in practice they knew they could withstand that.
That sort of outlook is noble, but I'm not sure there is a direct correlation between the two. I'd be willing to bet that other teams practice hard too, and that doing so does not necessarily mean you will be better than another team.
That being said, I think it said something that this young team did not panic when suddenly faced with a second-half deficit. I think this team is clearly ahead of last year's team from a confidence standpoint and that bodes well for the future.
I think … that Dallas Lauderdale might be Ken Johnson Jr. The sophomore has 13 blocks in the first two games and is lightning-quick at leaping off the floor to block shots. He affected BGSU's entire offense and prevented them from driving the lane, proving to be the best deterrent the Buckeyes had.
I think … that Diebler is growing into a solid all-around player right in front of our eyes but that people will pay too much attention to his three-point shooting percentage to notice.
I think … that Mullens' status as a favorite to be the top pick in the NBA Draft next year is on indefinite hiatus. The 7-0 freshman center has been described by Matta as being bigger than Greg Oden, but he plays with about one-fourth as much intensity.
It's only two games into the season and I'm willing to give Mullens more time to develop and grow into a dominant player, but right now he barely passes as a bit player in this lineup. There's no excuse to have a shot attempt result in a jump ball with the possession arrow going the other way when you are as tall as Mullens. In addition, he has already taken far too many fade-away jumpers near the basket for a player of his size.
I did not see Mullens play in high school, but it looks like he was never challenged on a physical level like he is being challenged right now. I can only imagine how much Lauderdale beats him up on a daily basis in practice.
Mullens has a long way to go. A long way.
I think … I'm concerned that Turner reverted to form with five turnovers last night against the Falcons. That is a statistic this OSU team can not afford to have to overcome on a nightly basis. He offset his turnovers in the first game of the season with steals. Whether he plays more like he did against Delaware State or like he did against BGSU will go a long way toward determining how the Buckeyes will fare this season.