Cleaning The Glass: Siena Edition

It was far from a thing of beauty when Ohio State dropped a double-overtime decision to Siena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. BuckeyeSports.com men's basketball beat writer Adam Jardy shares his thoughts on the loss in this edition of Cleaning The Glass.

DAYTON – I think … that there was enough chaos in Ohio State's loss to Siena that I could sit here and write for the next week solid about my thoughts on the loss.

But what I think it boils down to is that the game itself was a microcosm of what this season was: a year of frustratingly inconsistent play from the Buckeyes sprinkled in with flashes of greatness. We some aspects of that in the loss to the Saints.

On one hand, the Buckeyes forced yet another opponent to shoot terrible from the floor. Siena was 24 for 72 – the most shots OSU has given up all season – good for 33.3 percent. That should be enough to win you a basketball game.

But that's about where the good statistics stop for the Buckeyes. Twenty turnovers. A 53-37 debacle on the glass exacerbated by the fact that OSU gave up 23 offensive rebounds. Both totals are season highs allowed by the Buckeyes. The fact that Siena's tallest player was 6-9 and 7-0 B.J. Mullens had three total rebounds.

The fact that the Buckeyes looked absolutely helpless against Siena's pressure might be the most baffling, however. After crossing half court, the last place to pick up your dribble is in the corner. That gives the opponent two extra defenders: the sideline and the half-court line. That is where OSU would take the ball and stop for reasons that escape me.

In addition, P.J. Hill told me after the game that Siena's point man in the zone was long and that it made OSU's job of getting the ball across half court even more difficult. All season long, I've heard about how OSU's length on defense has been their asset. Haven't they been practicing against this very scenario for months now?

I think that this team was what it was: a team playing without a key player (David Lighty) or a point guard and relying too much on players without enough experience. In the end, that was just way too much to overcome in one of the ugliest games I've ever watched from start to double-overtime finish.

I think … that with that being said, Evan Turner and William Buford will be back. Turner strikes me as a James Laurinaitis or Malcolm Jenkins type: he enjoys college, he feels he has more to accomplish in Columbus and he does not want to miss out on his goals.

There is obviously plenty of time and room for either of them to change their minds, but I believe them when they tell me they're coming back. It seems genuine, as do their motives.

B.J. Mullens is gone, and we all need to accept it and move on.

I think … that Siena is going to lose by about 40 points to Louisville.

I think … that what this team needs most in the offseason is for someone else to emerge capable of consistently carrying the load aside from Evan Turner in any given game.

Across the board, the Buckeyes struggled. Turner needed 18 shots and eight more from the charity stripe to get to his game-high 25, but he didn't get much support. William Buford was 4 for 12 from the field and had 11 points, while Jon Diebler looked affected by his early-game leg injury and was 2 for 11 from three and 2 for 12 overall.

That's not going to get the job done, especially when the other team scores 74 points.

I think … that how far Jeremie Simmons has fallen in the eyes of the coaches was very pointedly demonstrated in this game.

Although Hill struggled for large portions of the game and finished tied for a team high with five turnovers, he never once came off the floor in overtime. Simmons finished with three points in 10 minutes of action.

I love Hill's hustle and energy, but if there was any other option to run the point down the stretch I have to think Thad Matta would've gone to it. Simmons was not an option, and he has an amazing amount of work to put in this summer.


Buckeye Sports Top Stories