Cleaning The Glass: Minnesota Road Edition

Evan Turner might be back on the court, but not all is rosy for Ohio State and head coach Thad Matta. After having dropped their third consecutive Big Ten road game to open the season, the Buckeyes have to keep looking for answers. Beat writer Adam Jardy offers his take on the loss to the Golden Gophers.

I think … that this team needs to remember how to play with Evan Turner.

Obvious, I know. When he was missing from action, the tenor of questions lobbed at the Ohio State players was about how much better things would be with the junior in the lineup. Saying that the Buckeyes missed him would be an understatement, but it was almost as if the expectation was that Turner was an absolute cure-all for the team's woes.

Now that he is back, it looks to me like his teammates are expecting him to do it all once again. I realize he's a talented player who is capable of putting the team on his back for long stretches at a time, but he's going to need more help than what he got against Minnesota.

Not to mention the fact that Turner is still getting comfortable with being back on the court. I don't think he's completely shaken what happened to him against Eastern Michigan from a mental standpoint, but he looked much better against the Golden Gophers than he did against Indiana a few days ago.

I don't see these as problems that can not be corrected, but the Buckeyes are going to have to start fixing them soon before hopes of an NCAA Tournament run start flickering.

I think … that P.J. Hill has to be lamenting the fact that he did not spend some time learning to play off the ball during the summer. After Turner moved to the point this summer, Hill said he never considered himself anything but a point guard throughout the process.

Given the way Jeremie Simmons continues to play, he has to be regretting that decision – and head coach Thad Matta has to start considering playing the Minnesota native off of the ball in place of Simmons.

Hill's playing time figures to rapidly approach zero yet again now that Turner is back and healthy, and Simmons' continued struggles make me wonder if Hill could be effective at the other guard spot.

Tell me which guard you have more confidence in when he squares up to shoot? Or guarding someone? Simmons continues to commit sloppy fouls on defense, and his shooting is showing no signs of improvement as of late.

Worst to me was a first-half turnover committed by Simmons. With OSU holding its largest lead of the game at five points, the Buckeyes found themselves in a three-on-one situation at the end of a fast break with Simmons pushing the ball.

Instead of getting it to the middle of the court, he kept it along the right wing and never forced the defender to make a move. He was cut off at the baseline and was whistled for traveling. This is basic basketball that a Division I player with any level of confidence is able to convert.

I just don't see what he brings to the court right now that I wouldn't rather try my hand at with Hill instead.

I think … that Dallas Lauderdale is officially slumping. A month ago, he was connecting on nearly 90 percent of his shots – a figure that was obviously aided by the fact that he was primarily dunking the ball.

Those open looks are not happening anymore, and the junior's post moves remain a work in progress giving the Buckeyes very little production from the paint. OSU needs to find ways to get Lauderdale scoring nearly 10 points a game if it wants to start trying to turn this season around.

Four rebounds and two points on one shot – one shot! – on the road for Lauderdale is not going to be the job done for the Buckeyes. There is a reason Kyle Madsen saw 16 minutes of action – the most he has seen in more than a month.


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