Ohio State Basketball: Buckeyes have pulled together nicely

The Ohio State basketball team has really pulled together and has won three straight games. The last two have been very impressive.

Heading into the Northwestern game the Ohio State basketball team was only 2-6 in Big Ten play but pulled out a 12 point win and followed that up with wins over Indiana and Michigan. The last two victories have been most impressive because both opponents may be NCAA Tournament teams and the Buckeyes have been short-handed.

When D.J. Carton decided to step away from the team to take care of a health issue there were questions how Ohio State would fill that void. The players have rallied with great effort, team play and have stepped up individually as needed.

If you happened to miss those two games, checking out the numbers will bear this out. First a look at a defensive performance and rebounding, the two best stats to determine effort.

The Buckeyes held the Hoosiers to 59 points even though they were 7-12 from behind the arc. Indiana was only 12-30 on two point shots.

Ohio State had a 31-24 advantage on the boards and 11-4 on offensive rebounds.

The Buckeyes distributed the ball well and had 19 assists on 26 made shots. Four players were in double figures as well.

Two players in particular really stepped up. C.J. Walker gave Chris Holtmann 36 good minutes scoring 14 points, Justin Ahrens scored 11 on 4-6 shooting in 14 minutes.

Tuesday’s win played out differently, but not because of effort or team play.

Ohio State held Michigan to 33.3 percent shooting and 58 points. The Buckeyes did lose the rebounding battle as the Wolverines were strong on the boards.

The assist to shots made ratio (12-24) was down as well but three players took over the scoring load. Kaleb Wesson led the way with 23 points, Duane Washington scored 17 and Kyle Young 12.

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It has been quite a turnaround for coach Holtmann’s team after dropping to 2-6 in Big Ten play. If the Buckeyes continue playing with great effort on both ends of the court, and a couple of players step on offense every game, they will be NCAA Tournament bound.


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