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Basketball columnist Lee Caryer assesses which Big Ten schools have the easiest and toughest schedules. Plus, he looks at the Chicago State game and has more observations.
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Thanks Lee, that was great insight as usual.
Another great article, Lee. I always look forward to your insights on our Buckeyes. Over the past several years I have been surprised about how little it takes to get numerous Bucknuts posters to jump off the bandwagon of the roundballers. One or two losses and it seems as if half the folks with a computer are as skilled and insightful as Magic and Larry and MJ combined and Thad is suddenly some dolt from the hills that fell off the hay wagon. Well, I imagine that goes with the territory. I have followed the Bucks since the Jerry Lucas teams and I am really thankful we have Thad. He may be one coach that can rival Fred Taylor in skills and accomplishments when all is said and done. Anyway, it is fun to watch his teams.
Lee, can we afford to have Thomas and Smith to shoot so poorly from the charity stripe? And what is the reason for the lack of care with such opportunities?
docMike, I am not one to pick between Taylor and Matta, since the game has changed so, so much. Fred is in the HOF; Thad has had a great first eight years here, and has established a quality program for the future. I am thankful for both. However, Matta has an immediate problem in the post, which has to be solved through coaching, player development and recruiting.
goodsons, one major problem amplifies any minor problem. We have a major deficiency in the post, and have to cover it up every time we play a reasonable opponent. To be good, we have to minimize the problem in that area and excel at every other. If free throw shooting is any less than a plus, it is a big deal.
Lee: You provide more Big Ten and Buckeye basketball insight than I can find anywhere else on the internet. However, I am not as enamored with Nik's home video as you apparently are. It was on his backyard court. I can remember when even you shot like that in your own backyard. Though, your court wasn't nearly as nice as his.
This post was edited by hinghambuckeye on 12/31/2012 at 9:40 AM
I really appreciate your columns--you have a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight. I especially appreciate it due to the fact that I never played any organized basketball, and don't have any true insider knowledge of the way the game should be played. As a life-long sports fan, I do gain impressions, however, and have watched a lot of college basketball over the years. I think Matta has done a tremendous job at OSU, and believe that all OSU fans should be extremely supportive of him, and grateful to have him here. One minor criticism I have is that he is a bit too passive as a bench coach. In the Kansas game, when the Bucks made a mini run to take (I believe) a 7 point lead, Self immediately called time out. After that time out, Kansas came out and played much better and ended up with the lead at half time. Matta seldom seems to call time outs to halt the other team's momentum, and doesn't seem to make adjustments to stop hot players. You mentioned Paul, who torched the Bucks last year. All during that game, I was wondering why he didn't switch Craft to defend Paul, but it didn't happen until the re-match. Matta seems to expect the team to play through things, and doesn't actively step in much during the game. Do you think he is a bit too passive as a bench coach?
Also, really good teams are going to try and double team Thomas every time he gets the ball in the half court offense (as Kansas did). Why doesn't OSU work harder to get him the ball off screens? Indiana under Knight used to punish teams with its screens--and OSU is going to need to find a way to get Thomas more shots in the half court game when they play good teams. Do you agree? Thanks again for your contributions to this site.
Great article! I am not sure they will be able to sufficiently address the post weakness week in and week out. However, with Scott's development and maturity, they will be able to rely more heavily on the transition and perimeter game, as well as three-guard sets. They will need Lenzelle and Sam to attack the glass and hit the boards, or rebounding may be a challenge.
Love the additonal quotes from the various broadcasters, especially the one about TV Teddy Valentine! He (along with Eddy Hightower, Ted Hillary, and Jim Burr) officiated some of the games that I played in 30 years ago in the NAIA. He could put on a show then!
Lee pretty describes why it's absolutely foolish to give up on this right now. I remember last year people weren't sure if the Buckeyes would get out of the second round with the way they were playing yet went to the Final Four and were a bad half away from playing Kentucky for the NC. Matta teams almost always get better as the season goes on so let's wait and see what happens shall we? With the lack of a truly dominant team this year, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Buckeyes get back to the FF. I've watched a lot of the top teams and absolutely none of them in particular scare me, not like Kentucky last year.
1buck, Thank you. As far as coaching goes, with experienced, skilled players, sometimes the best thing to do is get out of their way. It worked for Matta in 2011 for most of the year, and for John Wooden at UCLA for most of the 1960s. Last year, between games, Matta did a tremendous job of redirecting a team which could have gone into the tank at times. However, as I wrote last week, this year he does not have great skilled players. He must reach into that bag of tricks I requested for him from Santa and manufacture a win or two.
Remember that DT is limited in that he cannot make a move from the perimeter and get to the basket. This will hurt him in the NBA, and reduces ways for him to score here. I do agree with you that the coaches could find other ways to get him opportunities to score.
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