(Photo courtesy cleveland.com. Game information courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

Ohio State (13-9, 4-5) were low energy and out-of-sync in their loss to Iowa (12-10, 4-5), 85-72 on Saturday evening at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Buckeyes started slow, offensively and defensively, and never found a rhythm at either end of the floor. Coming off two high effort games, this was disappointing.

In JC’s preview, he felt that both teams were ‘better than advertised’. Clearly, he was half right. He also cautioned us about Peter Jok, Nicholas Baer and Cordell Pemsl. Jok did not dress (injury), but Baer (6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) and Pemsl (6 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists) had productive games.

The Buckeyes scored 29 points in the 1st half; T-3rd worst half in their 9 Conference games. The other “worst”halfs were 27 points (Minnesota, Wisconsin) and 29 points (Illinois). Interestingly, all these performances occurred in the first half of each game; clearly, the Buckeyes need to get out of the gates faster.

What the hell happened this time? Ohio State shot the ball very poorly against the Iowa zone defense; 18% (2-11) from 3-pt and 34% ( 11-32) overall. They also committed 8 turnovers. This was a tough combination of turning the ball over frequently, then missing shots when they did manage to get shots off.

The first half started out painfully slow for both teams. In the first 4:30 of play, Ohio State was 2-11 from the field. Iowa was 2-8 with 2 turnovers. Iowa stretched the lead to 8 points until the last 10 seconds of the half when Jordan Bohannon hit a last second, step-back jump-shot from 25′ or so, as the shot clock was winding down to zero.

In the second half, Ohio State closed the gap to 9 points several times, the last at the 12:07 mark, 57-48. Five minutes later, the Hawkeyes had extended the lead to 20 points (72-52). If you had something else to do, now would have been a good time to do it.

The Buckeyes had three players score in double figures;  Jae’Sean Tate (17 points), Kam Williams (14) and JaQuan Lyle (12). Tate also led the team in rebounding with 7, although he was not credited with any offensive rebounds. This was not a good game, at all for Trevor Thompson. His line score was 0 points (0-2 from the field), 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers and 5 fouls. He saw only 13 minutes of game time due to foul trouble.

The Hawkeyes had four players in double figures: Brady Ellison (17 points), Ryan Kriener (14), Tyler Cook (13) and Jordan Bohannan (12). Nicholas Baer led Iowa with 8 rebounds.

Thoughts and opinions…

  • The 85 points allowed are an obvious “tell”, but this was not a good defensive game by Ohio State. They did not work well through screens, they did not switch well on pick & roll, they did not rotate well on weak side defensive help, etc. They either looked like they weren’t sure what to do, or if they did, it was some pretty half-assed efforts. Something else to work on, I guess.
  • Trevor Thompson did not appear to be mentally ready to play against Iowa. Interestingly, his line score from last season’s Iowa game (0-3 from the field, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 20 minutes) were nearly duplicated Saturday. Maybe Trevor just doesn’t match up well against the Hawkeyes.
  • This clearly provided ample playing time for Micah Potter ( 18 minutes) and David Bell (7 minutes). They combined for 9 points (3-6 field goals) and 6 rebounds. I thought that Bell played decently well, showing very good energy and enthusiasm. Potter was decent enough, too, but Iowa really “schooled” him on defense.
  • Here’s an example;  at about the 16:00 mark in the game, Iowa’s Tyler Cook had the ball down low in the right block, guarded by Potter. Cook feinted to his right (inside), then drop-stepped to the baseline and was past Potter before Micah knew what hit him. Cook went past the basket for a reverse layup, drawing a foul on Potter. The beauty of this was by going past the basket, he used is as a shield to prevent Potter from blocking the shot. Cook also bet on Ohio State not providing weak side defensive support.
  • Iowa shot 50% from the floor and 43% from 3-pt range. Granted, Iowa was ‘hot’ (Bohannon/Ellingson were 9-17) from long range, but better off ball rotation and awareness could have mitigated this a bit. The other issue was OSU’s lack of urgency to get back and set on defense. Despite Iowa having 3 less turnovers (9-12) than Ohio State, they scored 12 more points (18-6) off turnovers than the Buckeyes.
  • Despite both teams having 12 offensive rebounds each, Iowa outscored Ohio State  17-6 on ‘second chance points’. This could somewhat be a function of Iowa overall shooting better (50% vs 42%) from the field.

This was another “good effort” game by the Buckeyes, and with much better results than their previous game. If Thad can continue to get the energy, along with some “basketball IQ” from this team, I know we’ll see significant improvement as we come down the last month of the schedule. And, if this team shows improvement while grinding through a conference schedule, that’s a good thing.


Up Next

The Buckeyes travel back to the VCA to host #22 Maryland (19-2, 7-1) Tuesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game can be seen on ESPN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.