(Image courtesy alamy.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
The, not for long, #11 ranked Buckeyes (11-4, 1-3) went in to College Park to play a tough #12 Maryland (13-2, 3-1) team and came out with a 67-55 loss. Amazingly, they has 21 more FG attempts than Maryland and still managed to lose by double digits.
The 2018-2019 Buckeyes began the year 12-1, then lost the month of January by going 1-6 and finishing the season 20-15, 8-12. The current season had Ohio State beginning 11-1 until they ran into the post-holiday blues. Since Christmas they are 0-3 and looking bad doing so.
I’m going to look at this game from a “frontcourt” and a “backcourt” perspective.
Let’s get this out of the way and state the Buckeyes really miss Kyle Young. Against Maryland’s various big (6’10’ – 7’2″) front line, Kaleb understandably struggled. Throughout the season, Kaleb and Kyle average approximately 27 minutes per game. In Kyle’s absence, there hasn’t been a “Kyle-like” presence to complement Kaleb. E.J. Liddell isn’t quite there yet, Alonzo Gaffney has a ways to go and Ibrahima Diallo is a work in progress. A good bit of potential, but not much immediate relief.
The size and athleticism of Maryland’s front court had a profound affect on OSU’s shooting. Shots were hurried and trajectories were altered. Ohio State was out of their comfort zone in shooting.
Guard play, particularly Luther Mohammad, CJ Walker and Duane Washington, Jr was horrible. This trio contributed 10 points on 13% (3-23) shooting. They were 0-fer-15 from 3-pt range. (Save shooting out of a slump for practice, please). They also combined for 4 assists and 4 turnovers. They did pull down a combined 12 rebounds, however.
In addition to offensive shortcomings, their defense wasn’t any better. Maryland’s four guards scored 46 points of 45% shooting. Buckeye guards were a step slow and out of position. They got beat off the dribble and they could not recover to defend the 3-point line.
The Buckeyes were again top-heavy and limited in scoring with three players accounting for 43 of their 55 points. Kaleb Wesson’s 17 points led the team, followed by Andre Wesson and D.J. Carton with 14 points each. Kaleb pulled in a game high 9 rebounds. D.J. and Kaleb each had 3 assists. Kaleb had 4 turnovers.
The Terrapins had three players in double figures. Anthony Cowan had a game high 20 points, followed by Jalen “Stick” Smith (11) and Darryl Morsell (10). Smith had 7 rebounds and Eric Ayala had a game high 4 assists.
Ohio State shot 31% (21-67) from the field, 18% (5-27) from 3-point range and 80% (8-10) from the foul line.
Maryland shot 45% from the field (21-46), 44% (8-18) from 3-point range and 71% (17-24) from the foul line.
This is the second consecutive game where Ohio State shot ~31% from the field. OSU’s 80% free throw shooting is quite good, but the 10 attempts are quite low.
If you’re curious, here’s the box score.
The Buckeyes head to Bloomington, IN to play the Indiana Hoosiers (12-3, 2-2). The game is scheduled for Saturday, January 11th with tip-off at 12:00 pm ET. You can watch the game on FOX or listen to it on TuneIn. Or both.