Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ohio State Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: I was plenty nervous going into this year (in general) and this game (in particular). You only learn so much about your team before Christmas. But, what a great start to the big ten season.

Basketball has its ups and downs. This was an up. Let’s enjoy it.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW had a good offensive day, a great defensive day, and our best defensive rebounding performance of the year to seal a 22 point blowout.

Pace: The game was a deliberate 59 possessions. That makes it the 11 fewest possessions of the year.

Efficiency: Was it offense or defense? Most definitely defense, but offense was good too.

OSU scored at .73 PPP. For the year we had been giving up .89. So, they actually scored the third fewest points of the year against us. Only Cal Poly (.65) and Oakland (.68 – yes, we did play a team named Oakland way back when) scored fewer points.

On offense, UW scored 1.10 PPP. We have been averaging 1.15, so scoring was down somewhat. But, 1.10 is more than our in conference scoring rate last year, which was best in conference.

Shooting: UW dominated in all phases of the offense – Outside the arc, inside the arc, and at the line. UW took more threes than usual (48% compared to our usual 35% of FGA's) and hit them.

eFG%: OSU had an eFG% of 37%. Yikes! Going into the game, OSU was at 60.3%, #3 in the nation. Didn’t see that one coming …

Meanwhile, UW cruised to 58% eFG%, better than the 54% we had experienced this year.

3 pt shooting: OSU took 13 3’s and made 4 for 31%. They had been hitting at a stunning 42%, or #22 in the nation.

Meanwhile, UW took 21 and hit 10 for 48%. UW scored a plus 18 points beyond the arc.

2pt shooting: Inside the arc, OSU did not fare much better. OSU was 10 of 30 for 33%. OSU had been hitting an eye-popping 60%, or #2 in the nation. Didn’t see that one coming.

UW took 6 fewer shots (instead they launched 3’s productively) and scored one more basket. UW was 11 of 24 for 46%. UW was actually better from deep than inside today (48% to 46%).

So, UW gained another 2 points from inside.

1pt shooting: UW’s FT defense was great! OSU scored 11 on 19 FTA’s (58%), while UW was a sterling 13 of 16 for 81%. UW picked up our final 2 point advantage at the line.

Lauderdale, Buford, Simmons and Sarikopoulous were a combined 1-6. Sarikopoulous may have set a record for the world’s ugliest FTA in D1 history.

Rebounding: UW had our best defensive rebounding day of the year and worst offensive rebounding day of the year. But, as you know from reading the John Gassaway essay on rebounding, controlling the defensive boards is mission #1. That makes it a good rebounding day.

UW Defensive end: There were 32 rebounding opportunities and OSU only got 4. Wow! UW snarfed up 88% of OSU’s misses. Going into the game we were leading the nation giving up only 24.7% offensive rebounds to our opponents. We should improve that number.

UW Offensive End: UW’s offensive end had 27 opportunities and UW got 6 or 22%. We typically get 33%, which is on the national average. So, that was a rather poor offensive rebounding day, but we had a net advantage given our effectiveness on the other end of the court.

Turnovers: Not much news on turnovers. OSU had 12 TO’s (20%) to UW’s 11 (19%). UW typically turns it over at 16%, which is excellent (#9 nationally) while OSU is also good at 17% (#24 nationally). UW had one extra productive possession, which does not seem like a big deal when you win by 22. But, with a closer game, it matters.

Fouls: Both teams were whistled for 16 fouls. This is our average and 5 fewer than our opponents usually get. This translated into 19 FTA’s for OSU and 16 for UW. We shot better and got one extra point from the line.

The day lost 6 on the “We make more free throws than our opponent attempts” scoreboard. We are now at:

Opp Att. 227

UW Made 207

Difference -20

Playing time: Bo went 8 deep (10 or more minutes). JBO lead the way, again, with 36 minutes. Hughes had 34. Leuer only played 18 (yet we won in blowout – go figure). Evans had 20, Taylor 26 and Wilson played 13.

Notable Performances: Hughes had the best offensive line of the day – 16 points on 10 shots, 3-5 from deep, 3-4 from the line, 7 rebounds. His only blemish was 3 TO’s. Trevon, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.

Leuer got 11 only 5 shots, 1-1 from deep, 4-4 from the line. He also had 3 TO’s.

Taylor had another great day. He scored 12 on 7 shots, 2-4 from deep, 4-5 from the line, and no turnovers. Jordan, I salute you!

JBo and Diebler were locked in an intergalactic matter/antimatter mutual destruction wrestling match. They played the about the same minutes (40 to 36), scored the same (8 points apiece), and had similar shooting days (Diebler 2-7, 1-5 from deep to JBo’s 3-9, 2-7 from deep). Diebler had 3 TO’s and JBo had none. JBo outrebounded Diebler 4-2. JBo added yet another block. Go, JBo. I salute you!

Wilson scored 5 on 2 shots, 1-1 from deep and 2-2 from the line and chipped in 4 rebounds. He was tagged for 1 turnover. But, a quality outing against a quality opponent.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Diebler doesn't reach double digits. Diebler is a great 3-point shooter, but last season he was chased very well by J-Bo and Taylor, and I think that happens again, preventing Diebler from having a solid game. Hit. Diebler had 8 Good call!

2. Leuer scores more than 19. Leuer is a dominant force in the paint and his go-to move of the turnaround fadeaway is unblockable, even by Dallas Lauderdale. Miss. Leuer had 11, but he only played 18 minutes.

3. Badgers attempt more than 15 free throws. Wisconsin gets to the line a lot and OSU doesn't send their opponents to the line. Something's gotta give. Hit. UW tried 16 and made 13.

4. Badgers hold OSU to 54% or less inside the arc. OSU is the second best 2-point shooting team in the country, but Wisconsin is the 42nd best defending it. I think defense wins out on this one. Major hit. OSU hit only 33% from inside the arc. Who saw that coming?

Shetown’s Prediction: The Badgers win their 5th straight, cracking the Bucknuts 67-58 in 62 possessions. Hit. UW did even better 65 to 43 on 59 possessions.

Closing Thoughts: Bo adds to his legend. Not that many years ago beating a top 15 team was a rarity. Now we take it for granted that we will win at home and perhaps sneak one out on the road. We need not lose sight of Bo’s accomplishments.

I expect a whole different game on January 16 when we go to Columbus. That game will be the fourth road game in the next 5 games.

I really don’t think I need an answer to this, but it comes up when we lose, so why not bring it up when we win: Does UW have superior “athletes” to OSU or is athleticism overrated?

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