Indiana jumped out to an early 12-4 lead but after an early time out for the Buckeyes the game would begin to swing in Ohio State’s favor. Although Indiana shot the ball well (52 percent) coach Thad Matta did a great job switching up the defense on the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes played solid man-to-man defense, but also applied full court pressure and trapped Indiana’s ball handlers in the half court at different times throughout the game which lead to 15 Indiana turnovers. Several players had a strong impact on the game for the Buckeyes, Senior point guard Shannon Scott played well on both ends of the floor and sophomore Marc Loving contributed 12 points and five rebounds, but Ohio State was led by their two talented freshman Jae’Sean Tate and D’Angelo Russell.
Tate is a very active player and does all of the little things in a game that may not show up in the stat sheet. He was rewarded for his efforts by coach Matta, when he made his first start three nights ago against Northwestern. Although the offense is not often ran through Tate, he is a very talented and capable player. He has all of the tools to become a great two-way player. He plays his best ball around the basket and at 6’4 he does a great job battling on the boards for rebounds.
On offense he is constantly moving without the basketball and cutting to the lane and finishing at the rim. He does a great job posting up when smaller players switch on him. Tate has excellent feet and in today’s game he displayed some nice post moves during crucial moments in the second half. Making just his second start today the local product from nearby Pickerington Central High School had a huge impact on the game, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds.
The sensational freshman Russell did it all for the Buckeyes today. He was driving, dishing and swishing the basketball all afternoon as the Hoosiers had no answer for him. Although Russell isn’t the Buckeyes point guard, Ohio State’s offense is mostly ran through him, and for good reason. Russell is a proven scorer averaging 19.3 points per game, but his playmaking ability for his teammates is what makes him such a special talent. Russell is a more than willing passer and he has excellent court vision, it’s beginning to become the norm for him to have at least one spectacular pass in a game that leaves the entire arena buzzing.
Russell was unstoppable today scoring the ball from inside and out, and feeding his teammates for easy baskets. He finished the contest with 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Russell is an outstanding all-around player, and his talent will translate to the NBA. It’s quickly becoming apparent that will likely be after this season as he is moving rapidly up the NBA Draft board. He’ll likely be in the Top-5 when NetScouts Basketball comes out with their 2015 NBA Mock Draft.
The Buckeyes will try to extend their winning streak to three and also attempt to beat another ranked team on Thursday when they host 13th ranked Maryland. The Hoosiers will stay on the road and try to rebound from this loss as they will face the Purdue Boilermakers.
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