Jared Sullinger sat out today’s game, and Ohio State fell short and suffered its first loss of the season. Kansas shot the ball well, Thomas Robinson was a beast down low, and the Jayhawks pulled away from the Buckeyes at the end, 78-67.
However, I can’t be too discouraged by the Buckeyes’ play today. Clearly, the Buckeyes’ offense was out of sync without Sullinger in the game, and they are still adjusting to his absence in the middle. Nevertheless, and although Ohio State just could not buy a bucket in the first half, they hung in the game and consistently answered the Kansas surges with a surge of their own. Deshaun Thomas, and in the second half William Buford and Aaron Craft, made some big buckets to keep the Buckeyes within range — but Ohio State just could not get over the hump. Credit Kansas’ defense, and also their making some clutch buckets to stop Ohio State runs.
I liked the fact that the Buckeyes did not quit and kept hustling, and I also like the fact that the Buckeyes’ two highly touted freshmen, Amir Williams and Shannon Scott, played important minutes in a hostile arena. For all of the Ohio State players, this was a game that will toughen them up and get them ready for the Big Ten season. They aren’t going to play in many venues as loud and tough as Allen Fieldhouse.
I do, however, have one other thought after today’s game: Jared, get well soon!