I’ve been waiting for Bob’s report on Saturday afternoon’s big game in Columbus. You know, the one being played where the home team never loses? Bob is good at pre-game analysis but silent despondency must set in when the Bucks lose. Here’s my take.
Saturday’s game was purported to be basketball and the players all dressed in what seemed to be basketball uniforms. There were the appropriate number of referees and more coaches than players, as is normal. The fans were all dressed in numbingly stupid attire and so it certainly appeared to be a setting for a basketball game. Apparently, all of the appearance of a basketball game was only a ruse to attract television money and viewers to see a game of “toss the brick”. Maybe some organization needed the exposure to obtain standing to introduce it as a new Olympic sport.
When the game started it looked like an orange round ball was being tossed in the air, but it turned out to be an orange rectangular piece of clay. It seldom went in the hoop and through the net. When thrown it clanged or clunked on the metal rim and fell, usually, into the other teams’ hands. That team then ran to the other end of the floor and threw the brick at their hoop where it again clanged or clunked into the opponents’ hands and the same scenario was repeated again and again at the opposite end of the court. There was one point in which neither team scored from the field for, as I recall the announcer saying, three minutes. That is fairly incredible for teams that play at the high a level those two teams do and who have as much basketball talent as they are supposed to have.
The Buckeyes couldn’t muster 50 points on their home court where they were supposed to be unbeatable. They must have thought that the streak alone would carry them.
Maybe the problem is they are basketball players and the game of bricks threw them off. In any case, neither team had much to be pleased with – except of course Michigan State can be pleased it won.
OSU’s redemption lies in the defensive play of Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes can be pleased they have Craft. A more tenacious defender is seldom seen. Sullinger was disappointing, but I think that the announcing team was correct in saying that his team mates need to remember that he is a force to be reckoned with even if he appears to be covered. Get the ball to him underneath and sooner or later, probably sooner, he will get it in the hoop.
Finally, I didn’t understand why OSU’s guys thought they needed to run and shoot instead of moving the ball around. It should have become quickly apparent that run and shoot was not the answer to getting their game on track. In its losses, OSU does seem to lose focus – a trait that doesn’t bode well for the Finals.
If these are the two best teams in the Big 10, their play on Saturday is not a good sign that the National Championship will end up in that Conference this year. For Bob and other OSU alums and die-hard fans, I hope Saturday was just an aberration. Any more lapses from Matta’s boys like Saturday’s and Bob will be back to writing about Urban-ball and the “new” Buckeye football team.