Ohio State needs to play more than just 6 or 7 guys


thad matta ohio state

In 2010, Ohio State won the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament and had a #2 seedin the NCAA Tournament. They were loaded with talent yet they only played 6-7 guys regularly, and were overly reliant on National Player of the Year Evan Turner.

They were upset by Tennessee in the sweet sixteen.

Last year, the Buckeyes were the tournament’s #1 overall seed, again loaded and deep, yet again over-reliant on one star- this time Jared Sullinger. Again they were upset in the tournament’s second weekend, and did not make the Elite Eight.

Coincidence? Is it time to go deeper on the bench to get fresher legs and go further? Tom Izzo at Michigan State is “Mr. March” and he more often plays 8-9 deep. Bo Ryan knows how to get his Badgers to the sweet sixteen, he likes playing role guys and giving his bench some minutes.

Maybe Thad Matta, hailed as a phenomenal recruiter, and rightfully so, needs to get called out for his coaching decisions. They have two McDonald’s All-Americans in Shannon Scott and Amir Williams in this year’s freshman class, and yet we hardly see them.

Seriously, if you going to recruit these players, why not use them? You have the minutes if you want to properly allocate them.

I was going to ask a question about this at the Big Ten Tournament, but another reporter beat me to the punch.

I asked if there’s any reason why Shannon didn’t play in the 88-71 quarterfinals victory over Purdue.

Matta’s answer was an exciting and interesting “no.”

Again this team should become more of a socialist collective rather than a dictatorship. NBA basketball is more star-oriented. College basketball you’ll often see team beating talent, as evidenced by OSU faltering in the last two tourneys.

Sullinger himself articulates just how much this team is built around him

“I mean, honestly, not trying to toot my own horn, but we played through me.  Obviously, when we see the double, our guards understand that if they get into the open spot, they’re going to have a knockdown jump shot, or if they don’t double, they’re going to let me go work.  So I thought that was the biggest key to this game.

And our guards and even Deshaun found a way to find me in the post, and also I was posting up deep, so I didn’t really have to take a bounce or make a move or wait for the double team.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

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  1. Nick Grays says

    Kentucky is the same way. It’s just a style of playing that those coaches adapt. Seeing how hard it is to reach the final four, there’s something that works about it.

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