Ohio State proves how good they can be by poleaxing Wisconsin


After Wisconsin came back from 15 down and beat Ohio State back in February, Jared Sullinger accused a Wisconsin fan of spitting on him when the Kohl Center crowd stormed the court.

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s response to the accusation? “We won. Deal with it.”

After No. 1 Ohio State worked No. 10 Wisconsin 93-65 in Columbus on Sunday afternoon, I think its safe to say that its been dealt with.

Thanks to Purdue’s loss to Iowa yesterday, Ohio State had nothing more than pride — and possibly the No. 1 overall seed in a week — to play for. That didn’t matter, as Ohio State put together quite possibly the most efficiently and impressively dominant performance we’ve seen this season.

With 14 minutes left in the first half, Jon Diebler missed Ohio State’s first three of the game. It was also the last three that Ohio State would miss, as the Buckeyes hit their last 14 triples, finishing the day 14-15 from beyond the arc. They were 32-47 from the field, meaning that the Buckeyes finished with an unheard of effective field goal percentage of 97.9%.

Let me repeat that.

Ohio State had a 97.9 eFG%. The NCAA average is 49.1%.

That is amazing.

There’s more. Ohio State scored 93 points, but they did it playing at Wisconsin’s pace, just 57 possessions. That means that Ohio State scored 1.63 PPP, which is almost as ridiculous as their eFG%.

In other words, Ohio State showed you just how good they are capable of being. Just four days after hitting 10 threes against Penn State, Jon Diebler had 27 points on 8-10 shooting while hitting seven threes. Jared Sullinger had 22 points and eight boards while William Buford and David Lighty combined for 31 points, 11 boards, and seven assists.

I’d be shocked if the Buckeyes — hell, if anyone — puts on a performance like this again this season. They were that good for an entire game.

But it goes to show you just how dangerous this Ohio State team can be when they get it going.

A point guard that doesn’t turn the ball over and doesn’t care about scoring? A center that necessitates a double team? Three wings that are capable of scoring 25 points on a given night?

There are no dominant teams in college basketball this season.

But part of me will be surprised if Ohio State doesn’t win the national title.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.