You would think that, by now, the scouting report on No. 11 Ohio State would be readily available.
They have Deshaun Thomas. He likes to shoot a lot. He’s really the only scoring threat that the Buckeyes have. Do not let him get into a rhythm.
On Tuesday night, he did.
Thomas finished with 25 points, hitting 10-17 from the floor without the benefit of a three-pointer, as the Buckeyes knocked off Wisconsin 58-49 to keep pace with Michigan State one game back of Indiana and Michigan in the loss column in the Big Ten standings.
Where Thomas did his real damage, however, came midway through the second half. The Buckeyes used a 15-0 run to open up a 52-41 lead with six minutes left. Thomas scored 10 of those points.
What was most impressive about Thomas’ performance is that he wasn’t settling for threes. He did his work in the mid-post, squaring up Ryan Evans and Mike Breusewitz 10-12 feet from the basket and simply abusing them.
Also relevant for the Buckeyes: Aaron Craft’s 13 points and six assists. One of the major concerns for Ohio State this season is that they don’t have that secondary scoring threat, mainly because many believe that Craft is less of an offensive threat than he is a facilitator, a defender and a leader. He he had a couple of nice drives to the rim, beating Traevon Jackson to the bucket.
At the end of the day, it’s difficult to take too much out of a game like this. Ohio State is supposed to beat Wisconsin at home. They did that thanks to their best player playing like he was the best player on the floor. Wisconsin fought hard, but came up short.
If there is a concern to take out of this game for Bo Ryan’s club, it’s that they didn’t attempt a single free throw for the first time in his tenure as head coach, taking 28 of their 52 FGAs from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin isn’t build to get to the charity stripe, but that’s still worrisome. Getting to the foul line is a really easy way to build momentum on the road.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.