Every time there is an Ohio State game, analysts take to the networks and/or websites to explain why this will be the moment to scar the Buckeyes unbeaten record.
Unbeknownst to them, the young team has a completely different objective in mind.
Sure, OSU was favored against Michigan when taking into account that they were not only playing at home, but managed to hold off the Wolverines just short of a month ago with a 68-64 win.
But in the first half of the game while the defensive game plays were there, it was the offense that struggled and allowed a small Michigan lead going into the half (23-26).
The second half did not begin much differently, but assuredly everyone knows that it is not how you start the race, it is how a team finishes it. Everyone wants to come out the gate hot and knocking down three-point field goals, but successes are greater rewards when you have to grind it out.
Plus, blowouts are simply way more boring.
Jared Sullinger led his team with his 10th double-double, 19 points and rebounds, and became the team’s shining light in the second half.
So, who does this remind you of?
Sullinger’s dominant presence in the paint and Aaron Craft’s swift spin and layup mirrors replays from the Chicago game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Making a comparison between the Buckeyes streaking team and the Chicago Bulls may be risky, but it is accurate nonetheless.
Craft is young and still has a lot of learning to do at the point guard position, polishing his jumper, better ball control in higher pressure defenses. However, when you see him in the game, there is a guarantee that he will make things happen. He can find shots where it may seem impossible and can weave through defenders like a Derrick Rose or J.R. Smith (without the massive dunking capabilities).
While a lot of credit can be given to the freshman class of the basketball team, there needs to be a lot more said about its veterans, i.e. David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford. All projected to be taken in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, they provide the team with balance and the knowledge that only “been there, done that” can bring.
Any teams playing against them need to understand that half time leads mean nothing, early perimeter shots mean nothing and their lack of defense or offense in the early minutes of the game means nothing.
They walk on the court in the beginning of the game with every intention on finishing it.