Former Cleveland State Viking Tyree Appleby said turnabout is fair play. After Ohio State’s Meechie Johnson banged home a game-winning three to knock off Seton Hall, Appleby drained a deep three at the horn to knock off the Buckeyes, 71-68.
Ohio State fell to 4-2 on the season and they’ll come home to play a top-5 Duke team on Tuesday night.
Here are my biggest observations from Wednesday night’s loss:
Offensive Rebounds Are Getting Annoying
I’m not really sure exactly what the issue is, but the Buckeyes are giving up WAY too many offensive rebounds over the last three games. What’s particular odd about the lopsided stats is that the Buckeyes’ rebounding margin has actually been positive. But they’re getting killed on the offensive glass and giving up far too many second and third opportunities. If this team wants to achieve lofty goals this season, that can’t continue.
Jamari Wheeler Looks Like a Fabulous Point Guard
Even though he picked up two fouls before the first three minutes of the game expired, Wheeler really looks like the right answer for Chris Holtmann’s team at point guard. He plays outstanding defense, he rarely turns it over and he distributes the ball extremely well. Wheeler has been the biggest breath of fresh air for a group of guards that is progressing nicely, but certainly didn’t get off to a great start this year.
E.J. Liddell the All-American?
There aren’t many players in college basketball anywhere across the country that are playing better than Ohio State’s leader E.J. Liddell. While we certainly saw his offensive ability last year, Liddell has exploded on the defensive end of the court. He is blocking shots left and right and he continues to score it at a high clip. Even though he was relatively quiet from the floor in the second half tonight, Liddell still dropped 23 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting, including 8-of-12 from the free throw line.
He blocked five more shots tonight, but also turned it over five times.
Ohio State fans across the country were collectively throwing their remotes at their TV’s tonight watching, especially as Kyle Young fouled out. Zed Key and Jimmy Sotos also got in foul trouble throughout the night.
There were a number of tough calls throughout the game, but the thing that really stood out to me was Ohio State’s toughness. The Buckeyes play as hard as any team I’ve seen this year. The defense held a good Florida team to just 37 percent shooting on the night and only 4-of-14 3-pointers.
Too Many Mistakes
The Buckeyes committed a season-high 18 turnovers, which turned into 22 Florida points. While the Scarlet and Gray played a very competitive game and did a good job forcing routine Gator misses, it’s really hard to win a game when you give it away 18 times.
The good news is that in both losses, Ohio State probably feels like it beat itself. That’s not to take anything away from Xavier or Florida, but Ohio State knows that if it plays cleaner, it’s going to have a great chance to win each night.
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Five Takeaways As Florida Stuns Ohio State At The Buzzer