We always like to read the various columnists from the opposing camp after a big game to see what everyone is saying about that matchup.
The Ohio State reactions are pretty interesting. They’re fairly optimistic and really they should be. The Buckeyes have some talent.
Duke is familiar with center Zed Key, who lit the Blue Devils up last season in Columbus. But freshmen Brice Sensabaugh and Brice Thornton are going to be good.
Duke’s size translated to plenty of foul shots, as noted here. However, and we wouldn’t expect an OSU site to notice/mention this, Duke’s bigs ended up in real foul trouble. Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively both finished with four and Ryan Young had three.
Duke turned to Young, who got big minutes in the second half, allowing Filipowski and Lively to sit for extended minutes. That speaks well of young coach Jon Scheyer and how he managed a tough situation. People won’t notice, but it’s a quiet sign of coaching skill.
Key came out to warm up and was suprised to find the Crazies ready for him even, telling the Columbus Dispatch “[a]s soon as I came out and shot, they were on me. I was like, ‘I can’t shoot a jump shot?’ It’s a great environment to play in and it’s history in here.”
Justice Sueing, who should go to law school and go into practice with Saul Goodman, was surprised that the Buckeyes were more or less even in rebounds.
Coach Matt Holtmann said “[g]ive (Duke) credit, but I did not think our decision making was what it needed to be,” coach Chris Holtmann said. “We had some turnovers really across the board, post-play turnovers, we had some turnovers from some of our young kids, but obviously something we’ve got to clean up.”
Duke fans probably don’t realize that freshman Sensabaugh was off to a hot start in his first season. Foul trouble limited him 14 minutes but he’s a guy to keep an eye on as the season advances. So is Thornton, who really was impressive. He shot 5-8 in Cameron and got into the lane a lot.
Once the pieces fit together well, Ohio State will still be a small team, but pretty athletic. And remember this: the more the rest of the team develops, the more opportunities Sean McNeil is going to get. The West Virginia transfer is a major threat from behind the line but he’s not hugely athletic. His teammates can help there and when they demand attention, he’s going to benefit. His three point percentage has gone up every year and it’s now at 43.3.
As the team develops, he could become a very lethal weapon.
This is not a team people will want to see in March.
One small note which was amusing: in his post-game comments, Key referred to his coach not as Coach or Coach Holtmann or even Coach H or whatever.
No. Just Holtmann: “Brice is an elite-level scorer, even as a freshman. Everyone has off nights, and freshmen are up and down. I’ve had off nights. Even Holtmann told them, not everything’s going to be a good game.”
And by the way, the idiot OSU fans who are unhappy with Holtmann should remember what happened to Louisville after they got rid of Chris Mack. That guy is an outstanding coach. Ohio State is lucky to have him. They’d be smart to make him feel at home.