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Ohio State Basketball 2010

 
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2009-10 Ohio State Buckeyes Regular Season Recap

 

It was January 12th and the Ohio State Buckeyes were visiting the 6 th ranked Purdue Boilermakers having lost three out of their first four conference games. This particular game was one the Buckeyes desperately needed if they had any hopes of saving their season.

Buckeye standout Evan Turner was playing just his third game back after missing six games with a lower back injury. With Turner out, Ohio State went just 3-3 and found themselves knocked out of the Top 25 in the national standings.

With all these obstacles working against the Buckeyes, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel provided one more as he lit up Ohio State for 29 first half points in leading the Boilermakers to a 12 point lead at the half. Ohio State went into the locker room well on their way to starting 1-4 in the conference, a nearly insurmountable hole in the extremely competitive Big Ten.

The second half would prove to be the turning point in the Buckeyes season.

Brutus FatheadTurner put OSU on his shoulders, scoring 23 points in the second half in carrying the Buckeyes to a gutty victory. This victory sparked Ohio State as they would go on to finish the season winning 12 out of their last 14 games including 12 of their final 13 in the conference.

Their domination in conference play earned the Buckeyes a share of Big Ten title, their third in the past five seasons. The title gives Ohio State (24-7, 14-4) the number one seed in this coming week’s Big Ten Tournament.

Just how did the Buckeyes accomplish that number one seed after all hope seemed to be lost in the first half of that January 12th matchup in Purdue?

The answer can be as simple as looking at their overall stats.

Ranking at the top of most of the statistical categories in the conference, the Buckeyes got it done at both ends of the floor.

Ohio State recorded a Big Ten best 73.5 points per game while only allowing 60.4 points per game, good for second best in the conference.

Their unselfish play and ball movement resulted in good looks at the basket as they shot a conference best 49.4 percent from the field including a second best 37.9 percent from beyond-the-arc.

A swarming defense from their athletic backcourt and big man in the middle saw Ohio State tally 7.0 steals and 4.3 blocks per game, ranking them second and third, respectively in the Big Ten.

Individually, the Buckeyes were also well represented at the top of the conference statistical rankings.

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Evan Turner, the odds on favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year and possibly National Player of the Year, led the conference in scoring (19.5), rebounding (9.4), and ranked second in assists (5.8) and steals (1.8).

Turner wasn’t the only Buckeye who put up solid numbers. The role players also got it done, as big man, Dallas Lauderdale led the conference in field-goal percentage (77.1%) and blocked shots per game (2.2), while sharp-shooter Jon Diebler averaged a conference best 3.0 three-pointers a game.

Joining Turner, Lauderdale, and Diebler in the starting lineup were two very good players in their own right. William Buford (14.3 ppg) and David Lighty (12.4 ppg) rounded out the Buckeye starting five, a group that would carry much of the load for Ohio State accounting for 84 percent of their team’s scoring. A gritty group, four out of the five starters logged at least 33 minutes per game.

If the Buckeyes can get the same production out of their main players, it is no telling how far they can go. There is still a possibility OSU can earn a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament if they can win the Big Ten Conference Tournament impressively.

Regardless, with Turner and an unselfish, hard-working supporting cast, Ohio State has a chance to finish what has already been a successful season with a run at the National Championship.

 

By Nick Adams
BigTen-fans.com Ohio State Correspondent

 

 

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