Now we know what a detriment Grandstaff was to the program. Him transferring was the best thing that could have happened for the Buckeyes. Just kidding. But the Buckeyes are now undefeated this season with all their wins coming against top 5 opponents with Grandstaff away from the program. And with Mickey Mitchell eligible. It’s hard to determine which of these events have had a bigger positive impact on the season.
The win over Kentucky was huge for the young Bucks, though. It shows that they have the talent to play with anyone when they play with poise and confidence and limit their mistakes. They can be a good team this year, but they need to play up to their capabilities consistently and continue to improve. Here are my notes from Kentucky and Northern Illinois.
Kentucky Game Notes
- Surely the Loving haters are running out of excuses now, right? Marc is obviously our best player, but apparently some people still question is passion and leadership. Those people are stupid. Marc was on floor all day Saturday diving for loose balls, going for rebounds and hitting big shots. I counted 4 times he dove for a loose ball and included an image montage just emphasize the grit and determination.
- Isaiah Briscoe is apparently supposed to be a pretty good player. He is projected as the #23 pick in this year’s NBA draft by Draft Express. But he really sucked. His Value Add is only 3.01 which is worse than Giddens so I don’t understand the hype. I’ve only seen him play one game, but he doesn’t look even close to an NBA player.
- Although Kentucky is bigger and more athletic, we did have one matchup advantage. They always play with 2 big men which gave Tate the chance to play defense in the post. Jae’Sean plays hard, but he has struggled with the adjustment of perimeter defense. He’s much more comfortable down low and things tough for Kentucky’s forwards despite being at a height disadvantage.
- Just one more nod to Marc. This bump on a cutting Murray is brilliant. Murray was on fire and KBD struggled to follow him around screens. This is the kind of plays upperclassman make that don’t show up in the box score, but help their teams win.
Northern Illinois Game Notes
- A.J. Harris keeps getting better on offense and he’s making strides in the pick-and-roll. Here he makes the right read and fires a pass to KBD on the weakside. Pretty basic, but still promising.
- We did get a little sloppy on defense. Kam and Marc got confused on a basic cutting action. They need to communicate better. No excuse for 2 non-freshman to make these metal mistakes mid way through the season.
- One more silly mistake. Kam and JaQuan both close out on the same shooter. Again, they need to communicate on that and react quicker.
- Next game is Tuesday, December 22 against Mercer.