Ohio State come home and got its mojo back after two-straight losses, beating the doors off Rutgers and sending the seniors off the right way. Here’s three things we observed from the game.
Ohio State Beats Rutgers: 3 Things We Learned
Ohio State Isn’t Done Yet
Maybe we were too hard on this team after the two-straight losses. In retrospect, many teams would have fallen flat at Penn State and at Michigan. Both teams are playing on the upswing, and it’s never easy to win on the road in the Big Ten.
What Ohio State showed tonight is that it is still a force to be reckoned with, and that still has some punches to throw. The team played with more heart, more energy, and stepped on the throat of an opponent that simply lacked the fire power to hang.
There’s only one more regular season game remaining, and there’s still that shot at a Big Ten title. Who thought you’d say that at the beginning of the year?
The Program Is Going To Miss These Seniors
Four guys. For men that went through all the change and adversity of the last few years. Four players that love each other, love their team, and love Columbus and THE Ohio State University. Okay, technically it’s three seniors and one fourth-year junior (Bates-Diop), but they’re all graduating and have done wonders for the program.
Even if one came via the Maize and Blue Death Star.
You could go on and on about the virtues of each one individually, but there is a certainty that demands to be called out.
Without the collection of this experienced group, and their leadership, and obvious enjoyment of playing with one another, this Ohio State team doesn’t come anywhere near the stratosphere of launching the program where it sits right now.
I watched each senior’s comments to the home crowd after the game, and it is apparent that they are four high character guys that have been raised the right way, and want to do things the right way.
I know there are some talented kids coming to Columbus to try and fill those shoes next year, but it’s going to be tough. They will all be missed.
Kam Williams Is Shaking The Rust Off
And maybe just in time. Ohio State has enough on the roster to win a game in the Big Ten tournament, but without Kam Williams’ outside threat, it’ll be awfully tough to win the tournament championship, and even harder to get out of the first weekend in the NCAA tournament.
With him, this team is just a different animal. Teams can’t leave him to cover up the trio of Jae’Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop, and Kaleb Wesson. One of those three on any possession is going to get a good matchup, but if teams do collapse down, then Williams will make them pay.
He struggled the last two games trying to come back from the suspension, but went 3 for 5 beyond the arc tonight, and 5 of 9 overall for 13 points. That’s the type of role and stat line this team needs to continue the storybook year.
Onward and upward.
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