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Five Thoughts On The Akron Game




OSU slipped past Akron in overtime by a 69-65 score (KenPom predicted 70-67!) It was a let down offensive performance to me after the way they moved and protected the ball against UC Davis last Friday. Here are five other thoughts…

1. I know everybody’s going to be on the “fire Ford!” and “these guys suck, where are my Thunder!” bandwagon, but this team goes hard. They struggled today offensively because Smart played poorly, but to write them off after two games because they struggled with Akron[1. Which, by the way, is one of seven teams in the country with 22+ wins in each of its last seven seasons (Duke, Kentucky, etc.)] is short sighted. Let’s let this thing play out a little bit.

2. That being said, I agree with the text I got from @nolancox regarding JPO’s latest injury — “if he’s done, we’re f’d.”

3. Marcus Smart’s stat lines read like a lottery ticket: 16-9-3-4-1 for him today though the five turnovers and four fouls were not ideal. Gone were the slick passes and deft moves into the lane from last week. Was that because Akron is a step up in competition and he failed to adjust or did we all just overinflate his value one game in? Stay tuned…

4. The box score tells me Markel and Nash both played 40 minutes today (though I swear I saw Nash on the bench at one point). That’s very nice of them, but not going to fly through a grueling Big 12 slate. Speaking of Markel, his jumper was absolutely wet today. If he’s going to be doing Glendon Alexander things as well as his usual Markel things, you can pencil him in as an All-Big 12 player. Slater even took it a step further…

5. The scariest stat for me is that Akron shot 30% for the game (21-70) and without some mini-heroics (6 pts in overtime) from Phil Forte, they would have won. That speaks volumes to OSU’s inability to create turnovers (12 forced) and rebound the ball defensively (Akron had 18 (!) offensive rebounds). Nash worked hard on the glass but OSU has to get steals and wreck havoc in the backcourt to have any shot at making the tournament (the real one, that is).

Next bout is tomorrow against Tennessee (which beat UNC-Asheville in the second game) at 9:30 AM.

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