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Daily Bullets

OSU Stays Winless On The Road

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The story
I sent out a tweet in the middle of the first half that read “this is a game OSU should win, Nebraska is not very good.” In retrospect, and thanks to a text from one of the PFB posse (@matthewjamilian, you should follow him — he’s funny) I realized I had switched some words around. It should have read, “this is a game Nebraska should win, OSU is not very good.”

It’s not like the Cowboys do anything that make you say, “wow, that is the most atrocious thing I’ve ever seen,” but the 40-minute body of work just isn’t something that can be considered a precursor to March hysterics, unless you get hyped about the NIT that is.

OSU stayed winless on the road in the Big 12 on Saturday, succumbing to Nebraska’s stymieing defense and efficient offensive production. The odd thing was that OSU moved the ball on offense really well. They fed Moses, hit JPO on cuts, and found Keiton when he was open. Nebraska’s D, while solid, isn’t anything this team shouldn’t be able to deal with. They weren’t up to the task though and fell behind six by the time the first half buzzer sounded. I don’t have stats on it and don’t have the time to rewatch the game but I would imagine the number of shots OSU missed within three feet is not in the single digits. Lay-ups, short jump hooks, fast breaks — bang, clank, swat, they went everywhere but in the hoop.

Moses put up his usual 18-6 line and Keiton offered a gutsy 14-2-2 but little else transpired. Pilgrim (once again) played lusterless, Markel did everything but score, and JPO was even quiet on a night when OSU need him to not be. Nebraska quickly doubled its 6-point lead in the second half and other than a mini-run by the Pokes at the 5-minute mark would never look back.

They were led by Senior guard, Lance Jeter who poured in 16 and got balanced scoring from everyone else. There’s a reason they have the #1 scoring defense in the Big 12 and it showed pretty clearly on Saturday night.

When it was over
Keiton took a wild three at the 11-minute mark that missed awfully and I knew OSU was done. The thing about this team is that there’s not one specific glaring issue — they just generally aren’t good enough to win on the road at most Big 12 venues. That has to kill Ford, knowing that there’s nothing he can do about it other than ride out the season, get JPO and Markel tons of playing time, and pray LeBryan matures before next November.

Stat I loved
OSU only had 17 fouls, 12 below its season average! Of course their streak of winning games when they take more FTs than their opponents is now over but still, progress is progress. Not to mention the fact that Moses only picked up one personal foul the entire game. That doesn’t even seem fathomable. It even evoked this tweet from one of my friends.

How OSU could have won
If they would have made 3-foot shots. Franklin must have missed at least five shots around the basket, it was excruciating. You can’t miss gimmes against Nebraska on the road and expect to win or even compete with them. Well, this team can’t anyway.

Player of the game
I feel bad for Moses, I really do. He’s played so voraciously his entire career and the culmination of his four years is going to be a one-and-done in the National Invitation Tournament. He deserves a lot better than that. On Saturday he took 17 shots (including FT) and only missed four of them. Throw in six boards and an assist and there’s not really anyone else who came close to matching his production.

The rest of my notes

  • Weird that a game broadcast on Fox Sports using Fox Sports equipment is dually broadcast on ESPN3. I guess ESPN Full Court has been doing it for a long time, still odd.
  • Nebraska’s Little Red mascot thing scares me to death, what is it supposed to be?
  • Did it look to anyone else like Doc Sadler was addressing a Physics II class and not a Division 1 basketball team in his pregame speech?
  • Announcers said Nebraska doesn’t have a backup point guard, sweet, we don’t have one that starts!
  • I love Markel wearing the Space Jam Jordan XIs, outstanding look for the Freshman.
  • After seeing Andre Almeida and Lance Jeter, I wonder if Nebraska uses its weight room for any other sports other than football.
  • As noted by reader Amy Q. OSU continued its streak of “consecutive games with an offensive foul on a screen.”
  • I thought Shaw played decent  with his early minutes, he plays hard, there’s just not enough experience there to provide anything substantial there for the rest of the year.
  • I wish Markel would drive more. I don’t know if he just gets complacent or doesn’t know when and/or how to assert himself, but that’s his strength.
  • Best tweet I saw all game was from my pistolcast partner, Q: “we are offensively constipated. Like for real.”
  • Speaking of the pistolcast, I think we have our bubble pop team of the week…
  • It was fun listening to Eric Piatkowski on the mic all game.
  • No it wasn’t.
  • Best text I got all game: “at least Almeida isn’t on our team?”

I know I wrote it after the Tech game but this one effectively ends any lingering shot OSU had at making the NCAA tournament. They probably aren’t going to win more than one of the next three, if that many, so it wouldn’t matter what happens after that anyway. Barring a miraculous weekend in Kansas City, OSU is staring looking at its fourth NIT in six years. When does Spring football start?

Next game: Wednesday in Austin

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