Nov 17, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT
Ohio State’s formula for winning games last season was simple: Get the ball to Jared Sullinger and let him do his thing; when defenses focus on him, everyone else hit shots.
That’s slightly simplified, but it’s how they spent most of the season No. 1.
This season, expect more of the same. But Ohio State seems a little rusty at step 1.
As Andy Glockner noted from Tuesday’s 81-74 win against Florida, the Buckeyes thrived when Sullinger was fed the ball in the low post, scoring 1.67 points per possession. (An absurd number.) However, they only successfully fed Sullinger nine times in 68 possessions.
The other 59 possessions resulted in 1.12 points per possession.
The difference may simply be rust.
Sophomore point guard Aaron Craft and senior William Buford either waited too long to feed Sullinger the ball or didn’t do a good job getting the defense off balance to make the pass. The Mikan Drill has a series of videos illustrating the difference between this season and last, which you can see here.
(That’s what you call synergy among college hoops writers. Thanks guys.)
Fairly certain Ohio State coach Thad Matta’s already ironing out the offensive kinks. After all, getting the ball to Sullinger is hardly a secret. Maybe all they need is a reminder.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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