The Buckeye Watch
By Tony Gerdeman
The Buckeyes got a win they couldn’t afford not to get. In fact, if they hadn’t not gotten it, then they would have to find a road win somewhere on the schedule, and I’m not sure such a thing exists.
But they did get the win and it moves them one step closer to the Tournament.
It seems Evan Turner has finally decided to take over each and every game, instead of just one of every three. Purdue couldn’t keep him out of the paint tonight and had he made a couple of easy jumpers and all of his free throws, he could have approached 40 points tonight.
I guess we’ll just have to be happy with the 26 points that he did score.
But it’s not just Turner that‘s turning it on. William Buford had a second-consecutive 20-point game and it’s not because he’s not taking more shots than he normally does, he’s just making them at a higher percentage lately. He is now 18-26 from the field over his last two games.
In fact, Buford is the only player in the Big Ten whose unconsciousness isn’t the result of a Wolverine elbow.
But now that I think about it, looking at it objectively, the way these Buckeyes are shooting, there may actually be a road win somewhere along the way.
Assuming the turnovers don’t ruin it for them.
Which is a very big assumption.
6:58 This is a huge game for the Buckeyes tonight. Probably the game of the year to this point. There is no tomorrow--at least not until midnight…and even then, it’s no longer tomorrow. Pretty deep, huh? If you listen quietly, you can hear hippies’ heads exploding all over whatever area of Ohio hippies reside in. Athens, probably?
7:03 Evan Turner gets the ball down in the paint and he spins to the baseline and gets the jumper. Nice patience. I love Turner’s aggression since I called him out globally a week ago.
7:05 William Buford shoots an airball. I wonder if that means he’s going to be tentative today. Ha ha. That would be funny.
7:06 Steal by Chris Kramer and a lay up. Purdue has gone on a 7-0 run and leads it 7-2. Kramer’s nose ain’t broke enough apparently.
7:07 Kramer just hit a three. And then somehow the Buckeyes turned it over on the inbounds. What the heck? Thad Matta calls a timeout. Most likely he’s going to ask everybody to check their shoes and make sure they didn’t step in dog mess, because something stinks here.
7:09 Dallas Lauderdale just got called for a goaltend because he snatched a shot out of the air. I don’t think that was going to even get near the rim but it was just too abrupt not to call something. Like when you wake up with a jolt in the middle of the night and assume you heard something, so you reach under the bed to get your bat and you tap your wife on the shoulder and say, “I think I heard something downstairs…you better go check it out…don‘t worry, I‘ll keep my bat on me”--but you never really heard anything, you only thought you did.
7:13 Nice steal by P.J. Hill with the mass harassment and it leads to an open three from the baseline for William Buford! I bet to an offensive player, P.J. Hill playing defense is about as annoying as the little red-headed punk that was in all of those “Problem Child” movies. I think P.J. needs to play in a bowtie.
7:14 Wow! Awesome pass from Jon Diebler down to Mullens for the dunk. Diebler has the best vision on the team and he’s always looking down low for somebody to dump it off to.
7:15 P.J. Hill drops in a baseline three! He didn’t even hesitate. He caught it and shot it in rhythm. The Buckeyes cut the Purdue lead to 14-12.
7:16 Evan Turner is breaking people down and dishing to open teammates. Last time it was Hill for the three and this time it was a drop to Buford for the dunk on the baseline. Just keep running and cutting and you’ll be found.
7:18 Evan Turner is running the point right now. Interesting. But it leads to a Mullens tripping foul on a screen attempt. Seriously? Tripping? Mullens had a wide base and the Boiler tripped over him. I guess you have to have your feet together on screens now?
7:21 Wow! Turner just pulled a killer crossover on Chris Kramer and hit a 19-footer off of it. Kramer now has two broken ankles to go with his broken nose. Oh, and the Buckeyes lead 16-14 with 10:50 to play.
7:23 Turner with the crossover again and he gets into the paint and gets fouled while shooting. He finally seems to understand that nobody can stop him and as long as he doesn’t carry the ball, he’s going to get where he wants to go. Turner misses the first and makes the second.
7:26 Wow! I really like this scheme with Turner playing the point because he just broke another dude down and got to the rim and laid it in. Eventually Purdue is going to clamp him down, but it’s pretty fun to watch right now. He’s got nine points already.
7:32 The game is tied at 23-23 and the Buckeyes should be doing much better but they just can’t stop turning the ball over. And they’re not really even forced turnovers.
7:35 Whoa! Chris Kramer just tried to dunk it on Lauderdale. He got it blocked and was fouled with the body, but you have to love the aggressiveness. Man, I hate that guy.
7:43 Bailout jumper by Turner! That was an ugly possession, but when it ends in a basket, you can’t complain. Not that that would really stop us fans.
7:45 Keaton Grant drains a deep three at the top of the key with 14 seconds to play in the half and the Buckeyes can’t do anything with the final seconds other than turn it over and shoot a half-court prayer. Purdue goes to the half with the 32-29 lead.
7:46 Purdue has done this without Robbie Hummel and the Buckeyes are getting production from Turner, Mullens and P.J. Hill. Ohio State shouldn’t be losing here, but the turnovers are killing them. If they can just control the ball in the second half, I like our chances.
7:47 And get Diebler involved please.
7:58 I think the Buckeyes have played defense well enough to win, and if they continue to play the same type of defense, I think they’ll be fine. And they’re shooting over 50%…they just need to get more shots, and that’s only going to come from not turning the stupid ball over so much. Treat the ball like you would treat your new Air Jordans when you were in the sixth grade. Remember how you wouldn’t even walk in them? You’d carry them everywhere with you, and then when you finally got around to sitting down, you’d put them on and just stare at them while playing Super Mario 3 and enjoying a Mandarin Orange Slice--careful not to spill, of course. That’s how the Buckeyes need to treat the basketball.
8:01 Game on and the Boilermakers start it off with a three by Grant. Exactly how the second half ended. That dude loves playing against us.
8:02 Diebler answers with his own three from the top of the key! Nice answer by the Buckeyes.
8:03 Mullens is starting the second half and he bothered JuJuan Johnson down low. And on the other end he dunks down a missed lay up by Buford! He is everywhere! (As long as it’s three feet from the basket.)
8:04 Grant misses! Grant misses! Where’s you Appomattox now??
8:07 Another assist for Turner. And again it leads to a Mullens dunk. Evan better be careful or else he’s gonna mess around and get a triple-double.
8:08 Ooh. Buford just caught it and nailed a three with a hand in his face. It just doesn’t matter sometimes with that guy.
8:09 E’Twaun Moore hits an open three from the baseline to give the Boilers the 46-42 lead with 14:23 to play. The Buckeyes had the lead but it only took two bad possessions to ruin it. And as I type this lament, Evan Turner turns it over trying to bring the ball up court.
8:14 Smooth. Buford pump faked a three on the break and took a dribble inside the line and drained a tall two. Nothing but net. That was pretty. But it was probably a bad shot.
8:15 Uh oh. Buford is heating up. He just hit a curling turnaround jumper to cut the Purdue lead to 48-46 with 12:20 to play.
8:19 The crowd is into it. They want their free fries!
8:20 Ha! Ed Hightower calls a foul on the Buckeyes with 1 second left on Purdue’s shot clock. The dude has a clock in his brain more precise than whatever they use in Greenwich. I assume it’s a Casio.
8:24 Buford again. This one from the baseline to give the Buckeyes the 50-49 lead. Excuse me if I don’t sound excited about Buford hitting a jumper. It’s just so routine anymore.
8:25 Boring. Buford just hit another three-pointer. He has 13 points this half. I’m going to go check out American Idol. At least there will be something unexpected there. (The Buckeyes lead 53-49 with 10:10 to play, by the way.)
8:27 Buford’s heat check falls short, but you have to try. Although I don’t really think it’s a heat check for him. It’s more of just a status quo check.
8:28 Keaton Grant has airballed his last two three-pointers, I believe. That means he’s got four makes left in him yet tonight.
8:36 Buford again! This one came off the dribble from 15 feet. I don’t even think he’s looking at the rim. That’s pretty disrespectful if you ask me!
8:37 Buford just airballed a wide-open three. He thought about it too long…and he looked at the rim. Bad combination.
8:39 Purdue is slapping like crazy when the Buckeyes get into the paint and nothing is getting called. Check that, they just got called for fouling Mullens. This will be interesting. The first is long. The second one is good and it ties the game at 57-57 with 4:14 to play.
8:40 Evan Turner just stuffed Moore and it leads to a run out between Buford and Diebler--Buford kicks it to Diebs and he sinks the baseline three! Buckeyes lead by three! That was fun to watch. They were basically side-by-side and Diebler knew the only way he was going to get the ball was to split off and get as open as humanly possible. And he did.
8:45 Evan Turner! Turner took it one-on-one and drove it to the basket, got fouled, and banked it in! We need free throws…and he leaves it short. This isn’t good.
8:46 Grant airballs another! I’m not going to disparage him for fear of repercussions.
8:47 Diebler turns it over with a bad pass to Lauderdale and Purdue heads the other way…but Diebler strips it from Kramer on the lay up attempt and he gets it up to Turner who lays it in! That’s some immediate redemption for you. The Buckeyes lead 64-59 and Matt Painter calls a timeout with 1:46 to play.
8:49 Grant drains a long three. I think the farther he gets, the better. And P.J. Hill just threw a terrible pass and Kramer finishes the steal with a dunk to tie the game at 64-64. That was quick. I think Thad called a timeout. There is 53.9 seconds to play, so Purdue will get the ball back. Seriously, what just happened here?
8:52 Not a good looking possession so far. Turner finally gets the ball with seven seconds on the shot clock and dribbles it out of bounds off of his thigh. Purdue ball. No timeout. They’re just going with it.
8:53 Jackson leaves his shot short in the lane and Dallas Lauderdale almost goaltended it. Evan Turner leaves his half court heave about six feet short. We’re going to overtime with the score tied at 64-64. And it didn’t need to be.
8:54 It’s all about the turnovers. When we actually get a shot off, we’re doing pretty good. But it’s a sad state when getting a shot off is a minor victory.
8:55 P.J. Hill starts the overtime. He drives the lane and drops it off to Lauderdale who slams it home! Good start. No turnovers.
8:56 Wow. JuJuan Johnson just hit another turnaround jumper. The dude has a career-high 24 points tonight. Who could have ever imagined an opponent getting a career-high against the Buckeyes?
8:56 Turner gets to the basket and gets fouled. He’ll get two shots here and he needs to make both of them. The Buckeyes are doing great moving without the ball, now they have to make it count. The first free throw is good. And the second is as well. The Buckeyes lead 68-66 with 3:31 remaining.
8:57 Grant misses a three! He was too close. Lauderdale hauls the rebound down.
8:58 Oh! Diebler attacks the basket, clutches and somehow gets the ball to go down. No foul? Buckeyes by four points with 2:30 to play!
9:02 Purdue has the ball down by two with 1:40 to play and the Boilers look a little more confident than the Buckeyes right now. Stupid cocky Boilermakers.
9:03 Travel! Call it!! JuJuan Johnson did a bunny hop and they called him for something. Either way, it’s our ball!
9:04 Turner down the lane and lays it in! Buckeyes lead 72-68 with 55 to play.
9:04 Moore misses the three, Turner gets it up to Buford for the dunk!! Buckeyes by six points with 40 seconds to play!
9:07 Purdue is going to the line. Don’t worry, they’ll make them all. Ha! Grant misses the first. He’s way too close right now. And misses the second! Diebler gets the rebound and gives it to Turner, who gets fouled with 32.5 remaining. Now Evan needs to close this game out.
9:08 The first is good! The second is as well! The Buckeyes lead 76-68 with 30 seconds to polay.
9:09 Ha ha! Diebler throws an alley-oop off of the backboard to B.J. Mullens and he throws it down! Purdue will remember that one, especially because the BTN will keep showing it.
9:10 Diebler gets fouled with 12 seconds to play. He’ll knock these down and then Purdue will do something and then we’ll inbound the ball and that will be the ball game.
9:11 I love how Steve Lavin has decided to start calling Mullens “The Chief”. I wonder if it will stick.
9:11:44 Wow. Purdue fouls Turner with 4.1 seconds to play down by eight. They deserve to lose by ten for that one. Turner has 26 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Not a bad night. He misses both free throws. He should have had 30 points quite easily tonight.
9:12 That’s the ball game. Buckeyes win 80-72 in overtime. Once they stopped turning the ball over, Purdue had no answer. And with the way the Buckeyes are shooting right now, it’s a pretty simple formula for winning--just keep shooting.
9:13 And it’s not like they’re bombing away from three. The mid-range game on this team is what allows them to shoot so well. It’s also what could differentiate them from their opponents as the season goes on.
9:15 But we’ll worry about those other games as they get here. Right now it’s time to enjoy a victory over our hated rival who remains anonymous to 94% of all Buckeye fans. Which angers the Boiler fans even more. Oh well. That’s what happens when your school motto is “Ever the quest for relevance”.