Ohio State men's basketball | Balance shows in rewatching of Purdue Fort Wayne blowout

Adam Jardy
ajardy@dispatch.com
Ohio State Buckeyes guard C.J. Jackson (3), guard Luther Muhammad (1) and guard Musa Jallow (2) high five guard Joey Lane (14). [Adam Cairns]

Ohio State moved to 2-0 with a blowout, 107-61 win against Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday evening at Value City Arena.

The broadcast on the Big Ten Network was called by Chris Vosters on the play by play and Shon Morris providing the analysis. Not even a minute in, they were talking about Luther Muhammad (you can read a story about him by clicking here).

“He’s a guy that’s so good on the defensive end of the floor,” Morris said. “It was on full display against Cincinnati.”

It was then pointed out that he drew the “unenviable” task of guarding Fort Wayne guard John Konchar. So with that said, here’s what the re-watching shows us about the win for the Buckeyes. And if you want to see what lineups were particularly effective, you can read that analysis here.

*On the first possession of the game, the Buckeyes went right inside to Kaleb Wesson, who scored on the block. It set an early tone. On the next possession, Wesson got the ball in the same spot, drew a double team, felt it coming and located Kyle Young for an easy layup.

*Konchar got right around Muhammad for a layup on Fort Wayne’s second possession, and Morris noted that Muhammad would have his hands full all night. It was his easiest basket of the night. At the other end, Muhammad then drew a Konchar foul on a jump shot.

*Muhammad shadowed Konchar from as soon as he would take the inbounds pass. It wasn’t necessarily in-your-face pressure, but it reminded the senior that the freshman was there.

*Young showed nice shooting touch on a three-pointer early in the first half. That’s not going to be a huge part of his game, but if he can stretch defenses and make them honor his shot, it would be a definite benefit.

*Vosters said on the broadcast that Chris Holtmann told him during the day’s shootaround that if Andre Wesson averages 7-11 points a game that the offense “will be in pretty good shape.”

*Kaleb Wesson had another nice assist from the right elbow to C.J. Jackson as he cut through three Mastodons in the paint for a layup.

*Then on defense, Kaleb Wesson got caught in a scramble situation and picked up a foul reaching with three seconds left on the shot clock. He immediately came out.

*Keyshawn Woods had a defensive deflection and dive upcourt to get the loose ball, then found Jaedon LeDee for a layup as he was fouled. The freshman sprinted from inside the restricted area to the other rim and was rewarded with the pass. Also, on a night where he was 12 for 14 from the free-throw line, LeDee missed his first.

*After playing 32 seconds of solid defense that included Andre Wesson forcing his man into the corner on a cross-court cut and Woods cutting off baseline a few seconds later, the Buckeyes lost a shooter on the perimeter and gave up a three-pointer with three seconds left on the shot clock. A second solid long defensive possession that came up empty in the final seconds. Woods would later again cut off a quicker-looking attacker on the baseline later in the half.

*Guys are still learning roles, but execution was crisp on an underneath out-of-bounds play that saw Jackson find Musa Jallow for a wide-open layup after a solid screen by Muhammad. Set plays out of dead-ball situations will be interesting to watch with this team.

*It’s weird to me that Konchar would airball both a free throw and a three-pointer during the game – the latter the result of some Muhammad pressure. Then as soon as he got free of Muhammad on a switch and had Jallow guarding him, he swished a three-pointer. Later, though, Morris would point out how Jallow’s stance and active hands would force a Fort Wayne turnover on a travel at the three-point line.

*Again, Muhammad answered at the other end. With the shot clock winding down, he kept his dribble alive, found his way to the lane and scored at the buzzer to break a 16-all tie.

*Ohio State’s guards work on the teardrop shot every single day in practice. Jackson got one to fall in the first half.

*Konchar got free to feed a wide-open big man on the block because of a pick-and-roll situation that saw both Woods and Kaleb Wesson stick with the guard. A lack of communication left a man completely unguarded, resulting in an easy basket. This is a somewhat surprising mistake from two semi-experienced players.

*Ohio State hasn’t proven to be a very effective offensive rebounding team. Midway through the first half, the Buckeyes look to be utilizing a lot of four-out, one-in sets that result in jumpers with just one person in rebounding position. More players have to make more effort to get to the rim from the perimeter when shots go up.

*Kaleb Wesson showed some quick feet like he did against Cincinnati, sticking with his man on an attempted drive and forcing a turnover.

*Jackson continues to show new flashes of his game. He had a little shimmy from the top of the circle that allowed him to split a double team and get to the hoop for a layup. I’m not sure he could do that last season. He also had a rough patch later where, with a three-point lead, he missed the front end of a one-and-one and then turned the ball over with a carry in a fast-break situation – although Morris pointed out that he likely would not have committed the turnover had Muhammad run to the corner and taken his man with him. Still two un-seniorlike moments for Jackson.

*Andre Wesson had some rough moments. He was double-teamed on the right block and threw the pass away, and then one possession later fumbled a handoff to Woods for another turnover that led to a fast break.

*Woods impressed with his defensive quickness on a few recoveries throughout the game. He’s deceptively fast.

*Purdue Fort Wayne pulled within three with about five minutes left in the half after nabbing two offensive rebounds on the same possession. The first was a long rebound that Ohio State didn’t locate and the second was one in the paint that was punched back out to a waiting shooter.

*Duane Washington Jr. was 6 of 9 from three, but he missed his first and last attempts. Go figure.

*Andre Wesson’s injury with roughly 40 seconds to play came with some contact. As he went up, he collided with Purdue Fort Wayne’s Matt Holba, who spun him around and which resulted in the awkward landing on his back. The contact came before Wesson got to the basket, and he tried to grab onto the rim to steady himself but his hand slipped. Holba looks to have made some contact to Wesson’s face during the sequence, which was on a fast break and came after a Jackson bounce pass.

*The final possession that follows the Wesson injury wasn’t pretty. Washington drove from the right wing and found Muhammad in the left corner for a three, but he couldn’t catch the pass cleanly. When he recovered, he tried to force a pass back upcourt to Jackson that was easily nabbed by Konchar, who pushed it and scored at the buzzer.

*At the half, analyst Jess Settles told viewers that any young point guards watching should study Jackson’s first half for the overall body of work he put together including having taken a charge.

*In a game it wound up winning by 46 points, Ohio State was only ahead 41-36 with 19 minutes to play.

*Just like to start the game, the Buckeyes went right into Kaleb Wesson on the block to open the second half.

*Muhammad forced Konchar into a travel as the Buckeyes started to put a game-changing run together. A moment later was when Holtmann had to gesture to Muhammad to relax just a bit. That came when he was getting ready to pick him up full court and the freshman bumped him with his chest before play began and was right in the senior’s face.

*Jackson hit three straight threes to help blow things open in the second half. On his third, he had to reach to his right just to corral the pass but was still able to find nothing but net.

*The rim did the Buckeyes no favors on a Purdue Fort Wayne possession. LeDee in particular played some impressive perimeter defense, staying with his man, but a last-second jumper hit the back of the rim, bounced straight up and fell through. It didn’t reflect the team defensive effort for the possession.

*Morris, as LeDee was at the free-throw line: “I was impressed with what LeDee gave the Buckeyes in the first half. A couple of hustle plays, good offensive rebounding, and I think back to the play where he was under the basket at the defensive end of the floor and sprinted past five or six players and was able to get to the rim.”

*With about 14:38 to play, Andre Wesson was back in the game and had to try and track down a loose ball at the offensive end. He wasn’t able to get possession, and in doing so he had to twist his body in a slightly awkward way. He hopped up and down for a split second after doing so and looked to be in some pain, but he continued to the other end and played defense, although he did pick up a foul.

*Woods got on the floor to dive for a loose ball early in the game, and Kaleb Wesson did it in the second half after having active hands to force a Konchar turnover.

*If Jallow can hit a three-pointer or two per game for the Buckeyes, that would be a huge lift. He hit a big one to push the lead to 19 during the second half.

*As Ohio State started hitting threes, Fort Wayne clearly started to press and rush things. Their shooting form was off and you could see that the Buckeyes were applying enough pressure to alter shots even when they were open.

*Huge play out of a timeout after the Jallow three. The Mastodons drew up a play, but Muhammad deflected a pass intended for him at the top of the circle and scored at the other end. A particularly deflating moment for Purdue Fort Wayne, and great instincts by the freshman.

*Andre Wesson looks smoother the longer he stayed in, but his fourth foul came with 12:09 to play and the lead at 21 points so there wasn’t need to get him back in the game.

*He needs to do it more consistently, but Kaleb Wesson has shown signs of being improved at sealing his man in the paint and finishing at the rim. He did this a few times against the Mastodons.

*I didn’t notice this live, but Andre Wesson went to the locker room with 10:10 left. He was back before long, and is shown smiling on the bench at 7:32.

*Holtmann said after the game that the Buckeyes aren’t as good as the second half might reflect, and I can see what he meant. The pace of the game changed drastically and once players started raining three-pointers, the game got a little stretched. Washington, though, still showed his shooting touch regardless of the pace of play.

*LeDee and Jackson were both on the block after a missed Mastodon shot and got beaten for the rebound and then LeDee was called for a foul when he hooked arms with his opponent as both players went up for the ball. He was called for a flagrant 1 foul.

*Morris, on LeDee adjusting to college: “For bigger guys, it takes a little bit longer.” He also points out that some of his fouls drawn need to turn into and-one opportunities as he gets stronger but lauds his effort and hustle level.

*Ohio State scored 27 points in the final 5:33 of the game.

*LeDee had an impressive block. Took one step from the opposite block and looked like he was spiking a volleyball. Then he hit a 15-foot jumper with a lot of confidence. And he added another block later. What a second half for the freshman.

*Shout-out to Joey Lane, for his driving layup off the glass that went over a 6-11 defender. Oh, and he threw a behind-the-back bounce pass to LeDee, who was fouled and went to the line. And when he canned a three and ran back up the court fanning himself, the bench went absolutely nuts.

*Freshman Justin Ahrens just missed canning the first three-pointer of his career shortly after checking in.

*With 1:08 to play and the Ohio State lead at 1-4-57, there were Danny Hummer and LeDee diving for a loose ball at midcourt.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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