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Enjoying the Build: 4 Thoughts on Ohio State

Rutgers Lost.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers dropped another road game, 79-52 to Ohio State. There were strange signs in this one. Check out Aaron’s recap.

When Rutgers Runs Their Offense, They’re Okay: For a lot of this game, Rutgers forced things. They gave the ball to Deshawn Freeman and no one else saw it again. They let the ball stick when it should have moved. But when they they forced turnovers and got out and ran or moved the ball without abandon, they looked good. This happened in the last five minutes of the first half as Rutgers pulled to within five points. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen again. In the first half, Rutgers played good basketball—defended and ran their sets. As they did that, they got open shots and eventually some of them fell. In the second half, they forced things.

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting: Do I need to say anything more? Rutgers needs three point shooters and guys who can make baskets. Montez Mathis, Ron Haper Jr, Peter Kiss, Shaq Carter and Myles Johnson will help. But there is more work to be done.

Rutgers defense failed them: In the second half, with Rutgers not doing much offensively, their defense failed them. They couldn’t get stops and rebounds. Ohio State really took it to them. Rutgers has not had good starts to halves this year and that’s on coaching. But their defense has been there nearly all year. Tonight’s second half, it fell apart. It will be interesting to see what happens on Sunday. As Steve Pikiell said in the postgame to Jerry Recco and Joe Boylan, “We let our offense dictate our defense.”

Illinois is a terrible match-up: They’re not good. Illinois is not good at all—they are in rebuilding mode. But they match-up really well against Rutgers. Right now, Rutgers has to come up with a good game plan on offense, otherwise, they will only match last year’s Big Ten win total—but if they can figure it out, they can move out beyond that. Things are progressing, but after tonight it feels like slow progress.