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Embracing Expectations: 4 Thoughts on a 12 point Loss to Ohio State

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

Rutgers built an impressive 16 point lead early in the second half, but Ohio State adjusted and took over down the stretch. Myles Johnson was in foul trouble early, and often, ultimately fouling out. That loss lead to a huge run down the stretch for the Buckeyes. Rutgers loses 80-68.

Four Thoughts.

Myles Johnson is Mega Important to This Team: Myles Johnson, with Cliff Omoruyi out for an extended period, is the most important play on this team right now. He is a 4th year Junior and a stalwart defensively and that was clear. When Johnson was available, Rutgers was able to play the way it wanted and opened up a 16 point lead. However, the refs called a close game under the hoop and Johnson never wasn’t in foul trouble. It was one of the quickest foul outs I can remember seeing. And, give Ohio State credit, the recognized both the advantage and how close the game was being called.

Hope Jacob Young is Okay: It’s becoming more clear that Young is one of the most important players on the Rutgers offense. His aggression and speed makes Rutgers go. Had he gotten that slam dunk to go down (and one) without hurting himself, it may have been a different game. Injuries have really hindered what this team can do so far, and losing Young would be a tough blow.

Pikiell’s Technical: Steve Pikiell has never had a technical foul called on him in his head coaching career, from what I understand. Tonight’s techinical foul came, I believe, borne out of frustration and trying to get the refs to send some leniancy. However, when he got the technical, the game was still close and Ohio State widened the lead and basically put it out of reach. I’m not sure it’s the best place to get a technical for this game, but it was a place that showed some fight. However, it might not have been intentional.

UPDATE:

Ron Fire Part 7: Ron Harper Jr is still playing at an extemely high level. When the game was freer flowing and he was able to get space, Ron was able to knock down shots. He still scored 20 points, and hit four threes. Not his best game, but it wasn’t anyone’s best game. But it was still the kind of game that helps a season go down legendarily.