Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Post-Iowa State Thoughts

First of all, it was a win. Not only that, it was a 19 point win. Yay, first and foremost.

But (cliche alert!) it was a much closer game than the final score would indicate. Iowa State slowed the game down (59 possessions) and kept it close most of the time. It was mostly a game of mini-runs. Ohio State would open up an 8- or 10-point lead, then Iowa State would pull within two. The Cyclones shot pretty well on their three point attempts (38.5%), and did an okay job taking care of the ball for most of the game. But they turned the ball over three times late as OSU went on a run late to put the game away. The Buckeyes, for their part, played a very clean game, turning the ball over just eight times and committing just six fouls.

Greg Oden had his worst game of the season, and still posted 18 points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes. The Cyclones did a pretty decent job on Oden, really, which opened things up for other players. Daequan Cook in particular benefited from the attention paid to Oden. Cook scored 21 points in 26 minutes, going three for five on his three point attempts. Mike Conley contributed 15 points and six assists, also leading the team in free throw attempts and makes (seven for seven). Ivan Harris had an Ivan Harrisy game, scoring six of his ten points on threes and contributing a little help rebounding (four boards). Ron Lewis and Jamar Butler didn't do much offensively (seven and zero points, respectively), but Butler did chip in seven assists. Interestingly, Othello Hunter and David Lighty only played fifteen minutes each. Playing matchups, recognition of off nights by Thad Matta, or a sign of things to come?

In related news, The Ozone reports that Oden says he might stick around all four years. As MotSaG points out, this is the right thing for him to say right now, and it's much easier to say when millions of dollars aren't staring him in the face. I'll still assume he's one-and-done, but the possibility of him staying is very intriguing. Assuming everyone else stays (Conley and Cook, I'm looking in your direction), our starters next year might look like this:

G - Mike Conley
G - Jamar Butler
G - Daequan Cook
F - Kosta Koufos (incoming 7' freshman)
C - Greg Oden

I gotta say, if I was putting together my ideal team, that's pretty close to the array of skills I'd want on it. A point guard that can distribute and penetrate, another guard that can shoot and pass, another guy that can score from anywhere, one seven-footer with some range, and another that's outstanding near the basket, offensively and defensively.

Again, probably won't happen, but it's fun to dream, isn't it?

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