Cody Cousino/ Photo editor
As I was watching the first half of the Buckeyes game against Kansas Saturday, my worries about Ohio State struggling against the Jayhawks began to disappear. At one point in the first half, the Buckeyes were up by 13 points and I started to realize the team was talented enough to beat a great opponent such as the Jayhawks. I believed if they won, they would stand a chance against Kentucky in the final. But early in the second half, I lost all optimism about the Buckeyes winning, as they started the second half off with 1-of-11 shooting. The performance of sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas truly hurt their chances of winning.
The Buckeyes really needed a player who could run the lane and make big plays. The Buckeyes did not have that type of player Saturday, since Thomas was benched most of the time for the fear of fouling out of the game. Even when Thomas was in, he did not bring the type of performance he brought in other games of the tournament. In the Buckeyes’ first tournament game against Loyola (MD), Thomas scored 31 points and the Scarlet and Gray needed that type of performance last night.
Another big struggle for the Buckeyes was that their bench players failed to come into the game and make shots. Bench players freshman forward Sam Thompson and junior forward Evan Ravenel had 12 and 14 minutes of play time, respectively, and did not score any points. Next season, with the potential loss of sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, the Buckeyes’ bench players will have to step up their game in order to win.
This was the second time in six years that the Buckeyes made it to the Final Four, and regardless of the loss, it is still impressive that they made it so far. If only the game had lasted 20 minutes, the Buckeyes would be preparing to play Kentucky in the final game Monday night.