After suffering its first loss of the season, the Ohio State men’s basketball team will look to readjust on Saturday when it hosts Colgate (N.Y.).
OSU is 5-1 for the season following a 64-55 loss on the road to No. 5 Louisville on Tuesday evening. Sophomore forward Marc Loving said the team took a lot away from the game.
“Just playing our type of basketball for 40 minutes,” Loving said. “Not letting our opponents take us out of our game plan, be more disciplined throughout the whole course of the game and sticking to our principles and what we worked on in practice through this whole beginning of the season.”
Loving finished the game with 13 points and six rebounds before fouling out with seven minutes remaining in the second half. Coach Thad Matta said that while he was disappointed to see Loving exit the game early, he was proud of the toughness he displayed.
“I thought he played with some ferociousness,” Matta said. “Him fouling out was a huge deal for us but we had to play him because he was playing so well.”
Matta added that Loving should strive to continue to put on performances like the one he had against the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
“That’s got to be kind of the standard of how he’s going to play,” Matta said. “He’s not going to make every shot but he went and got some rebounds, he went and shot big inside, took the hits, dribbled the ball up. Those types of things I thought were huge for him.”
The Buckeyes will look to get more production from senior guard Shannon Scott against Colgate on Saturday. Scott leads the nation in assists, averaging 8.8 per game, but only managed to put up one assist along with three points against the Cardinals. Matta said he trusts Scott to recover from the last game and lead the offense.
“I put a lot of ownership on him heading into the game,” Matta said. “Obviously he has to be able to handle that and I think that he will bounce back.”
Another factor for OSU will be the play of freshman guard D’Angelo Russell. In the game against Louisville, Russell scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half in an attempt to make a comeback. He also tallied six of the Buckeyes’ seven total assists. Matta said he enjoyed seeing the effort of the young guard in a tough game situation.
“I was pretty pleased with what he did as far in terms of helping us get back into the game,” Matta said. “You look at some of the plays that he made that could be conceived as mistakes but he was making aggressive plays which I like. I like that as a freshman in that type of environment.”
Despite the fact that Colgate comes into the game on Saturday with a 1-6 record, Matta said he expects a lot from the Raiders.
“They do a great job of running their stuff,” Matta said. “They’ve got guys who can shoot, they’ve got a couple guys who can really pass the basketball. We’re preparing our guys for battle.”
Matta said that the biggest key for success on Saturday will be each member of the team taking care of their responsibilities.
“This team knows that things are set up for them to be successful,” Matta said. “When we do our jobs everything is predicated on spacing, everything is predicated on guys doing what they’re supposed to do.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to play the Colgate Raiders on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.