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Gopher Hoops Loses to Ohio State, NCAA Tournament Hopes Slipping Away

The Gophers could not recover from a brutally ugly start against the #6 Ohio State Buckeyes. The first 16 minutes of the game was total Buckeye domination. Before the 5 minuted mark in the first half Jared Sulinger and William Buford each had already reached double-digit scoring and Ohio State held a 35-14 lead! The good news is from that point on the Gophers outscored the Buckeyes 41-54. J/K, that's not really good news because it is easy to come back when the other team loses interest a little bit.

The start to the game was concerning but I'm not terribly upset about the game, we were facing a much more talented team that has aspirations of not just making the NCAA Tournament but winning it. I'll make this recap short and you guys can talk about it.

The Good

Not a whole lot of good when you essentially get run off your home court. We did battle back and maybe showed some moxie by not giving up. This is a strength of the team. But for the good, I'll go with Oto Osenieks. The redshirt freshman hit double-digits for the first time in his career. He hit a three, had a nice dunk while drawing a foul and added four rebounds. Not an outstanding line but it might be a confidence builder for the young forward. I don't ever expect that he is going to be a player who contributes with a lot of points but I do think he can develop into a reliable contributor who will knock down threes if you don't guard him.

The Bad

Joe Coleman, where have you gone? After averaging 13.5 points per game over a five game stretch Coleman has now gone four consecutive games without a single point! I expected the league to adjust and Coleman to struggle for a few games, but not one point and only 6 minutes of playing time last night? What is going on?

Hopefully use his time off the bench to regroup and get himself back on track in time for the Big Ten tournament. It is great that Andre Hollins is stepping up and having a nice run of averaging 10.6 in his last five games. But it would be awesome if both of these guys began playing well together. Give me two young guards that defenses have to account for. I don't think Joe has been lost, he still has a bright career ahead of him, but he needs to shake this funk.

Also under "Bad" I could have gone with rebounding, three-point shooting and the bench.

The Ugly

Getting trounced 35-14 to start the game. Nearly impossible to come back from a 21 deficit in the first half against a top 10 team. It just cannot happen.

Time to move on, put this one behind us and hope we get seeded in the Big Ten tournament so we don't have to face the Buckeyes until round 3.