Ohio State Basketball: Is Buckeyes’ Backcourt the Best Defensive Duo in CBB?

Ohio State is the stingiest defense in college basketball for two reasons: Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott. These two raw-meat-eating guards are leading the way on “the other end of the court” in a time when most teams are struggling with the recent rule changes.

With Craft and Scott’s help, head coach Thad Matta does not accept the fact that refs blowing their whistles has done away with defense. He also rejects the thought that this puts an end to pressuring your opponent.

Before the season started, Matta told Yahoo’s Pat Forde how he thought the rule changes would effect Craft:

The Buckeyes are bucking the early trend in the 2013-14 season for teams to play zone more. The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen stated recently:

College teams are playing zone on 21.6% of possessions thus far, up from 15.6% last year and the previous four years’ average of 17.6%, according to Synergy Sports Technology. The first month of this season also hints that the zone may factor into NCAA tournament upsets come March: Top-25 teams are staring down zones on 23.8% of their half-court sets.

Though Craft is thought by many to be the best on-ball defender in college hoops, Scott is no slouch. The son of North Carolina and NBA star Charlie Scott combines great physical tools and exceptional instincts to control opposing ball-handlers and interfere with passing lanes. Both guards are averaging over two steals per game (Craft—2.6 SPG; Scott—2.3). Scott holds a slight advantage…

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