Ohio State Basketball: Breaking Down the Buckeyes’ Backcourt Struggles

Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that Ohio State was undefeated, among the top five teams in college basketball and boasting a backcourt that was impossible to score against?

Fast forward to today, and the Buckeyes are on the ropes. The fanbase has gone to Code Red—or perhaps Code Scarlet in this case. The rest of the Big Ten is prepared to pounce.

And that backcourt? The veteran trio of junior Shannon Scott and seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. has skidded through OSU’s four-game losing streak as if the various courts they’ve lost on were coated with Crisco.

Where did the issues arise? Why is this Ohio State team in the throes of the school’s first four-game losing streak since March of 2008?

Not all of it is on the backcourt, but enough to make one wonder if the Buckeyes were overrated before Big Ten play arrived.

Great Expectations

Craft drew All-American praise at the beginning of the season. Smith was expected to pick up his scoring, and he has been efficient if not prolific. Scott was to provide the Robin to Craft’s Batman, striking fear into the hearts of opposing guards everywhere.

During this four-game losing streak, nothing has gone to plan on either end. Examine the per-game averages of the Buckeyes guards over the last four games compared to what they gave up to the trios they’ve opposed.

Which is more alarming: four opponents combining for 140 points in the paint or four backcourts posting a cumulative .573 field-goal percentage?…

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