Ohio State Basketball: Why Upping the Tempo Will Be Crucial to Buckeyes’ Success

The term “Jekyll and Hyde” is a cliche that is used far too often in sports, but there’s really no other way to describe the effort put forth by Ohio State’s basketball team on Saturday against Minnesota.

The Buckeyes tried their best to give everyone in the Schottenstein Center a migraine in the first half when it scored 18 points. The offense was basically let the ball-handlers lower their head and run straight into the teeth of the zone.

Fortunately for the Scarlet and Gray, the Golden Gophers only scored 28 themselves and kept the game within striking distance.

Ohio State came out of the locker room and immediately pushed the tempo for the rest of the game.

Before Minnesota even knew what hit it, the Buckeyes scored 17 straight points in a decisive 27-5 run. After a 46-18 second-half outburst, Ohio State took the game 64-46 and possibly set a precedent for the offense as the season’s stretch run approaches.

Thad Matta has the personnel to run an uptempo scheme like he did in the second half on Saturday. Whether he chooses to do so or not for the final three regular-season games and the tournaments will ultimately define the season.

Just a quick glance at the roster reveals players like Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith Jr., Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross, Amedeo Della Valle and Marc Loving. That is plenty of athleticism and depth to start consistently running, even if Amir Williams and Trey McDonald aren’t exactly built to be…

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