These Ohio State Buckeyes Most Disappointing Of Thad Matta Era


There’s isn’t much more to be said about the Ohio State Buckeyes season other than it’s over. Yes, the Scarlet and Gray won a tournament game, and D’Angelo Russell will be a top-three NBA Draft pick, but there isn’t a whole more to celebrate. The 2014-2015 Buckeyes were a team that underachieved, and will probably go down as one of the biggest disappointment in Thad Matta’s 11 years as coach.

Here’s why:

1. Even before the nation knew what Russell was capable of this team had high expectations. The Buckeyes were picked to finish second in the Big 10. They finished sixth. Ohio State was among the top 10 teams in preseason polls. They weren’t a top 25 team when the regular season ended and they were one of the last teams to get an at-large bid.

Mar 19, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta instructs against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. This version of the Buckeyes featured three McDonald’s All-American. One of those was Russell, but forget about him for a moment. The others were Shannon Scott and Amir Williams. Sam Thompson‘s high school career wasn’t decorated with the Golden Arches, but he was still a four-star recruit out of Chicago. Scott, Williams and Thompson were seen as “big gets” for the program.

2. It’s all about development–especially when you have kids in the program for four years. Williams, Thompson, Scott are all seniors. Ask yourself, did they become dramatically better over four years, compared to their Big Ten counterparts?

3. Shannon Scott turned into a great distributor, averaging 6.1 assists, but his shooting regressed. He made just 28.2 percent of his 3-point attempts–his worst percentage ever since he started playing major minutes as a sophomore. Draft Express predicts Scott will be a late second-round pick.

4. In his final game, Williams, a 6-foot-11, 250 pounder, scored four, and grabbed four rebounds. He had some moments at Ohio Sate, but these games were too often the norm.

5. Thompson’s point average increased in his four years at Ohio State, as he averaged 10 points per contest as a senior, but he shot 25 percent from 3-point range and 46 percent from the field. His best shooing season came when he was a sophomore, when he posted a 50 percent success rate.

6. Anthony Lee was a highly touted transfer from Temple. A groin injury kept him out since Feb. 11. Perhaps he was injured earlier, because he just wasn’t the same player as he was with Temple. He averaged 8.6 rebounds per game with the Owls as a junior, and only 2.3 in his senior stint with OSU.

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7. Sophomore Marc Loving and Jae’Sean Tate all showed flashes…but those moments of brilliance were as consistent as Ohio’s weather.

8. The point is D’Angelo Russell emerged into the best guard in the country this season–and he had little help.  In games he struggled–as he did against Arizona–it made it even less likely that Ohio State would come from behind and win.

9. This isn’t a call for Thad Matta’s job. The Buckeyes’ coach is the winningest coach in Ohio State history and he’s just three years removed from the Final Four–and two years from the Elite 8. But now, for the second straight season, Bucknuts have to watch a Buckeye-less Sweet 16.

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