- Michigan State 19-5 (9-2 Big Ten)
- Wisconsin 18-5 (8-3)
- Ohio State 18-6 (8-3)
- Illinois 16-8 (8-3)
- Purdue 19-3 (7-3)
Minnesota follows at number 6 with a 5-5 record before it just gets worse. The Buckeyes went out and did exactly what they needed to do taking care of their home court in the last three games against Minnesota, Penn State and now Iowa.
So about that Evan Turner guy. What else is there to say about him? He tied a career high in scoring with 32 points. He seemed to score all the timely baskets you could ask for. He blew me away yesterday with his coast-to-coast job because he made it look so easy. That is another part of Turner’s game which is sometimes deceiving. He is a really solid rebounder. A lot of players don’t put a lot of effort into rebounding, but Turner seems to recognize the times when the Buckeyes really need some extra effort in the defensive paint and really jumps above everyone to get it. Of course when he follows it up with a coast to coast finger-roll layup right down the throat of the opposing defense, that helps too.
The recurring theme from the year is the amount of minutes everyone plays. In this one, Lighty, Diebler, Buford and Turner all wen the full 40 minutes. Kyle Madsen was the Buckeyes’ bench on Sunday going for 22 minutes in relief of Dallas Lauderdale. Lighty chipped in 9 points, Buford had 9, and Diebler scored 12.
Now the Buckeyes have two straight road games, Wednesday at Indiana and then again next Sunday at Illinois. Indiana is a woeful 3-7 in the Big Ten so far this season and 9-13 overall. They are coming off of four straight losses to Iowa, Illinois, Purdue and Northwestern.