Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone, and happy Feast Week! As you’re digging in to some leftovers from Thursday, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land are digging into statistics and trying to figure out if this Ohio State team is going to be good at knocking down threes or not. More on that later.
Last week, Connor and Justin each gave their biggest takeaways of the season to this point. Connor said, “Ohio State will only go as far as Roddy Gayle and Bruce Thornton will take them” while Justin said, “Jamison Battle needs to be the No. 1 option on offense.” The readers voted, and 87% of them thought Connor was was more on the ball about the team thus far.
After 127 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
We look at Twitter, and we see people complaining about Ohio State on a daily basis. One of the big gripes we see is people saying it’s, “another Chris Holtmann team that can’t shoot.” We are willing to entertain this possibility, even if the premise of the statement is wrong since the Buckeyes were third in the Big Ten last season in three-point shooting at 36.8%.
So, to feed the trolls, per se, we looked into it. Is there reason to be concerned about Ohio State’s three-point shooting?
Today’s Question: Are the early three-point shooting numbers for the Buckeyes something to worry about?
I think this Ohio State team will finish somewhere around the middle of the Big Ten in three-point shooting, but it’s currently shooting better than I think it will as we get into the meat of the season. The Buckeyes are shooting 34.9% as a team at the moment, but when you cut some of the fat away, it’s not quite as impressive.
I’m still skeptical how many three-pointers Dale Bonner is going to hit this season for Ohio State in games that matter; In my opinion, that Western Michigan game didn’t matter all that much. I also don’t think Zed Key shooting threes will happen all that often. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, so I’m not erasing the stats, but for the sake of projecting forward, I am removing their three-pointers.
That takes their 34.9% and lowers it to 33.3%.
Next, let’s remove the entire Western Michigan game from the equation (they went 10-of-25 from deep), since the Broncos — bless their hearts — are the No. 295 defense in college basketball this year. Again, not saying it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t count, but I am just trying to project into the future, when Ohio State plays teams much better than WMU.
That takes their 34.9% and lowers it to 32.7%.
I’m also concerned that none of Ohio State’s four freshmen are going to contribute in this area. Scotty Middleton is 3-for-8 so far, but Taison Chatman hasn’t played, Austin Parks has only played a couple minutes, and Devin Royal is 0-for-2. That’s less than one three-pointer per game from freshmen thus far.
That 34.9% mark for the Buckeyes might be fourth in the conference right now, but it’s 121st nationally — that tells a better picture. If Bruce Thornton, Jamison Battle, and Roddy Gayle can all knock down threes at a clip of 40% or better, this team could be just fine. But I think it is a little bit of smoke and mirrors so far, and cutting back some of the fat shows that.
Only time will tell if Ohio State’s early-season shooting will carry into the Big Ten schedule, regress, or get better.
To be honest, I don’t think the three-point shooting numbers are all that bad to start the season. I recognize that in the only tough game of the year so far, they shot the ball an abysmal 3-for-18 from three-point range. However, Texas A&M is a really solid defensive team, and it was only the second game of the season, so you need to let the rust wear off a bit early on.
So far this season, and as of this publishing on Friday, Nov. 24, the Buckeyes are fourth in the conference in three-point percentage at 35.4 percent and are seventh in three-point field goals made at 29 and 7.3 field goals made per game. However, they have only played four games, and four teams ahead of the Buckeyes have played five games.
Jamison Battle is the only player on the team that has the potential to be an elite three-point shooter, but there are plenty of good shooters on the team. The debut of freshman guard Taison Chatman should not have much bearing on those numbers, as he is more of a driver and slasher than a shooter.
Freshman Scotty Middleton and Devin Royal are still adjusting to the collegiate game, and their numbers should go up through the season as they get more acclimated to the speed of the game and the offense.
With Battle, Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Scotty Middleton, and even Dale Bonner at times, this team can shoot the ball well enough to where not only is it not a detriment, it could even be a positive for the team.
Are the early three-point shooting numbers for the Buckeyes something to worry about?
This poll is closed