MILWAUKEE -- Some quick halftime thoughts from a relatively ugly first half in Milwaukee:
Georgia Tech hasn't quite dominated in the post the way it should. Gani Lawal had a good half, but counterpart Derrick Favors has been relatively invisible. More drastic is the Yellow Jackets' paucity of offensive rebounds -- Georgia Tech didn't grab a single offensive rebound until there were about four minutes left, and even that rebound was quickly slapped away by Ohio State's defense. Thus far, the combination of Dallas Lauderdale and OSU's athletic guards have been enough to keep the Jackets away from the basket.
Some of that might have to do with OSU's defense, which starts as a 1-3-1 full-court trap and then switches either to a half-court zone or into man-to-man, based on the calls relayed by OSU's bench to Turner, who then signals the defense with a hand signal. The half-court zone has been effective because it places a defender on the front and help sides of Lawal, making it difficult for him to get good catches in the post. It's also led to some open jumpers for Georgia Tech.
Not that it's mattered -- both teams shot putrid percentages in the first half, especially from beyond the arc. Ohio State made just two of its 11 3s; Georgia Tech went 2-for-8. Georgia Tech has done a good job making things difficult for the Buckeyes' shooters. (Jon Diebler especially has felt pressure coming off high screens.) But there have been plenty of open looks, too. OSU just isn't hitting them.
As I hinted above, this has not been a pretty game. Obviously, the shooting hasn't been great, but we've also had a combined 21 turnovers. Georgia Tech has 12 of them, but still, you have to think the Jackets like this level of ugliness.
In obligatory Evan Turner Watch news, Turner has played better much than his ugly first-round performance, scoring 16 points and adding three steals, two rebounds and two assists. Not to nitpick, but Turner hasn't been his typically efficient self today: Those 16 points came on 6-of-15 shooting, and he has just as many turnovers as assists. So far in this tournament, Turner has been an ineffective shooter; he's at his best when he's driving to the rim, using his perfect footwork, and scoring layups.
Is it just me, but when Ohio State fans do their famous "O-H-I-O" chant, are the O's not completely indistinguishable from the I's? I guess the message still comes across. But it is funny to sit and pretend the Buckeyes' backers are chanting I-H-I-I. (OK, maybe it is just me.)