While it lasts, it's okay to bask in the Buckeyes being No. 1 in the nation, right? In the game notes from last night's dismantling of Penn State are some statistics that help show why they're No. 1. For starters, they play great defense, and they don't foul.
OSU is 11th in the country in scoring defense (59.5), and they entered the PSU game ranked second in the country in fewest fouls per game, at a 14.4 average (but committed 18 vs PSU). The Buckeyes are leading the Big Ten, and are second nationally, in turnover margin at plus 5.7 per game. As a team, the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in steals by a wide margin, at 7.7 pg.
True freshman Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten Conference in steals, at 2.1 per game. And even that doesn't tell the story of how good this kid has been on defense. Craft has had four games now with 5 steals or more, with a high of 7. And he's getting better. Craft has 64 steals on the season, but 23 of them have come in the last five games.
Offensively, the Bucks are scoring at 77.4 ppg., and are fourth nationally in scoring margin at 17.7 ppg, and third in the nation in field goal percentage (49.3). Jared Sullinger leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game at 3.17.
The Buckeyes freshmen (mainly Sullinger, Craft and Deshaun Thomas) have scored 45% of OSU's points.
I know they don't have stats going back very far on consecutive field goals, but Diebler's nine 3's in a row last night has to be a record of some sort in itself. Someone from OSU will let us know eventually. I'm not sure I've ever seen a 3-point shooter hotter than Diebler was last night.. As Gus Johnson noted on BTN, he only grazed the rim once or twice on his 10 triples.
Diebler had looked a little out of sorts Sunday against Indiana, when his shot was flat and was hitting front rim most of the night, as he went 2 for 7 from long range. Guess he got the bugs ironed out. The man is shooting 49.4% from 3-point range for the season, which leads the conference by plenty, and will probably place him second in the NCAA in 3-point accuracy when the new numbers come out this week. It's a good time of year to get hot and stay hot.
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