December 19, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
28°F
 

Rick Noland sports commentary: Scoring, snoring, roaring

Since we finally got a temporary break from the Browns and the Indians are still in Goodyear, let’s jump through a bunch of (basketball) hoops in Rick-o-chet-style fashion:

Ohio State is probably going to make the NCAA Tournament, but if the Buckeyes keep losing — and losing while looking real bad — they will have only themselves to blame if they are not a part of March Madness. …

Twenty-five points in the first half against Indiana? …

Zero 3-pointers (0-for-11) for the game? …

How was this team once ranked No. 2 in the nation? …

Actually, there’s a simple explanation for the latter. The basketball Buckeyes got that high in the polls the same way the football team did: By beating no one of serious substance and having other teams lose against top-level competition. …

I love Aaron Craft’s tenacity, intelligence and defense, but he will not play in the NBA because he can’t shoot — at all. …

At halftime Saturday, I was as excited by the Cavaliers’ play as I have been all season. Sixty-five points on 61 percent shooting, great ball movement and solid defense will do that to a person. …

Then the second half started. …

Cleveland lit up the scoreboard for a grand total of 31 points, dropped a game in Memphis and, in the process, once again left me shaking my head. …

I know it was the Cavs’ fourth game in five nights, but it was there for the taking. …

I know the Cavs were without Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles, but they didn’t have them in the first half, either. …

I also know Memphis’ Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol dominated Tristan Thompson and Spencer Hawes in the second half, when the offensive woes seemed to carry over to the defensive end. …

On the subject of Hawes, I really, really like what he’s brought to the team on offense. The guy can shoot it, has a few decent post moves and makes good decisions with the ball. …

At the same time, Hawes is not the best defender, and that showed often against the Grizzlies. …

Speaking of the Grizzlies (and a bad transition), this is the year the Wadsworth girls basketball team is going to win a regional championship — the team has fallen one victory short the last two seasons — and reach the Division I state tournament. …

Three Medina County boys teams — Buckeye, Medina and Brunswick — have reached district semifinal play. …

Of the three, I like D-II Buckeye’s chances best when it comes to reaching the regional level, but the Bucks had better not take Vermilion lightly Wednesday in district semifinal play at Westlake. …

With five smart and hard-working seniors in its starting lineup, I’m betting Buckeye will be ready. …

Medina struggled mightily to beat Kyle Prunty-less Wadsworth in a sectional final, but the Bees should be able to get by Green in D-I district semifinal action Thursday at Copley. …

After that, Medina is going to have to get back to playing the way it was earlier in the season — or better — if it wants to move on. …

Brunswick will be an underdog when it plays Westlake on Wednesday in a Brecksville D-I District semifinal, but that’s precisely when Joe Mackey’s team has played its best this season. It wouldn’t shock me at all if the Blue Devils pull the upset. …

OK, that’s enough writing about hoops for now. It’s time to go shoot some.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.