Friday, January 18, 2013

Aaron Craft is just fine as a distributor and defender

Associated Press
Ohio State will take the floor at the Breslin Center at 6 p.m. Saturday for an important Big Ten game -- aren't they all this year? -- against Michigan State.

If the Buckeyes start slowly on offense, I hope fans won't start complaining about how point guard Aaron Craft needs to start scoring more.

Craft does two things well: Distribute and defend, as he did against Michigan's Trey Burke in the picture at right. That's what he does, and he's good at it.

It's not to say he couldn't become a better scorer, because his 39-percent field-goal percentage could be improved.

But a problem could arise if the Buckeyes start relying on him to put up more points than 8.9 per game.

Let's say Craft gets into foul trouble, as he did in the Buckeyes' game at Purdue on Jan. 8, when he picked up his second foul 4 minutes, 19 seconds into the game.

Ohio State won that game, but I wouldn't assume that to happen against teams better than the Boilermakers (9-8).

So if Craft was counted on to score more, and then he got into foul trouble -- or was injured -- Ohio State would be stuck without a top offensive threat and its best defensive player.

It would better for the Buckeyes to let Craft be what he is, and continue to develop other players to help leading scorer Deshaun Thomas (20.3 points per game).

- Howard Primer


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